Photo purchased from Ironica/Shutterstock.com
Set 1, #1: The God-Girl’s Tale …
Wow, I would, like say that the first part of this journey was super weird, sad, but good. Sometimes, like, when you look at something from a distance, it all seems wonderful. Like the planet, you know? It kinda looks nice and healthy, peaceful-so, but zoom in, and the closer you get, then you start seeing wars, and look closer, then harm and pain. Zoom in to the soul, uhm, behind the eyes and either exploding emotion or horrifying calm. Each, like, could be an epic novel, maybe even a century-long history, but it comes down to two things really: not listening and wanting, and, like, both are harbored in selfishness.
I said that current-day religion, like, is nothing but insanity, but do you want to know the truth? [leans forward as if ready to tell a secret] Collective humanity is insane. The more liberated the, uhm, individual, the more that individual suffers because they understand that everyone else just chases their tails. That is unless you are super-rich, and one then learns, like, not to have any conscience, ethics or attachment to any one person. People don’t matter. They live and die. But they matter. Idiots often show the dirt they are made from more than the intellect they are capable of.
Like, a little lesson: once you silly little humans rode horses. Then cars came along. People freaked, like, OMG, the cars will take your jobs, no one to clean horse poop off streets, you know. But you adapted to cars. Then, electricity came along, I forgot which first, but, like, that does not matter. So, parents first worried that their houses would burn down because the walls were stuffed with horse hair and bare wires! So, some houses did burn down, but parents also worried that their kids would go blind because they would read too much. OMG! Imagine that, getting blindness from goodness!
Then, the radio came along, and the same thing: the world will end. The radio is evil, then television, then air conditioning, then video games, then the internet, and now we worry about childlike sex dolls. It’s the same stupid dog chasing its tail. [looks irritated]
There is a reason we have maladaptation and adaptation, you know. Both are natural. Like, get with the program or fall off the face of the earth. Your choice because if I were a god-girl, I’d like to think I am generous. But, like, even I, have my limits. I am not patient. Most are dumb asses because emotion makes smart people stupid. [gives you a pathetic look]
So, life and often religion are myths we create for ourselves while still running from the bear. So, fathers are harmful, lonely, and angry, Sons carry on the tradition of harm, either more severely or a calmer-aching harm, like, and the ghosts are left hanging around in despair, stuck in a tragic moment. [Pauses, looks at you while reflecting]. The question, uhm, is, are the ghosts real, and if so and if not, who and what are they? Are they dead people, dreams, or regrets or our guilty pleasures, or do our minds play with us and, if they do, what can we do? Get another mind? Take meds and foster other diseases and choose which we like better? Because whether something is real or not really does not matter if you think it is [sic]. Silly little humans can be gods if they stop adulting.
There is always hope, I find, in silly little humans. Every time I want to just smash you to pieces, [wrinkling nose, swiping you away with the brush of her hand] I see someone or something that someone does, uhm, that is kind, beautiful. I guess, I recognize that it’s tough being human, you know, because you would know, right! [giggles] You all are stuck in a machine of destruction of your own making. [Putting hand on her chest, scolding tone] Don’t blame me. I did not make the mess. You all made the hell you live in, as Jesus said in John and the Psalms, you are all gods. God-girls set things in motion, or … hmm … is it devil-girls [looks puzzled]? Na, it all gels the same, so I turned the whole thing on, that is if I were a god-girl [blushes] and you silly little humans tuned it to death, literally! [glaring, angry]
You need, you all, to be selfish sometimes because you cannot do anything for yourselves or anybody else if you are dead now, like duh! But there is always a balance because the most selfish person will be wiped out if too selfish, and if too kind, the same result. [looking at you, head tilted, with both palms up to sky].
To be too kind it too be too selfish; if you go right or left long enough, you become the thing you hate. A baker cannot make Manna for Hannah if he separates the bread of life from God’s favorite girl …. God. The most religious of men—if I care to be sexist with my language—is the most Satanic.
So, in our next journey we look at three things. Hannah, oh, OMG! I had like a brain fart, duh! Hannah should mean Manna, oh well, given that the meaning of Hannah is “favored” you know by God, and such a girl can give nourishment to the soul, if you, like, believe in souls, and if you don’t then think neurotransmitters and your little pee-pee value [giggles].
Anyway, Hannah-Manna, really means the same thing because, like, to favor, to hold with esteem, to love can be the same for the soul as Manna is for the body. So, I will … remember, you have to be patient. I am talking, and I am not patient. But you have to be because I said so. [pouting look] Besides … [looking at you with an apathetic smile] you can still die.
I will tell you all about Dukkha and Nirvana later, but first here is a little story about Hannah-Manna and why separating is a duh idea:
So, Hannah-Manna likes to go the Bakers because the bakery smells good. The Baker likes Hannah-Manna because Hannah-Manna smells good [giggles], so every morning Hannah-Manna eats Hannah for the Baker’s pleasure, maybe her own, but, you know, girls are not allowed to say or to feel that way.
The Baker teases Hannah-Manna every morning and says that he is “making wood” for her because, like, he shapes Manna in long, thick loaves, and they, uhm, get hard. [imitates massaging with hands] He makes them hard for her, but not too much. You know, there needs to be a little softness, sweetness to Manna, or Hannah-Manna won’t like it. But not, too soft, because girls don’t like that either. We, like, are a picky bunch when seldom given choices. Daily shitstorms lead to finnickiest-ness.
Oh, oh! Actually, when Hannah-Manna first went to the bakery, the story went something like this.
Hannah-Manna went to the bakers because she was new in town and was so hungry. Her family just moved. They were up all night unpacking. Even from home, Hannah-Manna was taken by the wonderful smell coming from the bakers. She just had to go, even though it was early and one part of her wanted to sleep while the other wanted to eat.
When the Baker first laid eyes on Hannah-Manna he became obsessed with making wood, so much so, that his grandmother, a century old, still worried that he would go blind. Such inspiration, though, especially for a vibrant and strong man just got him up earlier and earlier so that he could make more and more woody loaves.
But the grandma was always so hard on the Baker, demanding that he make the loaves crucifix-shaped so that his “making wood,” whenever he felt his wood making influence him, could be, like, redirected to making faith, making Jesus.
But our poor Baker struggled with this idea. Was not making the tool that killed Christ making him, his very craft, the very instrument of death that killed God’s “only” son? He knows, though what grandma would say because she told him. Every loaf he makes, he would say, “I am hurting Jesus” over and over again because it was his fault that Jesus had to die. He was the instrument that, like, put Jesus to death. He did not understand this because he was not alive when Jesus died. Guilty, like, by association, super dumb but common.
As he got older, he realized that, like, as much as he loved grandma, grandma was full of shit. She preached God’s tough law but wanted to shoot the Black and Jewish customers. Jesus was and is in many respects Jewish in that place and time, but really, he was all of collective humanity in spirit. He made people see the insanity. That is why he was executed in the worst way.
The Baker thought that such is what “customized” religion does, and customized religion is okay, as long as it does not hurt someone. And that is just it. Thinking of wood and bread that way was hurting him, not Jesus because he never hurt Jesus; an angry, overly emotional mob did.
So, the Baker, just as he left his grandma’s faith, because her faith is not his faith, and her god is not his god, Hannah-Manna walked into his bakery and his life.
Just as his eyes laid upon her, just as she walked in from the hopeful morning, he had an epiphany: “I will no longer make guilt, shame, and death. I will make identity, sexuality, and LOVE!”
He was so excited that he blurted out “LOVE” just as Hannah-Manna walked in the door.
Startled, she stood dumbfounded and could only blush.
Recovering quickly from his own stupor, the Baker said “… this morning! Don’t you just love this morning young lady!”
In that brief and fleeting moment, Hannah-Manna rather liked being called love a bit more than young lady because she was called young lady all the time. It would be some time before age could take “young lady” from her so she did not have the cursed benefit of feeling invisible. But here was this handsome man, muscular but not too much, tall but not too tall, and dark enough to be assumed to be part of every other person’s person. Yes, to be, to be, to be; he and she to be; They is.
Her heart fluttered. She blushed again but could utter no words. Yet, her smile said enough.
Hannah trotted toward the wood-like loaves that were in full public view. Three of them protruded out from the basket. She gently grasped the first one as the Baker looked on in excitement. She slowly pulled it out. “Oh,” shaking her head no, “this is too hard and salty” [brushing the salt off] and slid it back inside with some effort, as the wood loaf seemed more interested than she.
She gripped and squeezed the second one, and, with wide eyes, tugged on it. “This, OMG is too big and too soft.” Slapped its giganticness away while eyeing the third one carefully. This one’s color was just like the Baker’s skin. She liked that very much.
She wiggled her fingers, looked up at the Baker and clutched the third one while blushing. A quick breath consumed her lungs, “So, this is so, wow … sticky, but also so hard but not too hard. She released it from its prison. It’s just … how … I … like … [biting her full lips] … it.” [gaining power and control]
She looked at the Baker. He was now blushing. “I will have it here and eat it fully.” [licking the honey off her fingers]. What is it called?
Miss, said the Baker trembling, “I call it Honey Wood, the Wood of Love.”
Hannah-Manna was smitten with the Baker and loved his wood and his craft. She loved everything about him, the way he wobbled when he walked, the way he handled each loaf, from powder to final wooden result, to the eating and consuming of it. In fact, she loved wood so much that she, too, wanted to make wood.
She said one day, while gnawing on the tip of a dripping honey-glazed Manna’s Best, “Baker, can I make wood?”
In surprise, the Baker almost dropped his newest inspiration, a cream-filled delight. Gaining composure, “Oh, ha, ha, Hanny-Manny,” as he called her, you cannot make bread as I do. It is not possible.”
“Why not?” Said Hannah-Manna pouting.
“Because Hanny-Manny” casting his loaf aside, “You are the reason there is wood, there is Manna, there is love in this world. You are already the creator.”
“But,” feeling complimented yet confused, “you make the bread. I just gash at it and eat it, enjoy it.”
“As a baker, I am an artist. I used to let others tell me how to make wood for fear of my making wood, and I would make this bread of life the bread of guilt, shame, and death. I was nothing but a gear in a machine of obligation and destruction.” [Reflects, emotional]
“Seeing you, Hanny-Manny, was, well … It was an inspiration!” Walks toward her. The two embrace squeezing Hanny-Manny’s sticky loaf between them.
Closing his eyes, feeling every moment of the moment, “No, I knew that I would create my purpose through love and arousal, yes, arousal in seeing the result of my craft. Sex, love, purpose, identity has to be in everything we do. It cannot, Hanny-Manny, be separated. If bread, wood, is not eaten, its aroma and shape does not lure or tempt the passerby, then it becomes nothing but stale mold. Yet, it is still the same bread. That stale bread is most of humanity, always human but only a gain of what humanity could be.”
He goes on, “Our bodies and our lives are but bread, and sometimes they are wood. A baker bakes bread, my dear; an artist bakes wood. We create life, love, and passion.” [he kisses her cheek which is full of his bread] She grasps his back and lays her cheek to his chest.
Like, OMG! You messy little humans can be so gross, but, you know, the Baker is a god, and it’s kinda sad because so many of you are just gears in a machine, animals that scratch about, you know, passively-aggressively going through the cycle of life with your fucking eyes closed. Oops, my bad, a little girl saying the f-word. LOL cool, you know, naughty little girls. Oh, well, you all say it enough so shut up hypocrites.
No, you will grow, go to school, want to be adult, then once an adult don’t want to be adult, because, like, adults are never really adults, then you do the dating thing, probably start that in middle school, like. Then get a job or graduate and hope to get a job, marry, then have kids, then get old and die. Why are you all not patient? You keep, like, running but only to your aging and death, unless your death gets you first. Because, like, you know you are marked for death, but you still think you will live another day. Poor things. [looks at you with sympathy]
If you do not do the things you do with passion, then you are not living. You [pushing her finger on the middle of your chest] are already dead.
You cannot separate good from evil. That is silly, and that is why collective humanity is insane. You all run from evil and death and think the Revelation will bring peace! Daddy in the sky will save you. [rolls eyes] Why would he bother, huh?
Bread cannot be so if it’s not incinerated, huh? The Baker knows, the artist knows that our dirtiness, yes, say it, sex. Yes, I can say it, too, sex, because there is nothing wrong with it. You make it wrong. What matters to the Baker and to Hannah-Manna but their love and passion for one another, duh. Wanting to be with one, wanting a hug, a kiss, a touch, feeling one another is not a mixture, but the mixing of life, love, and the human condition.
I told you! It is not about purification or elimination because that is only evil. It is not about happiness and bliss because that is only good. It’s all, like, in the balance. And I learned that humans are awful gymnasts, falling one way totally and then attempting a correction all the other way, blotting out common sense. That is like either burning bread or undercooking over and over and over again. And you think such will bring the Prince of Peace?
The Baker’s grandma is malevolence disguised as beneficence, you know, that whole wolves-in-a-sheep’s-clothing thing. She is pure Satan. I am a cute little ghost-god-devil girl. Who would you like to be with? For eternity? [ twirling hair with finger, starring directly at you]
Enough of this, uhm, chatter. It is getting boring. I got us lunch. [grabbing a bag with three protruding logs. [Looks at you judgmentally then slaps your hand back]. “
No-wa! Ladies come first [smiling at you] and if you are good and a little bad, maybe I’ll let you.
Editor’s Note: Please read the previous chapters here.
Earl Yarington (LMSW) is a social worker and school bus driver. He taught literature and writing for nearly 20 years and spent 3 years working in forensic social work internships with offending populations, including work at Delaware Correctional facilities and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has a PhD in literature and criticism (feminism/women writers) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University, and an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied the impact of visual image and girlhood in media/social media. He also has an MA and BS in English from SUNY College at Brockport. The opinions and analyses that Earl writes are his own and are not necessarily the positions or views of his employers, the agencies he supports, or that of his colleagues. Reach out with comments or questions.