Every month or so, we hear of another design-inspired appearance of Jesus in a cheese sandwich or the Virgin Mary among bridge-and-tunnel girls. Most of the time, these images look to a tiny mind like mine like a Rorschach test. Sometimes I see the figure. Sometimes, it’s PeeWee Herman. Sometimes, I get the feeling cracked plaster needs patching, sanding and a vigorous paint job. Try the Rustoleum.
I understand the desire to find God in all things. That’s the basis of Stonehenge and the Bhagavad Gita. That’s one reason for the prohibition against graven images and a fine reason to buy kids telescopes. A river carves the Grand Canyon, and if we believe in God, we see the energy and determination and patience of a great being. If we don’t believe in God, we see pretty rocks and a tourist destination – or if we’re creative: both. With each report of a manifestation of a member of Christianity’s Holy Family in building supplies, some people would like to grab the earnest faithful by the shoulders and shake some sense into them. I’m roasting a duck.
It’s Friday evening, and I’ve had a marvelous day. With a nap, the resignation of Ben Domenech and the company of a cranky pussycat, I feel content. A few days ago, I had a little extra pocket money and I ordered Seal’s first CD. It arrived yesterday. I listened to it over and over today, soaking up the little nuances, the words, the waves of emotion, the big drums. This is my favorite album, and I’ve burned through four copies of it. At the worst moments of my life, I’d put it on and dance to it, and I’ve had a lot of really bad moments. I’ve danced a lot. This is when I feel closest to God or spirit or whatever you want to call it. It’s probably dehydration.
Before I left for work this morning, I knocked over one of my planters and poured dirt on my kitchen floor. This made me more impatient than usual with myself. The planter broke. I have to replace it, and I hate the waste of money and a trip to Home Depot. Even so, in other pots, corriander and lettuce have sprouted. The other day, I installed the grow light on the ceiling to light all the pots. My kitchen is a little cramped now, but the tender shoots bring me only joy.
Despite a rigorous cleanup, the cat, recipient of my most patient care, tracks dirt everywhere. He’s stretched out on the radiator, swishing his tail in response to reproaches and affectionate murmurings. There he is, a cat with feline leukemia, a symbol of my commitment, cranky arbiter of what is and what will be. I love him madly. There he is, God.