Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spiderman Tattoos and the Deeper Meaning


I bet you thought this was going to be another one of those blogs where I find the metaphor in some life experience and sift through to the deeper meaning.


This morning I woke up cracking up.  I mean this was loud and silly laughter, startling my husband (up hours before) who is usually the one chuckling around these parts.

I was dreaming.  I dreamed we were having a big back yard picnic, Smitty and I, except the back yard was not our real back yard.  But we did indeed live there.  You know how it goes in dreams.  There were tons of familiar faces in this dream.  Tons.  That's a bit more unusual for a dream of mine, which usually leaves me more often alone or with one other person.

So I go into my house (which isn't my real house) and I said to Smitty, "Oh no, when did they do this to me! Where did I get this tattoo on my leg?"  And lo and behold, my entire right leg looks like Spider-man's leg, blue and red and webby, an extraordinarily well done tattoo.  I was beside myself.  The tattoo was signed by 4 ladies in my church, one of whom I remember was the dear Pat Ellis, who is one heck of a woman but definitely not the sort to tattoo you in your sleep.

As I'm fretting over this inked leg, and trying like crazy to sort out how it all happened, our friends from Brooklyn come in the kitchen.  Hugh and Joelle take one look at the leg and the gales of laughter begin all over again.  My daughter's old boyfriend Joe howled in hysterics at my limb.  Soon a crowd has gathered to laugh.  And no sooner has my bewilderment reached critical mass when I realize  it's not a tattoo at all, but a pair of leggy pajamas with Spidey legs on them.

At this I roared with laughter, and woke up with my cat staring at me like I'm some kind of mad woman.  (Cats tend to do that anyway).  Stephen comes in, the man who loves to laugh, and I tell him the story.  I started parsing the dream, looking for some meaning in it, and finally concluded it was solely for my amusement, an extra, a respite in a tough world, simply a laugh.

I was reminded of last week, when my friend Susan, in her inimitable way, quoted the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes as he expounded on the superfluity of a rose:

"'There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,'" said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "'It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. 

"But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.'"

~Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It is only goodness that gives extras.

P.G. Wodehouse novels, red paint, chocolate chips, a good laugh...extras.  Scottish tea, poetry, Christmas carols, soft towels...extras.  Baseball, glass windows, Claude Monet's water lilies, the smell of rain...extras.

Life is full of trouble in a post-fall Universe.  It is also rife with beauty.

Perhaps there was a deeper meaning after all.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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