Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting in the spirit

I am reminded today of a conversation I had with someone in college. She told me I seemed to have a very personal relationship with God, even though I was pretty outspoken about not being a Christian. I responded, half smartass-edly and half earnestly, that I did have a very personal relationship with several of the gods. She rolled her eyes right on cue. (I loved her for this!) Then she asked me what that was like, to be "friends" with something that was impossible, improbable, and moreover something that flew in the face of social conventions across the globe.

After reminding her that not every person on this planet was a Christian, I thought about her question. What was it like? It's not really until today that I got a very good experience to kindof explain it with. Here we go.

You know how when going to work sometimes you're really stressed? Maybe you're tired because you didn't sleep well and you haven't packed for the road trip you're leaving at 8am tomorrow morning for, and you don't have time to do that tonight because of the company christmas party, and the house is a mess and ... and... and...

And so you are all stressed out and you put on your little good luck talisman that you haven't been wearing a whole lot because you were kindof really cranky and just didn't feel like it.

And you know how sometimes traffic is super slow during rush hour so you kind of have time to look around and you notice that there are faces of real people inside all those cars and in your rear view mirror you see someone? And maybe for a while it's been that same car behind you and you both end up taking the same route for a long time and you end up becoming "traffic buddies" and start to feel a strange allegiance to this total stranger you've never met and probably never will meet?

Well, today my little traffic buddy looked like Matt Damon. *swoon* and more importantly he looked like Matt Damon as Loki from Dogma. No foolin!


For like, almost my entire commute, there he was right behind me, good ol' Loki. And it was like "yeah, okay. I can do this." And instinctively I grasped my good luck charm (Thor's hammer, if you must know) and said a little "thankyou" to the person in my head who I know doesn't exist but who also goes out of his way to make me feel better in incredibly strange ways at incredibly unexpected moments for usually incredibly benign situations.

That's what it's like. It's like knowing deep down that Loki looks like Matt Damon. Thor looks like Tim Robins, by the way. It's all a complete figment of my imagination and yet somehow the universe still comes out on top with a gentle hand on my shoulder saying "yeah, okay. you can do this." That's what it's like. It's like always being surrounded by the coolest imaginary friends, and they somehow still do stuff that's real and ends up making you (read me) the luckiest person on the planet.

They don't scold you for being in a bad mood or chide you for your hubris. They just go along for the ride and say things like "well, that sucks." or "wow, that was pretty stupid, I've done shit like that too." or "howzabout you don't drink so much next time, eh?" or "ZOMG that was the coolest thing ever, how exciting!" or "seriously, that is so flattering! what a wonderful thing to hear!"

I know how lucky I am, how wealthy my lifestyle is, how truly truly lucky I am.

And all it takes is looking in my rear view mirror to see Matt Damon's lookalike, driving to work in rush hour. And I remember it all over again.

That's what it's like, gentle reader. It's startlingly awesome.

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