Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Earth Will Shake Us Off Like Fleas

From my Bible classes at McGill, I remember that the disciples were not considered to be very smart.

“The disciples were dumb, dumb,” said Professor David Williams. But Simon Peter, he was the dumbest. Plus he didn’t run very fast. Poor dumb disciples. And it made it worse that Jesus was always uttering so many confusing things. On the way to the cross, a bunch of women followed Jesus, mourning and wailing for him. Jesus turned and said to the women, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!”(NIV, Luke 23:29)

Mourning and wailing. That is exactly what the women in my family do when they read Hallmark cards, or watch sad movies where people die. The worst movies are Beaches and Steel Magnolias. I remember Steel Magnolias. Julia Roberts had  something wrong with her kidneys. My mother and my sister mourned and wailed when she died.  In Beaches, Bette Midler’s best friend dies of some weird heart virus. More mourning. More wailing. Perhaps Beaches was even worse because Bette Midler sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" and this is such a devastating song.

Beaches. Too sad.
I am a childless woman. My womb has never born and my breasts have never nursed. Jesus said that one day I will be blessed. Jesus said so many odd things. Maybe he meant that being a mother is too difficult, too excruciating. No matter what you do, you will end up mourning and wailing for one reason or another. 

Steel Magnolias. Also way too sad.


Before he was crucified, Jesus kept asking Simon Peter if he really loved him. He asked three whole times. After the third time, Simon Peter became a bit frustrated. I can understand. Probably Simon Peter felt like no matter what, he would always get the wrong answer. I hate that. Each time that Simon Peter said, “Yes Lord, I love you,” Jesus would reply, “Feed my lambs.” Finally, after the third time Simon Peter replied, “Yes Lord, I love you,” Jesus said something different.
Peter, do you love me?

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” (John: 21:17-18)

That is a pretty good quote. Probably this is what being old is like. Someone dresses you in an outfit you don’t particularly like and then someone else decides where you will go today. Where WE will go today. Because all of the sudden, because you are old, you become part of an imposed collective. Just like in preschool, everyone is your friend. You participate in life’s activities as part of some high-pitched, squeaky-voiced WE.  WE are going outside now. WE need to finish our breakfast. WE are going bowling, to the market, to exercise class. Now WE are having a nap.
For a couple of weeks, I took care my friend’s grandmother who had Alzeimers. She was a doll, but sometimes it was very boring. And so I made relentless and mundane suggestions on how WE could break the monotony. Why don’t WE go to the park now, or to the library? WE should get a drink, or get some ice cream.”

“I’ve already done all that,” she said. “I’m tired. I’ve already done it.”

She was all done, and still, she had to get her hands dragged to somewhere she did not want to go.

One of Simon’s favourite things that I ever wrote was, “Everything stops bleeding. Even the dead people.” As usual, I was talking about the moon and my large thighs and menstrual blood. I do not know why Simon loved my sentences so much. On January 4, 2015, Simon jumped off a building and landed in a parking lot. I think about this all the time. There must have been a lot of blood.  

At the beginning of Acts of the Apostles, Judas got money for betraying Jesus. With the money, he bought a field. This is how it goes in the Bible:

"With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood" (Acts: 1: 18-19).
Judas exploded in a field. Simon exploded in a snowy icy parking lot.

Nobody is supposed to walk in Judas’s field anymore. When people don’t inhabit or walk on places, very interesting flora and fauna emerge. Apparently there is an extremely bio-diverse area in North Korea where humans aren’t allowed. I am not sure whether or not the no-human zone started as a field of blood. In any case, it is hard for people to believe that the world will become more unique when they’re not there.

The End.
(Post-scripts One and Two and Two Point Five below)

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I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

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The reason I am thinking so much about Jesus is that on May 3, 2015 (evening of the full moon), I met Daniel on the corner of Brunswick and Bloor. Daniel sells used books in front of a building with the sign “Champion of the Waging” on one side and “Ales and Spirits” on the other.  The books are only three dollars each, or two for five dollars. Some books are on tables, while others just lie on the sidewalk. Daniel told me what happens when somebody’s liver explodes and he had a sort of scientific reason for how and why Jesus survived the crucifixion. “He was crucified, not murdered,” Daniel kept repeating. Daniel’s father recently survived and hemorrhagic stroke and Daniel told me about the difference between hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. It has to do with what happens to the blood. And more people get ischemic strokes, the kind Daniel’s father didn’t get. Daniel talked about the moon, and serendipity, and how each day of the week is named after a different planet and/or the sun and/or the moon. He also quoted George Carlin who once said, “The Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.”

George Carlin, “The Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.”
I bought two books from Daniel.

The first one was, Long Quiet Highway: waking up in America, by Nathalie Goldberg. I am reading it right now. Highly recommended.

Long Quiet Highway: waking up in America, by Nathalie Goldberg.
The second one was, This Body, by Tessa McWatt.

This Body, by Tessa McWatt.
Post-Script Two

In fact, when Simon died on the parking lot, there might not have been that much blood. Everyone and the Internet says that when you jump off a building, your corpse becomes a mangled mess. But apparently Simon wasn't a mangled mess. He looked the same, except dead. There are so many things people say all the time that aren't true. Like when authors kill themselves, all their books become super famous.  People say this all the time. Well, it isn't always true. None of Simon's books are famous. My blog is more famous than his books.  Poor Simon. He hated my blog.  

I added Post-Script Two on Sunday, June 28, 2015. If Simon was still alive, he would have turned 36.

Simon Girard (1979-2015)
How I am Violent, by Erica J. Schmidt
Cardboard Box

Post-Script Two Point Five

Here is how the days of the week are named after planets and/or the moon and/or the sun:

Monday (English), lundi (French, lune means moon) = Moon Day
Tuesday (English), mardi (French) = Mars Day (not an auspicious time to start a new venture or yoga posture, according to some)
Wednesday (English), mercredi (French) = Mercury Day (Some say that mercury is a sad planet. Others call Wednesday Hump Day. Everyone loves humping.)

Thursday (English), jeudi (French) = Jupiter Day

Friday (English), vendredi (French) = Venus Day (Perhaps a good day for Love. The Rainman says, Fishsticks on Friday.)

Saturday (English), samedi (French) = Saturn Day
Sunday (English), dimanche (French) = Sun Day.

And so it seems that there are no days for Pluto, Neptune, Earth, and most tragically, Uranus.


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