Sunday, August 31, 2008

Elle est Morte

My mother died Saturday, August 30, 2008, at 10:32 a.m. Will say some more later on the plethora of emotions and thoughts that this has caused. But I just wanted to let you know what finally developed on that front. I already miss her.
Thanks for your thoughts, well wishes and suggestions on how to tell my mom about my spiritual issues. Ultimately, I decided not to say anything. So while my mom knew I didn't attend church and knew I had chosen to stop wearing Mormon garments, she never ended up finding out the full extent of my beliefs. I think it was for the best. I have no regrets about that. I regret more that she won't be a part of my children's lives. She loved them so much.
Meanwhile, I'm out in the boondocks of small town Oklahoma and am borrowing my cousin's internet connection. I'll write more when I get back to Idaho.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Coming Out in Style

Had rather an interesting evening. I went to a church function with hubby tonight. It wasn't anything overtly religious, just food and socializing (Alistiar participated in the pie eating contest). But it was surreal to see the looks on people's faces as they greeted me. I recognized the look from when I used to be a full believing member. They were so excited to see me, the disaffected, finally attending with Alistiar. They came up and touched me on the arm, gave me that penetrating look, and said, "How are you today?" They repeatedly told me they were glad we had come. They were being so nice, so sweet. I suppose some would say I was reading too much into it, except that I remember the act from when I was a member. It certainly didn't seem like an act at the time, so I know they aren't purposefully being manipulative, but now that I'm the one receiving the kindness, it just seems icky. I know I'm a project (of course, my suspicions were confirmed the other day when Alistiar came home and told me that they had told him, "Don't worry, we'll get her to church.). I know I'm a project because I used to make people projects. I meant well, but now I realize that no one wants to be a project.

I was getting cranky, having to be so nice and act like I didn't know what was going on. So when the conversation turned to blogging and they asked me if I blogged, I said, "yes." They wanted the blog address and I said, "Okay, but I should warn you, I'm an atheist, and that's what I blog about."

"We still love you," they said. But they didn't ask for the URL again. Part of me felt good to get it out, to let them know, "You want a project, then fine, have a project, but I'll be damned if I don't know what you're up to!" The other part of me wondered if I had just cast my proverbial pearls before swine and had opened up the way for even more overt lengths at saving my soul. I would go into a stream of questions about why it's so hard for people to accept that the church isn't everything and a bag of chips, but I know the answer. I remember the incomprehension. I remember not understanding why people would ever leave the church. I remember the pity, the indignity I felt upon hearing someone had left or refused baptism. The odd thing is that even though I remember it, I don't understand it anymore.

I still understand the pull that religion has. I even attend a different church because I enjoy the community that religion offers. But I don't understand the pity and the intolerance anymore. By the time I was ready to say goodbye to the idea of god, I had figured out that even assuming there was a god, the important thing was how we acted right now. And all the exclusion that happened in most religious sects didn't seem like the right way to be going if we wanted to restore some order to the planet. I don't really pity these people because they belong to what I consider to be a harmful institution. I don't look at them with the soul searching glance and ask them how their rational thought is coming.

And I suppose what bothers me about this is that until they have a similar change in perspective (not necessarily leaving the church, but in what is really important), there's going to be this pity and intolerance. And that's what makes these events so difficult for me.

Back in Business

I'm back in business (although that still doesn't mean that I'll necessarily write a lot, am kind of flaky that way)! Thanks JohnR, for coming up and saving our internetless home! He had to pick his kids up from grandma's in Utah and drove a little out of the way to bring us a computer. He's also taking our junker back with him to hopefully recover the lost family photographs, essays and short stories that we had on there.

I have missed everyone so much. I just didn't feel comfortable writing and commenting on blog posts from work (mostly 'cause I'm so damned long winded that both things take a significant amount of time for me).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

For the Record

For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend with my blogging friends. My home computer, however, crashed while I was gone, and so I haven't been able to write anything until now (people are dying at slow rates and no one seems to have any gripes they want published). Just suffice it to say, that mfranti, G, Chandelle, JohnR, Kaimi and others are some of my favorite people and it was so refreshing to meet some of you for the first time and see some of you again.