Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Slip

"Why would I want to do that? Why lie about my feelings"

She muttered this thoughtlessly under her breath, alone, while cleaning up the dishes in her upscale San Francisco kitchen. It wasn't intentionally spoken out loud, just a natural human response to an unwanted intrusion in her mind. But this thoughtless reaction - this slip - while minor in its outward appearance did, in fact, shake both heaven and hell.

She forgot, you see, why she should lie.

The burden of it had become second nature, a lifelong habit that provided her life with motive and direction. Lying was the glue that held her world together, a necessary evil for survival. It drove her onward relentlessly as an axiom of existence on this planet: one must lie or die. On this foundation she'd built her life. If the lie ever dies, so does she.

But with her mind elsewhere, and tired from the decades of vice, this human moment slipped out as words from a child. The serpent came calling with its damaging demands to repress but why should she listen? Why skewer herself? The indoctrination of her long slide into oblivion vanished as she enjoyed a moment of peace. One cannot be both a liar and peace protestor.

But what price peace? Her marriage, her family, her approval, her house? She did not care. The path of peace would lead her to her true home. It was as if she were floating down a River of God, leaving worries behind, trusting in a belief she knew was true. The pull of it was irresistible.

The serpent recoiled in fear, having never expected this total and utter rejection. Quickly it hissed the age old arguments that worked so well before. "But you MUST lie! Do you want to be exposed as a fraud? Your parents will disown you. People will whisper behind your back. You'll be damaged goods nobody wants, alone for life. And don't kid yourself: you know you are nothing without money. There's no going back now having tasted the good life!"

The paralyzing fear of these arguments never failed. The certainty of harm was a bedrock of her life. But in her moment of peace the only certain thing was in the rightness of it, that she need have no fear. There was no bogeyman hiding in the dark waiting to destroy her. She was she and she was fine as all living things are. She used to know that! Only a fool would give that up.

"Why not be myself?"

The snake was writhing in torment, spewing prophecies of doom, desperate to keep the one and only treasure that keeps it alive: trust. The snake, of course, knew it could not be trusted. It relied solely on the currency of fear. The prophecies of doom it foretold were simply its own without that its wages of fear to peddle. That's why they sound so terrifyingly real to the listener.

But the longer she stayed on the river, the more the serpent's words turned to babble and static. My, how the world changes when you know what you're doing. She was aligned with the universe doing what she knew to be best. She had committed terrible deeds - and omitted godly deeds - in the name of "what's best" in the past. But she never truly believed it. She'd just been running away, delaying the inevitable.

Though she would still need to stay the course, having righted the ship and tasted the fruits of paradise, only one question remained for her: Why would she do anything else?

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