Archive for June, 2009


Friday, June 26th, 2009

I went into a cave this week. It was one of those tourist trips, an hour or so of being guided along a trail to look at stalagmites, stalactites, and various other underground formations.

It’s certainly awe inspiring to look at the beautiful crystalline structures and contemplate the millions of years they spend in the making. God came along with me, she said that it was good sometimes to see these things through human eyes. When I asked what she meant by that she said it was an issue of scale. Really a cave is a lot like a geode, only bigger. They’re both just formations within a spherical space. One of them is small enough for us to hold in our hand and the other is big enough for us to wander around inside.

Since God has the whole universe and more as her perspective she has to make a conscious effort to come down and experience things at our scale. It’s sort of like if we could not just try to imagine being an ant crawling around inside a geode but could actually become an ant crawling around inside one.

And for God there’s any number of different scales to wander around in. She can spelunk inside an atom or stand in awe inside a planet. She sometimes wanders from one galaxy to the next the way we go from room to room. I asked her what her favorite was, but she demurred, she said each experience had its own charms and had to be taken for its own values.

Later, though, she did tell me that it was too bad we could never have the sorts of senses that would let us really see the beauty inside a black hole. So yeah, some differences are just matters of scale but some are completely different games. I just do my best to try and know which is which.


Friday, June 19th, 2009

Being humans, we like to humanize things. But also, being humans, we recognize that we have limits both in what we can do to humanize things and in what we’ll accept as humanizing.

The thing that I think exemplifies this best is mascots. Corporations have them, sports teams have them, even individual products sometimes have them. A mascot is usually an anthropomorphized animal but is sometimes just a made-up little thing that is neither human nor animal but is none-the-less made to seem alive, and is supposed to make you feel better about whatever the mascot is fronting for. It occurred to me that in some ways were like mascots to God. We’re made in his image, but only as much as the limitations of the universe allow, but I’m not really sure who or what we’re supposed to be fronting. Maybe the universe. Maybe our job is to make God feel better about the universe so he doesn’t just scrap the whole thing and go do something else?

So then what’s our job, what exactly is it that a mascot does? As near as I can tell, what mascots do is wear some kind of silly outfit and run around making fools of themselves.

I’d say we’re doing a pretty good job.

Pizza Pride

Friday, June 12th, 2009

It’s June. Gay Pride month. It’s a time of year that I like to do a little introspection and sort of ask myself about the meaning of being gay. I’ve said before that I don’t think being gay is itself anything to be proud of, but rather, that having the strength of self to recognize our own gayness and embrace it, in the face of pretty much all of our culture telling us to be straight, is something to be proud of.

Now in my own case, being gay feels, at times, like an affectation. That’s not because there’s anything artificial or false about it, but because basically I lead a mostly celibate life. It’s kind of like being married but without someone else in the bed. It’s a thing that’s come about because basically sex just isn’t important enough to me to go through the effort of pursuing, and to put up with the idiosyncrasies of other people’s insecurities and eccentricities to get.

One of the things I’ve heard said about sex, is that it’s like pizza, in that even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good. People describe unembellished sex lives as being “vanilla” and I think they’ve got the food metaphor wrong. They should describe it as “cheese pizza.” Cheese pizza is your basic sex and the various fetishes and embellishments and what not that we bring into our bedrooms (or out of them, as the case may be), those are the toppings. Most people have a few favorite toppings and some people want everything at once, but still, everybody can enjoy a well made cheese pizza.

So what gets me by, while I’m living my mostly celibate life? Masturbation of course. But where is that in my pizza metaphor? Well masturbation is like just having just the crust; it’s like living on bread and water, it’ll sustain you but it won’t make you happy.

But never fear, I’ve got other things to keep me happy.

Questions and Answers

Friday, June 5th, 2009

I’ve been planning a trip abroad. I’ve scheduled my vacation. I’ve purchased non-refundable airline tickets. I’ve gotten tickets to an event in Cambridge, England, and read some chapters on how best to do Disneyland Paris. And on Monday of this week two things happened: my new passport arrived in the mail and I got laid off from work.

Talk about mixed messages. Or maybe the message isn’t mixed, maybe the universe is trying to tell me to get out of the U.S. and don’t look back.

Now, unlike most people, I talk with God on a pretty much daily basis, so if the “universe” is trying to send me messages, well, it’s got a pretty direct line to use. So I took advantage of that. I waited for a lull in conversation with the Big Man and asked him point blank if this juxtaposition was just random chance or was there a message I was supposed to read between the lines?

He equivocated. He does that a lot and it’s probably the most annoying thing about our relationship. So here’s my take away from this week’s activity: I’ve got direct access to God and can’t get straight answers to simple questions, so for those of you that don’t have this access, if you’re expecting to read God’s answer to you in some subtle sign that comes at you in your daily life, you might want to stop waiting and come up with your own answer.