Like a Landscape

One thing that confuses me, just a a fundamental level, are Biblical literalists. Like people who believe that the earth was literally created in six days. Which means that I’m conversely confused by people who think that an argument against Christianity is that the earth wasn’t made in six days. Maybe as someone who can’t ever remember not being able to read (I remember learning to write but I know I was reading long before then) and as someone who experiences the world as being almost indescribably strange and mystical, I just always thought those stories were metaphors–like a language that speaks to and has meaning to your soul first and then your brain scrambles to catch up.

I was reminded of that again yesterday at the doctor’s office, as I sat in front of a big machine and a woman peered deep into my eyeball, and took pictures of every inch of the back of it, and then made a giant map that would show the doctor this small portion of the landscape of my body.

Because I felt like a land there–a place that could be mapped. And I know that we think of goddesses being associated with the land and gods with being associated with the sky because of how a dude “plows the field” of his wife. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

But I swear, yesterday, I felt like I was realizing something different about what it means to be an embodiment of the land. Like some fundamental mystical truth was closer to being in a form I could articulate.

And, frankly, I’m not sure what that truth is. But the back of my eye tells you I grew up in Illinois. The shape I grew in is because of the land I grew on. Like, how much difference is there between me and dirt, in that case?


3 thoughts on “Like a Landscape

  1. I’m just thinking about the fact that, three hundred years after I’ve died, if people can dig me up and find my eyeball and look into it, they will see where I lived.

    My body is a map to my life.

  2. Someone I know was recently taken to task by members of his congregation for suggesting (as part of a graduate program; nothing to do with church) that churches are losing younger members because they refuse to accept evolution as scientific fact and instead cling to this literal interpretation of how long 6 days is to God.

    I never get interesting information when I have an Optomax scan though. Hopefully that means I didn’t encounter something FAR MORE insidious than Ohio Valley dirt during my time in Oak Ridge.

  3. Yeah, I mean I know I’m biased, but a god who speaks in poetry and metaphor and symbols is a lot more appealing to me.

    My dad’s uncle died in his 80s of childhood leukemia. His doctors attributed it to his time at Oak Ridge during World War II.

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