Amen. The writing is Roger Pinckney‘s, short and bittersweet, about land and God and the way some people die, some people get born again. And The Revealer really has nothing to add to this psalm from the latest issue of the environmentalist magazine Orion. Pinckney’s is the best kind of religion writing, in that it’s not about religion at all; it’s about people, religion simply a current that ripples through their lives.
“The preaching is Baptist, long and good, about the generations springing up and being cut down like grass. The funeral director, the ‘funeralizer,’ the Gullah say, has the ‘catchers’ — his wife and two male assistants — stationed before the casket. There are eulogies and scattered prayers and finally we join hands for ‘Amazing Grace,’ words from a repentant slave ship captain put to an African melody so long ago. And the music dies and there is an eternity in a single silent second and then a great shriek of grief, a guttural howl of rage and despair as Yvonne leaps across two pews and throws herself atop the casket.”