Friday, February 17, 2017

Christian metaphor has been catching my attention lately. I heard about the camel and the eye of the needle and couldn't stop wondering how I would get a camel through a needle -- because we must investigate every option, right? (Never mind where I heard this reference. I still haven't read the bible.) Investigate every option because they present themselves and in case there is something there -- something to win. Winning is important and I would win. So, how? Failing to notice this was basically thinking about gaming God, I thought about it. Molecules, sewing, desert sand, livestock, how camels differ from cows, all the basics, this covers plenty of the territory of my life. 

You can't put a camel through the eye of a needle. Yeah, I got there eventually. This means rich men are fucked. I am not a man, so I guess that's okay? But am I rich? Hum, this could be a problem. Do you know this passage, I think it's from Matthew?

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

There are a lot of different ways to be rich. I am insanely rich compared to, well, most of the rest of the world. And honestly, that feels kind of shameful to me. I've also lived in a lot of different kinds of poverty. Defining poverty is almost as complex as wealth. (For the wealthy, people living in poverty have no trouble defining it.) I've just never fit exactly into either category. My father is a rich man by American standards. But my father didn't raise me and I did not grow up wealthy. Yeah though I walk through the shadow of the valley of my father, I've enjoyed a disorientingly weird kind of security in poverty that is common to the children of the divorce wave of the 70s.

Ry and I went to Target last night. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned how we save up a list of stuff we need. And when payday allows, Ry and I take the list to shop and we linger over all the extra things for fun. We play with the toys, search the books and music section and the gardening section and we give extra attention to unusual holiday decor and candy. It's so rare for us to act like proper consumers that it's a bit of party. We have fun! We laugh! And we make some really cute fashion choices. 

When we walked in the door last night the first thing I saw was an Easter display of Dr. Seussian products -- basket fodder, I guess? The first thing I touched was, I can hardly make myself type this out. What I'm about to say is the truth, I swear before God. The first thing I touched was a Truffula Tree pencil tucked into a cellophane package and labeled Lorax Pencils. I think the pencil was actually made of plastic but I'm not sure. Because I was so horrified by the irony and, really, the filth of it, not to mention the crime against Theodor Geisel, I could not make my eyes touch the thing in my hand. Helpless, I waved it at Riley. And I tried to look at it. I tried! But my eyes kept sliding off. Riley, well familiar with the ways I can get trapped when I'm out trying to act normal in society, got kind of stern and said, "Alright now, settle down." Then, quickly, "Look, Mom, bathing suits are already out!" And she led me away. 

But the damage is done. This, after seeing a video that morning. I have a lovely musical friend and she and her lovely musical husband made a video of their family singing "By The Mark". You can't see any grownup faces. You see their hands on guitars and hear their voices. What you see is their 10 year old son's face. He is wearing a giraffe costume and singing with a look of angelic concentration on his adorable sweet (atheist) face -- not ironic at all, sincere singing. I'd been humming all day doing my best to ignore Donald Trump, and now this thing with the pencil. 

I will not discuss Riley's love life here. But she has already written her byline for the day she's old enough to join Tinder. Are they called bylines? I really don't know what Tinder is. But I do know it's how courtship is often initiated these days. And this is how she plans to introduce herself to the world: "You know what's really attractive? Nothing but sincerity." 

Mic drop, you whores! A man of riches might claim a crown of jewels. But is probably missing the point of the thing.

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