Saturday, November 14, 2009

Heaven on Earth -- Writer's Poke #265




I don't sit around and think about Belinda Carlisle much these days, but I did in 1987. Something about the video "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" spoke to me, and if you keep in mind that I was 14 years old, you can probably guess what it was.

At the time, she would have been 29, although I doubt that I gave her age much thought. I didn't know her history, or even that she was once in a band named the Go-Gos. To me, Belinda was fresh and new, and when I watched the video, I thought of her as virginal. Sure, there's a dude in the video, but he was my surrogate. And even as a 14 year old viewer, I could tell that she was just acting; she wasn't that into the stand-in.

So, how does an average person meet and enter the world of the famous? Moreover, how does a 14 year old dude make a famous chick fall for his charms, when the only way to meet someone like Belinda might be at an autograph session, where one might only have five seconds to make an impression?

These were questions I pondered in my youth, but no longer. Now, I focus on equally ridiculous questions, such as: If heaven is so great, why did God create an Earth in the first place. Lots of religious people pine for heaven, and we are often reminded not to "be of this world." But doesn't it seem like such a waste of time and energy, to create a physical world and universe, I mean. Why didn't God save himself a lot of trouble, and, oh, the 15+ billion years involved in creation and watching it all play out, and just place humans in heaven immediately?

I know people have developed plenty of "explanations" over the years for why humans needed to have a life-on-Earth experience, but none of these explanations is really satisfying. And unless you're a devout Jehovah's Witness, it's pretty clear to 99.9% of the human race that heaven will never be a place on Earth. Not even with Belinda bouncing around in a video offering herself as the possible conduit.

Describe your idea of heaven.

"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." -- Henry David Thoreau

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