Prologue

Throughout history there are points of fracture, immense waves which break upon civilisations wiping away everything that has come before. These events are as intimate with the cycles of life as the seasons and as crucial to the human story as the rays of the sun which fall on earth. I say this as someone who has lived through perhaps the greatest wave of all. A moment in which the world re-emerged from darkness and the pulse of the earth quickened, just as cord pulled taut seems to sing with energy.

My name is Judas and my story is already written. History has judged me for the criminal it believes me to be, but history is a story with many writers and resolutions – any of which may be true or false. After all, there is none such a liar as the storyteller. His stories are carefully crafted to shock and appal, enlighten or entertain; and if there is a single man, woman or child left in the audience who has not laughed or cried then his job is only half complete. But what is my own telling of this story if not one more voice raised amid the babble of history?

My name is Judas and I am a man besotted. I live for love and love lives in me. What I do and what I have done will be judged by many whose judgements are worth as little as a grain of sand in the desert – such are the words of those powerful men who write the stories of history. But love does not and cannot lie. The truth I would offer you is mine and mine alone to give, as intimate with my heart as love is. So if it is truth you want, then ask the man who lives and breathes the ecstasy of love and whose only thoughts are birds flying to the Beloved.

The hand of God is nothing if not just. With a gesture it stops the heart from beating and with another it causes the sun to rise. There are kings on their thrones stricken with madness and there are madmen whose every word is like bathing in pure, clear water. You may wonder why I talk of divine justice. Surely there is no man who could claim to have suffered more injustice than I? But all this would I suffer again if God would grant me one thing: let me be delivered to him whom I love more than life; let me hear his gentle words and know them spoken for me. He showed me there are a thousand ways to love and be loved. Love is infinitely surprising. Just when you thought there were no more paths to explore, the light shifts and reveals other worlds. And yet, my yearning for him casts everything else in shadow, stopping time and stilling the forces of the earth. This yearning I will take with me to the borders of death and beyond.