Dangerous Compassions

praying in the desert, the golden calf, learning to trust change

I thought I’d try to watch a movie.  Sometimes I need a thing to do that requires less brainpower.  I found some movies you can watch for free on IMDB.  There are two documentaries I’m interested in.  Maybe just ten or fifteen minutes.

Then I invited Ming to watch with me.  So that added another requirement.  Watching a movie is a big deal to me.  Other people do it every day.  Some people play movies and go to sleep, with the sound of the movie comforting them–I can’t relate.  Mom watches multiple movies in a day, sometimes, on the weekend, while she does other relaxing things.

The movie I want to watch that’s free is called Zeitgeist.  I think it has to do with mythology.  I like mythology.  I’m glad for what got into my mind, when I grew up being taught Christianity.

Moses and the burning bush, the way he was told to take off his sandals.  The three guys in the fiery furnace.  Lilies of the field, a mustard seed, a fig tree that gave no figs.  Vivid imagery and stories stuck in my mind that I can work with.  The baby in the basket in the river.  What are bulrushes, anyway.

You know that story of wandering in the desert and they want to make a golden calf to worship.  I remember where it says they pulled the earrings from some women’s ears.  I thought it was saying they ripped their earlobes.  I remember being disturbed by that, as a little kid.  But maybe I didn’t understand it.

I had no idea why anyone would want to worship a golden calf; that wasn’t part of my reality.  How do you even get that idea–why would that be an appealing activity.  But it made sense to them, I guess.

I was reading about these people in the desert a long time ago.  I was trying to relate and see how their lives applied to mine.  Some guy with two wives.  An old woman getting pregnant after an angel tells her she will.

How weird that I was supposed to be able to relate to these people–I was a little girl in California on the coast in 1983 or whatever.  But all the adults around me seemed like it was totally normal, to try to relate to these desert dwellers thousands of years ago.  I was like, the adults seem to think this is possible and even normal–I guess there’s something wrong with me.  I’ll try harder.

Looking back, I think I deserve an award.  A little girl in California wearing a dress, trying to relate to a grown man with two wives in the desert thousands of years ago–wow.  I was a champ.  Go little Laura-Marie.

Now I live in the desert.  I couldn’t know I would end up here.  The brutality of a desert summer isn’t romantic like I thought it would be, reading about Georgia O’Keeffe as a teenager.  Give me ac and cold water.  I’m not going to paint flowers and sun bleached bones of long-dead cattle.  I’m staying inside till fall!

When Jesus went into the wilderness to think, I don’t know if there is any wilderness wilder than being alone in the desert.  My life here–I’m alone in the desert rarely.

Last time I sang a lot, took off my sandals and put my feet on the rocks and my hands on the rocks.  I did pray.  Maybe being able to see the land so well makes praying easier.

It’s very windy tonight.  Someone said yesterday was the last warm day.

I was saying somewhere else how I like the darkness of fall, the feeling of turning inward.  But there’s risk involved–I have to keep believing that the light will return.  Learning I’m safe enough to trust change, the importance of cycles.  Learning to believe in the future.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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