Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13: Sweet as Church Incense, God's Love Numbers Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four, Fairy Tale Forgiveness

But [Ives] controlled himself and, like a fine gentleman, his smile restrained, he strode forward and put his arms around Gomez, who had started to cry, over the very goodness he had glimpsed so briefly just then in Ives' gaze.  Gomez awkwardly reciprocated, and he was touched by the scent of cologne about the face of a man who had quite carefully shaved that morning, his skin, in those moments, releasing so much pent-up grief and forgiveness, sweet as church incense.  And Gomez found himself repeating, "Thank you for coming here, sir.  Thank you, and God bless you."

The story of Ives is really one of forgiveness.  The whole novel leads up to the moment above:  Ives facing the person who killed his son.  After years of anguish and grief, Ives finds himself hugging Danny Gomez, giving Gomez relief from the guilt and self-hatred he's harbored for years.  Ives saves Gomez, and Gomez saves Ives.

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.  It allows a person to let go of resentments, grudges, angers.  It clears the spirit of darkness.  For Ives, it allows him to love his wife again, trust the world.  For me, forgiveness preserved my marriage, gave me a son.  My life would be very different right now if I hadn't accepted forgiveness into my heart about seven years ago.

So, God's love numbers twenty-three and twenty-four are the products of that forgiveness:  my beautiful wife and my funny son.  She is my best friend.  I just spent over half an hour bitching about my job to her.  She sat and listened.  Didn't offer advice or tell me I needed to "get over it."  She listened, which is what I needed.

My son is wearing neon yellow shorts.  He's playing a computer game, talking to the screen.  He's only six, and he can navigate around a computer better than I can.  He's always happy, ready to annoy his sister at the drop of a hat.  When I was helping him with his bath tonight, he looked at me through his soapy eyes and said, "I love you, daddy."

Once upon a time, a blue whale named Greg swam all the seas of the world, looking for a whaler named Ahab who had harpooned his girlfriend, a sperm whale named Lolita.  Greg swam for years, searching for Ahab's white whaling ship.

Finally, at the edge of the world, Greg found Ahab and his ship.  Greg swam up to the ship, raised his great tale, and prepared to send Ahab and his crew to the bottom of the ocean. 

"Wait, wait," Ahab cried.  "What have I done to deserve this?"

Greg spouted water from his blowhole and said, "You killed the love of my life."

Ahab said, "What was her name, if I may ask?"

Greg slapped his flipper against the waves, "Her name was Lolita, and she was the most beautiful sperm whale that ever swam the oceans and seas."

"Lolita...Lolita...Lolita," Ahab said.  "Nope, her name doesn't ring a bell."

Greg blinked and said, "I'm sorry.  I must have been mistaken."  He flipped his tale and swam away.

Moral of the story:  blue whales are dumb as shit.

And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.

They're not as smart as people think, obviously

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