Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011.06.12 — A Tiny, Silly, Fushigi*

Work, Friday June 10th, was a day filled with uncommon vivacity and laughter. The pod of three co-workers next to mine was having a whale of a time. These people are normally very energetic and vociferous. But Friday, OMG! There was more than the usual banter and good-natured but typically very sharp barbs and repartees. They were, to put it simply, very noisy in an office that is, perhaps typically of modern offices, without even a smidgeon of sound proofing. We all can hear with crystal clarity, everything everyone says within 25 or 30'. Laughter and raised voices carry much further.

I sit less than 10' from the most distant, and share my one third false wall with the closest. But my work day was a busy one, and so I concentrated on that and paid them no heed.

For some reason, perhaps three sibling-ed small house childhood, perhaps simply quirk of nature, the noise of others does not distract me when I want to concentrate. But when my pod-mate noticed
me putting my Apple ear phones into my ears in order to listen to my iPod music, he commented 'Good idea.' 'What?' I asked. 'Tuning out all that silliness in order to get work done.' 'Oh,' I replied, 'their silliness doesn't bother me at all. Besides,' I added, 'everything about life is silliness.' 'Yes,' he agreed, 'you're right.'

Well, last night I was continuing my read through The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.
I was very bemused when, on page 234, I read:
On April Fish Day, which originated in France, we make fun of one another by attaching a Fish of paper, or, in our case, a Fish of recycled cloth, to the back of another person and then crying out, "April Fish!" Or, in the original French, "Poisson d'Avril!" In anglophone countries, this day is known as April Fool's Day. But April Fish was surely first a Christian festival, as a Fish image was used by the early Christians as secret signals of their faith in times of oppression.

The Fish was an apt symbol, for Jesus first called as his Apostles two fishermen, surely chosen by him to help conserve the Fish population. They were told to be fishers of men instead of being fishers of Fish, thus neutralizing two destroyers of Fish! That Jesus was mindful of the Birds, the Animals, and the Plants is clear from his remarks on Sparrows, Hens, Lambs, and Lilies; but he understood that most of God's Garden was under water and that it, too, needed tending. Saint Francis of Assisi preached a sermon to the Fish, not realizing that the Fish commune directly with God. Still, the Saint was affirming the respect due to them. How prophetic does this appear, now that the world's Oceans are being laid waste!

Others may take the Specist view that we Humans are smarter than Fish, and thus an April Fish is being marked as mute and foolish. But the life of the Spirit always seems foolish to those who do not share it: therefore we must accept and wear the label of God's Fools gladly, for in relation to God we are all fools, no matter how wise we may think we are. To be an April Fish is to humbly accept our own silliness, and to cheerfully admit the absurdity — from a materialist view — of every Spiritual truth we profess (p234-5 my emphasis).
Now I am perfectly aware that in the big scheme of life, such an observation is silly. But, so what? It is still a fushigi, even if 'only' a silly little one.

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