If I Only Had a Brain
Ah, the wonders of modern life.
Did you know that even with the Internet handy, one can fail to remember? I once married a man thinking this (my marrying him) would be the last time I ever had to think . . . He was such a brainiac that I'd just have him do all my thinking for me from the moment "I Did" onward.
So I did, but it didn't.
I mean it didn't quite work. Not the I do, that worked great. But the no more thinking was, alas, just a pipe dream. Turns out one is still responsible for at least faux-thinking, and 30 years later I can say that though I've depended tremendously on his smarts, just like in recent years we've all come to depend on our friend Google (or whichever HAL is your nearest and dearest brain replacement), nonetheless whether we're talking electronic or spousal IQs, in the end, we're stuck with whatever God has given us - I mean given each of us for brains.
Straw, in my case.
Forgetfulness being a theme here at Miss Marcel's Musings, I can honestly and happily admit that I don't even remember why I was emailing a friend yesterday about which character(s) we might be in The Wizard of Oz. Now it occurs to me that we could have easily solved the type-casting by taking some no doubt, quite well-oiled Internet test. Luckily, neither of us had the brains to think of such an obvious solution, which may give you a hint as to who we ended up being.
I wrote to said friend something like, "Tin Man? Cowardly Lion? Is there a third?" (meaning of the sweethearts that Dorothy meets on her little way). My friend replied that I was forgetting the very one we most likely were - namely, Scarecrow! Light dawned for me (it often does, and not just in the morning or in the East - although since the East is where Marcel comes from, I may have to say yes, actually, my light comes from the East more often than not).
Yes, I had totally forgotten the Scarecrow, but as this wasn't a real-time conversation, before I could interrupt with head shaking and laughter, my friend accused me of having pulled a fast one on her.
She had been so thrilled to be able to tell me, "No, Dopey [which brings up another question, but there, we've already answered it], you forgot Scarecrow!" but a moment longer and, even while she wrote me the email to tell me my match (and my forgetfulness), she second-guessed herself and me. Since the email she sent captured her two minds perfectly (so as you can see, she's a lot smarter than I am: she's got TWO, count them: 1, 2, brains!), I'm simply going to quote her now:
"We are Scarecrow! With puddin' head brains, oatmeal brains . . . errrr, wait a minute? Was that just a joke? You DID remember Scarecrow and I was too stupid to get the joke? Yeah, I see it all now. I’m just going to watch Bob Ross paint for a very long time. Then Mr Rogers' neighborhood. That’s all my pea headed brain can handle. You’ll need to find a wittier friend."
Heavens to murgatroyd, I'll take all the friends I can get, and I hate to exclude wits, but I'm not sure I could keep up! We've discussed this before at MMM, the whole wits vs. witless dichotomy, and I don't want to play favorites, especially because Marcel and I prefer Jesus above all others, and He is, as God, Wit Itself . . . but ah, just between us, can I admit here that OF COURSE I actually forgot my Wizard of Oz counterpart, the dear and darling Scarecrow, Dorothy's first friend (after Toto) and ablest counselor (besides Glinda, who, I must admit, does compete for my alter-ego and idealized true self: blonde hair, great crown, lots of sparklys, desire to discern - "Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?" - and finally, "I'm in a bit of a muddle," when she can't understand how the whole good vs. evil drama is playing out here).
Then, turning at last to my electronic brain Google, unable myself (sans brain) to remember - now that he's been brought to my attention - whether Scarecrow has a trademark song that would fit me . . . voila! here it is! Song, blog post title, and undeniably familiar feeling/sighing wish all rolled into one captivating, show-stopping number. Do you remember it?
"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" asks Judy/Dorothy.
"DO?" responds Ray/Scarecrow. "Why if I had a brain, I could . . . "
I could while away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel ev'ry riddle
For any individdle
In trouble or in pain.
(With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain.)
Oh, I, could tell you why
The ocean's near the shore,
I could think of things
I'd never thunk before,
And then I'd sit down and think some more.
I would not be just a nuffin',
My head all fulla stuffin',
My heart all full of pain;
I would dance, and be merry,
Life would be a ding-a-derry,
If I only had a brain.
Ah, sweet music! I've been feeling so grateful for music lately, and this only confirms its brilliance. Thank You, Jesus! And please bless Judy G, Ray B, Jack H, Billie B, Margaret H, Bert L, Frank M, Victor F, Herbert & Edgar and Harold (for the music), and all the munchkins! Oh and L. Frank Baum - and absolutely everyone who gave us this priceless story and its perfect songs.
Because what would Miss Marcel do with a brain but the very things Scarecrow has named? Straight off, and we need go no further for a perfect expression of our hearts' desires, we could while away the hours, conferrin' with the Flowers - you know, Marcel and Therese! And come to think of it (or maybe it's an intuition, rather than a thought exactly, brainless as we are over here): who needs any more brains than that?
Wanting confirmation of my new identity, I flipped open Conversations, and here is our find of the day, dropped down from heaven without any need on our part to search - just, "Take and read . . ."
Marcel: O Jesus! Little Jesus, what are You saying now? And who would be able to understand such figurative language?
Jesus: Marcel! There you are again, wishing to understand. How will that help you? Continue, therefore, to write, and there will be somebody else to understand . . . You have already forgotten what I said to you before. . . it is really unfortunate. And how would you succeed in understanding . . . Come on, it is sufficient that you understand these few words: your duty simply consists in writing; in the matter of understanding, that's your director's business. If you don't understand, that must not trouble you. There is nothing in what I say to you which is beyond the intelligence of your director. I have told you that already many times, but you always forget. Do not be sad. The more you forget, the more you see your weakness and your ignorance, and the more you are dear to me and receive my kisses. So, there are, therefore, hours of suffering and hours of happiness.
+ + +
Well I could do without the hours of suffering, but as it is not my job to understand, but only to write, we'll leave that aside for now. Heaven will be long enough to understand suffering - it would be nice to see in an instant what Marcel and I just aren't getting about this whole suffering thing, but in exile, befuddled as we are, what a consolation to know we are dear to Jesus and receive His kisses.
Which brings me to an even more crucial question than Which Character are you?
Do you know how dear YOU are to Jesus?
This is a secret Marcel and I can't keep to ourselves, much the same as Therese couldn't keep it to herself but had to come down to tell Marcel (and us too, thanks to him). But brains or no brains, I can hardly expect to convey our sweet Jesus' infinitely tender love for you if He Himself is finding it a challenge!
When I realized I'd closed the book of Conversations without giving you Marcel's page number for the passage I'd quoted, I re-opened the book. But as St. Junipero Serra said, "Always forward!" There's no finding or re-finding a page unless Jesus wants it for us, and I'd already given you that one. He wasn't concerned about giving you the reference, but rather He wanted to tell you not to worry if you don't yet know His love as you'd like. You don't yet know His love as He'd like either, so you're not alone!! Here is what He tells us in a kind of adorable apology (and I'll tell you before I forget: this passage is at (39) in Marcel's numbering of the pages he on which he wrote their Conversations):
Jesus: The words that I am addressing to you here are far from expressing all the love that I bear for souls. I do not know what human language to employ to translate the full intimacy of this love. The intimate words that I address as well to other souls, I borrow from the language that people ordinarily use to express their feelings. If I used the intimate language that is more suitable for Me to use when speaking to you, you would understand nothing. Indeed, my child, humanly speaking, My words are the expression of the deepest love; but I, I regard them as being only a single glance of My love. My child, I do not know what words to use to succeed in making you understand more. Little one, do you understand? Allow me to explain things to you still more clearly. If I spoil you to that extent, can you wish for more?
Firmly believe that I am always pleased with you. I have never said to you that an action had offended Me. I have said to you, simply, that things that are troubling you at present are simply grains of dust. Do you understand? Be at peace, you have not offended Me . . . Listen therefore, I am speaking to you.
Little child of My love, My love can never be measured. My love for you my child, and for souls, is still hidden; it is impossible for Me to show it completely in this world. The day when one will see love, when one will be united eternally to love is the only day when one will succeed in understanding it clearly. Has your sister Therese not told you, 'My love alone remains eternally'?
+ + +
There, then. It's not just me (or you). Our Love, the Word Himself, has trouble conveying the ardor of His devotion to us. Let's not worry that we have trouble conveying ours to Him, nor realizing His. Let's not worry about anything at all, any more, ever! That will please Jesus and fulfill His express wishes!
In the meantime, before Heaven which will in an instant reveal His infinite Love (and boy won't that be a relief!), and thus leave the rest of eternity for Him to explain to us just exactly why suffering was such a good idea, for now He has once again given us the easiest little way to hop into His arms and be lifted there (to that Heaven in our souls where He resides, and eventually to that Heaven where we'll see Him face to Holy Face).
Did you notice the bold words He said? It's that glance of love again! He told us (and He and Marcel have been giggling about it ever since we didn't notice it for our Novena day in which we talked about Therese's glance of love, in the Catechism and in the Song of Songs):
My words are the expression of the deepest love; but I, I regard them as being only a single glance of My love.
I'll close by saying that one good glance deserves another, and after ours, I'm going to give you - from me and Therese and Marcel and Jesus - some flowers. One of the million reasons flowers are so awesome is that they don't need language or words to tell us how much Jesus loves us! I'm guessing He made them just so He'd know we caught His glance . . .
Ah, but before I give you my own choice expressions of our glance and His (our prayer, His flowers), St. John of the Cross has suddenly entered my heart, offering his wondrous but still-falling-short attempt to express what cannot be expressed: the sweetness of our Bridegroom's love, His ardour, His thirst for our souls, and ours (the Brides') for His, the glances we exchange . . .
From our holy father's Spiritual Canticle, then:
A thousand blessings casting
among these leafy groves He hastened by,
His passing glance a lasting
beauty imposed, His eye,
His face, alone clothed them with harmony.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
With but a single hair!
Upon my neck You watched it flutter, fall,
Your gaze held captive there,
a prisoner in thrall:
one glance of mine wounded You past recall.
You looked with love on me,
and deep within Your eyes imprinted grace;
this mercy set me free,
held in Your love's embrace,
to lift my eyes, adoring, to Your face.
Let none despise me now,
if You have found me dark, am I not fair?
Your look that can endow
all things, sought me - see how
Your eyes on me left grace and beauty there!
* * *
Draw me, we shall run!
* * *
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Not to break you away from deep prayer, but wouldn't you know, Jesus won't let me put into this post an image of flowers? I can only conclude that He's telling me to tell you to go find a flower that's 3-D. No, not at the expensive movie theater where you wear goofy disposable glasses to "sense" this glance of His love - but right outside in nature (or the suburbs or the city, but they've got flowers everywhere, or nearly - you can even try the grocery store!). If you have the inclination, shoot me an email with the nifty "Contact Me" button in the sidebar to let me know what flower spoke His love to your heart, and let's hope next time I post, I'll be able to put in pictures for us to enjoy.
Sheesh. I can't help it. I'm about to break into song again . . . if I only had a brain!
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I've written books and articles and even a novel. Now it's time to try a blog! For more about me personally, go to the home page and you'll get the whole scoop! If you want to send me an email, feel free to click "Contact Me" below. To receive new posts, enter your email and click "Subscribe" below.