Ishtar and Jesus go out for Coffee

(Jesus is sitting in a cafe, waiting on his date to arrive. Enter Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of love, war, fertility and sex, and even though it is indoors a beautiful wind caresses her hair. Slow motion walk to 80’s power ballads as she sits down)

Jesus : Hey

Ishtar : Hello. 

Jesus: Thanks for – I mean, I’m glad we could meet. Finally.

Ishtar: I know, I hear you’ve resurrected. That’s so cool.

Jesus: Yeah, it was kind of rough for a few days. Three days. In a cave. Alone. And then POW – here I am.

Ishtar: Do they have strong coffee here?

Jesus: Um, yeah…I guess so. Pretty strong. 

Ishtar: That’s good. I was at a blessing of this cult of sacred prostitution, you know – workers united and all that stuff. I was up all night long performing sacred sexual blessings.

Jesus: Yeah?

Ishtar : It’s always so awkward when people expect you to have sex. I mean, I am aware that my rite and destiny is to fill the fruit with seed, the spring with blossom, blah blah blah but you know what? A girl likes to be asked. 

Jesus : Sure.

Ishtar : That’s why my friend said I might like you, she says you aren’t like any of her other clients.

Jesus: Oh, I’m not one of her clients. 

Ishtar : Honey, I’m the goddess of sexuality. You don’t have to play puritan to get me to like you.

Jesus : No really, I never have…you know, sex, with any of those women. Really?

Ishtar : Principled?

Jesus: No, I just like to talk to them. 

Ishtar : Really? About what? 

Jesus: I’m a motivational speaker of sorts. 

Ishtar: For…who?

Jesus: Everyone. I want to teach peace. 

Ishtar: Oh…(looks at her phone) Do you play sports?

Jesus: No. 

Ishtar : Do you watch sports?

Jesus: Not really. I was never really good at them. I like to write. 

Ishtar: That’s what Mary said. 

Jesus: Oh, how’s she doing?

Ishtar: She got pregnant again. Had to give it up, again. Hazard.

Jesus: It’s her right, hope she is healing. Tell her I say hello when you see her.

Ishtar: I will, and thank you. Damn straight it’s her right! Well, at least you’re a feminist. 

Jesus: At least?

Ishtar : I’ll be honest. I’m not really into the “let’s talk about our feelings” types. I’m more into the “fuck your friends, kill your enemies, and meet me at the orgy in the land of fertile plenty” types.

Jesus: Sounds fun.

Ishtar: But maybe you can help me with something. I just had this crazy breakup, right? Tammuz, this guy I was really into? Got taken into the underworld and totally hooked up with his Abysinian girl. Which I’m OK with most of the time, but it’s like, he told me that we were exclusive and I believed him, you know. So anyway, I banished the Abysinian into the eternal realm of darkness and Tammuz was like, you know what? I’m staying down here. So now since he’s gone I haven’t been really feeling…you know…into it? Sex with other people has been fine and whatnot, I love it, it’s what I do, but you know…I’m just not feeling it? So the rivers are drying up, and I’m feeling really depressed. Like, lifetime original movie depressed. 

Jesus: Tell me more, my child. 

Ishtar: Ok…weird….anyway, here’s my question: how do I get him to ressurect from the underworld? Maybe you could talk to him! You’ve done it, you could talk him through it. 

Jesus: Wait, so…you’re not interested in me at all?

Ishtar: You seem like a nice guy. Which is a problem. People forget I’m the goddess of war as well. I need conflict.

Jesus: So, you like assholes?

Ishtar: Pretty much. 

Jesus: Huh…well, thanks for being honest, I guess. 

Ishtar: Well, can you help me with my problem?

Jesus: What makes me think I’ll help you?

Ishtar: You’re the son of God. You help the needy. And I have needs.

Jesus: Clearly.

Ishtar: And what’s that supposed to mean?

Jesus: I didn’t…you don’t understand I’m not saying…

Ishtar: For a motivational speaker you sure pick an unusual tactic : slut shaming. 

Jesus: Resurrection. You want me to convince your boyfriend to resurrect? 

Ishtar: Yes. 

Jesus: Well I can’t do that. 

Ishtar: Why not?

Jesus: To everything, turn turn, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Purpose UNDER heaven. If he wants to rise up, truly rise up and become everything he has ever wanted, he needs to get under the banner of his heavenly self. 

Ishtar: Listen, Buddha dissapeared and came back. Guru Ram Dass dissapeared into the river and reappeared to sing the song of formlessness. Why can’t you get my boyfriend to like me again?

Jesus : Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to watch our loved ones dissapear into the seasons of themselves. We may be in eternal spring in our hearts, but they want to stay dark. We can choose to ressurect ourselves every day that we live in compassion, or we can choose to live in darkness. But that’s our choice. Ressurection wasn’t mine, nessacarily. I was supposed to be a symbol of something people do every day. I can’t rescue your boyfriend because he isn’t in a place where he wants to be reborn. 

Ishtar: What, into your Dad’s idea of who he should be?

Jesus: Here’s a secret. My Dad wants nothing else but for people to be happy. To live as they are : perfectly imperfect. But humans keep finding ways to mess that up. I don’t know what your boyfriend is going through…it must be terrible to lose someone like you in his life. Some people are reborn into my heart because they feel great when they are there. But it really doesn’t matter if they choose to go through me or someone else : they’ve got to save themselves from the terrible place inside that brings fear. However way they do it, they have to find a way to be reborn every day or the pain becomes insurmountable. 

Ishtar: Wow. 

Jesus: But that’s not my job. I write. I inspire. I embrace. And that’s what I do best. But I’m not captain save-a-ho. I can’t go rescue your boyfriend. He’s got to take the steps back towards you, if he wants to.

Ishtar: Well, thanks. I appreciate your honesty. 

Jesus: You’re welcome. 

Ishtar: I think we should be friends, though.

Jesus: That’s OK. I’m not really into, you know, man eater types? No offense. 

Ishtar: None taken. 

Jesus: I also really like black women. 

Ishtar: Me too. 

(Unable to resurrect the conversation, they sit in silence)

Image

 

Carl

I made someone cry today. In the middle of Starbucks. Personally, I hate crying in public and the fact that I put someone through that seems a little heavy. It started because I needed to plug in next to him, and we ended up sharing a table. He told me he liked my nose, but it was probably just because it was a nose that looked like his. 

I know what you are thinking – He’s hitting on her. He’s a psychopath. She’s naive. She doesn’t understand dynamics of men and women. She thinks this is neutral. She’s too trusting. He’s too open. Well let me address this before I continue – to a certain degree yes to all of these. But there is a grey area in between where, if no one is doing harm to the other, real conversation can happen between strangers. 

If for whatever reason, you feel safe opening up to someone and know in your heart they won’t take advantage? Do it. Practice vulnerability and magical things will happen. 

I mean, come on people, you fell for that black and white video of strangers making out, but someone chokes up in a Starbucks in front of a stranger for a real reason, and you are skeptics? Read on. 

Today is the anniversary of Carl’s father’s death. Carl’s father was the pastor, he his son. Carl’s father was hard on him, in his own way, he tried to show love. Carl would disobey, try to change his father’s mind and his dad wouldn’t change. My nose was his father’s nose – the Norwegian (yes, I am half Norwegian) nose that he recognized but couldn’t talk to…it was something he wasn’t expecting.

Nor was I. 

I never know what to say in these situations. I’m not a therapist, guru or advice columnist. Earlier today, a religious group knocked on my door and asked me to consider if money was the root of all evil, and if I would be willing to look at pamphlets. The unemployed sass monster in me wanted to tell them that if they had any evil lying around, I would put it to good use. But I don’t want to hate on people who feel so much joy in something they feel bound to share, so I politely told them I wasn’t willing to listen today. 

I NEVER want to be one of those people who forces their lifestyle or beliefs on others. I don’t want to pretend like I know the answer to everything, because like our conversation life seems to exist in a grey area of right, wrong, intimacy and truth. I don’t want to pretend like my answer to how I deal with problems is the universal answer, the universal healer. Because I don’t think what works for me works for everyone else. 

So I told him what I was feeling. Lucky, because I have two parents who are still alive and healthy. Blessed, because I know people who, right now who are setting an example of how to be a solid partner when someone goes through times of grief.  And I told him he should go home, tell his wife a sincere and truthful compliment because of all the sincere truths that his father gave him. In honor of the relationships lost, he should value the relationships present and blossoming. 

Carl didn’t seem too convinced. I texted a therapist friend of mine and asked how much I should charge him. She told me to bill him $100.00 an hour or repo his car. As an unlicensed solicitor of free advice, that just doesn’t feel right. But still, we live in a grey area.

May your day be filled with random connections that open your eyes. May you open up to someone and say what you need to say. May what you do to feel good be shared in a way that doesn’t limit, but open everyone’s pathways to kindness. May what you do to feel grounded and safe allow you to make positive changes in yourself and the lives of others. May you find ways to connect to people that you never thought possible. May you live through change. May you be at peace.

Sat Nam