Sunday, March 08, 2009


just finished watching an episode of Joan of Arcadia...and this particular episode stood out. the episode was in season one called Death Be Not Whatever (2003) i was really struck by the last conversation between God and Joan on the bus.

SET UP: Joan talks to God, Joan learns a boy she's babysitting is dying of Cystic Fibrosis and one of her best friend's mom died, Joan is really angry:

Joan Girardi: A lot of what happens here really sucks, so much for your...perfect system.
Joan Girardi: Can you see me being really mad at you right now?
Cute Boy God: Yes.
Joan Girardi: Why does it have to be so hard?
Cute Boy God: What specifically?
Joan Girardi: Being alive, let's start there.
Cute Boy God: You wish you weren't alive?
Joan Girardi: No! I...I don't know. I didn't...hurt so much.
Cute Boy God: It hurts because you feel it, Joan...because you're alive. You love people, that generates a lot of power, a lot of energy. The same kind of energy that binds atoms together, we've all seen what happens when you try to pry them apart.
Joan Girardi: So, if I don't get attached to people won't hurt so much?
Cute Boy God: No, it's in your nature to get attached to people, I put that in the recipe. It's when you guys try to ignore that...when you try to go it alone, that's when it gets ugly. It's hell.
Joan Girardi: It's Hell? Like the Hell?
Cute Boy God: Oh look, your house. Go on, Joan, people are waiting for you...
(Joan exits the bus with no clear answer and looks puzzled)

humans are funny.

maybe for us the pain of separation is easier to bear than the pain of attachment. we get so wrapped up in our identities, those layers at play who we THINK make up who we are... but that's not the full story. like the song says "your caste, your class, your country, sect, name or your tribe, there's people always dying trying to keep them alive".

these things are a part of our identity, but we must go beyond that. we must help each other regardless of these identities... and help is fluid, it moves around like light. and a little bit is a good thing, and it doesn't stop.

thank you, dear readers, for providing light to me on who i am and who i am perceived to be and i hope i'm providing help to you in the articulation of who you are. dialogue is key to realizing our interconnectedness, it is key to our humanization and prevents systematic DEhumanization.

but these are just my rantings and babblings and i recognize i'm "privileged" with an optimistic and idealistic worldview ;-) i could be WAY off.

what are your thoughts?


Erudite Redneck said...

We love Joan of Arcadia in the ER household! Sniff. My stepgal was in college before I got back in the church saddle; she was in high school when Joan was on, and she gave us about the only shared frame of reference for anything approaching Godtalk.

Erudite Redneck said...

BTW, since Blogrolling has fixed itself, I was able to link to ya. :-)

Sally said...

Death...we humans sometimes see it as "not fair" or "too soon" or as a failure. I have lost lots of people in my life, including my very best friend and both of my parents. I have, in the last year, faced the diagnosis of cancer...which no matter how good the prognosis, brings with it thoughts related to my own death. Joan's opinion is that since people die the system isn't "perfect". She's angry that things are not going to go her way. I am reminded of the poem (is it Mary Oliver?) about life being a tapestry and while we are alive we only see it from the underside where the colors don't make sense but in eternity we will see things as God sees them, and the pattern that is being woven will be apparent. The problem with humans is that we want things to make sense now...and sometimes they don't.
As you say, Luke, the pain of attachment and the pain of pain no gain...through it we know we're alive...we're willing to push through the pysical pain when we work out and not ask why but recoil at the emotional pain of attachment and separation. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

wrote a great inspired comment - lost in 'duplicate error' land somewhere - note to all - copy your work b4 you save - never know when a comp will make an error.

Pain is ok. Suffering is ok (for a while). Hurt is ok. These things are actually good for us - if we can realize that. (obviously only for a while/a season are these things good teachers).

Death is part of this process called life - it's the period in the sentence at the end of the whole thing.

What isn't normal is missing out on life because we were 'scared'. I learned this was part of me - and while I wasted some years of my life (relationally) - I nearly lost the one person I invested all my love into. Why? Because I refused to seize the day and capture life!

For me - this is the worst thing - not living your life to the fullest and wasting it away for no real cause, rhyme, or reason. We all do it, can we all wake up?