April 24, 2005

Does God Want Me to Post Photos?

Walking in my neighborhood yesterday I saw something to which words can’t do justice. You just had to see it:

The flattened, desiccated body of a toad standing on its head in the middle of the street.

Dark brown with light brown spots. About four inches from snout to toes. About as thick as a sheet of cardboard. Its feet spread open like hands blessing me, and fluttering slightly in the mild breeze.

Holy Cartier-Bresson, I thought. If I had a camera with me I’d put this on my blog.

It must be a sign, I thought. Finally, after all these years of patient waiting, I’m getting a sign from God, and it’s that He wants me to put photos on my blog. I’d better give this due consideration. Maybe if it’s still there the next time I walk past, I’ll hurry to the house and borrow her camera.

Considering, I continued on my walk. When I looped back and returned to the toadsite, the toad was lying flat on the asphalt, just an ordinary run–over toad. I had missed my divine appointment.

But as I was squatting down to examine the toad, it occurred to me: This thing is ugly, dude! What kind of deity would use an ugly, squashed, inverted corpse as a sign? What if – what if it was a sign all right, but not from God at all? What if it was the other power tempting me, impersonating the good?

It was the devil, Satan himself, who had been tempting me to post photos on my blog!! The clue was the materials he had used. With no access to the beautiful, he had been forced to fall back on a parody made of the meretricious, ostentatious, and squalid.

Thankful to have saved myself once again, in the nick of time, through the use of human reason, I continued on my walk.