412. Unfriended Progenously

 

You have likely been unfriended before in the FB world, right?  It happens. You get busy with your own self absorption and fail to pour into one of your face book friends’ self absorption.  Maybe you don’t even realize that your 608 FB friend count is now 607. However, when it’s your own flesh and blood daughter, well, it’s pretty noticeable, and devastating. Yes, bloglings, my daughter unfriended me, and if you hang around I will tell you how in excruciating and humiliating detail.

By post 412 you must know that I am a joker, gadfly, comic, teaser, bear poker, a smoker, and a midnight toker. Okay, I’m getting carried away with Steve Miller’s song cycling in my hamster wheel of memorized songs. Wherever that hamster wheel stops, there’s a song to be sung. OOh, oooh, Sunshine Daydream by the Dead comes up on my shuffle. I’ll be right back. You don’t buy coffee; you merely rent it.

Anyway about a year ago, yes almost exactly at this time of pre-holidays, my lovely lawyer daughter sent out a FB post about employers being liable for their party goer guests if they served alcohol and their guests got in some smash up later. Liability is a big scary word to legalists. Now it was very well written and professional as a gold plated fountain pen. However, I failed to distinguish her professional FB account from her personal account when I  responded foolishly, thinking “She’ll get a laugh out of this response.”

I replied to her warning. It was a Friday as I recall… the last Friday for my already blemished dignity.

“Dear Ms. MCHammer,

I read your article with much interest. Now, I am self employed and work on the second floor of my building, up a flight of 15 steps. My legal question for you is this:  If I have a holiday party and get myself drunk, and then if I should fall down my stairs and injure myself, can I then sue myself? Can I be both plaintiff and respondent? How would that work? ”

My real name was attached.

Never hit send, bloggidos, unless you have thoroughly checked out your global liability. Of course, I hit send and chuckled about the anticipated funny response. My daughter is a funny girl, by the way. Oh, but it was not a funny reply I got.

Monday morning she was called in to her boss’s office. The company CEO was on the phone. They asked what the FB message was all about…. “And who, pray tell, is this guy?”

Horrified, she read the message for the first time under their glare, imagining the end of her brief career in law. “Uh, he’s my dad.” Gulp. Shamefully she looked down at her cute suede mauve shoes. They were comfortable and would be kind to her feet as security escorted her off the campus, she thought. Later on, these shoes would give her steps bouncy energy as she walked from interview to interview, hopelessly trying to escape this professional disaster.

Stunned, the two bosses waited for the other one to say something. Finally the big boss said, “It must have been hard for you in high school.”

She laughed out all the nervous energy that had been building up in her organs like steam.

“You have nooooo idea!”

It is a little known scientific fact that many people laugh spontaneously prior to their own executions. Apparently it helps them relax and die peacefully. It’s an autonomic reaction just before one voids his or her bowels.

“Jack, what do you want to do with the message?”

“I don’t know, Jim.” Pause. Smirk. ” Just leave it up. Hell, it is pretty funny. It’ll show we have a sense of humor here at Litigation Nation.”

My daughter sighed a deep sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you. I’m sorry. It will not happen again. I promise….”

“We know because you are going to unfriend him. Block him from any attachment to this company. Disenfranchise this clown. Cut him off….”

“Yes, sir. I will. I was adopted, by the way. We are nothing alike. I’ll bring in my birth certificate and take a DNA swab if you like.”

“That won’t be necessary.”

Later that day I got the upset word from my daughter. Man oh man!!  Have you ever felt like your body is melting away? My feet melted, then my legs, as my stomach dropped to a pig farm in China where, coincidentally, pig stomachs were being harvested on that very day.  Shame, like ice cold formaldehyde pumped through my vascular system, embalming me in that moment, naked in my sin, on display for all to mock in the Norwegian wedge of Antarctica. I felt like I’d killed her dog, which is the best dog ever. It hurt in a hollowed out way, not sharp local pain but all consuming galactic pain that burst out into deep space. I hate to hurt others, but hurting my daughter felt like instant lung cancer. Breathing suddenly hurt, as if shards of glass were in every breath.

Image result for arabian desert pictures

I was exiled. Sent into the desert of social media to wander aimlessly till the end of my useless, shame filled life. Only ghosts and specters, slivers of shattered humanity inhabit that wasteland. Unplugged and unfriended, they hide by day and watch distant fires by night, knowing they may never approach. Modern day millennial lepers. I’m the guy on the left in the picture below.

Never lose hope, my one-humped blog camels. Forgiveness may show up one day like rain in that arid wasteland you are wandering through. It did for me. As I painted my daughter’s house this past month, she asked me how she could ever thank me. I saw an opening and took a shot. “Refriend me on Facebook. That’s all I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

“That’s all? You know I’m resigning from Litigation Nation in two days, right?”

“Yes, I know. Please reinstate me. I will not be improper ever again.”

“Deal, Daddio.”

Suddenly my leper chrysalis fell away and a forgiven butterfly slipped out to float away on a breeze of mercy, never to fart in the wind again.

 

 

Advertisements

390. Almost Breaking Amish

Rainy AfternoonIt’s time for the next installment of The Silly Id and The Oddity, by  Homer Simpson. “Gather, my wet duckies, around the flaming hearth and hear, the stories of wet woods and rained on deer.” My buddy Clark just informed me that we have had twelve days of rain and two with sun here in depressed central Pennsylvania, home of mildewed burghers. This was not news. Some part of the mammalian brain keeps track of these dismal facts without any outside instruments. I don’t need a rain gauge to know it has rained a lot. The ground is near saturation. I don’t need a light meter to know it’s cloudy again or night for that matter. (I know you sharpies out there are going to play the eclipse card here. Go ahead. I can take it.) My pupils are dilated in the low light while my sunglasses are getting dusty from lack of use. So gloomy I can’t see them anyway.The weather, as it does so often in these damp parts, just sucks. The only consolation comes from relocated residents of Erie, who tell us they’d still be shoveling snow off their roofs in May. “May is when we dig out our cars”, they say as if talking about gardening tips, ya know? Like “Late May is when we pull up our first radishes.”

All the while I know that out west the sun is glowing clearly and cleanly, radiating and mesmerizing the sparsely populated landscape into a holy lethargy like a warm glazed donut. (In Tucson you can order glazed lethargy donut holes with a large coffee at Starbucks for under 5 bucks. Sometimes Shirley, the barrista with the face tattoo of Ghandi, gets it and slips me three metaphysical scones in waxed paper with a glazed wink. “Go forth in restful peace,” she whispers in yogic syllables.) The air is dry and fresh.  Cactuses are blooming and hummingbirds are buzzing. Feathered lizards run on grains of hot sand, leaving hardly a trace of their travels behind. Whoosh. Legal psychadelia.

The pull of what I want and the ballast of what I must do rock me like a cop car in a Baltimoron riot. I might be pushed over if lawlessness overrides the laws of gravity. (Or is it freedom fighters and tyranny?) Stay the course and get to the finish line with dignity… sure, as contemporaries die or become disabled by the myriad ailments and diseases available. Hmmmm,  this might explain why we have so many obese residents in Central Pa:  we eat chips and brownies rather than jumping in front of trucks hauling chickens to the slaughter house. Slow or fast? How do you like your death? “Neither,” you say, “I’m chicken.” Deep fried chicken.

I read a story about an Ohio State study claiming the Amish are very physically healthy, maybe the top 1% of Americans in that medical arena. The possible explanations for this statistical fact included their lack of smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol; the ever-presence of fresh foods full of vitamins and minerals without pesticides and herbicides; lack of sluggishness inside fluorescent lit environments;  and the biggest contributing factor of all seems to be hard outdoor physical labor. Well, what do you know? All this industrialization and technological advancement that the Amish refuse to participate in turns out is killing those of us who do partake. Shukkamukka!! Instead of getting out in nature and doing something vigorous, we watch Survivor and vicariously survive via the boob tube with our Diet Pepsi in one fist and ranch flavored nachos in the other. One thing is certain: we will not perish from starvation. Brain atrophy or death by a million potato chips, yes.

“Amen!! Preach it!! And, while  you’re up, pass me that onion dip, willya?”

I don’t want to make you feel bad. I’m just muttering and stuttering aloud on an ashen gray day that can’t help but disappoint you. I mean it’s the final shot at Special Olympics for the special needs kids, and it’s raining again!!  I know, God, it’s all good somehow, but if I were throwing the slippery shot put in this chilly weather, I’d break someone’s toe for sure.  Then that someone would limp through life with a hammer toe, having to tell curious podiatrists about a rainy Tuesday in their adolescence at the Special Olympics when the shot put went kaput. My empathy stops me from such violence. Not to mention the toenail would be all gray, grisly and mangled, and hard to pedicure.No visible incision scar on the top of the foot

All of the above feels like being stuck in an elevator in a Russian submarine with the Doors playing “L.A. Woman” over and over, as Russian sailors bang the doors outside the shaft, “Komrade, be cool. Ve vill get beeg rench and free you, good American proletariat man. Leesin to de Doors.” Kind of cool the first time through, and then you want to dig up and re-kill Jim Morrison, “Mr. Mojo Risin”. You know he rearranged the letters in his name to come up with that refrain, right? Not Amish.  Anyway, when the Ruskies finally ruskue you (I know, it’s not an accidental misspelling), you are so oxygen deprived that they put you in a stale donut hole of a windowless nursing home in Odessa run by expatriate Amish widows. I bet you didn’t see that coming, didya? And it rains every day, dark greasy rain that makes Odessa feel like the far side of the River Styx. Oh blighted fate!!

And sort of like that movie The English Patient, one day you awake from the haze of your oxygenless existence in Odessa. Slowly a face comes into focus as old words flow gondola like through your filthy Venetian ear canal. Familiar somehow. “Go forth in restful peace,” saturates the dry sponge of your abandoned soul. Shirley, surely it’s Shirley. But how?

As she helps you sip cold water, the mystery unfolds at last. “Those scones were laced with lysergic acid, Dude. I’m sorry. I thought you knew. You’ve been trippin’ for three weeks now, singin’ L.A.Woman like with a Russian/ Amish accent. Too weird, man. ”

“Shirley, it wasn’t the scones. No, it was that damn rain.”Image result for psychedelic rain pictures

356. For the Love of a Glove

So I bought a pair of leather gloves at Cabela’s on the way up to NYC last month. They were on sale and fit me like, well, a glove. My loving wife, who also fits me like a glove, insisted on buying them. I’ve enjoyed wearing them while I drive, which is about all they are good for since they are unlined. However, since we’ve had such a mild fall/early winter so far, I’ve been getting a lot of miles out of this structured cowhide. Now, what is the most common fate for gloves?  Divorce due to neglect. Somehow I always lose one glove in a pair. Which is what I did during my walk abouts in town. I only walk between my parking space and my office, and then from my office to the coffee shop and back. So the odds of finding one of my lost gloves are pretty good, I think.

I noticed that I was missing one last week during the rainy days as I walked by the industrial green dumpster behind the big church. “I’ll be gall durned!!” How irresponsible of me. It was a new glove. Why is it you never lose an old threadbare glove or sock? It’s always the new one. Dang it to heck!  I reproached myself for a full thirty seconds and then moved on to something else. My blessings. At least I had a glove to lose. At least it’s been warm. At least I have hands and a jacket. Focusing on the overwhelming good in one’s life can suck the air right out of whining.

My Arizona daughter and granddaughter were coming soon. Yippee Cow Yodee Oh!! Ayyeah. And my NYC daughter was coming to stay for the same week. Shoooby dooby. Who cares about a glove when you’ve got someone to love?  I got my Sam Cooke, my Otis Redding and my Nat King Cole mojo going. It’s a condition of deep satisfaction in the blood that warms your entire body, not to a sweaty mess, no. Instead it brings you to a blissful homeostasis similar to the effects of bourbon.

I still thought about Michael Jackson and his solo glove. It was weird but a signature for him. I thought about the one armed man in The Fugitive. Maybe he’d want my surviving glove. I hate to waste things, though words and time I seem to have no problem vaporizing. Maybe I could start a new look, the single glove theory, by keeping my left hand hidden at all times and only wearing my surviving right glove. Mysterious, yes. Why do we never see his left hand? We all have our darkness and secrets, don’t we?

Does everything need a pair, afterall? “Every pot has its lid”, we tell folks who are tired of the miserable dating scene. “Every goose has its gander.” But do you really want to be compared to a goose or a pot? These are not reassuring truisms. “Every fool has his folly.” “Every dog has his day.” “To each his own.”

Well, finally the daughters came home, first NYC and later Arizona with my adorable granddaughter. As we hugged in our foyer the little princess announced, “Mommy has a baby in her tummy.” I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It was a total surprise, not even a consideration as far as I knew. “Yep, 12 weeks now.” I must have beamed at her because she told me later on that mine was the biggest reaction of any, which sort of reassured her. I only know that I had that same floating feeling I experienced when I walked her down the aisle at her cathedral wedding in Atlanta six or seven years ago. Then again,I had a head full of Robitussin starships fighting a galaxy of snot monsters.

Maybe that’s how a single glove looking for its mate can even fit in alongside a precious little girl looking for a sibling playmate… under some mind altering dextromethorphan fog.  Little Leah has been calling her baby dolls her sister lately, while I’ve been calling for my lost leather glove mate in the rain. There is something in common between the two if you think long enough.

Now for creative purposes I have altered the actual sequence of events. I found my glove beside the big church I walk by daily. It was soaked and bleeding a bit of reddish stain. But there it was. I grabbed the lost glove and squeezed as much rain out as I could. Alright!! The prodigal glove came home to its father on the steps of the church no less. I realize that I am now giving an article of clothing a free will and capacities that are reserved for humans. However, in the blog business you are not held bound by regular laws of physics or logic. You simply have to make people feel like you can tell an interesting story that is equal to or greater than store brand onion dip without any garlicky aftertaste.Image result for onion dip pictures

So, the pair of gloves is re-mated for now. In six months we will see what sort of child pops out of mommy’s tummy. Will it be a boy, as seems to be the smart bet? Or will we have yet another princess in the Burrito family? It does not matter a jot. He or she will be loved and valued without having to go missing. And that is truly a tragic state of affairs, when we have to lose something before we value it– a reputation, a job, a marriage, a friendship, a home. Someone said that the average man learns from his own pain, whereas the wise man learns from others’ pain. Count me in on loving the first time around, not because I’m wise but because I have learned the hard way.

 

 

 

347. DARKLY

 

We tied fishing rigs for the morning, sure to hit the bluefish that feed voraciously in the Cheasepeake Bay.  Point Lookout, Maryland had been used as a prison camp for the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.  Hard to imagine now.  It was just a narrow spit of land that jutted into the dark bay water. No signs of tortured troops and squalid conditions from the old days. A lot of men died here from neglect and exposure to the elements.  Nowadays there is no evidence that anything unpleasant ever occurred on these shores.

“That’s Virginia on the other side,” said Cork with as much authority as he could muster.  The fishing trip was his idea.  It was his boat, his truck, his tent, and so forth.  I had never been out on the water, so I accepted the invitation and everything else at face value.  Foolishly, as I would later discover.  But on that warm Friday night in August, the upcoming fishing trip seemed like a sharp memory in the making.   We had worked together painting houses and barns all summer.  This was a reward and a chance to build another area of friendship. Cork and his son Biff had been here many times before, and they enjoyed putting into practice the rules and tips of their recently completed boating safety course.  So I thought.

Around 10 p.m. we decided it would be exciting to go for a short ride on the bay.  There was no moon. The bay was calm and smooth.  We shoved off under the orange glow of the mercury vapor light at the end of our dock.  It felt a bit eerie to me, casting off into the black sky on the black water, sort of what I imagined crossing the River Styx might be like in Greek myths.  Quiet, to be sure, but not safe.  I felt as if there were fish beneath us that could be as large as our little 18 foot Bayliner.  Maybe a sea monster or two.  The fact that we had no lights on the little boat did not seem to be an issue as we put out into deep water.  Captain Cork was in command.

We cruised the bay for an hour or two.  It was fabulous.  I lay down on my back to watch the stars glide overhead.  Every once in a while we checked our poles, but not a single bite.  I lost track of the time and our location.  I never doubted the seaworthy skipper who, by the way, had grown up next to a cornfield in a landlocked county in Pennsylvania.  Not a problem when you are as smart as our skipper.  The intellect is a fine thing when it is not caught in a net of pride and self deceit. It must have been midnight or near 1:00 a.m. when we decided to head back to our familiar dock with the orange mercury vapor light. No problem.  “We’ll just head back in now, fellas,” said Cork matter-of-factly.

That’s when the fabulous dream turned into a harrowing nightmare.  It started slowly and innocently enough.  “Is this Virginia…” asked Captain Cork hesitantly, and then pointing across the miles of dark bay waters, “or is that?”

“Which direction are we headed in?”  I asked.  “If we’re going south, then Virginia will be on our left, the other side of the bay.”

“Hell, if I knew which direction we were headed in, I wouldn’t have to ask you!” declared Cork with a bit of tension and disgust rising in his voice.

“Don’t you have a map or compass?”  I asked.

“Yeah, but they’re back in the truck.  I forgot to put them in the boat.”

Biff calmly pointed to the orange glow emanating from what I was coming to believe was north.  “Isn’t that the dock light up there on the left?  I remember we pulled out from there and circled the bay a few times, but that’s it.”

“Can’t be.  This is Virginia we’re looking at.”  Then he spied a faint dot of orange on the other shoreline, miles away.  “I’m afraid that is our dock light over there.”

I asked, “Well, what are we going to do?  Can we call the Coast Guard on the radio?  Maybe they’ll be in the area and set us straight.”

“No.  I’ll get written up for no lights and no maps,” responded Cork.  “Son of a bitch!”

Now Cork’s anger had kicked in.  It was quite familiar to Biff and me.  On land it was manageable; you  could walk away and generally not have to deal with it.  It was different here.  Here in the dark Cork was at the helm, in control of the boat though not of his own emotions.  A stream of angry epithets preceded him gunning the throttle as we roared toward what he believed was Maryland in the distance. 

I was terrified.  We were literally racing in the dark.  I took our camp flashlight and moved to the front of the boat.  I could see pelicans coming at us like spooks from Hell.  Somewhere I knew there were old target practice ships that the Navy airplanes shot at.  And I recalled seeing the occasional netting strung around telephone poles as some kind of breeding area or hatchery.  Any one of these things could destroy our little boat that was speeding along under the angry blindness of Captain Ahab. Image result for dark water at night pictures

As we raced across the bay, the little orange dot became fainter instead of stronger.  Soon it was gone from sight. “Damn it!”  And various other expletives were hurled at no one in particular, the gods, I supposed.  Cork was often adamant in his agnosticism.  Others’ sins kept him out of church the past twenty five years.  “Goddamn hypocrites!”

I was becoming a believer, a scared believer as we raced back to the previous shoreline.  Maybe we could figure out where we were by a boat registration or a sign on a dock.  Maybe we could even meet someone on the shore and ask for directions.  Maybe one of us could get off the boat and knock on someone’s door at 2:00 a.m.  “Excuse me, is this Maryland or Virginia?  You see we’re lost and really stupid.”

After perhaps an hour and a half of frustration and terror, Cork finally quit.  He angrily surrendered the helm to Biff.  “If you think you’re so goddamn smart, go ahead!”  Biff quietly motored the boat toward the original marker.  Sure enough it was our dock.  The same dock Biff had identified two hours earlier, before the mad scramble in the darkness had begun.  I was relieved that reason had prevailed over anger.  I had already resigned myself to staying out on the water till daybreak.  At least we would not get hurt this way.   Image result for dock light at night pictures

I guess this is just one more example of anger limiting one’s intelligence.  When we get angry we get stupid, stubborn and stuck.  I have had several clients who seem to be driving an unworthy craft through the dark of night, directionless, angry and very, very lost.  Instead of seeking the light and the right direction, they seem to angrily toy with the unforgiving dark.

 But not us, Bogmateys. We are scrupulously careful navigators of life. Dark pride never crosses our stride, right?

 

176. Diamonds, lost and found

Image result for diamond picturesThere are a few things I’m sure of in this life; darn few. One truth in this small basket is the brilliance of love, which is why I suppose diamonds have come to symbolize committed romantic love and marital fidelity. Even though the mining and distribution of African diamonds begin and end with mistreatment of mankind by bad men, these precious stones shine on. Even Pink Floyd wrote a song about one. “Shine on you crazy diamond.”

My buddy Clark gave his lovely bride Pat a diamond engagement ring years ago. He had to overcome his political gag reflex and acute hatred of the diamond market in order to write a check to the snake-toothed salesman who said he wasn’t making anything on the deal. For the love of Pat.

Love is not always about doing what you really want to do, like kissing that pretty girl. More often it involves doing what you don’t want to do– change a nasty diaper; sit up all night with a sick loved one; listen to the same problem your spouse has that you know how to fix. It’s “forgetting” that your favorite team is playing at 4 p.m. when your wife has invited company for a formal dinner at 5 p.m. Especially if your wife is Pat.

Image result for marilyn monroe  pictures

If you have had the fortune to meet Pat, then you already know the futility of my words in trying to describe her. She lights up a room with her spirit and lovely attitude. She lives in the moment in Pat’s world, which is a sweet place to live. Purity and kindness and light radiate from her. She just turned sixty and made that number proud to be associated with such a lively and sentimental teenaged beauty. Being around her and Clark sparks others into playfulness and affection, especially when she dances her patented Pat moves. Though she is afraid of bears, she has charmed pit bosses at casinos and hardened curmudgeons all around. If she were a bank teller, bank robbers would come to her to orchestrate their surrenders. “I’m sorry I upset you, Pat. I don’t want the money. Here, you take my gun and call the cops. I was wrong. I apologize. Don’t cry now, there–there.”

They met at a singles dance about ten years ago. Clark was coming out of his second divorce and feeling like a bank robber. Pat had never been in a big relationship. She’d been too busy caring for her elderly parents, her sister and her sister’s kids. She lived in apartments all her life and was content with what she did have. After some joyous dating, they married. Clark presented her with the engagement ring in a box that lights up when opened. He told me how Pat would sometimes get up at night and just open the box to gaze at her beautiful diamond.

Last month Pat went to her dentist on the first cold day of the season. She wore her gloves for the first time this fall. Somehow, somewhere between her workplace and the dentist’s office, the diamond came off the ring and was lost. It was like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger or an ice cream sundae without the maraschino cherry on top. Awful. She called Clark and he searched that day and later that night with a flashlight, hoping to catch a bright reflection in the darkness. No luck.


He called to tell me of the lost stone. All I could think of was Pat staring at the lit jewel box with no diamond in it. Poignant and tender but not tragic or fatal. Losing a symbol is not equivalent to losing the thing it represents. If bald eagles become extinct, our country will endure. If crosses are outlawed, Christianity will continue. Somehow I knew that the diamond would be recovered and a good story would result.

Sure enough, I got a call over the weekend from Captain Lucky Tan, aka, Clark. The stone had been found. Mick Jagger had been recovered. Dripping red cherries could plop on whipped cream again. The dental hygienist had seen a sparkle between the dentist’s chair and the rubber mat that surrounds it. As she looked closer, she saw it was Pat’s diamond. Found. Rescued. Saved. Reunited with her ring, her hand and her marriage. I was happy for her and Clark and for cosmic justice. And truth be told, for the story to blog. Unlike the story about my high school ring, this one ended with redemption and reunion. (There was no brilliant love in my ring story, just Daffy Duck in an oven. Consequently it was barely interesting.) But Pat’s diamond? Well, it was like the Prodigal Son story in my mind, deserving of a feast.

If you know your Bible, Jesus told the parable story of the prodigal son who demanded his inheritance before his father died. The gentle father granted him his arrogant and impatient wish. The son left to impulsively squander his father’s wealth. He was lost and dead to his family. Depleted of all material wealth. At the edge of his sabotaged world, surrounded by pigs in excrement, he came to his senses and returned to his father. He imagined the fair treatment he could expect upon his return– slavery in his father’s household. However, this swiney son was greeted with joy by his father, who lavished love and gifts upon him. He had clearly forgiven his son’s arrogance and selfishness. He did not ask for an apology or evidence of pure motive. He called for a robe and a ring and a feast. His beloved son was alive. Celebration was the only option.

Pat’s diamond has that sort of value for me. Something of great worth and symbolic power was lost. Sadness and anger and pain at the loss filled the emptiness. In its absence the diamond became more present to her mind and to Clark’s. But this little tragedy pricked them to think of the joy and blessings that they do have, the blessed life they are privileged to share. And now, let the feast begin. Break open the fine wine; put on Marvin Gaye; dance and spank the baby, Pat.

Image result for slap the floor dance move pictures

10. therefore

Image result for god picturesFinding God is an inescapable task, even for those who deny God, they have found Him and sent Him into the myth box or the library of fairy tales or the laboratory of science. Those who have lost God know where and when they lost Him. Some of us have simply misplaced God, put Him in the wrong priority level. We know He is around here somewhere.

As a little kid, knowing God helps hold back the onslaught of super complicated reality and all the questions that demand answers. Knowing God holds the barking fears at bay until the child can deal with them one at a time. The problem comes when unexplainable bad things overwhelm the kid and life’s problems outrun the explanations he can understand. The foundation is exploded before it’s even built.

It’s Good Friday in town and the streets are nearly empty. No school or court today. Free parking because Rod the ticket man is off with all the Boro employees. Even Leonard the gas man is home and out of uniform. Quiet. Some folks are finding God, but I imagine most are finding stuff to do–shopping, cleaning, planting flowers, traveling, trout fishing, golfing, drinking beer, baking cakes, walking aimlessly with heavy back packs, hallucinating, waiting for good news, getting hair cuts.

As a teenager knowing God helps counterbalance the power shifts with your parents. When you are so mad or disappointed with your mom or dad, you still have a parent to listen to you. Even orphans can have this parent. Teens are learning to think for themselves and tend toward the idealistic. They hate to hear about moderation and mostly good adults. Somehow they believe that it is possible to be 100% pure and good and kind to everyone. They are optimistic about human nature though they have not witnessed a representative sample of it yet. God and Jesus and Grandma are pure and holy, they reason, so it’s possible for them and their friends and family to be the same…if they all just try harder. Every generation does this dance with idealism.

As young adults you finally figure out that grandma was a good actress; and your closest, purest friend is in an abusive relationship; and your drinking water has some nasty chemicals in it because a trusted protection system failed. Human error all around. God and Jesus remain pure and good and holy, but everyone else sucks to some degree. And you wonder about this great divide between God and mankind. Ah, but it will be completely different when you have kids.

Weddings are perfect opportunities to deny the ugly reality that marriage can be. Weddings are staged and scripted for months, and then marriage happens spontaneously. Wedding snapshots are perfect, and then reality begins gnawing at the edges. Dreams don’t have to die, but they do need to be adjusted, postponed, financed, or reframed. Usually there is a crisis point where one must choose between the ideal dream and the real person snoring next to them. So often we choose the unmitigated dream and sever the imperfect relationship.

But our grandkids will get it right, we hope, as we call for a new deck of cards. Getting it right is the myth, though. Mankind has never gotten it right, which is why we need to be finding God.

Image result for seeking god pictures Take the leap of faith, my Godbloggets.