I took my first step down into the font and thought. Baptisms are funny things. The brightness of it all is profound. It seems as if there is one brilliant mirror reflecting boisterous cheer everywhere. The idea is to pack as much happiness, either real or faked, into one too-hot room in the hope that it will be absorbed into the absolutely petrified soul of the prospective individual about to be baptized. The joy was so thick that it bounced around the walls and the floor searching for something to absorb it, something to hold it in permanently. The beams certainly had many obstructions to navigate around. There were too many fat women with satiated grins made wider still by the application of inordinate amounts of heavy crimson lipstick. Hair that reached ever upward in a maddeningly vertical gyre, as if they were competing with steeples in an effort to be closer to God. Maybe they thought the preponderance of hair would be a better conduit for God. With all the glistening hair spray, their hair had to be a conductor for something. Maybe there was a lightning rod tucked inside the cocoon of hair. Indeed, the hair imparted a degree of luminosity to the scene. At just the right angle, the artificial light would hit the summit of hairdom and create an angelic halo around their persons. Perhaps it was one big conspiracy. Perhaps some secret Relief Society tome specifies that women should wear eye-dizzying lipstick and hair spray in proportion to their weight. That made it all so bright. The Spirit, this pure being of truth, was being artificially implanted into the baptismal font through the use of cosmetics and cover-up.
The brethren ruined the conspiracy theory, or maybe they just didn't have ...
... middle of paper ...
...ed her head against my chest, tucked it among the folds of my baptismal clothes, seeking the light she radiated, seeking the unproven power I wish I had. It was a power that even my grandma couldn't define, though I knew she had it. The power of tension, the power of electrons, even the power of gravity paled in comparison to the power possessed in this embarrassed but strong old woman standing at my side. I wondered why everyone didn't come to gain this power. But I already knew the answer. The truth behind this power could not be given in equations stitched on the back of a lab coat. It could not even be obtained by simply reading of its source. The power is personal to us all. It is different for everyone. My grandma found her truth and her power, and I found myself clutching frantically for the beams of light that raced joyously out of her still trembling frame.
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