This weekend is the weekend of having to enter my non-comfort zones.
Yesterday, the hospital. Today, a church.
There's going to be a memorial service for Jason's grandmother this afternoon and of course we're going. I was not close to her but she was, after all, Jason's grandmother and had a lot to do with the raising of him and she was my grandsons' great-grandmother and to not go would be disrespectful.
I went to this same church for Owen's baptism but when it was time for Gibson to be baptized, I just couldn't do it. I don't believe in baptism in that way and it takes a huge force of effort me for me to keep quiet during sermons and as Ray Bradbury (and if I had a religion, Ray Bradbury would be one of the main saints in it) said about a woman in his beautiful short story Power House, my body was not made to sit on church pews. Or something like that. It's not that I'm an atheist. I admit fully that I don't know enough to know for sure if there's anything resembling a god, but I do know for a fact that I don't believe in the Christian god any more than I believe in any of the Greek gods or the Roman gods or the Native American gods or the African gods or the Mayan gods.
Well, I do sort of believe in Ixchel, the Mayan goddess. But I don't really believe, believe. You know what I mean? All these arbitrary rules and holy trinities and prayers and rituals make me feel like an anthropologist. Interesting, but not necessarily relevant to my life in any practical or spiritual way.
And to tell you the truth, some religions are not even that interesting, especially if they've been force fed to you your entire life through culture and the well-meaning intent of people who "care" about you. It makes me furious when Christians spout off about how their religion is under attack because some people have the temerity to say, "Happy Holidays!" rather than "Merry Christmas!" Under attack? Oh yeah. Because there's not enough Christmas in our society.
Costco started putting their Christmas decorations out last month.
Well. You know me.
Anyway, I'll go to the service. Owen can show me around. He goes to that church with his other grandmother, or at least to the nursery. Remember when I told him that Jesus has been dead for over 2,000 years? I'm terrible. I'm really not the person you want in church.
There was an article in the paper last week about a coming-together of atheists and Christians to debate, uh, I guess whether there's a god or not. And the writer of the piece, a Presbyterian, couldn't really refute the arguments of the main spokesman for the nonbelievers' side. And so what he did was to end the piece by saying that he supposed that if one doesn't believe in God, one doesn't have an entity to be grateful to for all the things in life worth being grateful for. And how sad that would be.
And that really pissed me off because I believe that I'm one of the most grateful people on the planet when it comes to the things that matter in my life. Things that range from family to love, to the lunar cycles and the tides and chickens to hot and cold running water and enough food to eat. I am GRATEFUL every day of my life and yet, I don't feel the need to thank a deity for all of those blessings any more than I feel as if I could curse a deity when things go fuck-up. This placating way of relating to god is one of the things that I don't buy. When things go well, it's important to let your god know how much you appreciate his blessings upon you but when things don't go well, you aren't supposed to question or curse, you're just supposed to realize that this is what god has offered to you as a test or a strengthening exercise of your faith or something.
Seems sort of twisted to me.
Well, anyway, la-di-dah. They probably won't go into any deep theological issues today at the memorial service. Hopefully, they'll just talk about Jason's grandmother and her life and what she meant to her family and friends. And I will be glad to be there for Jason and for his mother and for my grandsons.
I am grateful for what this woman brought to my family with her life, with her work, with her genes. I believe she suffered a lot at the end of her life and I am glad her suffering is over. We are bound, she and I, in the very blood and bones of my grandchildren and some of her influence has to be one of the reasons that Jason is the fine man and loving, patient father that he is. And so I am grateful for her and to her.
And so yes, I will go to church to make formal my sense of gratefulness for her life.
Which makes me sound like some sort of martyr and I don't mean it to. I know that it's really not a big deal.
It's Sunday. It's still drizzling. Mr. Moon is out in the garden, finishing up the weeding and I'm about to clean up the dishes from breakfast.
Believe it or not, I will enter a church today.
And there will be pie when I get home.