Love Letter Day X: I speak. You receive.
My mother once told me that when it rained, God was crying. My dad made fun of her and said, “no, he’s peeing.” My sister and I laughed. I went on thinking that was so funny but also believed that God was so pure that his urine must not be disgusting and isn’t that why the plants loved the rain so much? It would also explain that peculiar smell of its first contact with the ground. I know there’s a real scientific name for that smell but it wouldn’t have mattered to me as a child. Might still not matter to me what the bigger words are for those things.
What about tornadoes? And hurricanes? And thunder, Mama?
Sneezes. Coughs. Anger.
I wonder now if engaging in the make believe of my mom’s faith made me spiritually precocious or intellectually slow. I can’t remember how old I was but that would surely make the difference. If I’d still believed God’s effluvia created weather systems in my teens I’d be horrified, and yet I still believed in God, after all. After listening to her bedtime theories, I started to take god’s words a little more seriously at church and started to believe in my own animism. I felt we must all be connected to each other and to every element of the earth. This was quite literal to me. Even when I flew off the ground by jumping, or when we boarded airplanes, we were touching each other through breathable air created by god, by water that touched the earth, all made by god, by land. I wish I still believed this.
To bequeath the elements of the world to us, my mother divined words of god’s magic into our mundane lives. To speak, and to name, are divine powers that bring me faith in the story.
The story I tell now, is meant for you to believe in me.
What about the breathless appearance of clouds? What about words of devotion? The faith I have accumulated in my fantasy of what becomes us?
Inhale. Exhale. Love.
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