At the edge of the Southwestern desert, Jacob struggles to hatch his fathers utopian paradise, battling his rebellious brother Esau, who for twenty years has blocked that dream by refusing to take his place as leader of the community.
Suddenly, Esau appears with Judith, a beautiful single-minded woman and her stunning daughter, Esther, and announces his intention to take control. But, Leah, Esau’s wife (who Jacob has always loved) has a secret that will give Jacob the leadership. But, Jacob is unaware that Esau has discovered the truth about their father.
Judith’s vitality and Esther’s coyness are a threat that can change their lives forever.
Unfortunately, no one is paying any attention to the canny Joseph.
The conflicts mount, revealing a series of surprises that explode into an unforgettable climax.
A Grief of Mind Cast
Eight Unforgettable Characters
JOSEPH, charismatic (like his Biblical counterpart), able to turn disaster into personal gain, separated from his real father not by distance but by death, he lives in paternal slavery. Unlike his brothers, he is street-wise and adroit at getting his way through every means available. Unlike Joseph of old, he is no dreamer, but knows that in the end the inheritance, and Esther will all be his.
ESTHER, bursting with sexual vitality and the necessary feigned innocence, arrives at the ranch with her mother to challenge the family’s mores. She is Joseph’s future and a last chance for a lost dream for both Jacob and Esau.
ESAU, as a boy loved his father as a “man” and not as the saint his father professed to be. He betrays his birthright by yielding to his thirst for truth. Unreconciled with his father when he died, he stays—torn between his love for his father and his need to escape. Esau returns from a trip to the city with Esther and Judith, and a secret plan that will bring about a final resolution and reconciliation.
LEAH, Esau’s wife of twenty years, panics when Esau returns. She is the sole keeper of a secret known only to her and Esau’s dead father, a secret that Judith’s presence will force her to reveal, a secret that will at last bring Jacob to her bed for whom she has waited on Esau’s many absences only to cry herself to sleep.
JACOB, unlike Joseph, is a sufferer who must fight for his place, losing his personal happiness in the process. He is a man to whom everything comes hard and belatedly. Jacob and Leah in a moment of human weakness consummated their love as teenagers and have lived celibately as man and wife under Esau’s nose, “talking with their eyes.” Jacob has wrestled with God day and night for over twenty years, each day proving again to himself his own piety and the validity of his father’s theology. Jacob is not as lucky as the Biblical Jacob in stealing the blessing from his brother. He must manage the sect his father founded while his backsliding brother sits with his nose in a book. Then Judith, as if by divine intervention, arrives to break his long fast and spread before him a table over-flowing to sate his passions.
JUDITH, bold and tenacious as Tamar in Genesis 38, interjects herself into the blessing, not just to be a partaker but the fountainhead of all who will carry the blessing into the future. Frustrated to be the bearer of the blessing by Esau, just as Tamar was by Judah’s sons, she seduces Jacob using Esther as a plum. Knowing that she is the future, Judith will not accept defeat from any quarter. She has absolute insight into Jacob, and with self-confident single-mindedness, brings him to execute a plan that will destroy Esau and his plan, and give Jacob absolute power while easily deceiving the sheriff.
THE SHERIFF, knows that truth and justice are as elusive as a desert mirage.
BROTHER GOODMAN must have some cause to give meaning to his life, a cause that will make him part of an elite (that will save the world) and bury his feelings of guilt.
Plus, one ghost from the past.
THE FATHER, long dead, still inhabits the ranch house. His large portrait hangs on the wall behind the big table, offset by a cabinet that holds its own secrets, and three large hooks made from bullhorns, all made by his skilled hands.
Quote From: A Grief of Mind
Leah: "There's smoldering going on here Jacob. You and me, we've been smoldering for over twenty years. Now we are free. "