3.24.2007

Ashes to Dustballs

The South American's (note: the new boyfriend) aunt and uncle are visiting Europe on their honeymoon and arrived in Paris this morning. Luckily, they speak English, seeing as how my Spanish is only useful when asking about the location of the bathroom and ordering quesadillas. Really.

While the SA was working this afternoon, some friends and I walked his family around the city and ended up at Notre Dame. One of these friends (Stephanie) is an au pair to twin 6-year old boys and brought the boys with us. I told one of the boys to hold my hand when we went inside the church and warned him that we would have to be quiet. "Yes," Steph said, "this is God's house."

So we get inside and there are herds of people milling through the church. I take one of the twins and we walk around, looking at the people praying and lighting candles and the statues.

Twin Boy: Where is God?
Me: Um... what do you mean?
TB: Where is he buried?
Me: Well, he's not really buried. Because he wasn't really a person... (realizing this is getting way too philosophical way too fast...)Actually, I don't know where he's buried. But Jesus is buried in Jerusalem, in Israel.
TB: But why can't we see him?
Me: Well, you know, Jesus died a long time ago, so his bones all turned into (searching frantically for the correct terms in French)... dust balls. Non!- soil; his body turned into soil.
TB: Soil?
Me: Yeah, you know, when you die, after a long, long time, your body turns into just your bones and then your bones turn into little pieces and then you become part of the soil. I mean, not the soil really, more like the earth.

Somewhere in Paris, you know that this kid is lying awake wondering how Jesus became soil, all because of the American and her lack of religious decomposition vocabulary.

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