What if? What if the human race were in heat, and procreated, only for a month in the spring—just like, say, dogs. What would such a world look like? No really, what would such a world be like?
What would constitute religion? What would constitute ethics? What would be a crime? What would television be all about before, during, after this storm?
How would you survive this storm intact? More
THEY SAY JESUS KRISTUS WAS UNTOUCHED.
You learn it in school, you hear it from parents, from grandparents—from them especially—from friends, and from preachers. You read it in the Bible: Jesus Kristus was the first to, and the only one ever to, escape, ascend, transcend, what have you, the Storm. He was the first ever to rise above it unscathed, as they like to put it on the late-night TV preacher-shows, especially now with a new Storm approaching, although unscathed means the same as untouched, just has more of a bite to it, I think, and these late-night TV preachers like biting.
And not only was Kristus untouched or unscathed, they then go on to tell you, he was conceived beyond the Storm—or unconceived, is how the Bible puts it in many places—although born in December like the rest of us, mind you. He was Stormless, is how I like to think of it when I believe the most. Sometimes I believe less, or not at all, and then I don’t really care how He is thought of.
Grandma, who always believed—hungrily, thirstily—used to say He was beyond the Storm: “Jesus Kristus was beyond the Storm,” she would say, with a sigh, with a blissful little expulsion of air, with an upward longing, her eyes moist, seeing not what was there right in front of her, but instead looking at (or for) some private heaven, some longed for celestial ecstasy. Beyond it, she’d sigh. Beyond it and Untouched, is what she kept telling me since as far back as I can remember. Hungrily, thirstily. Longingly.
And not only Untouched, she would then go on—and when I was little there was no getting away from her or her going on—Kristus was the first to see the Storm for what it was. He was the first to call it by its real name: Temptation. That’s the name she gave it, and often. As does the Bible, and all those preachers, too.
Temptation. Temptation. Temptation.
But let me tell you, the Storm is more than temptation. This word, this thing, temptation, if you really look at it, it implies a choice, does it not? Doesn’t it promise you some say in the matter? So my question is, how can the Storm be a temptation if you have no choice? But Jesus Kristus, too, uses that word. In the Bible. And so she did, as well, Grandma did. Temptation. And often.
“The Storm is temptation,” she’d say. “It is Nature’s test of the spirit.”
And it is also God’s command to make more of us, Grandma would often add, in the form of desire: the urge to people God’s beautiful planet with more of us. And that little heavenward sigh. She was so blissful, especially when she had me in her clutches.
Of course, that’s what they teach you in school as well. The Storm is nature’s way to make sure we go on. Without it there would be no more of us, no humanity, no babies, no sir. That’s what I was taught when I went to school, and that’s what they still teach, as far as I know. And who’s to argue? It’s true enough, that’s plain. The proof lies in the sea-of-babies pudding come December.
Still, Jesus Kristus does urge temperance in many places. I don’t find that surprising, really. What I find surprising is that He never urged abstinence, not that I can find, though those biting late-night preachers swear He said it. They go on about it. And on about it. But I have not read Him say it. What I have read Him say in the Bible is to let the Storm enter only for the sake of offspring, only deeply enough to spawn.
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