“Whatever” (Day Two in the Kitschy Wisdom Quest)

There’s a Quaker prayer that’s all hand motions, no words (I like the Quakers for that). Open your hands, palms up, and acknowledge that whatever God sends your way, you will accept. Then turn them over, palms down, as surrender to whatever God would ask you to yield.  That prayer means, “God, whatever.”

“Whatever” is pronounced, typically, like this:  what EV er. And “Whatever” is my aphorism of the day, in day two of a quest to live each day based on the wisdom expressed on a coffee mug commonly found in a kitschy gift shop on a summer road trip.

Ann LaMott says, paraphrased, that some days her prayers consist of (in the morning) “Whatever” and (at night) “Oh well.”

My daughter tells me that to really live into “whatever” I need to be comfortable with whateverness even in the moments when I hopelessly fail to feel whateverish, even when I’m miles away from an attitude of resignation or acceptance or peacefulness, or whatever whatever really means — something akin to trusting God probably.

To me it means that it’s ok not to speak Spanish well in Spanish class. There is joy in the unknowing and in the excuse that I’m not expected to be fluent in an Advanced Beginners’ class.

It means that I can feel comfortable in a department full of makeup counters without makeup on and with my hair partially dyed and partially not. Men might not get the significance of that last one, but women will perhaps agree that there is no worse judgment perceived than when we walk among the makeup goddesses and feel their stares which telegraph “You are a loser with the eyebrow pencil, honey.” Whatever!

Matthew 6 is the ultimate “whatever” realm. Don’t worry about clothes, body, food, drink. Seek first the kingdom of righteousness. All these other things will be added. If it comes, it was right. If not, not. He’s gotcha covered. Just say thanks.

Blues Traveler, in today’s iTunes selection, “Run-Around,” sing, “But I know no matter what the waitress brings, I shall drink in and always be full.” I want to live with that sense that it’s all good, that I can rest and wait and, mostly, trust.

I’m not there yet. But hey, whatever!


~ by Cary on July 2, 2008.

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