She approached me in aisle two of the cold, harshly lit, toxic retail store I was working in, we’ll call it “Nature’s Nook”. Her elderly spandex vacuum packed legs tottered on heels. She literally clicked and teetered. She was, like much of the population in the little resort town, mean, over-privileged, and way too precious . With her left hand she fingered the many glistening charms that dangled over the dark, leathery valley exposed by her sternum-brushing neckline. With her right hand she massaged her temple.
”Do you have anything for a headache?”, she asked.
I considered suggesting white willow bark, butterbur, or one of the many formulas that the store sells.
“I’m pretty sure it’s an “ascension headache”, she added. “You know when the right and left sides of the brain are merging. When you’re ascending to the seventh level.”
Now I considered shaking her really hard. I guess it’s just a different definition of “ascension”. I think if we start to love justice, live more humbly, and care more about our neighbor, That would begin to look more like ascension, or at least rebirth, which would seem like a necessary foundation to any kind of ascension. But, if our neighbor is, at best, a peripheral annoyance and “God” is something removed from our neighbor and lodged somewhere in our own navel like fugitive belly button lint then that “ascension headache” is most likely the discomfort of our unreal but dangerously expanding ego threatening the capacity of our very real cranium. Too often here I find myself wanting, needing, praying for anyone to make sense: just a regular non-pendulum-swinging person suffering from a regular non-metaphysical, tension headache. It feels increasingly hopeless to even try to connect with those who have clearly and efficiently put so much effort into disconnecting. Continue reading God in a Gay Bar