so then, let’s talk about these pieces of a self,
let’s take them off the shelf where they reside
among the pages of the books by old men who died
some decades ago–or more. and how like a whore
i go chasing after something i think that i need to know.
who doesn’t love a lovely model like yin and yang,
a perfect admixture of the male and female collaborating
in constant harmony? well, that’s not me.
who i am is whoever i am trying too hard not to be.
for me to say that i am mostly male, female, animal, human or deity
is merely me speaking from that present piece of me
that i’m currently entertaining out here in the foyer
of this human animal timespace/meatplace identity.
but, they are surely not flowing together like water,
working like a well-oiled machine or a well-trained team.
i kind of get the sense that i’m some greater Being’s cosmic fodder–
a misshapen lump of clay that He’s modeling and reworking
while the masterpiece–David? Jesus? sits patiently encased in a block of cosmic marble,
patiently awaiting the first tap of hammer and chisel.
my junk DNA’s not just the DNA that’s junk–i’m the junk DNA awaiting to be tossed on the scrapheap with the other non-wheat, to await the call of the great fire…
to explain this in more concrete terms, i could talk about what it is i desire,
i could write about what it is that i lust after, and never grow tired,
because who or what becomes the object of my lust changes from moment to moment,
from piece of self to piece of self.
on a really good day, all of humanity is beautiful and worthy of a magazine cover.
every adult is sexy–big, small, fat, skinny, curvy, flat, tall, short, old or not.
the garbage man is no more or less qualified to run this country than the man they call our President.
the old folks in the nursing home are just as worthy of being held up as idols as are Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift.
on a really bad day, all of humanity is one big ugly mess of broken battered mistakes made by a clumsy, disinterested god–to say he’s a watchmaker god is generous, unless you mean some cheap 25c watch you extracted with a robotic arm from the machine at the front of the grocery store that was made in the worst kind of factory under the most horrific conditions–yes, if that’s the watch you have in mind, then sure, he’s a watchmaker god. don’t like my god being a he? sure, make her a she–why is god at her worst always a male?
so then you must carry this awkward analogy to its logical conclusion–each of us contains pieces of a self and we are all pieces of a Self–we are trying to make all of these pieces fit nicely. some of us ignore all of the bad pieces and say things like “that’s not me, or that’s not my God” — while we continue to let those pieces kind of just roll around in there awkwardly, and continue to attend churches and synagogues and mosques of our particular God who isn’t to be associated with all of the really nasty business in our sacred books, except when she/he is.
and, you must ask yourself, is the present assemblage of humanity–this particular global configuration that works in the sense that it hasn’t wiped itself out yet–can this particular collection of beings and soon-to-be and recently were beings come together in all of our broken pieces of selves and awkward, ill-fitting bits and ends to produce that nice smooth model of harmonious, glorious humanity–yin-yang, lion/lamb, Kingdom of Heaven, Nirvana, ultimate (non-theist, imagine all the people…) common good, etc.?
at 1:30 pm today, as i went running up the bike lane to get around the guy walking his dog on the sidewalk (being oh-so-polite and considerate), a young man began racing toward me on his bike, beeping his little bike bell and motioning me to get out of his bike lane, not once bothering to look over and see how i was trying so hard to be oh-so-considerate for the fellow on the sidewalk and his dog.
about ten years ago, as i was parallel parking down at the park, i was working hard to not get too close to the guys who were mounting their bikes upon the back of the car in front of me, and i barely (like the kiss of a butterfly) tapped the Land Rover behind me. the girlfriend of the owner of that SUV started furiously laying into me about why i couldn’t have been more careful in parking my car when i had plenty of room, not once bothering to consider that i was trying to be considerate of others in front of me.
i don’t want to tell you what i wished for those individuals who were furious that their precious space and property that they owned was being utterly violated. but you can guess what i thought in my head–no, there was no room in my head for Jesus and a Christian in those moments. and in those moments, i remember Jesus saying things like how he came to be a sword, and how he eventually came to claim the messianic promise of david, who was a bit of an asshole, though Jesus didn’t do much on his own, unless you call the havoc we Christians have wreaked upon people all over the earth part of Jesus’ davidic promise. at the very least, Jesus never bothered to come back during the Inquisition, the enslavement of African peoples, the decimation of Native Americans or the Holocaust and pogroms of the Jews, or any number of other human butcheries and genocides that have taken place under the implicit, explicit or tacit condoning of some member of the Christian church. can our God be all-loving and all powerful? or, if we want to keep some kind of god around as a God, will we have to invent an entirely brand new religion?
i do want to tell you that i do always end up deciding that i don’t want to be some kind of violent asshole, and that i wish i could resolve all of my broken pieces of myself to be the kind of guy who turns the other cheek and seeks to build a beautiful world where everyone feels loved. the ultimate result of someone wanting to exact revenge on everyone whoever misunderstood him or got one up on him looks like hitler, stalin, or the aurora shooter. the ultimate result of someone forgiving and forgetting and begging to be washed clean and be made whole is the kind of someone most of us are hoping we will be remembered as at the end of the day, whether we really were or weren’t. the little ones are the ones who always bring us back into the place of forgiveness and love. without the little ones on this earth, we would surely be lost.