Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Path To Salvation

I read an article today about a preacher accused of fathering a child with his brother's wife -- the paternity test proved this claim true, the story as old as the Bible itself. What interested me was that the preacher had told her that having an affair with him (one that lasted many years) was the only way to salvation. Man, I thought I had heard some lines! According to the article, the church had grown diseased and ill since its heyday in the sixties and many believed it to be a cult, a word I dislike in the same way I dislike the word addiction to describe any excess -- there are shopping addicts, sex addicts, love addicts, and so on. So boring. To label something is not to see it and seeing is the one thing a writer cannot afford to lose.

There's an African proverb about one who has been bit by a snake afterward being fearful of a piece of old rope. Having lived this truth for many years, I can say that I still startle easily, still have nightmares. Psychology dubs this post-traumatic stress disorder, another term I can't abide. I'm so stressed, people will say, which means absolutely nothing in a society where stress is like air and where we are inundated with enough assaultive cell phone rings, sirens, and buzzers to keep us at perpetual high alert. To look closely without the scrim of bullshit terms, to see the hurt and loneliness of our times, whether it be a snake or a rope, will be our salvation. Otherwise we risk hanging ourselves with whatever is handy, and somebody will do a post-mortem and tell us what we suffered from, as if to contain its harm from spreading.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"This is hell. I made it myself and I will live it in myself." Allen Dugan

Cocktail Hour
Drinking children's show suggestion: Good people, the day has arrived! The first season of Sesame Street is out on dvd.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, labels are so overused as to have lost their explanatory value. And they've been devalued until they are meaningless. Good points all.

Pythia3 said...

These days, well, these days labels are everywhere; labels from Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo to ADD,_______ addict to recovering ______ (fill in the blanks).
Seems we wear labels of all sorts to give ourselves a sense of identity and excuses...let's not forget how convenient 'temporary insanity' can be when needed.
But it also seems while we have learned to label ourselves and our dysfunctions we stop there. We do nothing to rid ourselves of the label by healing ourselves of the pain and circumstances that caused the condition in the first place. So we go on forever as victims, wearing our labels, making excuses for our behavior, blah, blah, blah.
Like you said, "boring!"
I love your last line: "...and somebody will do a postmortem and tell us what we suffered from, as if to contain its harm from spreading." Great ending!
Happy Thanksgiving, Michelle.

Tim said...

Happy Thanksgiving Michelle!

robthefob said...

well said michelle...may have to carve out some of that post for my refrigerator door.

robthefob said...

thought you might like to know you've made it into my 'famous quotes' book, and inspired a blog posting to boot. so ummm....congratulations, i guess. check it out:

the walking man said...

Pain and loneliness seem to be a necessary part of life if you wish to be able to see it in others. But it has to end sometime without being labled as something other than a part of being human. I don't know what causes me personally to enter these states but I do, and I don't want them boxed and shipped off to someone's notes to enter a file which sits in a wall of files making that part of me something of no consequence.

Soon this too shall pass but for the present just "leave it be" is the lable I put on it.

Now don't you go losing that size four over the holidays,



luma said...

Some people lose the control of its proper emotions. This is not of all the evil, when it does not affect the integrity of other people around, that they coexist and that they prezam to it. However some prefer the hell. Being thus, that they kiss the demon soon! (laughs) Good day! Beijus