Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cast Your Bread Upon The Waters

Sometimes I'll pick up my Bible and turn to a random verse as a way of divining the future. The Bible I use is off-white and old -- I got it as a Christmas present when I was twelve from one of my poorest friends and whenever I touch its cracked and broken front, I can't help think of her generosity. The gift must have been expensive, the widow's mite if you will, and it broke my heart then and breaks it now. My name, written in turquoise-colored ink, was written in calligraphy on the front pages and has never changed in all of these years. I'm not one for changes, even though I've never been wild about my first, middle, or last name. What I do is called Bible-dipping, and I got the idea from Running With Scissors. It's what the crazy psychiatrist family does to solve problems. My friend Shawn laughed himself sick when he heard this -- You're the only person I know that used that memoir as a self-help book. What can I say? I know a good idea when I see one! If nothing else, it gives me ideas for writing. I know most of the stories -- the lust, sin, salvation, war, demons, and angels are all my friends. I loathe the widespread misinterpretations of the Good Book to condemn people and fuck up their lives, but it's always been a comfort to me to be able to flip to any page and see people as messed-up as I am crying out for help.
Once in a bathroom stall, I heard a little girl tell her mother that she prayed to God for everything not to come up, but it did anyway. Her pink romper dripped of vomit. Her mother cleaned her up and told her that it's good sometimes to get the bad stuff out of you. I'd like to think so. But I also believe that you carry everything with you: our confessions and sadness, our fear and hope. Today I came upon the first chapter of John, the verse about how the beginning was the Word, about how the Word was with God and was God. What we say defines us, no question, and about the words that I have said, I have many regrets. I have cast my bread upon the waters and sometimes what comes back is only an echo of my own misery. But sometimes everything bad leaves me, and emptiness comes like a blessing and a curse, the clean slate on which I can start again.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." John 1:14
Cocktail Hour
Femme Fatale in the Afternoon
1 teaspoon of chautreuse
2 teaspoons of cognac
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
a dash of bitters
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Birthday to my dear friend Stacey! And happy birthday to my dear Hank as well.
24 days until The Sopranos airs!


Charles Gramlich said...

I have a King James Bible close to hand on my shelves, but I think it's more for literary inspiration than spiritual. I enjoy the simplicity of how it's written, and yet the prose sings. My mom would not be happy, of course, that I have a Protestant Bible in my house when I was raised Catholic. But I have Catholic Bibles too, most of them gifts at one time or another.

the walking man said...

Just one technical thing about the KJV of the bible. When you see an ellipses (Italicized word) that was put in by the translators way back when they working and were not sure what the proper translation of the word should be. So At least they were honest about it. That's why if a Christian is going to use it as a spiritual text a GOOD concordance is a necessity.

John 1:1..In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.....

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

actually one of the Christians favorite texts to condemn people to hell and to justify their trinitarian beliefs...when it actually means YOU are the word become flesh, you are the children of God, just as Jesus, a man of flesh and bone is the son of God, he was the first among many.

But fuck it it is a fools game to teach spiritual truth because there are too many who hear it and want to be God's corporate whore.

I can picture your Bible with its well worn cover cracked and feeling just fine in your hand and your gratitude still for something given from the heart so many years ago (well not that many because we all know you're barely out of your twenties)

Bible dipping OK, if it works for you and the good thing is if you don't like what you see you can put a new worm on the hook and fish in another part of the river.

Paul said...


John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, that is such a devastating spell binding look that no man could resist not even dare I say it the Pope himself.
Bible dip all you wish for here is yet another lovely humorous and vigourous post as always which deserves as always another Bravo!

Susan Miller said...

This is the third time in a week I have been referred to the Burroughs' book, which is sitting patiently on my shelf. And again I am confronted with the fact that I may find some similarities (or hell -- many) in a character that the New York Times describes as "adults who have gone off the rails."

It does sound like some fun reading.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Maybe if I start bible-dipping, I'll be able to enjoy the readings much more.

Anonymous said...

"I loathe the widespread misinterpretations of the Good Book to condemn people and fuck up their lives, but it's always been a comfort to me to be able to flip to any page and see people as messed-up as I am crying out for help." I couldn't've put it better myself, sweet Michelle. -Jill