Hmm. Weren't looking.
Well, it took a little while to climb up outta there, like it always does. S'pose i could'a called for help but it's a wee bit embarrassing to be in it at all. And the bottom's all mucky and the sides are all slick and you get covered in ooze and sulfurous slime from head to toe and no one really laughs but they all kind a shake their heads in a real sad way like their looking at turkeys drowning in the rain by holding their mouths open to the sky. So, yeah, i always try to scratch me way out unaided. i think i've actually widened the hole a bit over the years.
Now, the thing about climbing out of this here well is that i might make it all the way to the top, have my head out in the clear and be breathing air at last that don't taste like a dead skunk floating in Kentucky Fried Chicken's grease trap. Heck and Hackensack, i might even be up and walking around again, stretching the kinks out when, whoops! Hello! Darn me.
This could go on for a week or so. Extricate, slither, ascend, descend. Climb, scrape, scrabble, sliiiiiiiiiiiide. Claw, dig, cuss, slip. Kick, yell, hate, laugh in a bubbly, mucky sort of way. But in amongst all the furious activity and it's stellar lack of results, there is time to think. Now thoughts at the bottom of a well are not particularly bright and full of cheer but they can be accurate interpretations of recent events and in this case i think they were.
What i thought about was the nature of holiness.
Maybe it was the play on words, i'm in a hole. i'm not holy. Could have been, but since i don't write much when i'm in the well, i sorta doubt it. No, i think it had more to do with being covered from pumpkin to piddies with the accumulated filth of frickens immemorial. And the accompanying shame and guilt. Yeah, guilt. When we were little fricks, with eggshell behind the ears, Ma would'a wore the feathers off of our fannies if she caught us playing round the well. Well, i still have this superstitious belief as a full grown fricken that i'm gonna get a comeuppance for falling in it today. God is gonna getcha. That was the first realization that dawned on me in the dark. That i had a really messed up view of God.
Holiness is one of those words that is usually defined by what it's not. Holiness is moral purity. It is the state of being without sin. It is "CLEAN." Now i know that only God is holy but pre-this visit to the well, i had been walking around thinking i was holy enough! Now that i was down in the sleaze i thought i was somehow unapproachable, untouchable. Unholy. i couldn't come to the throne, i was cut off from my Father God. He would get that turkey's-in-the-rain look.
Down there in the hole, covered in shameful snailsnot, i realized that to God, that's how i am all the time! To a being who is truly holy, any sin is damning. Now, you may think that's grim and heavy but it was actually a beautiful thing to be thinking at Christmas time.
God knows that we're all in the well. A well that we dug. We're all unable to climb out and we're all drowning in the nastiest, nauseating naphtha that ever flunked a fricken and He didn't balk a bit at it. He came down into the very hole with us, just a slob like one of us and He who never took one spade to the hole nor added a single drop of ooze to the pit drowned in it for us and then climbed right the hell out cuz the slick can't stick to holy. He's the Teflon God! So that now we don't have to struggle to get out or not to fall in. Nothing i do is gonna work anyway. Only one person has ever escaped from the well. He didn't show us the path, He didn't set the bar, He was the bar. All our striving is our attempts to be Him, to be God. All we gotta do is take His hand.
Which brought me to me third realization. i didn't fall in the well the other day. i just opened my eyes and realized where i was. Where i'd been all along.