Creeping away... and please remember to enter for a chance to win a bunch of great e-books! The rules are simple: http://ruth-barrett-spiritedwords.blogspot.com/2011/12/welcome-to-12-days-of-creepfest.html The prize includes the first of the groundbreaking Zombie Bible series by today's guest Stant Litore. His zombie books are terrifying, toothsome reads... but there is a heart and soul and eloquence that I find unique in the genre. Here's Stant with his heartfelt take on "My true love gave to me..."
I’m going to say a word about the most beautiful gift I have ever received for Christmas. It came with love, it came with a delicious kiss, and it also came with enough courage and trust that it shook my heart. The moment is so personal and has such a halo in my memory that it feels quite awkward inviting other people to hear about it, especially as I’m likely to paint that halo in such grayscale that I deprive it of any of the beauty others might see. Still, I have to try.
The Christmas after our first date and our first kiss, the woman I later married gave me a book. A holy book, actually, sacred in my faith. Now she and I are of entirely different faiths. In fact, we are about as different as it is possible to be and still speak the same language. I’ll tell you what I mean. I grew up butchering livestock and frying bacon in as much grease as possible; she is a vegetarian who makes falafel on the weekends. I grew up with wetlands outside our back door and my father always had a shotgun handy; my wife is as city as they come, and didn’t use to know what a possum was. I rise early; she sleeps late. I could go on. But man, we are in love and have been for a number of years. And to come to the point, we are of entirely different cultural traditions and different faiths. We look at the world differently.
That made dating a bit rocky at first. I think we were each a little fearful that the other might try to convert us. Or fearful that all our dark fears and dread about the other’s view of the world, all of our stereotypes, might at any moment be terribly confirmed. And that brings me to Christmas.
This was in Colorado, and the windows were so iced over they might crack if you tapped them. We stole away from the world to find some time just the two of us together, with a poinsettia to serve as a Christmas tree, and she offered me as a gift a holy text. I will never forget the look in her eyes, or the words she wrote inside the cover. Today that book is beaten up pretty badly, and I kid you not I have held the spine together with green duct tape, but it is the most meaningful gift I was ever given. Because her eyes said to me: I am not willing to be afraid of how different you are. I love you.
This story has a happy ending. We wrote our own wedding ceremony weaving together our traditions in a grand duet, and even had two officiants who read the ceremony together in their own duet. I set aside my fear of her ways, too.
There’s a lot of fear in our world right now. There always has been. And I’m not going to hand you platitudes; my writing isn't about that, and I’m not about that. Some differences really are insoluble. And just settling for saying that every way of life is equal cheapens all ways of life and too often becomes a way of avoiding the topic and dismissing a conversation you don’t want to have. But I will say this, and it might be an important time of year to say it. Often you learn more about your spirituality, your convictions, and what matters to you from people with other ways than you ever do from the community you already know. And life is only really exciting and sexy when there’s some friction. Just remember that you’re out to dance with your fellow human beings, not clobber or be clobbered. This isn’t survival of the fittest; it’s which pairs stay until the last dance.
Stant Litore writes about the restless dead. His Zombie Bible series retells old biblical tales as narratives of humanity’s long struggle with hunger and the hungry undead. His first book is an Amazon horror bestseller and you can find it here:
ZOMBIE BIBLE: DEATH HAS COME UP INTO OUR WINDOWS
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zombie-bible-stant-litore/1107395760?ean=2940013826816