Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mary on my mind

I have to admit that it looks more like medieval images of Mary than most apparitions appearing in the news: burnt toast, rust stains, grilled cheese sandwiches. Usually any inverted U shape qualifies. This one however, appears in one "slice" of an MRI scan of a local woman's brain and the woman's sister, hoping to raise needed funds for medical care, intends to put it up on eBay.

I could ramble on about the sad story of someone growing up in a town polluted with dioxin and with a lifetime of health problems, including cancer, and who our "every man for himself" medical care system has left on the side of life's road, but instead I'll talk about my kitchen counter. It's a large grained slab of granite and there isn't a morning when I don't discover another hitherto unobserved face in it. It's not that I'm hung over or astigmatic or even mentally unbalanced. Our brains seem to be wired to seek out faces lurking in the weeds. It's probably a survival thing even if it's only Millard Filmore or Maynard G. Krebs staring at me, eating breakfast.

Of course nobody knows if there really ever was a Virgin Mary or whether she actually was Virgo Intacta until Yahweh shagged her -- much less what she looked like. I'm certain she wouldn't have worn medieval European clothing, but none the less, just like we know that Jesus had long, straight, lanky and light colored hair, with northern European features and was somewhat underweight, we know what she looks like. She looks like a structure in the brain of Pamela Latrimore, in blurry cross section.

Ms. Latrimore has no medical insurance and needs the money, so for once I'm hoping that the deranged and delusional will want some object to pray to (God screens his calls these days) and will bid it up. Unlike Burnt French Toast Jesi or tomato slice apostles it won't rot and unlike road stain apparitions of Jesus you can hang it on your wall. Maybe God made us prone to see faces just so that he could inspire people who pray to bird shit splatter on car hoods to actually do some good in the "love thy neighbor" department. Maybe not, but Pamela definitely needs the money.


Buffalo said...

In my foot locker in KC there is a black and white photo, taken with one of those old Kodak box cameras. Believe it was called a Brownie, but could be wrong. The photo is circa late 40s or very early 50s. Came to my mom via a holy roller preacher. It is purported to be a picture of jesus standing in this christian lady's flower garden.

RR said...

We are wired to recognize patterns: a evolutionary trait that helps us survive... Spotting the face (a tigers face) in the bush was (and still is) definitely advantageous.

We also quickly attibute purpose to recognized patterns -- another, usually, beneficial trait. Think of kids looking at clouds and asking "where are they going dad?" ... as if everything has a purpose.

Of course, the religious amongst us believe everything DOES have a purpose. Oh well - some people never grow up.

Capt. Fogg said...

In the 1890's or so there was a fad for producing fake photos of pixies and sprites in people's gardens. The will to believe is very strong.

Of course some of this does have a purpose -- to make us laugh.