Monday, May 23, 2011

Judgment Day

I went to Wine in the Woods, a great big wine tasting festival in Columbia, with Jack and one of his friends, who I think I will call Rachel, on Saturday. I suppose there were some people who thought it a good time to eat, drink, and be merry before the big catching up that was supposed to happen. Those people would say I would have been left behind, but Jesus and I are tight and he would have taken me even though his followers consider me a heathen. I'm sure of it.

Anyway, this is what I remember from Saturday:

Everything got fuzzy and kind of sparkly.

That might have been the many glasses of wine.

I distinctly heard the sound of bells.

Or, maybe that was the sound of my wine glass shattering when I dropped it.

Before I knew it, I was in a soft, warm place and I felt safe and protected.

But that might have been when Jack and I took a nap after we got back to his place.

Judgment, or wine?

Seriously, though, I'm not one to make fun of someone's beliefs but I really have a hard time accepting that so many people spent so much money (that they need to live on) because of one flawed man's idea of the end of days. Really, people - all you believers, the Bible tells you that this thing called Rapture will happen. That's fine, live your life not knowing when you're going to go, ok. That same Bible tells you that no man will know the date. Stop trying to figure it out, that's not how it's supposed to work.

Now, I don't believe as you do, but you can't take one part of the Book and deny the other if you're going to build your faithful life around it. I do not understand how you can believe it will happen but ignore that you've already been told that you won't know when. I bet Yahweh moves the date with every prediction just to keep you guessing. Stop trying to know something that is beyond human capacity to know. Just live your life being a kind, compassionate person who might be taken from this world tomorrow, or next year, or never.

It makes me sad that so many people were so misled.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today's Theme Song

When you attend a funeral,
It is sad to think that sooner or
Later those you love will do the same for you.
And you may have thought it tragic,
Not to mention other adjec-
Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do.
But don't you worry.
No more ashes, no more sackcloth.
And an armband made of black cloth
Will some day never more adorn a sleeve.
For if the bomb that drops on you
Gets your friends and neighbors too,
There'll be nobody left behind to grieve.

And we will all go together when we go.
What a comforting fact that is to know.
Universal bereavement,
An inspiring achievement,
Yes, we all will go together when we go.

We will all go together when we go.
All suffuse with an incandescent glow.
No one will have the endurance
To collect on his insurance,
Lloyd's of London will be loaded when they go.

Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
We'll be french fried potatoes by and by.
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie,
Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

Down by the old maelstrom,
There'll be a storm before the calm.

And we will all bake together when we bake.
There'll be nobody present at the wake.
With complete participation
In that grand incineration,
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

Oh we will all char together when we char.
And let there be no moaning of the bar.
Just sing out a Te Deum
When you see that I.C.B.M.,
And the party will be "come as you are."

Oh we will all burn together when we burn.
There'll be no need to stand and wait your turn.
When it's time for the fallout
And Saint Peter calls us all out,
We'll just drop our agendas and adjourn.

You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas.
Go directly, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dolla's.

And we will all go together when we go.
Ev'ry Hottentot and ev'ry Eskimo.
When the air becomes uranious,
And we will all go simultaneous.
Yes we all will go together
When we all go together,
Yes we all will go together when we go.

(brought to you by Tom Lehrer. Have a great Rapture! I'll see you all tomorrow!)

Monday, May 09, 2011

I met the Prince of Ethiopia last night

An old friend of Jack's is Serbian. One of the most important feast days in the Serbian Orthodox tradition is the Slava - the feast day of a family's patron saint (in this case, it was St George's feast day, one of the more popular ones). So, Jack and I were invited to the Slava.

His friend's father was commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and I think that's how he got so connected. So among the guests was the Prince of Ethiopia, and I believe the princess with him was his daughter.

I shook hands with royalty!!

And then felt thoroughly underdressed!

It was explained to me that the Slava was based on an early pagan tradition where families would feast to honor their personal tribal gods. When they were converted to Christianity, they were given saints to replace those gods so they could still have their big feasts. It is a huge to-do, tons of food, tons of people.

But it was also a ritual feast, you start by eating a bite of a special kind of bread (the name of it escapes me) that's made with unleavened bread to represent the dead and wheat to represent the living, to honor the ancestors. It was really like any other party, but the clergy bless the feast (I believe it was in Serbian) and the people who would partake of the feast.

The Slava is a big holiday so they went all out. Traditionally, since multiple families had the same patron saint, you would just spend the entire day going from house to house to celebrate each Slava.

It was really awesome!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011