My Beautiful Wickedness


Thinking through the past couple of weeks.
June 19, 2008, 11:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

  • There's a time between every parent and every child in which the kid comes to realize that the parent's death -- even if not imminent -- is a fact that must be prepared for. I had that moment with my mother this trip and it's just tearing me up.
  • Nothing brings you back to the religion of your youth like riding shotgun with an elderly relative who will not wear her glasses. Mom drives like the wind and between the cataracts and the vanity, her vision has been increasingly impaired. I let out an involuntary "Whoa!" that really insulted her, but it can be really hairy careening around these blind curves.
  • Has anybody done a study of the southern phenomenon of roadside memorials? It's just so Catholic, that erection of little shrines, that I find it weird that Protestants have embraced it so thoroughly. I keep trying to draw lines between post-Confederate venerations of the soldiers of the Lost Cause and the railroad crash site memorials and the general thanatical obsessions of the region and Mexican/central American immigration, and Indian place-centered remembrances...but it all gets too muddled in my head and then it turns into mudpie. Got to watch those tendencies to try to weave a grand theory of everything.
  • I've been giving some thoughts to my gods lately. I don't know how much I want to say about that or how much I can say, but I am giving it a lot of thought, especially trying to puzzle out deer magic and its meaning in my life right now (seeing as how I had two very powerful deer visions in the last few weeks, something that hasn't happened since before I got married). I'm thinking about whether Christian-plus (syncretic polytheist) is a good fit for me. See, it's true. Open that UU door and you have to walk through and sort it all out for yourself.
  • For the first time in twenty years, I've felt a call to write poetry. What's that all about? I guess it's because some things I'm dealing with now need to be processed in some other way. Anyhow, there's that.
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    6 Comments so far
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    Bridgett:

    I think I stopped having gods sometime back. I do believe in a power that orders the universe, but that’s all I got, really.

    I knew my mom was failing when I got a nearly illegible note from her. Then she missed my birthday (for the first time in 50 years) and I knew the end was near. She passed a few months later.

    I think you’ve been writing poetry for some time, if only in your head.

    Comment by democommie

    There are no gods and I have no religion, but there is this: everything wants to be useful, and everything wants to be respected.

    Comment by John Gruver

    So hardcore animism isn’t a religious belief? If everything wants, then nothing is wholly insensate or inanimate. And respect is a pretty sound premise on which to base a way of being, whether you term it a spiritual practice or an ethical stance or whatever.

    Comment by bridgett

    It’s not animism because I don’t actually *believe* that anything has a soul or a spirit…it’s just that my urge to treat things in those two ways strikes me as an innate need in the other object/person/whatever (even though I know better), and that I will disappoint myself for failing to meet that expectation and thus feel like I’ve let down the object of my effort, even if it can’t possibly know or perceive any such thing. It’s either a neurotic or a selfish misperception of an action as a transaction, I guess…but as long as it doesn’t get in the way of intended good actions on my part, it’s an imprecision with which I can live.

    Comment by John Gruver

    I guess that we think about religion differently. A simple definition for me would be whatever beliefs makes us act “as if.” It’s the actions that matter, anyhow.

    Comment by bridgett

    Have you ever read any Paul Ricoeur? I read a lot of Ricoeur in grad school — Time and Narrative and Oneself as Another (which had just come out and was a hot topic) and I know that my ideas about personal ethics deriving from the “kingdom of as if” developed from discussions I had about his work.

    Comment by bridgett




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