Maggots in the tub, mealworms in the kitchen
Summer messes with my sleep patterns something fierce. I can’t sleep. When I finally do get to sleep, I have weird dreams. Most of the time, those dreams evaporate into the mists of waking consciousness, sometimes leaving an emotional aftertaste and, sometimes, not. The dreams of winter are different, but I can’t tell you what’s different about them right now because I forget.
What I remember this morning was that I was cleaning up, and I had this inner urgency to do that because there were larvae in my living space. I glanced into a bathtub, and there were 20 or so giant maggots, your basic housefly larvae but the size of small thumbs, wriggling about. I went to another part of the house, and there was a corner that was swarming with mealworms, or larva-stage beetles, and then when I was in the kitchen, there were moth larvae moving about in the cabinets. I instinctively knew to grab a large plastic bag, which was shiny white, and I went to the bathtub and scooped up all the maggots with a dustpan and dumped them into the bag and, after that, hosed out the tub. And then I went to the corner where the mealworms were crawling, and I brushed them into the dustpan and dumped them into the bag, and used a small vacuum to suck up whatever was left. And then I went to the kitchen and, realizing the moth larvae had infested bags of bulk grain I had, I threw all the bags of grain into the big white shiny bag, and I brushed everything clean. I walked through the house, satisfied that I’d gotten everything, and then I asked someone who was there if I should burn the bag, and they said, no, just sealing it up would most likely do the trick by depriving them of life-giving oxygen.
Later on, I was having a discussion with this guy I work with about God. He’s a Mormon, and he was saying something like, “Well, you Buddhists don’t believe in God.” And I started explaining the concept of dependent origination, which posits that everything emerges from causes and conditions, which is one of the things the Buddha taught. But I added that my own spiritual experiences in recovery have led me to the conclusion that there’s some kind of benevolent intelligence at work that steps in when we open ourselves up to its presence and handiwork, and sometimes even when we’re not overtly looking for help. Maybe, I added, God is like an ant colony, with billions of ants of limited intelligence working together to compose something far smarter and greater than each individual. Then we got into talking about the nature of God in relation to man, and I had to admit that the Latter-day Saint idea of eternal progression, or that a man can become a god, with his wife as Mrs. God, on another world or in another dimension wasn’t something that resonated with me, but neither did a heaven with angels singing and clouds and harps. More like: We’re just like a glass of water pulled out of the ocean, and when we’re done, the water goes back into the ocean, and maybe little drops of us end up in a lot of other glasses, combined with a lot of other drops.
Sorry if that sounded like babbling. It probably was. Dreams make no sense to me. —Jackson Griffith