- The girl said to me one day, “Daddy, why did God make mosquitoes?” I acknowledged the obvious fact that mosquitoes don’t really seem to do us much good and it is kinda hard to see why they should even be here. Then I explained that God has a lot going on, much of which we, as people, might not like very much.
But it isn’t all about us. God is a big, mysterious thing and we, as people, can’t possibly understand how and why it all comes together and makes sense. We’re not the center of it. God is certainly real and God surely loves us. We can benefit from trusting in God and doing as God would have us do - treat other people with kindness and respect, for example. Whether or not mosquitoes are doing God’s will is really between them and God. It’s okay for us to smack them – as people, we have the right to kill parasites.
She seemed somewhat satisfied with that. My daughter is like me in that she has a natural desire to have Divinity and she seeks answers when things don’t make sense. I try to provide perspectives that will address her immediate concerns while leaving room for her to develop beliefs that work for her. She will certainly question what I say and may even conclude that I was bullshitting all along, which is fine – deciding that one’s parents are bullshitters is a natural part of growing up.
I avoid dogma – pretty easy for me since I don’t buy any of that myself – and encourage exploration.
- I may’ve mentioned this before, but my last incarnation came to an abrupt end in Cambodia.
- The Spotted Opossum and I went to the local kids’ museum. She was really into building stuff with Keva planks, which are pretty awesome. We spent a few hours covering a table with towers of various sizes and shapes. At some point, a staff member came around with a camera to get photos of the grrrl smiling sweetly with our constructions – only one of which was my design. She may be featured in more of the kids’ museum’s promotional material – a thing we’ve gotten used to.
Eventually, the inevitable happened. Some adult walked over and touched one of the towers – the biggest, most elaborate one, which my daughter had likened to the Empire State Building – and it came crashing down. The grrl stood there in disbelief for a moment and then sprinted away. I found her in a corner, sobbing. We spent a few minutes talking about the general unfairness of life and when she was okay, I walked back to assess the damage.
When I returned, she was with another staffer – a Hindu, with sari and bindi – who was telling her that in India, they make huge, beautiful mandalas of flower petals and then sweep them up as a lesson in impermanence. As a person who believes it takes a village to raise a child, I was quite happy that we live in a place where we occasionally run into a practicing devotee of Durga who can help us remember that life is change and that nothing is, ultimately, permanent.
- I don’t know the exact date when the spirits gave me the initial impulse to start BDSR – just that it was in April 2007. I decided to just round it off to 15 April because that’s the middle of the month and because it’s my own birthday, which makes it easy to remember. 15 April also happens to be the birthday of Humphrey Chimpton Earwicker, the main character of Finnegans Wake, by some one-eyed, drunken Irishman, whose name escapes me at the moment.
- I’m a Unitarian-Universalist. I became a U-U because I wanted to participate in a spiritual community and I thought I disagreed with Unitarian-Universalism less than any of the other churches in the area. Turns out I don’t disagree with them less, just in a different way. But I’m in the church now and I’m fairly active. And I really enjoy the fact that every joke I’ve heard about Unitarian-Universalists is true.
Great quotes by me:
“Clusterfucks don’t just happen. They have to be made.”
“Sweeping generalizations aren’t wrong if they’re true.”
“If it weren’t for sarcasm, we’d have no chasm at all.”
“If I didn’t have the scars, I wouldn’t believe that shit actually happened.”
“Cynics do it like dogs.”
“I shouldn’t speak when I’m angry because I might say something I mean.”
“If death isn’t funny, what is?”
“It’s easier to find pleasure in meaningful things than to find meaning in pleasurable things.”
“The best way to make enemies of allies is to attack them.”
“If you can’t do art, do photography.”
“Not giving a shit is the key to peace of mind.”
“His heart’s in the right place. It’s too bad his head is up his ass.”
“You never had an STD like me.”
“Irregardless, it’s not a word.”
“All women can play bass – some just don’t know it yet.”
Brown Hat the Espresso Shaman
The pun is always intended.