Wednesday, November 01, 2006

deeper than God

Yesterday was November first for most of you, but here it was All Saint's Day, otherwise known as Go To The Cemetery With Flowers, Wreaths, and Candles To Pay Respect To The Dead Day. Maybe they're the same thing, I don't know. I'm American and therefore only pay attention to the selfish holidays like Halloween. Hehe, just kidding. Well, about the selfish part. Kinda, sorta.


We went, we saw, we attempted to explain to Julia why it is we go to the cemetery if dead people go to heaven (thank you, mom, for instilling a christian attitude from one week at bible school). I himmed and hawed (hemmed/hawed?) through that explanation. It's a weird power, isn't it? Whatever crap I decide she's going to believe as Truth. It's frightening, to be honest. I don't always understand myself why we feel compelled to follow, and then pass on, the traditions: you die and go to heaven (if you're good, otherwise uh-oh), we visit graves to pay remembrance, etc. Yet, I don't actually believe that the departed are hanging out at the cemetery, do you? Can you just imagine: The otherWorldly Sewing Circle... Spirits hanging around discussing this year's candle trends. Do they care whether fresh flowers or plastic are placed, one large candle or many small?

We follow these traditions mainly because it makes US feel good (and in the case of my MIL, provides guilt-trip material as she goes more often than once or twice a year...) not because the spirits give a rat's ass. I don't like these types of traditions as it becomes just another marketed holiday, of which there are already too many. And it is hard for me to make-up bullshit to pacify Julia. I mean, come on, do I look like I know what happens after we die? It's all hearsay.

Luckily, she was attracted to the water well. Having only seen one in her storybooks, her curiousity was piqued. She asked me about it and we discussed the mechanics behind it; the water all the way at the bottom, however, was not close enough to sustain her interest. Then she saw it. It was blue, big, and surrounding by standing water on a day she wore her rain boots: it was perfection. A hand water pump thingy. (That's totally the official name, too.) Something like this but blue:

Well, to be honest she loved the color and that there was water all around, the pump itself, not so much. She started to tap the puddle with her toe, mischeivious grin waiting to be caught and reprimanded by Grandma. She dipped further into the puddle, then further. She called me over to witness the miracle and, wanting to show off, stretched further into the puddle. The water was above her ankle and as she grabbed my hand and plunged even farther she exclaimed, "This water is deeper than God!"

1 comment:

Original Orange said...

All those God questions..I think it is OK to say that noone actually knows what happens when you die but a lot of people believe...whatever it is you want to pass on to your child. Its much harder when you leave behind the formulaic heaven hell idea and try to find something that makes sense to you too.

Its true that we visit graves to make us feel better..not the spirits who are quite happy without getting asthma from pollen rich flowers!