Friday, April 4, 2008


As long as we've been friends, I've thought of us as two sides of the same coin.

At the core we're both relentlessly idealistic, and like most idealists we've encountered a lot of disappointment. But where I cope with it by enduring, walling myself off and plowing forward, she copes by fleeting, preferring to sink than run aground. It's like the tortoise and the hare.

And I'm not saying that my way is better than hers. Both methods have their benefits, both their consequences. I just want to point out that, even though we seem different on the surface, the internal struggle is the same. Heads and Tails. Walling and Fleeting.

So I shouldn't be surprised at the latest dichotomy in our outlooks, but I was. I'd been so sure of my way of thinking.

Rejection of the material is a big deal, spiritually speaking.* The Bible says that "the love of money" (Not money, itself, mind you. That gets misquoted all the time.) is "the root of all evil." And that's just the best known quote. Nearly every major world religion, morality play, or sappy Christmas special has something to say about how material possessions don't bring happiness.**

Which is why I always assumed that the physical world wasn't important, that only in the spirit could we find God. So I devalued the material. If the things of this earth aren't worth anything, I have no reason to want them. If I don't want them, they can't weigh me down.

And that's why she caught me completely off guard. She loves the flesh of things, in the sensing of them. She smiles at how disgusting she finds a crawling bug to be. She'll suck the lemon juice from a wedge just to experience how sour it is. She even likes cash, cash and the very idea of commerce. She finds God in the physical, almost entirely in the physical! Somehow she came the other way around on it all, giving the the material world so much value that it became spirit.

Heads and Tails, I guess.

*You'll note that the last time I talked about spirituality, it also involved "rejecting the physical"

**Except for certain snowmen, who seem to think that money is everything.

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