Now there is no sin, in anything. It’s amazing.
Dear Sweet Readers,
It’s time for the next big adventure in the saga of my sins. Before we commence, however, one note. The zero birthday that was impetus for this blog has come and gone. I survived it. Thrived even. I’ve embarked upon a brand new decade, and so I’ve changed the subtitle of this blog from My Zero BDay Blog to YEAR ONE. Seems appropriate, don’t you think?
And now, on with the sin!
In my last post, I told you that I’ve begun my next book. I’m calling it The Rapture, after the blog post that started it all. The official first chapter is Amazing: Spring Tease ^_~. And, yes, I’m totally excited. I’m more than a little frightened as well, because I’ve decided to write The Rapture here on Sins of the Eldest Daughter, post by post, which feels a lot like performing without a net. Scratch that. IS performing without a net. Just my bare ass hanging in the wind. ~ahem~ No photos, please.
Because you are reading as I write, literally; you, my dearest and sweetest of readers, get to be a part of the book. Just give me a shout out any old time. Tell me what you like. Tell me what you don’t like. Tell me what leaves you dizzy in the dust, which for the record, I consider a good thing. You know, like the bio says, I drive real fuckin’ fast. Try to keep up. ^_~
HERE’S WHERE WE LEFT OFF:
It’s here. It’s happening. This transformation. It’s amazing.
It’s in the stars, in the sun.
It’s everywhere in everyone and it will be
From now on...
When I say transformation, I’m not talking about a religious conversion. I have not been born again in Christ. Or Buddha. Or Mohammed. I have been born again in sin.
You heard me.
Sin is the most amazing and transformative thing I know. Where the hell would we be without it? Sin is the ultimate catalyst. From the idea of original sin, to the commission of so-called sins, and best of all, the way that forgiveness is sometimes treated as a holier-than-thou, get-out-of-sin-free card; everything to do with sin is an amazement to me.
We all sin. Every single one of us. It’s what binds us together in this amazing technicolor dream world we call life, and I am certain a case could be made for the idea that a human being without sin is no longer truly human. This is, in part, why I named this blog Sins of the Eldest Daughter. Fact is, all my online avatars carry sin in their names. When listeners ask about my DJ name on Blip.fm, which is 4sins, I tell them that sin is my first, my last, and my middle name.
And my nickname. ^_~
Actually, the meaning of my name is relevant to this story, although it’ll be awhile before you see how. Indulge me. I was born Dina Renée, Dina being the Italian form of Dinah, which is the Hebrew word for judged. Wait, it gets better. Dina, daughter of Leah and Jacob, followed her own star and judged by her own heart, and for this she was either
a) raped and thereby disgraced or
b) found lying with her man before holy wedlock and thereby disgraced and called harlot (see The Red Tent).
Regardless of which story you subscribe to - and three guesses as to which I prefer - Dina was doomed. My given name is four little letters that together spell out: she who is judged, vindicated, and avenged. And reborn. Renée, remember?
Okay, time for a little background.
First there was the Garden. You remember the Garden. Lush. Verdant. Abundant in everything but the rain that made it so. It’s amazing, that trick, God-like. And here in rain sodden western Oregon we would dearly love to learn the secret to that trick.
First there was the Garden. Then there was the Fall, otherwise known as the Original Fuck Up. At least that’s God’s side of the story. CliffsNotes version: The Fall is when human beings took the long walk off a short plank and found themselves “transitioning” from a perfect state of innocence - innocent obedience to be exact - to an underwater-and-in-danger-of-drowning state of guilty disobedience.
Okay, right there I got a problem. Who the hell says obedience makes us innocent and disobedience makes us guilty? God. I know. But isn’t that just a little short sighted? In case you haven’t noticed, humans suck at guilt. Oh, we feel it often enough, but it doesn’t actually change the way we act.
The way I see it, Adam and Eve fell from grace because they wanted to learn the truth, in this case, the truth about good and evil. They desired to know the whole world, not just their little slice of it. Being children - mere babes in the garden - they didn’t figure on the down side, which is that once you know good and evil, you can’t be innocent. Not anymore. That is the human condition.
In Bali, newborns are considered to be gods sent straight from heaven, and so for the first six months of life, all children are revered as minor deities, but afterward they become mere mortals, capable of falling from grace like the rest of us. Because the loss of innocence is the essential human condition, a human being without sin is not human.
Oh for God’s sake! I don’t mean that we’re all born sinners who must be redeemed in Christ, yadda yadda yadda. If that’s your schtick, cool. God bless. After all, Jesus was a radical dude. But I’m talking about a whole new paradigm here.
Are you ready?
On the one hand, we have parents, human parents, and any parent (any half-assedly decent parent) knows that children do not get it right the first time. Big surprise, I know. Good parents know that just because the kids have gotten into the forbidden cookie jar doesn’t mean they have sinned. It means they’re curious-as-shit, teeny tiny humans. On the other hand, we have God. One little nibble of a mistake and it’s Get the hell outta my garden! WTF?! This says more about his (excuse me, His) parenting than it does about sin. Or us, for that matter.
Wikipedia (yes Wikipedia, not the Bible, is my go to book) tells us that “sinfulness... consists in the guilt of Adam and Eve’s first sin: the want of original righteousness... [which is] commonly called original sin.”
Translating loosely - by which I mean translating the Dina way - this means that truth (aka, righteousness), not sex, is the original sin. God knows, truth was the first casualty. Always is.
Truth; the whole, unadulterated, complicated, covered up, dug up, ugly-and-divine-at-the-same-time truth; this is what lies at the center of God and Man. Truth and Sin.
Those of you who are regular readers of Sins of the Eldest Daughter know that I’ve had a life of challenges. And if you’ve been paying close attention then you also know that I hold the radical belief that sin - every sin and every sinner, no matter how great the magnitude or how ugly the act - is ultimately forgivable.
This is not a religious stance for me.
This is not a philosophical or political belief. Nor is it faith.
This is the triumphant total of what life has thrown at me.
From sexual abuse and a locked-down childhood in which I was permitted to show up only as a pretty doll speaking lines that came when you pulled my string, to a decade-long illness and a bipolar brain that demands constant balancing, I have drawn not only great strength from my challenges but also the courage to face any and all foes. This includes the shadow side of myself and my choices. I don’t flinch at ugly.
It is these challenges - and more importantly, the knowledge that what I struggle with is what every human being on the planet struggles with, namely the will to face the ugly truths and make something worthwhile out of them - it is this that spurs me to write and share my journey with you.
This year my journey brought me something wonderful. Something so amazing that it leaves me as speechless as my friendship with Jose once did. As luck would have it, this amazing thing, this thing I would say yes to under any conditions, is a sin. Oh yeah, baby. It’s a sin that everyone fears deeply. A sin that everyone hates self-righteously. And a sin that pretty much everyone has indulged in at one time or another. Or wants to. The best sins always are.
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