Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ma and God

God gave us fingers-Ma says, “Use your fork.”
God gave us voices- Ma says, “Don’t scream.”
Ma says eat broccoli, cereal and carrots. But God gave us tastes for
maple ice cream.
God gave us fingers- Ma says, “ Use your hanky.”
God gave us puddles- Ma says, “Don’t splash.”
Ma says, “Be quiet, you father is sleeping.” But God gave us garbage can
covers to crash.
God gave us fingers- Ma says, “Put your gloves on.”
God gave us raindrops- Ma says, “Don’t get wet.”
Ma says be careful, and don’t get too near to those strange lovely dogs
that God gave us to pet.
God gave us fingers- Ma says, “Go wash ‘em.”But God gave us coal bins and
nice dirty bodies.
And I ain’t too smart, but there’s one thing for certain ~ Either Ma’s
wrong or else God is.
-Shel Silverstein

Shel and I go way back to fourth grade. He helped me figure out a lot of things about myself that I didn't have words for...I wish I'd paid more attention to "The Bagpipe Didn't Say No." But beyond that, I think I got a pretty firm grasp of having fun while challenging boundries when I learned me some poetry. Oddly, Ma and God only recently became one of my favorites. Mostly because I'm Ma and I don't believe in God...which is ironic in and of itself. I think Shel might have enjoyed that one quite a bit.

But in the deepest parts of my heart I do believe in something. It is just not anything that I can call God because...well I suppose that is a whole lot of baggage I don't need to go into. It's a language thing that "my people" (UU's to be precise) seem to struggle with. At any rate, I don't call it God. I usually don't know what to call it, which is probably appropriate since we really can't know what it is. I like to think of it as a universal energy. Sounds pretty new agey, doesn't it? Well I suppose I'm nothing if not a super geek, so I'll cleve to my predetermined role in life...roll with it as it were. On other days, particularly days I've been reading Harry Potter, I like to think of it as magic. (Really Jo, no more? Say it isn't so, Jo. Maybe one more...about Harry's third cousin twice removed who lives in Phoenix? No? Oh ok...I'll go sulk a little more then.)

But this poem, it encapsulates exactly my frustration with the God with whom I became aquainted as a child. Either Ma is wrong, or God is. Black and white, right and wrong...

I'm still trying to figure out what I really want my kids to know about God...or the lack thereof. But I definitely know I want them to know about Shel. And the bagpipe...let's not forget the bagpipe this time.

1 comment:

jsu-work said...

GREAT POEM.. I just wanted to let you know that.
for posting
PS I'm UU too.

Yes, I did.

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