Thursday, February 15, 2007
Little Light sheds a little light -
I prefer a religious life that insists that multiple contradictory truths can coexist, and that the facts are another matter for other purposes, that lets the sacred stay weird.
I prefer to remember that love, like faith, is not tidy, is not a well-scrubbed construct of quartz and white light. It's a mess, a seething, toothy mess; it's worthy of awe, and terror, and wonder. It's worth bleeding for. It's something bigger than anything that can be cleaned up or discussed comfortably.
It's spooky. Certainly it's dangerous. It changes what you are by its simple presence, and by the risks and vulnerabilities it demands. It changes everything, but not how anyone expected. It connects things. And if Love conquers all, it frequently does so armed.
St. Valentine's Day's origins acknowledge this. Its Christian origin-legend is about bucking government control for romance, about risking lives to marry people forbidden their unions, about martyrdom for the sake of connections that exist and throb and grow in spite of the laws and bonds and weapons in their way. The scaffold of Lupercalia it's built on was a Roman fertility-festival involving wolf-howling priests anointing naked young men in sacrificial blood and sending them out to run the city, whipping the women they wanted to be fertile with, restoring the life of the city's foundations with death and bloodstains and outdoor, frantic, ecstatic sex. It wasn't always greeting cards and pink ribbon.
Right on, sister. 'Scuse me while I pick skull fragments and bits of brain out of my keyboard.