Marta: Just so we have this clear, you ARE Bruce, correct?
Sincerity [played by Martha Stewart, holding Bruce’s Bible in front of her in a warm embrace]: I am in a sense, but you can call me ‘Sincerity.’
Marta: Are you also the one who Martha Stewart has been playing?
Sincerity: In a sense, yes. If it’s most comfortable to think of me as both, that will work fine for now.
Marta: ‘Sincerity.’ Does this mean that you are sincere now in a way that you were not before?
Sincerity: It means that sincerity is the word that arises most easily in connection with the current melding. It’s not that I am particularly sincere in general, nor that I’m insincere, for that matter. It’s that the experience of this last Sunday morning, as I reflect on it since then, was an experience that evokes the word ‘sincerity.’
Marta: The church service that you attended, you mean.
Sincerity: Yes, the church service that I attended with Bruce–though we did not initially sit together.
Marta: But you were somehow united by the end of the service?
Sincerity: ‘United’ sounds too strong. It’s not like a unity. ‘Melding’ seems better. Melding can be a sort of combining, but it’s also a declaration, a laying down or putting on the table, as in a card game. The timing is not certain, only the intensity of the experience. I became fully aware of the melding later in the day. (Remember, though, how “fully aware” came up before, in “No Taste for a Counting.”)
Marta: Can you tell us what happened at the service?
Sincerity: The preacher gave what one could broadly call an “invitation”–like an altar call–at the end of the sermon. Not in the revivalistic “getting saved” sense, though. It had to do with anointing and rededication. It seemed that most in the congregation went forward, if not all. Many tears; joyous tears.
Marta: You went forward too, correct?
Sincerity: Both of us did. I’m not positive, but I think we were melded by the time I went back and sat down.
Marta: It sounds as though you did not understand the experience at the time, at least not clearly.
Sincerity: What was clear at the time was that it was indeed what Bruce and I had been waiting for, in the waiting room, though neither of us had the slightest clue until it was happening.
Marta: “It”–the thing you were waiting for–being what?
Sincerity: The matter–the Sache, as one would say in German–that gave rise to the tears of joy.
Marta: Is “it” something that cannot be said?
Sincerity: I don’t want to retreat into a convenient mysticism, but it is true that I don’t know how to say it. I can place it within a frame of reference for this forum, though. “It” was somehow very much like the evening when Bruce allegedly received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And the way in which it has to do with that evening has everything to do with authority leaning upon social acceptance. But… [pause]
Marta: But…?
Sincerity: That does not amount to a saying of “it.” It also wouldn’t be a saying of “it” to say that I “rededicated my life to Jesus,” and I would not say it that way. But… [longer pause]
Marta: But if Bruce said it that way, you would not contradict him, would you?
Sincerity [quietly]: No. [Another pause, then shakes head gently and tightens embrace of Bible slightly.] No, I would not.
Marta: Do you know how long this melding will last?
Sincerity [meeting her gaze with the old Macy haunted eyes]: It is permanent, yet it did not last any time at all. It is an Ereignis, an event and an appropriation. It is not a matter of either lasting or not lasting.
Marta: Isn’t this getting very close to that convenient mysticism that you said you did not want to retreat into?
Sincerity [eyes lowered and head tilted to one side]: Perhaps the question is… Am I ever very far from that?

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