Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seriously, Emily? A Poem? WHY?

Hello faithful-and-less-than-faithful readers! Yes, it is I! Back with more depressed-ness. This time, in form of a poem. Now. You may or may not have heard me dismiss poetry as the lowest kind of twiddle-twaddle nonsense. And it's true, I dislike poems. This is one reason I hate Spring- besides giving me a permanent stuffy nose and red eyes, it makes me write poetry. Just be grateful it isn't a love poem.
Truth be told, what I truly and deeply dislike are OTHER people's poems. Cats batting bats and love that comes from above and oh just shoot me, you're such a cutie. And you have to smile pained-ly and nod and say "that's very deep!" while inside some small, artistic animal is racing around clawing at the windows trying to escape.
Somehow my own poems rarely do this to me. At least, not until a few months later when I see them in the stark, realistic light of fall.
But it is not Fall yet.
It's Spring.
And Spring makes me foolish enough to believe in things like my own poetry and love.

Anyway. I wanted to post "Motherhood" on my other blog because I know at LEAST one mother will eventually read it there and I want to know how it sounds to an actual mother. I, of course, am not one. The poem is (go read it first because I want to know if it comes across) about Mary. I thought it was pretty obvious, but my friend couldn't tell one first reading, so I wanted to get a feel of what percent got an idea that it was about Jesus. See, a couple of my profs have lately been talking about Mary, The Blessed Virgin. I take exception to both parts of that. There are no verses in the Bible that support Mary staying a virgin!! Just the opposite, actually. But anyway that's not my point. My main beef is, where do people get off saying she was "blessed"? My Religion prof was saying that they couldn't put too much in about Mary because other women would try to emulate her to be similarly blessed.


Let's think about this.

First off, Mary is visited by an angel and informed that she's to be the Holy Vessel. So she's spiritually impregnated (what, God couldn't have waited for her to get married? She was betrothed and all!) which back then would have meant utter ostracism. She was a Bad Girl, cut off from her social network, abandoned by friends and family, the subject of gossip and ridicule. She's supremely luck that the angel made a repeat performance for Joseph or else she would have ended up stoned. So then she takes this loooong journey-while pregnant, remember, hugely pregnant, on a DONKEY (donkeys, last time I checked, don't come with A/C and seat cushions) to a crowded, smelly city. Then she's forced to give birth in a cave surrounded by cows. And forget gentle lowing. These cows were POOPING and stomping around. So she's giving birth surrounded by smelly animals. Pushing out a honking big baby head through virgin bits, so there's tearing and bleeding and awfulness and SHE'S terrified because at home, she'd be surrounded by friends and family helping her through this but now they all hate her so all she has is Joseph.

And that's the EASY part.

All Jesus' life, she has GOT to be wondering... am I raising him right? Am I teaching him the right things? Should the son of God's poop be that strange green color? Should the Son of God be running around the yard in his holy birthday suit? I mean, who do you go to for advice on raising the savior of mankind? And when he reaches manhood, does he settle down and help old aging Joseph with the shop? Provide holy grandchildren? No. Does he go off to war, liberate their people from the Romans? Become a national hero? No. He just hits the road with a bunch of low-life friends and tells his mother THEY'RE his family now. After kicking up a bunch more trouble and bringing shame on his family, Jesus dies.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful. The thing is, I think we glorify the wrong things- the immaculate conception. The resurrection. The baptism. We forget that these were people, just.....living. Just trying to get by. And that's the part that deserves praise. The everyday stuff. At bottom, Mary wasn't a blessed virgin or a holy vessel or something to idolize and worship. She was just a mother, and that's something to admire.

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