Monday, September 19, 2011

Honk if you're...

In a rare moment of lucidity, and communication, my older brother and I exchanged a series of texts last week. It started off as the antiseptic "hey" moved to bitching about how "up to f*cking here" we both are with life and then segued into, of course, God (please note, due to a recent spiritual awakening, I will be spelling God with a capital "G" henceforth). Apparently, my brother has been conducting a secret fling with the ol' G-word for a few months, maybe even years now. Apparently, the two of them chat regularly.
"Thankfully, me and the man are mates so at least that's still very inexpensive," he wrote. "I'm not willing to part with God. I'm in debt for the all the other stuff, though."

"I hate to admit it," I said. "But God is the only thing standing between me and a flaming pile of horsesh*t right now."

It was cheesy, granted, even I knew that. But for some reason, I felt better knowing that my brother had a higher power. Of course, I've convinced myself for all these years that I don't need one, my mantra being, "I AM my own higher power." To which I hear my grandmother's voice floating somewhere in the room, "That's all well and good, honey, but your standards are very inconsistent."

True that, Gram. And thanks, by the way, for snuffing out my stupid ego once again. How is heaven, by the way?

I've searched long and hard for "that thing." I've found it in the weirdest places yet, the places where a true cynic wouldn't be caught dead in, but somehow finds herself kneeling and slobbering like a baby, candle in hand, make-up still caked on from the previous night's lurid activities.

God is there, in St. Patrick's Cathedral on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, there in the broken-hearted stare of my son who does not understand my anger, there in the damp church basement filled with ex-winos who just want to stay sober one more day, there in the eyes of my infant niece who we have not seen for the last half of her life.

Again, I can't even believe I'm writing this sh*t, but better to be out with it than be a charlatan about the whole thing. Don't ask me about the crucifixion or the grape juice or the cracker or the stone-rolling crap, because I'm not into that just yet. That'd be like telling me my next life's missive is on on a bumper sticker somewhere.
And, yes, bumper stickers did come up in my text scroll with my brother.

"I'm going to invent one that says 'Got stuff?'"

I thought about all the bumper stickers I'd seen, and ruthlessly ridiculed, especially the car that is so over-laden with messages you can tell immediately that whoever is driving that car is still having an identity crisis.

My last bumper sticker said 'Think pickles.'

So, amidst the Jesus fish and the Darwin fish and the Eat Local and the Obama 2012, I did see something that caught my eye. Not too God-y, but it struck me like an arrow through the temples. That soft, stupid flesh exposed in its arrogance.

"Be where you are."

Huh, something to consider, when all I worry about is the next thing. Not THE thing, whatever it is, right in front of me. If I'm having breakfast with the kids, I'm not there, I've already moved on to thinking about the drive to school and how the transmission will fall out any day. Or on the beautiful ride to work, all I know to think about is how I need to edit and entire paper by 2 p.m. Maybe where I am isn't so bad, if I just sat there once and awhile and had a cup of coffee.

Right here.

Although, I still need to invest in a bumper sticker that says, "Honk if parts fall off." It's part of that whole "God helps those who help themselves" theory I'm testing out.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nichole,

    I think if my parts fell off, I would be running for cover. I think we all need to talk to God at some point in our lives when we are feeling down. I heard you are reading poetry at Bascom Lodge Sunday and I am planning to be there. Looking forward to it.

    Hope all is well,

    Jon Swartz