Meat the Master: in which Cosmic Connie witnesses a real miracle
Dear Ones, I have something to confess to you. Most of you know me as a snark who scoffs at many things, including and especially the entire idea of miracles. But the truth is – and some of you more savvy readers have read between the lines and have detected the yearning soul who trembles beneath this snarky cloak – I long for tangible miracles in my life. Why, I even wrote about this longing years and years ago, on my old Cosmic Relief web site, during the heyday of Millennial madness when many feared that the world, or at least civilization, would end at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000. Here is what I wrote (and I hope you will pardon the royal-"we" affectation):
THESE are the days of miracles and wonders? Oh, we only wish. Either we've led a really wicked life, or the recently* discovered "God module" in our temporal lobe is severely underdeveloped. Or maybe it's just that we never did hallucinogenics.
Whatever the cause, the unhappy truth is that angels don't whisper in our ear, deities don't dictate sacred texts to us, and dead spiritual masters refuse to use us as a mouthpiece.
To add insult to injury, the dolphins at Sea World treat us with disdain, the Weeping Jesus picture just rolls its eyes at us, The Face on Mars stuck its tongue out at us, and the statue of Ganesh laughed so hard at us that the milk squirted out of its nose...er...trunk.
Worst of all, aliens from UFOs have never taken us into their vessels to poke at our naughty bits (oh, but we keep hoping...)
Life, alas, is just so mundane for us. All of the tortillas, billboards, cinnamon buns, and porch lights we've ever encountered are just tortillas, billboards, buns, and porch lights. No face of the Lord, no nunly visage, no apparition of the Virgin, no secret signs of the End Times. (Okay, on one of our quests we did find a misshapen dog-turd that bore a striking resemblance to the face of evangelist Pat Robertson -- pious smirk and all -- but we just couldn't get the media interested.)
The Millennium came and went and, as far as we... I mean I can tell, the world didn't end. Eventually I created my own Whirled. It was fun from the get-go, but still something was missing. My life remained bereft of the type of miracle that draws bored reporters and long lines of desperate believers to one's front door. Except for some isolated experiences with statues, which I wrote about a few years ago, discernible miracles have been few and far between in my life.
Of course I pretended not to care. On the surface I was a happy snarker – a livid one, as one of my snargets has described me – but beneath it all flowed a deep, deep river of discontent. I still felt so... well... left out. Overlooked. Utterly under-appreciated by the Higher Power(s).
And then, and then... last night... Something Happened.
It was so wondrous that it shook my Whirled.
It made me re-examine my entire life.
It made me want to write one-sentence paragraphs.
Or even one-word paragraphs.
Here's the deal: Last night Ron took me into the Big City (that would be Houston) for dinner at a restaurant that I will not name for reasons that will soon become apparent. We'd been there numerous times before and had always enjoyed superb food and service.
But last night was over the top.
Being in a carnivorous frame of mind and feeling a bit extravagant, I decided to go all out with one of the most expensive steaks on the menu. I was famished and couldn't wait to dig into it when it arrived.
But something stopped me. On that succulent piece of meat I beheld a Face, clear as could be. It was an oddly familiar mug with a toothsome smile. At first I thought it was a demon. Then it kind of looked like an obnoxious ex-boyfriend of mine. And then I realized that it was...oh, my Goddess, the Face of the Master.
It was... it was... Himself. It was The Big T. As in Tony Robbins. The undisputed king of the selfish-help industry.
"What's wrong, sweetheart?" Ron asked, his mouth full of New York strip steak. Speechless, I pointed to The Face.
Ron's eyes widened.
He put down his fork, whipped out his cell phone and began snapping photos.
By then a small crowd had gathered around our table. Most people instantly recognized The Face. Many were astounded; some were crying. People were Tweeting and Facebooking about it. A reporter from a local TV station happened to be dining at a table near us and contacted her producer, and before I knew it there were camera crews and bright lights in my face. I became a minor celebrity for a while. I signed autographs, did a couple of mini-interviews, even landed a book contract.
Finally, I had the miracle I had been waiting for. In spades. Well, in a steak, anyway.
But the fact remained that I was still hungry and feeling more fiercely carnivorous than ever. So instead of preserving that wondrous cut of beef, I scarfed it down, much to the dismay of some of the miracle seekers who were still crowded around us. Others, however, cheered me on. They said this was the ultimate self-empowering thing for me to do. They assured me that there was no better way to Awaken the Giant Within than to consume an image of The Giant himself.
I noticed that the steak tasted a little "off," but I didn't care; I was that famished.
Back at home a few hours later, I bitterly regretted my choice to eat the miracle meat. I became violently ill, and am only just now recovering. Some may call that poetic justice or instant karma for destroying the evidence of a miracle, and perhaps they're right. But I really didn't destroy anything. After all, I still have those photos. The miracle lives on and continues to unfold in my life in mysterious ways. Now I am seeing The Face everywhere. What does it all mean? Stay tuned...
* Well, the discovery of the God module was "recent" in 1997, anyway.