1. I spent 50 years of my life waiting to reach “My Time,” whatever that meant. As the slow-feeling adventuring of youth faded and adult years began to speed by, I was certain I was getting closer.
February 2012 came and went and with it the feeling of waiting for my time. I don’t know what was supposed to have happened, but I now feel that I’m in my time and, frankly, it’s rather anti-climatic. All I can think of was maybe it took me that long to really remember who I am as a soul.
Does this mean my life is near its end or that a destination of another sort is suddenly, invisibly, in sight, something I need to achieve now?
Yes, I know that’s an oxymoron. But some of you will know what I mean… know the pendancy of a quickening moment. Perhaps you’ve had one of your own?
2. I spent almost half of my life letting other people tell me what I ought to believe, do, and be. I might not always have been exact in my obedience, but I did aim very hard to please and was actually crushed whenever I failed to do so.
3. They tried to limit what I said too, but I never could shut up about it when I had a thought or a question. Ask the question, you will get a straight answer and you might very well regret it too. Younger me was a thorn in my fire-and-brimstone Sunday school teachers side. Most of my other teachers actually enjoyed me though and that’s the truth. It wasn’t always mutual.
4. My slow recovery from Iran was what finally broke me of letting others tell me what to believe, do, and be. I discovered it was too damaging for me in every way possible; that I had to determine my own path and make it very clear to others that they were not allowed to push or even nudge me any longer, especially not religious types or men. I’d say it’s nothing personal, but it really is personal.
5. At a Christmas gathering at my sister’s house (formerly that of my grandmother whom I’m very certain was present), we got into a discussion about graying hair. I was the only one of my generation there not really showing yet and I was variously accused of dying because my hair does after all have calico tendencies. It always has. Left to it’s own devices it’s golden brown on top (more golden in the summer) with varying locks of auburn, brunette, and brown. It can be pretty annoying. But only the lightest peppering of gray… which they couldn’t seem to see and it seemed to bug them. But, like I said, they thought my caliconess meant I’d been dying my hair, which I hadn’t. I laughed though and said that since my mom was no longer keeping her hair dyed dark brown, I’d have to do it in her stead and that I really wished she’d dye her hair dark again. I mean, just look at her:
At 72, she’s still gorgeous! Now just imagine her with rich dark hair like she used to have instead of this fading color and her and I could probably still pass for sisters.
But she wouldn’t do it. And my aunt Pat sitting right next to me, her hair already gone steel gray, told me I shouldn’t either. That I should just let my hair go gray like the rest of them and “age gracefully.”
Well that cinched it and I went from this…
…in the space of one weekend. Do I still look like me now that I’ve gone to the dark side for the first time in my life?
6. Another conversation, same party: I teased my sister about getting roped into church since she’d earlier said that wasn’t going to happen and my mom immediately jumped into that saying I should come too.
I laughed and said, “No, they’d only end up throwing me out like yesterday’s potatoes.”
She said, “No they won’t. They’d fix you.”
“I can’t be fixed,” I told her, still smiling even though I was a little insulted. What I should have said is that I can’t be fixed because I’m not broken. I’m content with myself and my own beliefs. I don’t need anyone else’s insinuated into me. I don’t want to even have the look of sharing a religion that I don’t. Reference item #3, it’s amazing that I didn’t say it. I may be outspoken, but I have at long last learned that talking religion or the lack thereof with my mother only ends up hurting her feelings, so it’s really not worth it. Still have to remind myself every single time though.
7. In my last blog, Religious Behavior Being Exhibited By the Non-religious, fellow blogger, nousapeironlogos, commented:
“I really enjoyed your musings. I’m impressed that you have the self-awareness to ask some of those questions. That’s a rare gift. Just as a note, I’ve studied all the world’s major religions and many of the minor ones as well as many ancient mythologies which were once active religions. I’ve paid careful attention to how religion develops and how it fits into our psychology.
My conclusion based on the evidence is that it’s not possible to avoid having a religion in a functional sense, though some people do not have one to which they explicitly adhere. In most cases, people who describe themselves as irreligious simply treat an odd amalgam of their political ideology, philosophical assumptions and moral intuitions as a religion. They usually don’t think of it as such, of course, because it doesn’t fit into any of the established religious traditions. It’s exceedingly common for people who believe that they are engaged in anti-religious behaviors to demonstrate what looks like (and is in fact) religious behaviors of their own.”
And I thought, OMG, that’s it! It really is! People in organized religions generally have to put their true beliefs and feelings a bit on hold in order to fit in and satisfy those around them. They are getting together, after all, to share camaraderie in their shared beliefs, but beliefs are really a personal thing. If you’re not truly confident in who you are, a little moral support doesn’t hurt a bit and for some it can help tremendously. But when you start questioning your own innermost thoughts, instincts, and feelings that are running astray of the group’s in some way, that’s when you’re really in the wrong place. You have to be able to trust your own mind in order to reach your full potential. Right?
Some do. Some don’t. It’s a group thing or an individual thing. It’s never a nothing.
8. I dream’t the other night that I lived in a resort town that in a certain season went from sleepy to crowded with rich and hoity-toighty types. When that happened, I was suddenly an outcast. The snobby newcomers called me a DHS and threw pebbles at me. I was supposed to help them all settle into their various places, give directions, carry their luggage, take them to their rooms, etc. but this behavior from them so annoyed me that I decided to just abandon them instead.
One last stone hit me in the lower back as I went and I felt a sharp pain and dampness there but I didn’t even pause to check it out. I just kept on walking. I left the town and kept on walking beside the highway.
A girl I knew was driving past and seeing me walking, pulled off and backed all the way up to me. She was a friend, so I let her approach and told her what was going on. She said it would all be okay and that I could come stay with her family until all the nasty tourists were gone.
Gratefully, I accepted.
At the door, her mother ordered us both to remove our shoes and leave them there. For some reason, the idea of taking my shoes off scared me, but I didn’t dare refuse. Instead, I compromised. I took my shoes off but insisted on carrying them with me.
We sat down together on opposite sides of a table with benches built into an alcove to have tea and I noticed the damp spot on my back was really getting uncomfortably wet and sticking to the back of the bench so that I was self-consciously sitting forward a bit to avoid this. My friend asked me what was wrong and I told her I didn’t know yet.
A moment later, liquid was pouring from me all over the floor. I had a panic moment of thinking either I was bleeding to death or I’d just peed myself and would short die of the humiliation, but when I looked surreptitiously under the table, the puddle there was green, like coolant or hydraulic fluid. “I… I think… I think I… need help,” I finally stammered out.
She looked quickly under the table to see what had upset me, paled, and jumped up to help me. I don’t know what she would have done, but her mother came in at that moment and noticing the liquid spilling out from under the table, hustled me into a bathroom. She was kind about it but I didn’t have to go potty and what happened there was totally different from what I or anyone else might expect. I sat on the toilet seat lid and then moaned as my feet started stinging and springing dozens of tiny cracks out of which dark blood began to ooze.
Luckily, I knew I was dreaming and promptly woke up, but my feet were still stinging and I really half expected them to start bleeding any moment. I thought, oh, they’re dry, and was looking around for foot lotion when Jeb suddenly came in and distracted me from it. I’m okay, LOL; my feet are not bleeding, nor did they.