Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hit The Wrong Spot

I once read that we are defined by what we hate, and I fucking hope not because if so I'm defined by the tedium of my mind, the emptiness of my morals, and a deep unaccountable dislike of Enya and any music used in massage rooms, that la la la bullshit that is supposed to remind you of running mountain streams, but instead reminds me that my toilet needs to be fixed and is inhabited by Satan. And that reminds me of all the people I dislike, a teeny-tiny group, but still. Okay, two people. Maybe three. And then I'm reminded that I have to forgive them because I picked a religion that demands it and I wish I'd thought about it and how difficult that would be instead of being mesmerized by the beautiful tragedy of it -- the incense, the monstrances, the blood of Christ, the priests and their fluffly ninety fifty hairdos. I loved those hairdos and felt a deep joy at my baptism when I saw them all standing there, looking like Sylvio from the Sopranos, not Little Stevie from the E Street Band. Man, all that aquanet and the presence of God to boot! But back to the point, hate is a hard thing to rid one's self of and I have a temper that runs like pressure points -- hit the wrong spot and you're going to get a reaction that's far different and longer lasting than you might have expected.

So I'm thinking about my least favorite Bible story, the story of the prodigal son and how to rewrite it. It's not that I don't think the prodigal should be forgiven -- he should. But what about the other brother, the one that stayed and busted his ass and didn't end up in twenty-eight rehabs, forcing his parents' to take out another mortgage on their house, wandering the streets looking for him, worried sick that he would be dead in a crackhouse. Okay, I updated it. That's kind of my thing. After the big party for the bad dude who squandered, why not have a big party for the other brother? I'm told that it's a metaphor about how God forgives us and yeah, that's groovy. I'm all about that and Lord knows, I need a lot of forgivness all the time. Hate is a hard thing to hold onto, that embittered resentment. We're always so sure that everyone gets so much more than we do and it eats our hearts. But sometimes you have to make yourself at home and pull down a plate. After all, we consume so much -- what's a little piece of ourselves if it makes us feel better every now and again? Why not, as they say, have a party?

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I made a wasteland of everything I touched." Raymond Carver

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Greatest Palace Music Bonnie Prince Billy

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


Brian in Mpls said...

I always got something different out of the story. The first brother did what he did because he was told to, expected too. The second brother with his experience understood the deeper meaning he did it because he questioned, tested and found the path to be true he had wisdom and experience that the first brother lacked and that is what was rewarded with the party. When I was studying in semenairy I wrote a paper to that effect. I will have to see if I can dig it out.

robthefob said...

forgiveness is a difficult thing. we can usually settle up with the petty things and pat ourselves on the back, but the big things bring us face to face with how un-christian we really are. i'll always remember being engaged and my fiance telling me she cheated on me. twice. and got herpes from it. and exposed me to getting it by sleeping with me after the fact and not telling me. it all hit like an anvil and being one who gives up on things very easily (something i hate in myself), i found that hating someone for this much stuff would take too much effort. but it seemed like too much to forgive on my own. so i said a prayer at that moment and then just made myself a conduit...and it felt like forgiveness rushing through like a torrent, leaving no room for hate or resentment, and all i could feel was love and gratitude. that's when i realized that forgiveness is from above, because offering it by myself in that context was certainly beyond me.

Sheila said...

My dad used to listen to Enya all the time. I can't fucking stand music like that. It is supposed to relax you but it just makes me want to punch something.

Charles Gramlich said...

I never cared much for the Prodigal son story myself. I always felt bad for the good son. yeah, why didn't they have a party for him too?

The Smothers Brothers said...

Mom liked you best.

the walking man said...

The prodigal son got a party, the older son who stayed home got the wealth of the father after the father passed on, such was the way of that society.

The story is the resentment of the older for the younger, the younger being resuscitated back into the clan, given place as a son of his father. Why resent that the fathers happiness was for the return of his son whom he thought he had lost, and found again.

Which son needed the forgiveness of God, the elder or the younger.

Without forgiveness there is no peace and when there is no peace there is no love and where there is no love there is 21st century man.

If you forgive because it is a requirement of a doctrine then you are not really forgiving, because to forgive is to let it be, let go and move on with or without those whom you have forgiven.



realbigwings said...

"Fluffly ninety fifty hairdos. I loved those hairdos..."
You're great, Michelle.