Estillyen Essay Contest: Ten Possible Directions

Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth offers ten portrayals in which Lucifer appears as a real-time observer of well-known Scripture narratives, including the Transfiguration and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In one angst-ridden diatribe, titled simply “The Speech,” Lucifer explodes with theological musings. Seemingly unfazed by the divine construct of Scripture and its story of redemption, Lucifer contends that his chaotic brand of message making will eventually trump God’s choreographed message.

We invite you to muse on this speech and join the contest by submitting a short (300-word) essay on the characterization of Lucifer as reflected in “The Speech.” If you’ve already registered for the contest, thank you! If not, we invite you to do so now. You can register for the contest and read the speech here.

If you need a specific direction for your essay, feel free to use one of the following ideas. Of course you may use your own idea as well. Possibilities are endless; be creative!

Continue reading “Estillyen Essay Contest: Ten Possible Directions”

“The Word Became Flesh”

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh,” is now available; find it, along with Readings One through Four, here.

From Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh”:

“Listen to a few ancient words from Solomon by way of Ecclesiastes: ‘There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.’ Words of wisdom, these words remembered, not lost and forgotten. For most words this is not the case. As time’s pendulum swings, the words of most men, and those of their kin, disappear without a whisper.”

“Lips Unclean”



In anticipation of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth,
Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.
Readings 1-4 are currently available for download here.

Following is an excerpt from Reading Four, “Lips Unclean.”

“Lips launch words. Lips need no coaches. They carry out what the heart has in store. They’re ever so ready to ply and comply. Haven’t you ever heard the little rhyme, ‘Lips Lips Upon the face’? It goes like this:

Lips, lips, the pair, oh how we adore our place upon the face.

Below the eyes and nose, above the chin we sit.

To us words rise, as they receive their call.

We clothe them with form, propel them to function.

Through us they all must pass, whether it be to bless or bite,

for wrong or for right.”

Estillyen Tunnels

[This is an excerpt from Messages from Estillyen, Chapter Ten, titled “Tunnel House.”  Estillyen monk Drama welcomes the group that has gathered for a dramatic reading based on a Scripture narrative.]

“Hello, everyone. My name is Drama. It’s great to have you here at Tunnel House today. My colleague in the far corner is my dear friend and brother, Chronicle. He’s supposedly now retired, but have you ever seen a retired monk? Brother Chronicle will be assisting me with a bit of the reading.

“Concerning Tunnel House, we’re not sure why the house was built as it was, with the tunnel below. We know carriages have passed through, and it’s an obvious shelter from a storm.

“We like Tunnel House for readings because a tunnel is a space for going through; from one side you pass to the other side. One end of the tunnel may show through to clouds and rain, the other end sunshine. Smiles may populate one end, sorrows the other. Tunnels are an experience. Some people simply dash through them, while others tend to plod along. Tunnels have a way of silently transmitting to travelers the pace prescribed.

“In life, sometimes it can be difficult to discern one’s direction. In a tunnel, there are only two directions: this and that. But that can look like this, and this, that. Tunnels are funny that way. They can lead you in, or take you away. In and out you go.

“A tunnel is a tunnel true—never a passage or a pass. Calling a tunnel something else is like suggesting a crevice is a cave, or a canyon a crack. No, a tunnel is that which surrounds you. You see it all. There’s no denying you’re in it. Encased within you are; through its artery you progress. Whether short or long, you are the life within the tunnel. Yet the tunnel is not you. This you must always remember.

“And residing in a tunnel really does not work. A tunnel is not a place of residence. A tunnel may be quite short or expressly long. Certain tunnels have been reported to grow. Once you enter a tunnel of this description, the light at the other end does not grow brighter, as you might think. It looks as if the light is diminishing, but it’s not. It’s moved. The tunnel is growing longer.

“If you find yourself in a growing tunnel, let me suggest the slightest bit of advice. It’s not wise, particularly when inside a tunnel deep, to start racing towards what appears to be a dimming light. For if you do, the light can go out; it can disappear. Before you get to the end, another tunnel has begun, and tunnel two may be twice as long as tunnel one.

“It’s always best when in tunnel space to move at tunnel pace. Respecting the sense of tunnel enclosure is the mode. See it as a kind of caregiver, a respite from the elements that will bring you through, in tunnel time, to the life God has for you.

“Well, that’s a word on tunnels.”