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The Weekend

I usually watch or read the news at least once a day but since this weekend I just had to stop for a while. My own effort to give those involved some space, My small contribution towards granting them privacy. Silly, yeah but the whole news-watching exercise became creepily voyeuristic really quickly for me. So I stopped.  I'll check back in with the news world in a few days.

 The college I work at is a  liberal arts school based upon Christian principles. The school has provided for me and my family for over thirty years now. I've left my child's education in their superb pedagogical hands. It's provided me with a terrificaly creative career as a chef.  I'm not that spiritual a person. Although I was brought up Catholic and Z-girl is Baptized and Confirmed. Even so,  I don't have the strength of faith God gave a gnat. In fact, I'm more inclined to believe that God/the Creator/ the Pan-Dimensional, omniscient universal being, really doesn't pay that much attention, if at all, to our small comings and goings.  And I can't wrap my head around the afterlife idea, although it's a nice idea - I just don't get the feeling that it exists (see: Faith, lack thereof) Pan-Dimensionally or otherwise.  All that said, I've been treated very well by the folks at work that are heavy with Faith and know that I'm somewhat of a Pagan. Not condescending or dismissive or pitying. I guess you could say they are Good Christians. Myself, I find spiritual solace in nature and yes, in the hearts of these good people. And still, though it might be crass, I find myself glad that school is not in session now during the wake of the massively heinous crime in Conn.  So many of our students are gentle, caring kids who would have been totally derailed by this event. And sure, that's alright - everyone was knocked off their pins by this, but youngsters this age, flowing with hard edged, bright emotions, feel it more in the heart. I asked Z-girl if she knew anything about what happened and she only nodded and said "Yeah." in that same, high, soft yet curt voice she used not long ago when her mother lay in ICU unconscious and dying and I asked if she wanted to see her. Only this time there were no silent tears, but I knew if I pushed, they'd come out in a torrent like they had then during our own personal journey through that Dark Territory now traveled by those poor people out East.   

Z-girl spent the weekend catching up on Spongebob, The Regular Show, Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball and a few other cartoons I don't usually watch.  She started re-reading two books just for fun "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "The Great Gatsby"(her Favorite). I wrote towards two separate deadlines, worked on some menus and watched two Radiohead concerts on YouTube in between playtime on FB.  I spent a large chunk of time looking at pictures and videos of my recent trip out to Moab and Zion. I fucking wish I was there right now - in Zion on the Narrows trail, breathing the air, feeling the stillness, hearing the wind and the water.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. I made a major Mom Faux Pas. Didn't tell my kid because I wanted to protect her. She somehow made it through without learning of the Dark Knight shootings, but she just now told me that she was the only one at school that didn't know about this. How do I even try to package that for her? I have failed.
Dec. 18th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)
While you don't have to force her to look right into the ugliness, you do need to have an adult conversation with her about the capacity of people to do ugly things. Not telling her is a bit akin to her being the last to know that Santa isn't real. But, don't beat yourself up over it. You may not have done so this time, but you could have covered by exclaiming shock at hearing the news from her for the "first time". That shifts the awkwardness from her shoulders to your own. No matter. You are doing your absolute best from what I see. Bean is quite fortunate to have you.
Dec. 18th, 2012 08:24 am (UTC)
Don't beat yourself up about it. It happens. I never had the Sex Talk with Zoe - had my sister do it along with setting up appointments with the ob/gyn doc, which as far as I know (not far)haven't happened yet. So it's like Mark said - you do your best and call it good enough.
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
I've also tuned out of TV news since Friday. I've briefly checked news on the web, but I knew I wasn't up for the saturation.
Dec. 18th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
I think the Pagans may have been on to something, by showing respect for Nature and our miniscule place in it. I don't quite understand the need for humans to worship something, whether it is a god of choice, or the planet, but having studied sociology and psychology, I have a glimmer of the human need for ritual. It's like superstition in many ways.

I am forever astounded by the fervent nature of Christians, how they conveniently ignore the fact that it was a Roman Emperor trying to sure up his support by adopting the fledgling faith of Christianity which promised resurrection, with the older established religion of Mithras whose birth was celebrated every year on December 25th which probably had yet older ties to the very natural celebration of rebirth following Winter Solstice. The fact that the days start growing longer rather than simply fading into perpetual darkness was no doubt cause for rapterous celebration to those first peoples.

The obscenity that happened last week has shaken up a lot of people. But it doesn't stand alone. The slaughter of Afghans by the deranged American soldier in which he entered Afghan houses at night, shooting children and women, then trying to burn the bodies in a pile before calmly walking back to base and turning himself in. The unbelievable slaughter of innocents in Breslan when Chechyen terrorists sought an eye for an eye by killing over 300 people including innumerable children. Or the slow death of millions of babies from starvation and malnutrition in the Third World nations (and some industrialized ones as well).

There are disturbances in the Force, as Obi-Wan would say.

Many years ago, I visited Zion National Park. I may have even stood on the banks of that creek. I recall there was a warning sign that the creek had been known to flood without warning. It was an impressive place. What I remember most about that trip was my (then) brother-in-law, who is an ardent fundamentalist Christian, remarking with awe how seeing that beautiful park reaffirmed his faith that God created the Earth six thousand years ago. I just looked at the landscape which so obviously took hundreds of thousands if not millions of years to cut down through the rock, and shook my head.

Happy Winter Solstice!
Dec. 18th, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
That must have been quite the sight to the first Native Americans coming into the Virgin River basin and the Zion canyon system six thousand years ago. The Hand of God sawing away at the land like a knife through a loaf of bread.:D
That's what I like about the place - the extreme age, the majesty of the landscape and how it makes me feel small, insignificant and very, very peaceful.
Dec. 18th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
I think turning off the news is not only the only mature response, it's also a sign of respect to those who are personally grieving. Let them grieve in private.

I used to read tabloids. STAR Magazine ran this great feature: Stars! They're Just Like Us! Then they'd run shots of Ben Affleck and Angelina Joli picking their noses.

Christians! They're Just Like Us! Some of them are reaally nice, and some of them are dickwads.

Edited at 2012-12-18 10:41 am (UTC)
Dec. 18th, 2012 08:17 am (UTC)
That's my favorite part of STAR! But I only read it in the checkout line. I have standards.
Dec. 18th, 2012 08:27 am (UTC)
Right. Well, when I say, "I used to read STAR," I mean I used to read STAR yesterday.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )