wretched little turd

That is the name of my new angry-girl rock album.

 Please forgive me as something like a terrible Jewel poem unfolds here. I have veins that bleed, etc.

I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t seen the sun in 14 days, or if it’s because everything in life (down the the floor I’m waiting to walk on!) is in a torturous holding pattern right now, or if it’s just January or if it’s the amount of time spent starring at a pixels on a screen or lines on a road or the Generic NyQuil.

I think the root of the problem is a book written by A.J. Jacobs, an editor at Esquire, who spent a year living by the Old Testament standards. He did not shave. He sounded a ram’s horn at the beginning of each month. He separated milk and meat, wool and linen. He talked to Amish and he talked to a Jehovah’s Witness. He did not touch his wife while she was on her mensies. and we are only at Day 50.

This book is reminding me that I suck.

I am fool enough to hope there is a standard somewhere, and although many religious sects disagree where the line is drawn, I am confident that there is no line liberal, forgiving or blurry enough for me to pass.

And lately I seem to join everything as it is breathing its last breath. I am always around when the thing you have just sat in deflates. Soon, plants around me will shrivel. Children will stop believing in Santa. Clown Cone & Confections will run out of Yellow Birthday Cake Ice Cream.

And this man, this A.J., a writer, an agnostic, has the discipline to read not one, but dozens (stacks!) of Bibles and translations and concordances and references. He has the discipline to pray every single morning when it feels completely foreign and empty and weird. (He reads the psalms when it gets awkward.) He has the discipline to refrain from sitting in the sofa when he comes home from work because his menstruating wife sat there earlier in the evening. And I am watching as this man, this A.J., stir up some pretty potent magic – in exchange for a book deal.

Jim Wallis, whom I consider wise, described the account as ‘disarmingly sincere.’

Between A.J. Jacobs and these speeches from Barack Obama, I fear that my heart has grown three sizes too large.

This is puurfec.

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  • http://stunted-growth.blogspot.com Pdawg

    Of course the key to A.J.’s discipline is that it ends in 365 days. That makes it much less a discipline and much more of a project. Like raising a pig in a garage until it’s just the right size to eat. And it’s likely a well-paying project. I suppose your Christian sensibility would respond that you’ll be well-paid for your end of the lifetime project, but Jesus don’t pay cash or even debit card. It’s more of a postdated check.

    To summarize, less self-flagellation for Teter and more skepticism for AJ.

    As for Obama, well hell, I can say pretty things too. It don’t mean nuttin.

  • Dennis

    I read that book, too. Made me feel like crap.

    The “limited-time commitment” theory doesn’t fly; I’ve tried to “READ THRU THE BIBLE IN 365 DAYS!!” numerous times and always fail.

    My favorite thing about that book is that everytime he spoke to a particular group of Christians who ignored a particular rule, they always had a convoluted yet “logical” reason as to why they could ignore it.

    Anyway. Read his “Know-It-All,” it’s a little better and less guilt-inducing.

  • http://www.10bagspacking.blogspot.com Jaydubs

    Oh, crap. I read that book over Thanksgiving and meant to lend it to you. Glad you found it anyway. It was an interesting read for a fellow agnostic like moi.

    And Dennis is right. The Know-It-All is pretty great.

    Another awesome entry in those “I did this in a year” books is “Julie and Julia.” Overrated: Sarah Vowell’s “Radio On.”