Thursday, April 18, 2013

bring on all the pretenders

Victory tastes of bread dipped in blood.
 A lone smile among the scribbles marks "grace was here."
Our Brave New World trembles with the nascent energy of an emerging butterfly,
It's wings dripping; quickly beating; discovering their new strength.
We have achieved I know not even what.

In our flat, we have a favorite addiction.
That addiction is to these strange-yet-wonderful "gummy" Smurf-shaped candies.
What do they taste like? pure rubberfied sugar.
Do they taste good? Absolutely Not.
Are they delicious? Yes.
Does this make logical sense? Not really, no.

Addictions are irrational things, folks. And they're mighty ugly.
Eating a Smurf-candy, we've come to realize, isn't a pleasant experience. It gets stuck in your teeth, it's difficult to chew, after you inevitably eat more than you bargained for, you end up with this painful knot in your stomach. 
In other words, these Smurfs would never be within five metres of a Whole Foods. 
 Think of the most natural, healthiest food item you've ever encountered. 
(For example: I'm thinking of carrots right now, fresh-picked from the garden.)
These Smurfs are essentially the polar opposite of that, and I'd just say pretty much the opposite of "food" as a concept in general.

Furthermore, once the Smurfs have all disappeared, you're left with the nagging and inescapable question of: with what am I going to fill my stomach? [a question that, on the physical level, plagued me once I had--to my shame--helped in emptying out not one, but two tubs of that sugary rubber, but that moment, as empty stomachs are wont to do, led to some deeper reflections about life.]
A human being could be described as a cavity waiting to be filled (and if you eat too many Smurfs you will have about a billion cavities that will need to be filled).
"We are a living incompleteness," says Thomas Merton, "We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.”
Which is why a human being's stomach is on of their most beautiful organs (bear with me).
Because every so often throughout the day, it will remind us (sometimes very loudly) that it is empty and it needs to be filled. 
Here comes the interesting part. 
It is fascinating to witness what people choose to fill their stomachs with.
When the world is filled with wonderful foods such as homemade mashed potatoes, Nutella crepes, Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip Scones, Capezzoli di Venere, meat pies, fresh mozzarella di bufala and tomato soup, why you would you stuff your face with Smurfs that don't even truly fill up your stomach?
Even more fascinating that Christ does not leave that question unanswered.
With what are you going to fill your stomach ? 
He gave us the answer, today actually, in one of the more insane speeches the world has ever witnessed:

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.” 

It is quite crazy to still be repeating the words of a man who told His followers to eat His flesh--that His flesh was true food, and His blood true drink. 

The life of the world.
If you think of all the food that it takes to sustain the life of this world, then the image is quite astounding.
What does this Flesh have that can sustain all those lives?
What He is is Love--Love that shines in the light of eternity, Love that is completely self-emptying, Love that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. 
An Eternal Love that sweeps up those who enter into it into Eternity with it. 

Not a Smurf-induced sugar rush that sweeps you up in a flush of evanescent rosy hues that vanish when the hard knot appears in your stomach.

You are on a sugar overload, and yet your stomach is not filled. 
It is still a yawning pit, desiring nourishment.
Fill that yearning cavity inside of you, He commands, with Love.
Why settle for anything less?

My Friends, you bow to no one.
-Return of the King

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