Written by Slow Dakota (PJ Sauerteig)
Performed by Philip Kitcher
Mixed by Sahil Ansari
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
A series of bizarre mistranslations and cultural misunderstandings have led us to imagine the Judeo-Christian heaven as some sort of cloud realm, or sunny kingdom in the sky. However, when we look back at both the Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, we see that Heaven is actually the name of a lake on the shores of which all souls will make their eternal home. From the Book of Daniel, we can approximate that the divine lake will be the size of Zurich Lake, in Switzerland, or Lake Charlevoix, in Northern Michigan. (Coincidentally, both of these lakes were favorites of the American writer, Ernest Hemingway).
The heavenly image of the lion lying down with the lamb is also misconstrued: rather, the biblical prophets intended the image of white swans and St. Bernard dogs swimming side by side in the lake, as a means to beat the summer heat. Little boys and girls jump naked from the old stone bridges, to the cheers of onlookers, who hang wreathes of hollyhock on the divers as they climb back up onto dry land. And at night, flashes of lightning in the pink, rainless sky.
Above the soft lapping of the water, lights in the houses go out, as the souls say their goodnights: Goodnight Brian, the dentist
Goodnight Alisha, my love!
Goodnight Mark Strand
Goodnight Toni Morrison, who leads us in prayer, favorite daughter of Christ
Goodnight gardener 1
Goodnight gardener 2
Goodnight grandfather, snuffing out the light above the chess table; Hildegard has bested him again, for what must be the hundredth night in a row.
In the moonlight, a single rowboat makes a slow circle around the lake. It is Burstner at the oars, restless even in death.
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