Undertaker's Daughter

My life and death as spiritual path.

Location: River City, Northern California

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Be Not Afraid

On Comforting and The Comforter:

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Now I usually change that first phrase to it's more powerful elder sister-- Be Not Afraid. Why? Probably the fact that I can't stop tinkering with holy texts and rituals has something to do with it., Also, this is one of my favorite mantras and since it can be shortened in my form to Be Not Afraid, it is more useful, more comforting. I don't think I've altered it irreparably. I hope the brightly feathered paraclete, our dear ecumenical Shekinah and Holy Spirit might cut me some slack here -- one ritualist to another.

~ why not, we made you that way, a tinkerer-- too late to turn back now-- and as I've always told you, it doesn't really matter how you talk to us, it matters that you listen to what we say, and believe me, this one is, we do know, your hardest lesson, next to trust. Which is probably everybody's hardest lesson. Terribly hard to get into your dear sweet thick skull-- rephrase it as sharp, heavy, or blunt as you need~

Then, she added.

~ and, I'm not a ritualist!~

Well, then who else wrote all those gorgeous liturgies?

~ A great many people, under all kinds of influences, some of it medicinal, some of it pernicious, a bit of it mine. It's not how I would prefer to be remembered.~

My apologies, I love liturgy.

~ oh. . . de nada. It's one of those days. . .weeks . . decades.~

I wasn't thrilled with the conclave's choice either-- though I wish I'd placed a whopping big bet on it, I could use the money.

~ who would have taken it?~

You have a good point. But, you see, when he stepped out on that balcony for the first time, he looked so genuinely joyous, like a child decked out in garments that barely fit him, so overwhelmed by the love that comes with this office, as if he'd never thought of that before. I just couldn't hate him.

~ you do remember your vocation is monsters.~

Yeah. . . and he seemed like one of mine. Able to change.

~ there is discussion in. . .well, never mind, exactly where. . whether it is your totally irrational optimism that initiates those changes.~

You guys hang out in a pub or Starbucks, or? . . sorry, pretend I didn't ask that question. I would never recommend total irrationality to anyone else but it's always worked for me.

~ almost always. . .~

She sounded sorta wistful.

You ok?

~ Coffee! the thought of a triune god--- or any numeric permutation for that matter-- wired on caffeine is not a pretty thought.~

Might get things done.

~ Yes, but what things? There we are again, what things indeed? I have no answers, only speculations. Why did you desire a non-omniscient god?~

Well, it's because I only ever want god as free and unbounded as possible. My internal jury is still out on Omnipotence-- it carries strange baggage, as the scholastics well knew. I won't under any circumstance put you in a box or a prison. I knew that much at three or four years old-- don't chain up god with human rules. I may not have understood it then in terms of Omniscience- but I knew if god wanted to make a married man or a woman a priest, if he gave them that kind of vocation, he should not be stopped from fulfilling it in this world. As an adult I believe that Omniscience-- comforting as that kind of knowledge may be to us humans-- is a tortuous prison of no exit and no change. A perfect place for fascist control freaks but certainly a loving god would go stark raving mad there. Omniscience doesn't just make a mockery of Human free will, it decimates god's freedom to change and grow. Creators can't stop growing or they. . . they die.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lecture the Holy Spirit-- ok, I guess I did. But, You didn't have to do it. I don't run the universe.

~ You get the God you want, don't you? Everyone does. I just wish I truly knew whether that joyous sparkle you perceive in Benedict's eye is the hungry gleam of a raptor. I suppose it's a temptation, interesting. . .~

I love raptors. Few birds more beautiful or necessary-- it is unpleasant in humans, I'll admit.

[the penny drops in my dim mind]

They didn't let you into the conclave.

~ no women allowed, My pass was revoked. Unnecessary, they said. We already talked, they said. They may have, I did not.~

Shoot, go in drag. How could they know you were female anyway?

~ I thought I was in neutral, which is as close to drag as I choose to get. They know far too much, little girl, and they know so infinitely little-- such a thin slice of the grandest, most beautiful picture. . . don't get me started. . .

They rarely listen, you know, I didn't truly expect them to listen, I'm always so very pleasantly shocked when anybody, anywhere, does, But I did expect to be allowed to speak.

That poor dear dead old man listened-- didn't understand a word, but he liked the sound of my wings. Once his mind started to go, he was a pleasure to be around. He had a good Fifth Act. Not for the Church, of course, but-- oh don't be too shocked and I don't really think you will be-- we never have expected all that much from the popes. The best are usually venal, the mediocre occasionally try to do good and that can be so sad to watch. The organisation is, of course, far beyond senility now.

And they. . . don't like the sound of wings. All that wings mean to them is a pile of shit coming from the sky.~

I'm so sorry.

~ don't be. The joy is always one on one-- always has been, always will be, Even in an evolving world, the exileration of a new soul, a reborn soul, an awakened soul, a freshly found soul, especially when they didn't even know they had one!-- Oh my, that never changes. There are always tears to be wiped away from a broken but open heart.

I was formed as a comforter, you know. The thought, the word Comforter floated out there, in here, in the dark sweetly intimate universe that expanded between us three. And I rushed into it, flew into it, open arms, open wings-- my heart and soul embraced the idea. And the letters, the sound, the sheer hope of it -- became Me.

Then, in that darkness, we held each other for the first time and we knew.

In the same way, I came into the creation and there I held this shuddering planet, half on fire, half drowned as it tried to be born. Just like all births. Fighting -- for Life, against Life, terrified of the uncertainty that has suddenly enveloped you and will never release you until the last embrace which is death. That was my first child safely delivered. It was the biggest--so far-- but all children share the same terrors and need the same reassurances, the same Comfort.

if you don't mind, I'll use your words for a change--

Be not Afraid: for behold, my dearest child, I bring you good tidings of Great Joy, which shall be to All People.

-- and then, they always -- always --say-- To me too?

Yes, to You, To All People. All, no strings, no loyalty oaths, no commandments, no list of rules to be met and kept unbroken. All People, All Beings, All that was or Ever Shall Be Made.

All There Is.~

And there was a moment of deep silence-- filled with that first intimate darkness of the Three holding each other for the first time, the last time, the only time. In Forever. Utterly Comforting.

Thank you.

~ you should thank your friend.~

I do, he knows your voice better, much better than I.

~I have a lot of voices~

And I heard a rush of wings-- crows from the cemetary come to visit my back yard. A lot of voices indeed. I only hope I got one or two words right.


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