And Shall We Now Consider Jacob Wells


A Litany


 

Zara Wilder

 

 

 

Some men still remain in whom humility and devotion
in the presence of greatness are still alive and to whom
existence without exaltation is unbearable.

Richard Specht

 

 

And shall we now consider Jacob Wells

 

Father and Dreamer,

Counselor and Inquirer,

Protector and Scientist,

Instructor and Intercessor,

Scholar and Judge,

Healer and Guide,

Creator and Rescuer,

Leader and Friend

 

Who is reviled, maligned, rejected, feared,

mocked, mistrusted, misrepresented,

disbelieved, despised, despoiled, and discarded

by enemies of the common good,

enemies of outcasts, enemies of Vincent,

enemies of peace, enemies of justice,

enemies of love

 

Who is himself loved, lauded, embraced, honored,

avowed, trusted, advocated,

accepted, respected, defended, and celebrated

by the cherished folk whom he has welcomed and celebrated,

revived and defended, nurtured and respected,

dignified and accepted, educated and advocated,

ennobled and trusted, enjoyed and avowed,

illumined and honored, encouraged and embraced,

challenged and applauded,

liberated and loved

 

For he brings out the best in truthful people

who want to accept and help one another;

 

For he brings out the worst in delusive people

who want to manipulate and use one another;

 

For Jacob proclaims truth at the time when truth is most needful,

even when the cost is terrible,

even when enemies hate him for being truthful,

even when it might be easier to lie;

 

For Jacob is defenseless against narcissism, against mob rule,

against psychosis, against superstition, against vainglory,

against demonic oppression, against malignant ambition,

against murderous intent, against wanton cruelty,

against brutality, against bigotry; against mass hysteria,

against malice, against aggressive egocentricity

for such evils are foreign to his sensitive soul;

 

For enemies destroyed him once and would destroy him again

wholeheartedly at their first opportunity,

yet Jacob though demonized and devoured,

scapegoated and scorned,

remained open to compassion

and grateful for kindness;

 

For though embittered during his earliest years Below,

he did relinquish hatred toward those who wronged him,

and he forgave the most potent trespasses against him,

and learned to pray for those who persecuted him,

and he redeemed the ending they inflicted upon him

into many new beginnings for their many other victims;

 

For he understands the horror of betrayal

and longs to heal the woundedness of the betrayed;

 

For he is wary of potential betrayers and their motives

and will not invest his trust in those who have not earned it;

 

For untrustworthy people are the greatest threat to our community;

 

For though urged by dint of friendship to join John Pater

in repaying evil for evil, Jacob renounced all claim

to violent retaliation and retribution,

domination and deceit,

and spent his next three decades quietly

serving and sustaining the poorest of the poor;

 

For he is constantly available to us, any of us, all of us, always;

 

For he has no desire to enthrall the minds

nor control the lives of others;

 

For he established instead a loving family of individuals

living according to a higher standard

than that of the societies which devastated us;

 

For he harbored no grudge against John, but kept

private watch throughout the years

to protect his people and especially his children;

 

For Jacob saves every life he can

and mourns the lives he cannot save;

 

For he provides safety, aid, and hope

to those who otherwise have none;

 

For he offers help to those who need it,

and accepts help from those who offer it to him;

 

For he promises mercy without neglecting justice;

 

For he upholds justice while ever revering mercy;

 

For when he realized hed harmed his secret son

for fourteen years, those twenty years ago,

he instantly repented and hastened forth from his haven

into the hostile world beyond to bring healing

to Devins broken soul;

 

For he has always been a father to anyone who needed one,

and to more children than Vincent can name,

but not for Devin

not until both father and son had matured enough at last

to come home to one another;

 

For Jacob desires growing maturity in himself and others;

 

For he bears the penalties for the errors and failures

of both himself and others;

 

For he takes responsibility for his choices and his actions

and all their consequences;

 

For he takes pity upon people who are damaged

and overburdened by consequences;

 

For is he a doctor who strives to fulfill his oath

to help the sick according to his ability and judgment,

to abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm,

to refuse to abuse the bodies of man or woman, bond or free,

and to never divulge whatsoever he sees or hears

in the course of his profession, as well as outside of his profession,

and in all his dealings, when what he observes ought not

be published abroad, holding such things as sacred secrets,

and seeking above all to do no harm but to heal all harms done;

 

For Jacob opened his fractured heart and his fragile home

to an unhuman newborn, succored him, nursed him

and healed him, saved his life, protected him,

adopted him as a son, raised him to adulthood,

taught the child to be as human as he may become,

taught him everything;

 

For Jacob created a world in which Vincent could exist and thrive;

 

For Jacob loves the unlovable and the unimaginable,

teaching others to love and understand what

we are first inclined to dread;

 

For he dreads only the suffering of the people he loves;

 

For he cannot idly tolerate intolerable risk to the people he loves;

 

For he cannot bear to do nothing while monsters destroy us;

 

For he cannot comprehend the minds of monsters;

 

For he cannot comprehend the hearts of predators;

 

For he cannot comprehend lovelessness in any form;

 

For he is innocent of violence and forbears even violent evildoers;

 

For he is angry when violence hurts any person in his care;

 

For he suffers with his loved ones when we are suffering;

 

For he hearkens to his people: seeing, hearing, touching,

observing, witnessing, watching, receiving, and blessing;

 

For when his folk oppose him, he will doubt himself enough

to carefully consider and reconsider, examine and cross-examine

even his own most fundamental beliefs and justifiable actions;

 

For he listens to what others say and may be convinced

to change his mind by anothers sound moral reasoning;

 

For he hearkens to wisdom when once it is proved wise;

 

For he is a man of tremendous faith and valiant hope;

 

For he is incredulous and suspicious of all mysticisms;

 

For he is familiar with world history, and the many abuses of human faith;

 

For his philosophy relies upon reason and the ethics of virtue above all;

 

For his faith is wholly founded upon the reality of Love;

 

For he mourns with those who mourn, and rejoices with those who rejoice;

 

For he values ceremonies and remembrances among his folk;

 

For he loves banter and jests, festivity and merriment;

 

For he finds immense delight in beauty;

 

For when he discovers anything true, anything honest,

anything just, anything pure, anything lovely, anything of good report,

where there be any virtue, and where there be anything praiseworthy,

anywhere or in anyone, Jacob seeks after these things,

treasuring and savoring their excellence:

the excellence of affection, of music, of learning,

the excellence of legends, of logic, of lore,

the excellence of laughter, of wit, of children,

the excellence of books, of hot tea, of wholesome play,

the excellence of indulgence, of a pleasant smoke, of a tale well told,

the excellence of dancing, of good food, of fine company,

the excellence of chess, of art, of bonds of love,

the perfection of hope, of grace, of true light;

 

For Jacob is fierce, swift to protect and preserve

all light from the encroachment of darkness;

 

For he knows how to enkindle new light in the deepest dark

and how to tend the flame;

 

For he knows how difficult it is to make a light

and keep it burning against all opposition;

 

For his loyal heart blazes with steadfast love;

 

For he regrets neither his humility nor his ferocity;

 

For he is ashamed only of his ignorance and unskillfulness;

 

For he intimately understands

the heights and depths of his own humanity;

 

For he regrets only the pain he causes others

and all the pain he cannot prevent others from suffering;

 

For he takes offense on behalf of the wronged

when people misuse their freedom;

 

For he becomes angry with himself

and grieves and seeks to make amends

when he misuses his own freedom;

 

For he denies no ones freedom to be themself;

 

For though he seeks to spare his folk from painful error,

he denies no ones freedom to make mistakes;

 

For he alerts his people to impending risks and dangers

which threaten our freedom and well-being;

 

For he deplores risk and jeopardy, yet will join

his people in our peril rather than abandon us in our hour of need;

 

For he has found a way to live balanced upon the borderline

between what is innocuous and what is lethal,

what is possible and what is impossible;

 

For he knows such balance is a matter of life and death for us;

 

For in his wisdom he counsels against dangerous foolishness

and yet abides the stubbornness of fools;

 

For he is himself stubborn and aware of his own fallibility;

 

For even the lives of his enemies are precious to him;

 

For he holds no ones weakness against them;

 

For he shields the vulnerabilities of others

as soon as he recognizes our vulnerabilities;

 

For he trusts his friends to protect his own vulnerabilities;

 

For he knows the world he has created is vastly more vulnerable than himself;

 

For he knows what each and all of his people will lose

should anyone expose our community to the merciless

attention of outsiders;

 

For when he is frightened for his own sake he scolds,

and his scolding exposes his hubristic scars,

and his vestigial hubris reveals still-unhealed shadows in his heart,

and so we may often know by his scolding

when Jacob is fighting to be brave;

 

For whether or not he scolds, Jacob is brave;

 

For Jacob is brave:

 

For though afrighted and appalled by his adopted sons

decision to risk everyones lives to save a dying stranger,

he answered his sons trust with trust,

extending our worlds great hospitality,

sparing no expense to heal the womans injuries;

 

For he will always do all he can to save Catherines life and heal her injuries;

 

For he will always offer and provide sanctuary for Catherine

whenever it is a sanctuary she truly needs from us;

 

For he is willing to extend his trust to people Vincent trusts,

but reserves the right to discern for himself each persons degree of reliability;

 

For he presaged the torturous ending to Vincents dream of love with Catherine;

 

For he begged his son not to let Vincents love for Catherine destroy him;

 

For he has labored long and lovingly to offer Vincent a life worth living;

 

For he dignifies Vincents being;

 

For he prizes Vincents empathic powers;

 

For he appreciates Vincents extraordinary gifts;

 

For he extols Vincents talents;

 

For he shepherds Vincents virtues;

 

For he relishes Vincents tenderness;

 

For he fortifies Vincents purity;

 

For he safeguards the welfare of all children;

 

For he is devoted to the integrity of children;

 

For he believes children are the meaning of this life;

 

For he believed Kippers report of a malignant foster home Above,

and although their case had drawn dangerous official attention,

he received into the Tunnels the two siblings Vincent and Catherine rescued;

 

For Jacob dreaded the day when Vincents heart would lead him

to long for a life that can never be,

yet Jacob honored his sons greatheartedness

and admired Vincents courage;

 

For he felt in his own soul Vincents suffering for love,

and ever stayed nearby to offer what comfort and support he could;

 

For from the outset he gave his son and the woman his son loved

all the good within his power to give them;

 

For Jacob empathized with the plight of the two lovers;

 

For Jacob defended Catherine when she recoiled in fear from his son;

 

For Jacob succinctly told Catherine the truth about

her relationship with his son when her imprudence

cost them all dearly, and Jacob spoke this truth reluctantly,

with consideration, and without laying blame, knowing this truth

was exactly what the woman his son loved

simply did not want to hear;

 

For Jacob is unfailingly honest with Catherine;

 

For he answers Catherines questions and gives to her

all the information she asks from him;

 

For he gives Catherine answers that she does not know she needs;

 

For Jacob understands Vincents self and situation in the world

far better than does the woman Vincent loves;

 

For Jacob traveled to the most dangerous part of the city

in search of his wounded son when he knew Vincent was lost;

 

For he will go anywhere, dare anything, for Vincents sake;

 

For he loves Vincent above all others, including himself,

excepting only the God of Love Jacob constantly invokes;

 

For he is the one who must tend Vincents wounds, again and again,

after Topsiders have tried to annihilate him,

after foes have sought to best him,

after Catherine has finished having her misadventurous way with him;

 

For Jacob never penalizes Vincents risk-taking;

 

For Jacob knows the battles Vincent fights are more than penalty enough;

 

For though Jacob pleads and protests, he honors Vincents

tenacious zeal to risk everything for his love of goodness and beauty;

 

For Jacob also cooperates with Vincents expertise to keep the Tunnels safe;

 

For Jacob knows what Brigit ODonnell has meant to Vincent,

and he also knows theres always a danger of confusing the magic

with the magician, that sometimes the person is smaller than her work,

weaker, more frightened, more human, and Jacob

never wants to see his son hurt by anyone, nor disappointed,

as he has seen Vincent hurt and disappointed by mere humans before

by John Pater, by Devin, by Mitch, by other Tunnels children, and by Lisa,

by Catherine, by newcomers, by outsiders

by Jacob himself

and Jacob furthermore knows he can and ought do nothing

to stop his son from meeting Brigit, and so Jacob made no attempt

to prevent Vincent from following his heart up into the world Above,

from achieving there a cherished dream-come-true,

and upon Vincents return, he listened to his sons account,

and shared memories with him, and comforted Vincents discomfiture;

 

For Jacob failed to console Vincent after Catherine chose to leave New York,

yet he did not fail to speak truth about this event,

and he urged Vincent to let Catherine follow her own path,

just as Jacob has always let Vincent follow his;

 

For Jacob cares about everyones responsibility to live our own lives;

 

For Jacob told a departing Catherine that Vincent was missing,

because Jacob surrendered his prior assumptions about the lovers,

because Jacob decided to trust Vincents love more than Jacobs fear,

because Jacob knew Catherine cared about Vincent, and, because she cared,

she searched for her abducted lover, and found him, and brought him home;

 

For Jacob freely admitted he does not know all the answers;

 

For Jacob freely admitted that his perspective changes over time;

 

For the instant he received word from his estranged wife,

Jacob cast all else aside and went to her, and endured new hardships

for Margarets sake, and sought ever to relieve her pain and sorrow;

 

For when in dire straits in jail Jacob trusted Catherine,

and accepted the help she offered, once he believed

shed come to offer meaningful help

that would not endanger his people Below;

 

For he thanked Catherine for her help;

 

For he always thanks Catherine for her help;

 

For he remained honest with Catherine

even when she did not know how to be honest with herself;

 

For he welcomed Margaret with open arms, and expressed only joy

upon her return to him, and remained a true husband, assuring her

that he had let go of all his anger years ago, and that,

oh yes, there was a time when he had gorged himself on bitterness

and self-pity, but then he came to know someone

who had every reason to curse fate, to feel punished, and yet

Vincent accepted all that life had to offer with gratitude and love,

and so Jacob learned to do this too, and so Margaret could also learn;

 

For Margarets last seven days with Jacob were the happiest of her life;

 

For after Margarets death, Jacob healed, alone and grateful;

 

For Jacob is grateful for many things, and to many, many people;

 

For he supports his son when Vincent must save the woman Vincent loves;

 

For he supports Catherine when she must save the son Jacob loves;

 

For he simply does not understand evil, nor delusion, nor subterfuge,

nor vicious assaults upon the body, the psyche, the spirit;

 

For though the prospect of a beloved daughters departure grieved him,

Jacob helped Vincent explain to Laura her choices

when the time came for her to return to the world Above;

 

For Jacob built a world in which no one is forced to stay,

and no one stops anyone else from leaving;

 

For he led the difficult process of teaching Mouse not to rob the world Above,

and upheld the laws of his people with balanced patience, fairness, and mercy;

 

For he sorrowed over Mouses confused pain under sentenced Silence;

 

For Jacob entered the Maze to administer first aid to Eric,

and he helped the children escape the danger of the falling stones,

and he loved Vincent unto his last breath when sudden rockfall

trapped them, and hurt them, and threatened to suffocate them to death;

 

For though blinded, he opened his heart to his son in the dark, and encouraged

Vincents love for Catherine with memories of Jacobs love for Margaret;

 

For he shared responsibility with Vincent for their decision

to open our home as a sanctuary to two desperate Chinatown lovers;

 

For he has built a world which enforces very strict rules

about who may come Below and for what reasons;

 

For he hoped to spare his son from battle when the Tong invaded,

and he was deeply reluctant to send Vincent out into danger,

yet he sanctioned his sons capability to protect our home

from many violent intruders;

 

For Jacob ventured out to confront Paracelsus after Catherine

turned to Vincent and the Tunnelfolk for our help to save

the city Above from the ravages of a mysterious new designer drug;

 

For Jacob refused to consider executing this enemy

of both worlds when Winslow proposed assassination;

 

For Jacob is loathe to violate Tunnels principles;

 

For the laws Jacob helped to establish Below

have enabled our people to survive, and we must obey

our laws and principles or surely perish

no matter what urgencies or demands the world Above

and its proponents may wish to impose upon us;

 

For Jacob risked his life when he hurried to help Vincent

after Paracelsus poisoned Vincent and Vincent lost his mind

just as Jacob did not hesitate to intervene when Vincent lost himself and hurt Lisa,

just as Jacob never left Vincents side when Vincent fell ill in his youth,

just as Jacob will persevere with his son

when Paracelsus drives Vincent insane again,

just as Jacob will persevere alongside Catherine

as part of the miracle of Vincents delicate identity;

 

For Jacob brought Catherine Below when Vincent needed her;

 

For Jacob always invites Catherine Below when Vincent needs her;

 

For Jacob sought to protect Catherine from the danger Vincent posed;

 

For Jacob ultimately did not prevent Catherine from approaching Vincent;

 

For Jacob will never prohibit Catherine from approaching Vincent;

 

For Jacob will never prohibit Vincent from approaching Catherine;

 

For Jacob pays attention to how much Vincent and Catherine

come to need each other;

 

For Jacob places all blame for Vincents madness where it belongs:

with the enemy who inflicted the madness,

and not with Vincent, and not with Catherine;

 

For gently Jacob offered to relieve Vincent of any responsibility

to respond to Vincents cruel poisoner, yet he accepted

his sons decision to claim that right and to act upon it;

 

For he expressed fondness for the perilous woman Vincent loved,

and blessed Vincents quest to find an anniversary gift for her;

 

For he is as invested in healing Vincents soul

as he is in healing Vincents body after injury;

 

For he struggled to receive his long lost son when Devin returned,

and he believed Vincents understanding of their shared past,

and he trusted Vincents wisdom for the present day,

and he lamented the hard injustice he had done to his natural son,

and he rued the vengeful bitterness he had sown in Devins soul,

and he forgave the pain Devin caused Jacob, and Vincent, and others,

and he longed to repair the hurt he caused Devin, and Vincent, and others,

and he offered both Vincent and Devin the truth about their interrelatedness,

just as soon as he could arrange a new meeting with his eldest child;

 

For Jacob believes that truths which may do more harm than good

ought not be prematurely revealed;

 

For Jacob knows how difficult it can be to navigate truths without a compass;

 

For Jacob loves truth and hates to see it twisted or misapplied;

 

For Jacob hearkens to his heart in order to winnow truths from confusions;

 

For Jacob listens to the hearts of others for this same purpose;

 

For Jacob always listens to Vincent, always strives to understand him,

always works to help Vincent understand himself, always extends

hopeful sympathy to nourish the best qualities of Vincents character;

 

For so Jacob is ever learning anew to do for everyone,

of every age, whom he encounters during the course of his days;

 

For so Jacob has allowed Vincent to teach him, from Vincents earliest days;

 

For when need draws Jacob Above,

Above he goes,

to complete whatever task he must achieve

to rescue his loved ones from peril;

 

For Jacob never condemned Catherines entangled relationships

with other men, but tried to help Vincent cope honorably with them;

 

For all of Jacobs romances of the past and the future are themselves

entangled, and he understands how much lovers must risk together

in pursuit of their happiness;

 

For Jacob did not succumb to the allure of the specter of wealth,

but deplored the effect of greed and acrimony upon his community;

 

For he both sympathized with Romani ways and praised Vincent

for pleading with the Gypsy king to bring a lost grandson home;

 

For he equipped and blessed Vincents quest to rescue Catherine

from Paracelsus, and gave Vincent vital wisdom for the journey;

 

For he struggled with all his might for a solution

when a new tower threatened the existence of our world Below;

 

For he was prepared to pay any price to bail Mouse out of jail;

 

For though he foresaw the agonized demise of both his son

and the woman his son loved,

yet did Jacob marvel at their courage, and stand watch,

and pray long for the prosperity and peace of both;

 

For he learned of the lovers intended dream vacation

because Vincent has no fear of him, and shares his heart

readily with his father, and Jacob entrusted Vincent

with better reasons to stay home, assured of a good life Below,

than those reasons Catherine delivered to risk

the destruction of Vincents very existence,

and the ruin of the lovers hard-won joy,

for the sake of Catherines greed and fancy,

howsoever much she may desire a lover

who is able to vacation with her Above;

 

For Jacob is both a romantic and a realist, whose realism

has kept himself, and Vincent, and our entire community

alive for a third of a century against impossible odds;

 

For Jacob and Vincent may safely argue with one another

without fear of dismantling their love and respect for one another;

 

For Jacob knows Vincent is at his most foolish when he attempts

to please the woman he loves against his own better judgment;

 

For Jacob had difficulty believing that Catherine could even suggest

such dangerous and foolhardy schemes as she does

let alone activate them;

 

For Jacob recognizes irresponsible dreams

born of selfishness and indolence,

and he opposes dangerous foolhardiness

which abdicates duty to pursue egocentric fantasies;

 

For he has himself struggled against selfish foolhardiness;

 

For conceit may mystify Jacob, but he understands

all too well the insidious damage acedia can cause;

 

For real peace and well-being are of paramount importance to him;

 

For he knows there can be no peace and well-being

without intentional work to promote fairness and security for all;

 

For he knows trust is the basis of any fairness, any security,

any well-being, and any peace that his loved ones may enjoy;

 

For Jacob has maintained a solid and trusting friendship with Peter Alcott

from even his younger days in medical school, and on into his new life,

including Peter within the scope of our communal life Below;

 

For Jacob received an ailing Soviet refugee into the Tunnels

and befriended him, and treated his illness, and gave him aid,

and in the end kept sorrowful vigil over his deathbed;

 

For Jacob could not save Dimitri from the plague,

and he could not save Ellie Peterson,

but he did save everyone else;

 

For he did save everyone else;

 

For he consoled Ellies younger brother Eric after Ellies death;

 

For he brought to communal life Erics impulse to remember Ellie,

healing us at Ellies memorial beside the Mirror Pool;

 

For Jacob knows grief, its ebb and flow, its long-term weight,

and he remains willing to pilot us all through our currents of loss;

 

For Jacob does notand cannotfully understand

every individuals needs and motivations,

yet he dares to make the best choices he can

in the best interests of all concerned,

under typically adverse circumstances;

 

For he failed to heal Mitch, Devin, Lisa, Rolley, and Gregory

while they were children, but received each again as adults

in the spirit in which they returned to him,

and he collaborated with Vincent

to restore whatever potential for good they could reclaim;

 

For he remained honest with a fragile former teenage prostitute

who had nowhere else to go, and he welcomed her,

and he welcomed her childunborn, being born, and newborn

and he gave Lena the care she needed, and became a father to her;

 

For he held his community together when Paracelsus

infiltrated our most beloved celebration of the year;

 

For he protected Sebastian from Williams spiteful violence;

 

For he presented himself as hostage in Samanthas place

after Vincent and Catherine spoiled our enemys deadly plans;

 

For he deliberately and gratefully included Catherine,

moment by moment, throughout

our most beloved celebration of the year;

 

For he enabled Michael to return to the world Above,

to fulfill Michaels dreams of scholarship;

 

For he led his community in holding Laura accountable

for the crimes she was committing with her gang Above;

 

For he took counsel with our community leaders

when Catherine again led another intruder down

to the Tunnels, and he endorsed Vincents suggestion

to trustfully share our peoples stories with the boy,

and so initiate Brian into the costly secret of our world;

 

For he shared his own story with candor and enthusiasm,

and welcomed Brian into his confidence;

 

For Jacob, above all, taught Vincent that there are no freaks Below;

 

For Jacob instantly apologized for frightening Charles,

and he instantly forgave Charles for breaking his wrist;

 

For he honored Devins request to offer Charles a home Below,

and resolutely championed Charless cause among our folk;

 

For he listened well when Vincent challenged Jacobs understanding

of certain human beings in pain;

 

For he left the choice to Vincent, and most of all to Catherine,

whether Catherine stayed Below or returned Above

after the death of Charles Chandler;

 

For he knows many of the sacrifices Vincent makes

entirely for Catherines sake;

 

For he knows Vincent makes many further sacrifices

to be there for Catherine,

which Vincent does not wish to reveal to others;

 

For though Vincent is unwilling to do so, Jacob suggests

that Vincent share more of Vincents burden with the woman Vincent loves;

 

For he wholly understands Vincents desire to spare Catherine

from the pain and terror of Vincents darkest possibilities;

 

For though Jacob does not understand the inhuman parts of Vincents psyche,

he is scrupulously familiar with Vincents darkest possibilities;

 

For knowing Vincents darkest possibilities,

Jacob ever affirms Vincents brightest possibilities;

 

For he dared to bend a few rules of his own by turning to Catherine

and Catherines way of responding to enemies

when outsiders threatened to overwhelm and destroy our world Below;

 

For he bent no rules or principles but proclaimed them mightily

when he took a public stand against Williams call to open warfare;

 

For he united our community when panic began to dissolve us;

 

For he removed as many children from danger as he possibly could;

 

For he refused to cooperate with Williams impassioned design

to send Vincent out to do murder;

 

For he apologized to Vincent on our behalf for our dependence

upon Vincents power to end lives;

 

For he knows that Vincents power to kill to protect the people

who give Vincent life is the greatest affliction in Vincents universe;

 

For he is convinced that greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends, and he also knows

beyond all doubt that Vincent lays down his entire life, his entire self

his entire hope for existence, for sanity, for salvation, for happiness, for love

every time Vincent goes out to do what must be done

whatever must be done;

 

For Jacob most abhors the possibility that Vincents love

could ever be the primary impetus behind Vincents demise;

 

For he insisted to Vincent that Vincents fate need not be a violent one;

 

For he knows in his bones the depth of Vincents suffering

whenever Vincent must kill to preserve that which Vincent loves;

 

For he desires with all his heart and soul to prevent Vincents suffering;

 

For he colluded with Catherine to protect Vincent most of all;

 

For he was miserably ashamed when their conspiracy utterly, disastrously failed;

 

For he did not let shame or failure stop him from

setting our community to rights again after the danger was ended;

 

For he is at his most foolish when he keeps secrets from Vincent

that pertain to Vincent;

 

For he ever cautions Vincent against carelessness,

and against becoming lost in the love he shares with Catherine;

 

For in Vincents childhood, no child ever received a better or more nurturing

education than the one Jacob gave to his adopted son;

 

For Jacob openly acknowledges that no parent ever learned more

from any child than the wealth of what Jacob has learned from Vincent;

 

For Jacob and Vincent continue to learn from one another, day by day;

 

For Jacob stands in awe of the miracle of Vincents ability

to feel the beat of a womans heart on a distant shore;

 

For Jacob knows which questions to ask, and which not to ask

after Vincent returns home from battle;

 

For Jacob is always eager to know how Catherine fares after battle;

 

For Jacob always listens to anything Vincent decides to tell him

after danger, after battle, after wounding, after death;

 

For Jacob wishes there were only some way he could keep

both lovers safe, to shield them both from harm, from pain;

 

For Jacob wants them both to live, and to live well, and to find felicity;

 

For Jacob loves both of them;

 

For Jacob loves them with all his heart;

 

For Jacob loves.

 

And shall we now consider Jacob Wells?

 

For he is rich in faithful love

and freely he shares his destiny,

with joy, with thanksgiving

with all.

 

~

 

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