Thursday, March 31, 2011

Babies, and God, and Ice Cream

     The past few days I've been absorbing books like they're water, or chocolate. My fascination of Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact) is still large and in charge, though after recent readings I may have to reevaluate just why I like her writings so much. As is the case when reading multiple books in a row by a single author, I came across several words and phrases that stuck out to me and made me think, "Really? She couldn't have used a thesaurus so it wasn't obvious she wrote this at the same time as that other book?" The one that won't leave my mind is this: VISCERAL.

characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect.

     I don't know why that word above all the other words stuck out to me, but it did. And it got me thinking about words in general. How come I use the same word to describe my feelings toward both ice cream and my family? How do idioms come to be? How can we expect everyone else to understand our words when there is no official dictionary for idioms and dialect? 

     How come I can never get the words to come out right the first time I say them, but when I rethink them in my head or write them out on paper, they're perfect? And why can I construct a perfect Oscar-winning movie scene in my head but then somehow not let it come out the same way in person? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY????

     These thoughts (and more) came to my mind today while I was playing with the one-year-old. I was trying to teach her how to blow a kiss, and instead, she insisted on blowing spit in my face. Then I tried to teach her "thank you" and instead, she laughed and threw her pacifier. HOW do we learn these things?

     It's obvious, of course. Movies, societies, our families ... all of these and more teach us what we need to know in order to survive in the world. 

    The most  important thing I thought today was this: How can anyone look at a child, or even outside at the world around him, and NOT SEE GOD? I don't understand it. While the one-year-old slept, I looked at her tiny features and realized that I once looked like that. How can stupid evolution explain how our bodies grow in a uterus and then grow from an 8 pound infant into a 200 pound (give or take) adult? I mean REALLY. I just don't understand what else could explain it. How does our skin stretch and grow and not tear from growing so MUCH? How do our limbs know how to function? How do our organs work the way they do? 

     At such random times as when I watch a baby sleep, or I see the wind blowing the leaves into a flurry of a patter, I see God. And I become so overwhelmingly thankful that I KNOW Him, and that He created me. It is then when I am overcome with such a STRONG desire to do what HE WANTS for my life, other than what I WANT for my life. And it is then when I become SO FRUSTRATED because I don't know what that is. 

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