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Fry and the fawn

A baby fawn was bleating for his mother last night while we were honeymooning. It’s the funniest sound, sort of like a baby crying through a kazoo, “mmmeee mmmmeee me…!”. It totally upstaged any vocalization of pleasure. Through the lace curtains, beyond the flickering candles, the fawn’s distress calls hooped over the red cedars and burst lightly onto our ears like bubbles: cute, constant and a little worrisome. Was a fawn caught in our fence? Fellow sighed with patient interruptus and went crashing out  at midnight into the brush with a flashlight and little else…which made me giggle. The fawn stopped bleating immediately. So would I if I saw such a sight coming at me through the trees! When he returned down our front steps with a shrug, his pale skin lit by the moonlight, I was looking up fawn rescues on youtube. We watched for a while. Then I turned to him and said, “You know, we have to stop watching this or our dreams of you shooting a deer with a bow and arrow on our property and making it into venison sausage are over.”images-2

This morning, my computer has informed me three times that Paul Crepeau’s birthday is today and I’ve told my computer three times that he has passed away. And the third time saying it, I realize, in this moment, I am at peace with the idea that we may just end. This surprises me. Why the change? I have always insisted that we must go on, spiritually, in some form, which I also still believe is entirely possible. But this comfort with the possibility the naturalists are right, is new to me. And I can start to see how a naturalist might find religious ideas about the afterlife a kind of arrogance: “I must go on! I am too important to disappear!” Have we merely created a God that sees “the fallen sparrow”, who also says we are too important to disappear? Or are we indeed spiritual beings who have a deep knowing this life is a skin that will be shed for another? Let it slip off. Either way. We will fray, we will tear. It can’t be fought. Our birthdays will end.

Maybe I am comfortable with the possibility of complete death this morning because I experience complete love? And I actually don’t mean Fellow or my daughter or my readers or my dog. I mean the Big Love Beyond that created it all. And the unexpected grace I receive is specifically tailored. It knows me. And all my senses sense a Presence. Perhaps this is make believe. It doesn’t actually matter that much to me. End of the day, that’s why I am a Christian. I believe in an Immensity that is Intimate. And perhaps I also believe in capitalizing beautiful words.

The fawn bleats again as I write this. Maybe it is newborn. Maybe it hasn’t learned, “never cry wolf”. Or maybe it is languishing in some bush, caught, while a bald eagle circles overhead, readying to poke its eyeballs out? Eagles do that, you know. There is the cruel excruciating slow death that nature seems to relish in for no reason I can understand. I think of the youtube video: The Meaning of Life: Stephen Fry On God. Fry goes on an atheistic rant about a capricious evil maniac God who would create a world in which there is an insect who crawls into the eyes of children and blinds them. He feels, if there is a God, He isn’t worthy of respect, and the sooner we banish the whole idea of Him, the healthier we will be.

 

These are the bitter things I contemplate as I sip my coffee.

But this “maniac” also created moon flowers, immortal jelly fish, laughter, crimson, pluto, the clitoris, onyx, music, the peach. Maybe God is more like the Greeks?Unknown-1

I don’t understand how a loving God would allow injustice and horror if God were indeed all powerful and all knowing. And it doesn’t satisfying me to say, “The horror exists for a reason beyond my ken”. I cannot fathom a reason why there is such a thing as muscular dystrophy, for instance. It appalls me to suggest that suffering is there simply for our education, spiritual strengthening, punishment, or some other pious and dispassionate bullshit.

If I am made in the image of God, my God weeps. Rails. Wonders. Watches. Experiments. Creates. Delights. Loves deeply. Moans. Ponders. Laughs. Rests a hand on the frantic beating heart of a wobbly spotted fawn, hushes and gently frees it from a barbed wire fence. Or not. My God fails. Seeks forgiveness. Reinvents.Unknown-2

 

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