Thursday, February 28, 2008

God, the post office, and other mysteries

I took a book to the post office to read it. There was no line at all. Just as I got near the desk, the clerk said "Thank you!" to the woman in front of me and I was up.

This is the third time this month I took a book with me and there was no chance to even open it. I had a flash today of God being that Nelson kid on the Simpsons, pointing at me from Heaven and going "Ha ha."

You probably have already envisioned the other side of this comic cosmic coin. When I go bookless, the line is long and slow.

One of those book-free post office days, I talked with the people next to me about passports. They might not have spoken to each other. The man in front of me was bikeresque, and the woman behind me had gold jewelry and conservative clothes. I bridged their gap, I guess. We had a nice conversation. She had been to England several times and I had been twice. She had been to Bermuda and he was about to go for the first time.

Last night we had a discussion here about the Crusades. Not a very formal discussion, but a story-telling and question answering and game-playing and speculation session about who went and why and who profited and how. The game we played (kind of—four people played it and the rest of us cheered them on, advised them lamely and read the bane cards aloud to them and that)... the game is called Pilgrimage. It's way out of print. The game board is a map of ways to get from London to Jerusalem passing through various cities and cathedral cities, and a player can hardly help but be waylayed or distracted by ale houses and gypsies, be stepped on by a cow, or touch a leper and have to visit a shrine or something.

The night before that session, I was reading a novel and came upon a passage about saints having been the comic-book superheroes of the Middle Ages, and having their bones and toenails and hair and body-parts enshrined all over Europe. God sent me that paragraph, I might say, if I believed in God.

I don't believe in God, but still for several weeks I've been nearly magically given examples and connections for those Wednesday night discussions, which are SCA-based for a small group of friends/students/squires-of-friend. My SCA persona believes in God. Maybe the deliveries were not really for Sandra but for AElflaed and I'm posting in the wrong blog.

It's easy to personify the effects of our own actions and the random fuck factor and create some kind of Michelin-Tire-advertisement-guy and Santa and boogey-man combination. My confusing imaginary God isn't omnicient or omnipotent. He's kinda occasionalicient and intermitopotent.

Because I'm looking for connections, I find them. Because I'm willing to talk to people in lines or read a book in public, I'll live until I die, which could be any day now or in fifty years. Given all that, I don't know when to carry a book around and when not to.

Oh yeah, the post office. I went to the post office to mail three things: a card to a family whose wife/mother died this week, socks to Texas, and cookies to France. It did occur to me that the bereaved family already had cards, Paris isn't short of artsy snacks and Texas has no sock shortage. I can either think that my offerings are special or superfluous. Most likely they're some of each.

4 comments:

De said...

The image of Nelson-God pointing his finger, "Ha, Ha!" had both Dave and I laughing out loud!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"It did occur to me that the bereaved family already had cards, Paris isn't short of artsy snacks and Texas has no sock shortage. I can either think that my offerings are special or superfluous. Most likely they're some of each."

I vote for special, for while the family had cards & Paris had snacks and TX had socks - those things didn't come from YOU, which makes a whole of difference to the recipient! Lori

Anonymous said...

Shoot. I meant to say a *world* of difference. Love, Lori

acapellanine said...

and to add on to what lori said, paris doesn't have PEANUT BUTTER snacks, so that makes a difference, too...!
thanks again,
roxana