"Are you having fun? It's why you come to camp you know - to have fun." What I believe about Marriage and Mormon theology.



    There’s a church across from Starbucks where I live.  I always wondered what the room would look like.  I’m talking about a fictional room for a fictional character who lands in this space after a series of dark events.  But I never thought of a coffee shop.  I imagined it looked more like the bridge of a spaceship or a submarine; dark with some lights glowing.  I imagined a chair with a computer or a great big view screen of what lay ahead. I mention space ships and submarines because it is one of those 'inner space' type stories, where one character ends up inhabiting the space of another and has to figure a way out.            
    Now I see that space might well be shaped like a coffee shop with a view of a church and some iron gating.  The gate has little yellow Christmas lights wrapped around the doors and across the top of one side.  Then no more lights until they start again at the eaves on the left and up the converging upside-down V of the ridge.  I don’t remember the name or the Church's denomination.  It’s not Catholic.  It’s not Mormon.  It’s probably built for an Episcopal congregation.  When I get out of here and can walk across the street to the sign, I’ll let you know. 
    The little lights around the gate remind me of my Christmas village.  It was one of those Department 56 collections.  Among other things, I had a miniature of The Tavern On The Green, a Brownstone, Big Ben, A Shakespeare stage, lots of trees and animals, and a walkway...  So long ago that seems.  My little grove of Christmas trees and the village beneath.  All of it was sold on eBay after the house on 2nd Avenue went up for sale.  Most everything was auctioned off.  I don’t have any pictures.  Just the ones I took for the auctions, which makes the pieces look isolated and dead.  Separate from a village.             
    How temporary it all is.  I know, I know, I’m not the first to whine about the fact that everything changes and all of us die.  And it’s not even the fact of my mortality.  Yes, that sucks but I can accept it.  The part I weep about is that so little of the really beautiful stuff I’ve made or done or seen will ever be recognized or perceived by anyone else.  I sat next to that grove of Christmas trees and looked at the little village I’d put together.  It truly was beautiful and strange.  As I said, I didn’t take any pictures of it.  Now it’s just gone.  Even my memory of it is vague.            
    The people who owned the house on 2nd Avenue have also gone silent.  Maybe sharing that is part of the ‘inappropriate sharing’ bloggers sometimes do.  Part of me thinks no one will ever read this, so who cares.  The other part is just tired of keeping everything that means anything to me out of sight.  I feel alone.  I sit here at my little Starbuck’s church and listen to the music they play.  I sit here looking across at the church and the little lights that hint of something greater; something that once was but is no more. May never be again.           
    In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo includes a minor character who says he lives in the “house under the falling tiles.”  His experience of life is that everything he builds up eventually fails him and falls on top of him.  He becomes so accustomed to this sequence of events that he learns to laugh at it.  The hardship leads him eventually to become inventive and resilient.  He has no money, but his store of good humor is endless.            
    I can sometimes laugh.  The last two months have been stretched out with a lot of not laughing.  I’m sure the universe is indifferent to my suffering, and on the grand scale it is nothing.  A breath of wind.  This does not comfort me.  This does not help it to hurt less.  It does not help my lonely heart believe it is worth anything but the grave.  Blah blah blah.  More inappropriate sharing.             
There is a part of me that believes I will emerge from my own darkness.  This part of me clings like an addict to the belief that life can still surprise me.  For now I hold onto the shape of words, some images, and the view of a church.