Thursday, September 13, 2007
All That Is Holy and Miraculous
St. Clement's Chapel as it stood in my yard in the olden days...
Sometimes, for no reason, I feel bad. I wake up and just feel bad. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Bad. Everything I think about makes me sad. I consider the human race and it all looks like one big organism, determined to fuck up everything we have here on this amazing watery orb spinning through space.
Then there are other days, which for reasons just as random and unpredictable, I wake up and feel good. In every way. And when I think of the human race, I feel a tender empathy for it. Sure, we're trying to destroy everything good and true, we have some really bad traits that probably evolved back when we were learning to walk on two legs (or maybe before) but golly! some of us really are trying.
Too bad it's not those particular humans running the country, but that's another story.
Today's one of the good days for sure. My walk reminded me of how glorious nature can be. I didn't see any deer as I do some days, or even a hawk or a luna moth (saw one of those yesterday) but I did see lots of butterflies, flitting about in that crazy way of theirs, landing on this flower and then another, juicing up perhaps for that long flight to Mexico. Wish I could go with them.
The sky was blue, the air temperature was reasonable and the tiny cenote I pass had more water in it. We had some good rain yesterday.
Even passing the area behind the defunct gas station about a mile from my house where they have decontamination crews trying to clean up the mess that was left behind didn't ruin my day or cause me to hate mankind.
One thing did cause me to pause and think about things, though. There's a church nearby and they've brought in construction equipment and trucks and lots of steel and guys that know what to do with all this stuff, and they appear to be adding on to the church.
I have to say that I've never in my life lived in a place surrounded by so many churches. There are, and I am not kidding you, at least fifteen different churches within a ten mile radius of my house. Some of them are small, quaint, and not very prosperous looking. Well, most of them in fact. There's even a church right next door to me that meets for exactly one hour on Sunday mornings. I hear that the tiny Episcopalian chapel on Piedmont Dr. in Tallahassee used to sit in my yard where my driveway is now. It was built by the Episcopalians of Lloyd in 1890 and when their numbers dwindled to less than two, the diocese had it moved to its present location in 1959. There are still some older Lloyd residents who are NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS.
So anyway, when I saw the steel going up for the new addition on the church down the road, it made me wonder what the deal is about the human need to get together on prescribed days at set times to "worship."
I think you either have the gene to understand or you don't. I do not. I also do not have the sports gene or the patriotism gene. Whenever I hear anyone say, "This is the greatest country on earth!" I want to say, "Yeah? You ever been to oh, say, France?" Or even Norway for that matter. New Zealand's probably pretty darn great, too.
But that's neither here nor there.
On my "bad" days, just thinking about things like people sitting in churches listening to sermons being preached by someone who claims he or she knows who God is and what God wants while they could be outside watching butterflies and trying to figure out how to save the planet so that the butterflies can keep on doing the amazing things they do, not to mention the whales and gorillas and the giant redwoods and tiny frogs and oh yes, us humans, too, makes me want to scream. Not that I'm tearing it up to prevent global warming, I have to say in order to prevent being labeled as the hypocrite I am.
On my good days, though, I just scratch my head and realize that some people need church for some reason and I shouldn't criticize those who do. Some people like to sing hymns and some people like to listen to what they consider to be the word of God and some people like the way they feel when they put money in the collection plate.
And really, I think it would be pretty cool to have a chapel in my driveway. Maybe they'd bring it back if we got up a petition. We could have services there. I could be the pastor and preach sermons that would go like this:
"Love one another. Okay. That's it for this week. Who brought the potato salad?"
And then we could all go outside and sit on a blanket under an oak tree and watch the birds and talk about Miracles We Have Witnessed, such as Keith Richards and so forth, while eating yummy foods that we all brought to share and maybe drinking a sacramental beer or two.
Sounds like a religious experience to me.
But I'm having a good day and tomorrow I might change my mind about all of this.