I spent this weekend with my fiancee, hence no weekend posts. Here we are in Kansas City at a place called Hamburger Mary’s, where your meal is served by drag queens. We skimped on eating all day in preparation for massive burgers. Needless to say, we were excited.
Afterward we went with the Kansas City Atheist Coalition to raise money for Foundation Beyond Belief by selling our bodies (via hugs).
The next day Michaelyn and her mother dragged me to the Renaissance Festival for the first time. The first thing to greet me was this noble warrior.
Inside it was like walking into downtime in a D&D campaign. I found a shield and an axe, but I’m only a level 2 bard so I didn’t have enough gold to purchase them (not that I could equip them anyway).
Michaelyn found a swashbuckler hat.
Then we quested into the magical forest in search of a unicorn. We found the unicorn and it wouldn’t leave me alone.
Then it was off to the Mermaid’s Cove. She trapped me in her clam.
My level 2 bard is your level 20 diplomat. Look at the quality of my regalia! A body this fine should be clothed in finery.
We found an iron throne. My first decree as king was no more armor for the King’s Guard – only kilts and floppy hats.
But the time always comes when a king must ride into battle. Michaelyn and I acquired the most noble mount in all the land.
After we conquered our foes, it was time for a meal. I found a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried. This is apparently called a “Scotch egg” and it tastes precisely like victory.
On the way out I found a yorki dressed as a viking.
It was such a great weekend – and none of it required any appeal to god. I’m often asked what’s the meaning of it all if god doesn’t exist. Well, it’s right there: Scotch eggs, people you love (and who love you), camel mounts, art, and laughter. Happiness isn’t empty because it’s finite, just like life isn’t bereft because it’s only for now.
If Christians feel they need to be assigned some cosmic purpose beyond what they choose for themselves because they’re missing all this joy, all these avenues for living that surround them, I pity them. Of course, they’re not. Even the Christians who boast that their lives have purpose seek happiness in the same way as I (except with a few/lot of arbitrary restrictions on how they’re allowed to make themselves happy).
Meaning is realizing we’re very lucky to have the time we have and not wasting a minute of it by letting others dictate how we spend these precious minutes. If you’d rather be at home cuddling someone who means the world to you than sitting in a pew, then your religion has stolen a bit of your life. If you want to touch a person regardless of marriage or of gender, and you don’t do it because your religion said no, your faith has removed a bit of purpose from your life, not given you one.
My life will mean as much as I can make it. That’s why I want to marry Michaelyn: she breathes meaning into every shared experience. Cheesecake on a stick is a whole new and better experience with her, as are Scotch eggs, cute little dogs, and costumes. And the only check on how we can explore this world (and each other) is our conscience, which is a much better arbiter of the forbidden than a clique of men from thousands of years past who never knew us and could never have imagined the world of wonder in which we now live.
Life is good.
Lastly, through Michaelyn I heard this song for the first time yesterday. It’s “Bright Smile” by Josh Ritter and it makes me think of Michaelyn. I hope it adds as much happiness to your life as it brought to mine. :)