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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

God Cries...

A dear friend of mine has been trying to save a meth addict. He's a beautiful man, on the inside and out, so she says.

She says she took him in, despite her better judgment, because he saved her life. She was very ill with no way to the hospital and he was the only one that stepped up to the plate and took her there. He did this at a time when he was rebuilding his life. He was trying to get sober, living in a halfway house with "ex" criminals and other "recovering" addicts. He had a new job that he'd only been with for a little less than a month. He had taken her to the emergency room in the middle of the night, but the hospital stay was too long for him to get to work on time and he was fired the next day. That same day some drama hit the halfway house because of the meth users within and he left with no where to go but another users house. It was pure happenstance that she even met this man, but he helped her to the point of his own demise so her logic was, "You save my life, I save yours." She invited him to stay at her place, where he could comfortably get sober and get on his feet.

Three months later she sits in my living room crying because he went out on a bender and didn't come home. I'm the only friend, she says, that understands why she took him in. I'm the only friend, she says, that understands why "found" people go looking for the "lost." She tells me about all the good qualities she sees within the man, the honorable character traits that lie there like dormant seeds that need nothing more than a little bit of water and some fertile soil. The problem is, those seeds lie in the midst of addictive thorns that seem to choke every seedling beginning to sprout.

I don't know what to say to my friend. Her soul is beautiful, shining like a beacon through thick fog. And she's right, I do understand why the found go looking for the lost, why the Shepherd leaves the 99 to find the 1. But I also know that my heart hurts when my friend cries, that I feel anger toward the man that causes her pain. And just as I feel that she looks up at me, tears in her eyes, and says, "This must be how God feels, when He gives us everything and we give Him nothing in return."

I pause and watch her wipe some tears away as she continues, "I've given this man a place to live, food to eat, clothes on his back, and I did it all because Jesus says, 'if your brother has no shirt, give him the one off your back.' I've given more than my shirt. I've lost friends because I cut them off, thinking they wouldn't understand, I've lost money because I've cared for someone I couldn't afford to, and I've lost sleep when he's disappeared. And now I'm crying because my only goal was to help the man stay clean and he fell off the wagon. I have no idea where he is, I have no idea if he'll be back, and I have no idea if he'll survive. I expected nothing from him, except to pull his life together and move forward. So, this must be how God feels when we don't do the right thing. I don't think He sits up there angry with us all the time, I think He cries. He cries because He gives us everything we need to succeed in life and we piss on it anyway. He gives us everything because He created us and He loves us and we piss on it anyway, and God cries..."

With that she started weeping, and so did I, because I believe she was right. I believe that's the truth. Despite every Baptist Bible Thumper I've ever known to preach fire and brimstone and Hell and every other judgmental condemnation they can from the pulpit, I believe my little no name friend, my non-theological friend has it right. God cries when we fuck up...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

...The Notorious Scribe

To be successful at what we will call "my day job," it is necessary to become a Notary Public. So yes, I recently signed and notarized my paperwork to become a registered Notary Public. Until now, I really knew nothing about the notary other than they watched someone sign something and then signed it themselves and stamped it with their seal: just like that, NOTARIZED

Well, I actually decided to read what I was signing, mostly because one form was referred to as Bonds (yes ladies and gentleman, a paper that by signing I am now somehow bound in a somewhat obscure manner to the government. I mean, really, is this some kind of irony? I am now bound to that of which I hate...?).

I, Pandora, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies whatsoever, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public in and for Maricopa County, Arizona, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

My first response was, "In a strange way, I somehow feel important..." On the same token, there was some sort of ludicrous hilarity in that. I've taken a very strong oath to basically carry a stamp around, press it to a piece of paper and say, "What we have all just signed is now legal and we are bound to it." So, knowing some of my closest friends would understand my point of view and find it humorous, I sent that quote off in an email saying, "I feel so important. I've been sworn to defend something against all enemies whatsoever!" Some of their replies were equally as humorous:

One fellow wrote: Start taking care of the illegals.
Another wrote: Well, I hope you hold that stamp in a quickdraw holster.
My favorite, however, was the following:

That's great! Notice the difference between that and this:

I, Pandora's Favorite Brother, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United State, and will, to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of The United States.

So now, will you please give me a precise update of the War on Terror? Oh, and be sure to notarize your report. -- Thank you.

I laughed at this one over and over in my mind, because there really is a distinct difference between the power packed behind my oath and what conveniently seems to be lacking in the oath to become President. Eventually this thought lead me to question the history of the notary and what would incite a need for such a powerful oath. After a bit of slack research, I came up with this:

Notaries Public (also called "notaries," "notarial officers," or "public notaries") hold an office which can trace its origins back to ancient Rome, when they were called scribae, tabellius or notarius. Their work would later be transcribed correctly in its entirety by a calligraphus. They are easily the oldest continuing branch of the legal profession worldwide.

If you read on you will find a "long and distinguished" history linked to the Office of Notary Public. As a literature major, I was pleased to follow the evolution of the notaries through The Dark Ages, The Renaissance, a reference in relation to The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Master of Faculties. (Aesthetically speaking, such things please me.)

All of this considered, I read my oath a few more times and broke it down into the following:
Yes, I've been sworn to the Federal and State governments that I am prepared to defend every legal document I sign--believing in faith it is true and honest and I will fight to defend said belief until proven otherwise. But in addition, there is something other: I must brush up on my understanding of the Constitution (mostly because I now regret sleeping through Poli Sci). If I am to defend it against all enemies whatsoever (which, in my opinion, is often the government itself), then I better know what I'm talking about -- particularly with intent to act upon Free Speech. And, this is a big deal; I'm sworn to do this "to the best of my ability," and they have no idea how much ability they just signed on. To top it off, they called upon the power of The Great One, who only ever wants the best of my ability -- where I too often fall short. And now I have taken an oath to not fall short, so...help me... God.

So my friends, let us prepare ourselves for what is to come (particularly if God helps me). Perhaps I will carry my stamp in a quickdraw holster -- the revolution begins! I am, after all, one of a million Notarius Scribae who just happens to believe GOVERNMENT should mean POWER TO THE PEOPLE. And though I may not be able to notarize every blog I post, let's just say you can call me... Pandora, The Notorious Scribe.


Okay, so it didn't really happen yesterday. That's what I get for making some sort of feeble promise. Or maybe I'm just teasing to see if I really have any readers left. ;-)

I'll be back... sometime, dare I say, today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I am still alive...

...and I will be writing today at some point. I will be back, to those of you who've been wondering.

FEAR NOT!!! Well... maybe you should, depending on what I have to say after this.