Tag Archives: religion

Day 169: Dirt Dreams

I visited a mound today.

A mound of Earth that was built by Native Americans around 1100 ad.

It was hot and the march to the top was exhausting, but I made it. The view from there is impressive, but imagine how it looked when it was new. Before time  and industry wore it down. It had to have been amazing.

I thought about how my life would be if I has been born in that era. Working the fields in the same hot sunlight, preserving crops and fish for the brutal winters, birthing countless children without the aid of modern anesthesia. I’m sure I would have accepted it. How would I know any better? I would play the mother’s role as my mother and her mother did.

Standing on that mound made me reflective. I thought about all the people that had come before me. Civilizations that have come and gone before I was ever thought of. I thought about peoples that just went about their day to day lives, thinking about the past and future just like I do. Did those native women want to live free and happy lives just like I do? Did they dream of future generations and see greatness? The ancestors laid so much groundwork for us to build on and many of us ignore our historical connections altogether.

Would they be sad to know that? Would the people that came before us be bothered by the way we live now, locked in our own little bubbles?

I asked myself these questions and teared up. I hope I’m making my ancestors proud. I hope they gain the peace of knowing that their struggles and hardships weren’t in vain. I hope they are pleased that the legacy they left hasn’t been totally erased; that their lives mattered.

I decided, standing there in the summer sun, that I would live out my days in a way that would make my great grandmothers happy. I hope I’m part of the future they were dreaming of.

Day 147: Even Crazier

 

come on
My relationship with Life lately

I felt good today. That was probably my first mistake.

Church was nice. I had a little hope in my heart. The sun is shining and the weather is gorgeous.

Then I get home and go to my desk only to discover that the cat has shit on my laptop.

Again.

This time it was closed at least, but that didn’t stop him from shitting on top of and next to my computer. There was even shit on top of my USB ports and hubs. Clean up was very tricky.

You can imagine my anger right now. The frustration. The absolute, “I will kick you across the street” type of rage boiling inside me at this moment. It’s fortunate that I decided to write instead of releasing some of my fury.

This isn’t even MY cat. It’s my sister-in-law’s. Plus, this isn’t the first time the cat has shit of my computer. This animal continues to disrespect my house and I’m sick of it. My desk reeks of cat waste and I’m fed up.

Maybe I should take a walk to relax. It is nice out. I gotta do something before I flip out around here.

Day 136: The Stranger

Have you ever felt lonely while being surrounded by others? Many people have called this a strange otherness that they have difficulty living with or describing. I’ve fallen victim to such feelings myself, more often than I would like. My therapist would blame this phenomenon on my mild anxiety disorder and usually I would agree, but I’ve come across some things in my research that would imply that this is a common feeling in society.

There was a classical era sociologist named Georg Simmel. His work covered a broad range of topics from social hierarchies to fashion tends. Tonight, however, I’m reminded of his essay called “The Stranger”.

In his essay, Simmel speaks of social groups, or rather membership in social groups. One of the roles he describes is that of the stranger. The stranger is a member of a social group, but remains on the fringes. A person who is generally accepted, but has very loose ties with the other group members. They have the ability to drift in and out of and even between groups without much notice.

Think of the traveling merchant of days of old. They would go between different villages and kingdoms to sell their wares. The merchants managed to keep a good enough relationship with their customers to keep their income afloat, but they weren’t really included within other social matters of the land.

I’m playing that role this evening. I’m sitting in a room full of middle aged to elderly, upper middle class, white Christians. I’m a member of this church and have been attending for years, but I still feel like I am very much a stranger. It has become much more evident in the age of T*ump and his supporters.

I know that includes many members of this congregation.  I’ve heard their ramblings before the election and even afterwards. Some of their opinions are very misguided and I’m forced to keep my own  thoughts to myself to remain sane with these folks.

A smart person would just find another church. They would leave and seek the companionship and support of more like minded people. I, however, am obviously a glutton for punishment. Even now as I type this, I can’t bring myself to leave. My family still attends this church and I don’t want to leave them behind. Also, my son is beginning to explore his faith and I don’t want my issues to impose on any comfort he may have here.

So I remain a stranger in a very familiar land. I  The connections I have are few and that circle is becoming smaller as people stronger than I leave on their own journeys. Perhaps, their departure will make my own that much easier.