Because we’re coming to the end of a history that’s not provable.
Because we only get to enter this land because it was promised
to our fore-parents and not because we deserve it. Because of the
long list of reasons why we don’t deserve it. The complaining, the
calf. Did you know that calf was ground to golden dust and tossed
into a brook? Because our mistake became a gold-rush for future
middle-easterners. Because of all that. Because we’re so used to
manna raining out of the sky and now we’ll need to learn to find
food in a conventional manner. Because milk and honey are meant
to flow together. Try it one night – heated up in a pot, poured in your
favorite mug, then down your throat. Because of that comfort.
Because these words I teach to my children I sometimes take literally,
and can only think of a new neighborhood where milk comes out of
the faucets and the rivers are nothing but honey, and I don’t know
how I’d navigate that, and the unwanted attention from bears.
Because we should love our neighbors as ourselves and welcome
the stranger into our tent, except for the Canaanites, of course, who
we are about to slaughter and whose idols we will crush to more
golden dust, and maybe someone will benefit from the gold of their
history. Because if we abandon the precepts which have been
laid out for us, and which have been repeated over and over, and
are even now being repeated by a man who is scared, almost to
his death, that we’ll screw it up. Because, we’re told, screwing it up
will lead to our exile. And isn’t it funny that I’m writing this from a
foreign land where I’ve spent my whole life, where everyone I know
acts like they are not a stranger. Because my visits to the promised
land are just visits. Because of all that. Because I want to deserve
a promised land like it was assumed the first ones of my kind did.
Because I want the milk and honey in my cup to be a just reward,
a promise worth keeping, a gold rush in my mouth.