by Andrew Hanson

By Andrew Hanson, March 5, 2014

(Written for the dedication of Kiefer and Quinn)

 

You know the old silly question

Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

Let me go on record right now

They did

 

When I was younger

The Bible story about Adam

Being made out of clay

Eve out of a rib bone

Made me uneasy

It couldn’t be right

I’d skinned my knee by then

And broken my arm

And clay or mud or whatever

Didn’t quite cut it

 

Now as a man with

A wife

Children

And grandchildren

Of my own

I am morally

And mortally certain

That our first parents had

Belly-buttons

 

I know this because

I’ve watched the birth

Of two of my children

And one of my grandchildren

 

And also because I live

In a world where men

Have written most of the history and

Call the shots

Being a man myself I know

It was a man who decided

That God made us

Out of mud and bone

It’s how we men think

We make things

And we love the things we make

Material

Philosophical

Political

Religious

And we get so attached to these things

That we believe they’re real

And we act as if they’re real

And we act as if they were so precious

That they are more to be valued than

Life itself

 

So we men have made a world

Without consulting our wives

And lovers

And other assorted female members

Of the human race

Because we could have our way

Because we are physically bigger

And stronger

Because we could

So we men have made a world

In which we

Our children

And grandchildren

Fight and die in wars to protect

To further

To promote

To protect

These things that aren’t real

These material

Philosophical

These political

These religious things

That we made up

Just like the man

Made up the mud man

And bone woman

 

In Genesis

Adam and Eve had

Belly-buttons because

They were born

Just like we are born

Just like Kiefer and Quinn were born

Gestated by God

Connected to God

By the umbilical cord of life

The umbilical cord of the love

That makes life possible

 

ASIDE

That Jesus gave birth to twins

In a specially decorated Garden of Eden

Attended by an angel or two that

Had gone with him through the heavenly equivalent

Of Lamaze training

Isn’t so hard to imagination

Given the current notions

 

Maybe this is why Jesus

Decided to be born

Maybe he wanted to participate in

The entire human experience

 

Jesus came to explain to us

What is real

To show us how to live a real life

In an unreal world

To help us understand why

Babies and little children

Whose world is not yet

The world we men have made

Offer a glimpse of

What is really real

What life is all about.

 

That’s why Jesus said

My kingdom is not of this world

That’s why he told us that we men

Had it all wrong

The real world

Was about healing

And kindness

And restoring

And forgiving

And loving your neighbor

Even those neighbors who

Were your enemies

 

That we had it all wrong

About judgment

About sin

 

I’ve spoken to men

Who want to toughen Jesus up

They want him to do the things

A man should do when confronted

By evil

By injustice

They like the clearing the temple story

And turning over the tables of the moneychangers

And reminding me that Jesus will burn

Evildoers in hell forever

Or at least for some painful time

In a lake of fire

 

These men ignorantly believe

The same old foolishness

 

Violence

And threats of violence

Have never

Can never

Establish a peaceable kingdom

Here or in Heaven

 

These men forget that

Humankind was created

In God’s image

Not men’s image alone

 

I believe God is more

Woman than man

How else can you explain

Babies

 

When I asked Karen to tell me

About Quinn

She said something that

Gave an old cliché new meaning

She said

He’s the light of our lives

 

That made me think of other

Clichés that have been around

For a long time that involve

Light

 

Light at the end of a tunnel

 

A miracle

A new life

A new grace connection

A new chance to get it right

A new and better citizen

 

Born into the light of a kingdom

Not of this world

 

ah