A friend of mine, intrigued by a minor glimpse into my complicated system of religious beliefs, recently posed some questions for me via email. He called his questions both "quick" and "rhetorical." They turned out to be neither.
So, I thought it would be more efficient to post my response here (rather than sending my friend a perilously long response via email and potentially having to explain all of this again someday to other interested parties).
Last night, I mentioned that I had all but blasphemed at a recent meeting of my bible study group, by saying I choose to read the Old Testament (OT) of the Christian Bible as a metaphor. I also cited a few of my specific issues with the OT. My friend challenged my statements in a variety of ways... and this is the response I came up with:
I do not doubt history insofar as I recognize that it has long been transcribed by the winners. The underbelly of past politics, past wars, past revolutions, ugly or not, is often exposed despite historical accounts once taken as absolute truth. That being said, I do not doubt the historical context of the Bible. Slavery, oppression, famine, and ethnic cleansing... it all happened. And it continues to happen.
What is important to remember is that the Bible is not a complete history. The focus of its content is centered on a very narrow portion of the world. While we have archeological evidence that human beings existed all over the globe during Biblical times, there are no stories outside of the Middle Eastern zone. Our culture today is global, and the well educated have no choice but to view Life through a much wider lens.
one hint of spring heralds a chance reprieve
jump at the chance to be less reclusive
give chase to Sun's rays, bounding, so elusive
allow his warm-lipped kisses up my sleeve
we hum in the raw heat like black-backed flies
awaking from a stupor cold-induced
whispy-throated bird calls, i'm seduced
expose my neck, my calves, my knees, my thighs
coaxing cloth from pale limbs, leaves skin so bare
shoulders bud pink, entranced in fresh sunlight
ignore stubborn groundhog still so contrite
spring headlong into ill-bound but fair affair
fell victim to faux february heat
and clutching my hot tea, admit defeat
dipping tone beneath the oh
sultry vibration of lips on vee
faith in the silence of invisible ee
-Audrey Camp, 2008-
I opt to simply chomp into one plump, golden-brown curve of the pretzel and hope for the best outcome possible. Oh no! The pastry, weakened by my ill-conceived bite, fragments in my hands. It is a story no longer. Merely a snack to wash down with a Diet Coke. Nothing substantial. Just enough to screw up my caloric intake for the day.
This might not have happened had I done the mature, responsible thing and attempted a story outline. I rarely outline a plan before pouncing on potential fiction fodder, but sometimes it is best to prop up some bones on which to hang the skin. A haphazard skeleton could be better than none at all, right?