Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ironic Advent 2016 Meditation #3: Come on, Charlie Brown

Ironic Advent Meditation 2016 #3
Come on, Charlie Brown

                 When Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “come on,” she literally means, “kick the football.” But still. It’s a kind of a come one, isn’t it? Assuming I remember what that means. I think  I vaguely remember what it was like to come on to someone or have someone come on to me. Vaguely, I say. Somewhere the mists of forgetful time and the hardening of the arteries. After being all “open” and “raw” (which, of course, can be the most boring rhetorical poses in a writer’s intro to creative non-fiction arsenal) in Ironic Advent Meditation #2, I suppose I’ll just go ahead and offend just about everyone and try to say a couple of true things tonight before I lay down my sleepy eyes and hardened heart and await the coming of more nothing much in particular. 
                The one thing I will say, and I’ll have to ask the forgiveness of my first and best teachers (well my first anyway), the nuns of Our Lady of Mercy Elementary in Mercedes, Texas (Mercy/Mercedes, my early life had a certain poetic lilt to it if nothing else), that come on feels good.  You are standing next to someone, for example. Let’s say she happens to be looking at you with brighter than usual eyes. Let’s say she is obviously sending you messages by mental telepathy not to mention a language deeper than words that . . . whatever. Let’s just say be safe and say . . . she obviously likes you. Or maybe you are sending the messages. That feels good too, unless they are not received or, worse, rejected.
                But, don’t worry. I’m not going into the gory details. I’m just saying. This happens. It feels good. SO good. Now, we may be in certain situation or context in which, although it feels good, it is not ultimately a good, healthy, or appropriate thing. We probably all differ a little on what those situations or contexts are, but we probably all agree that there are some limits. But the actual experience of feeling like somebody really likes you that way is one of life’s great joys. I feel like I should quote C. S. Lewis here to make everyone think that I’m not just talking crazy, but I can’t think of anything he said other than something Hyoi, the hrossa, said in Out of the Silent Planet, and I’m not prepared to provide that much background to you, dear reader.
                When Lucy comes on to Charlie Brown it’s a good feeling for him at the time, even though it ends badly. Although, like lots of us, maybe most of us, he has his doubts whether this can be the real thing. I mean, he’s been burned before. Signals can be misinterpreted. We can even be intentionally misled by cruel girls holding footballs. “Come on, Charlie Brown,” she repeats. Seductively. Personally, I think the fact that she always called him by his complete name was a clue that she wasn’t sincere. But I also honor Charlie Brown’s naiveté. I hope you do as well. 
                So I know what you're thinking. This is the part where old Ben Camino forces Advent into whatever the hayll he's been talking about. To be fair, those who know me (all named Jennifer, interestingly enough) know that I’ve probably really been heading this way from start despite my unexpected premise. 

             Advent is the time before. The time of waiting. The time when we pray and sing, “Come on (different meaning!) Emmanuel.” Or “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” Or “Let the King of Glory Come.” Or, my favorite, “Come on, Eileen.” And we try to believe, and maybe get tired of trying but then get a bit more excited again the more candles we light and the more chocolate we eat from Advent Calendars and other phony Advent sacraments, that this big prelude has a even bigger pay off. That the Advent come on really means something. That the Lord of the Universe, who flirts with us, is not going to just pull the football away again. 
               Or maybe that the girl (or guy) we met last week who was shining like a star (and we’re pretty sure that’s because she or he was just basking in our freaking love glow) really just had too much to drink. Or got carried away with the dancing (come on, Eileen).
                It’s a risk every time. And, in the big football field of life (as on the dance floor), even when you finally believe and go for it (or only sort of believe and go for it anyway), you might just end up looking like a fool. And people gon’ point at you and say, “there goes old wishy-washy Charlie Brown.” Aka:  what. a. dope.
                I’m way to too tired tonight to go into the seventeen and half  arguments for the existence of Divine Love right now. Besides even LOVE can say, “Well, I still might just pull the football away  anyway (see Job, see the Gospel according to Peanuts, see the followers of Jesus and their plans to overthrow the Romans with their new King and all).” 
         But I’m going to hope otherwise. And I’m going to embrace what I take to be a very appropriate (for once) come on offer from someone I hope will turn out to be the Lover of my soul. I’m going to do my best to prepare to meet the Bridegroom as they say in the ancient liturgy. Not going to hide it under a bushel, no. Wait, what does that mean? 
                I wrote about some tough stuff yesterday. If you didn't read it, you still can. It's Meditation #2. This is #3. So, it's literally on the margin of this piece. Just click on it. Anyway, today I talked to an old friend and found out some other facts I didn’t know about someone I either did or didn't abandon, depending on how you look at it. Things that make yesterday’s story even sadder, even more difficult to figure out. 

               This story may turn out to be sad too. The Divine come on is the greatest, most brutal lie of all, if it’s a lie. Or it’s the greatest true myth. Love knows me? And Love still wants me? Hmm. 

               There’s a song I didn’t mention because it’s actually . . . too hot (sorry). It’s Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song, “Come on, come on.” Don’t listen to it. It’s too hot. I'm telling you. If anyone provides a link to it, I will have to banish them forever from the Ironic Advent Universe. 

        On the other hand, Marvin, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. 

Click below for 
Come on Eileen

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