Wednesday, September 5, 2018

We're All Just Trying To Figure Out How To Live

It's been one of those days when any damn thing can make me cry and I know it's because I'm carrying something in my heart that is neither new nor earth-shattering but is just a fact of my life and although I wish with all of my heart that I could just accept and be completely at peace about it, I can only accept and will probably never quite be at peace but I am an imperfect person in so many ways and that in itself is something I can accept.

So. Jessie and I met up at Costco (my life is just filled with surprises, isn't it?) and did a good shopping. I actually broke down and bought one of those giant packs of toilet paper that is taller and far wider than August and I hope to goodness that this means I won't be buying toilet paper for at least a month. One of my favorite things about going to Costco now is that August gets excited about going into the coldy room as we call it and having me hug him up to keep him warm. As I may have mentioned before (haha!) August is not exactly in favor of outward physical expression of affection so having him WANT to hug me for whatever reason is a beautiful thing. He and Levon were sitting together in the seat and as I hugged them both, my youngest grandchild looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. He does not seem to notice the cold at all but it's probably just a part of his young life as all things are and he takes these things as they come and rolls with them.

We went to the Indian buffet after our shopping and August shared his food with me, as he likes to do. He picked up a piece of naan and as he presented it to me he said in a very professorial tone, "This is naan."
"Thank you," I said. And it was good.

And then of course we went to the Goodwill bookstore. August got to pick out some books and Levon enjoyed crawling about and pulling books off the shelf and I actually found two books I wanted to buy so it was a good day at the bookstore.
Here's a funny picture of August but he did not want to pose.


That was his one-second attempt at acquiescing to my request for a smile.
I understand. He was busy. So many books, so little time.


And Levon, who was busily attempting to find the tastiest corner of this book to gnaw on. He was rather serious today and I think he is teething. 

One of the books I bought for myself is The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, a fictionalized account of the real life of one of Brigham Young's wives from back in the nineteenth century. I am still eaten up with my obsession about Mormons and their religion and I simply can't deny it. I will probably eventually find something else to obsess about but at this point, there is no real end in sight. I am at the point, in fact, where I wish some Mormon missionaries would show up at my door so that I could invite them in and ask them questions like, "So what you do think about the Book of Abraham?" and "Did you know that Joseph Smith was not only involved in polygamy but also polyandry?" 
Oh, I am so bad. So, so bad. 
I am wondering what it really is that I am trying to work out in my head by filling it full of the stories of Mormons who have lost their faith. I will tell you that this is a subject which has fascinated me for a very long time, ever since I read a book by a Mormon woman decades ago who had left the church. One of my best friends when I was in Jr. High was a Mormon and I guess that started my interest. Although I never saw her wear any "garments" there did appear to be things in her life that were mysterious to an outsider and her entire family seemed devoted to a lifestyle which was completely innocent-seeming and so vanilla although she was allowed to wear Yardley Slicker lipstick before I was and to shave her legs before I was allowed to but I think that's because she was just a Mormon whereas I had a molesting stepfather who did not want to see me grow up in any way. 
And oh- do I have stories about things that girl did on Girl Scout camping trips which I am sure haunt her to this day. I often wonder if she is still with her Temple-sealed husband whom she met at BYU. I have a feeling that she probably is. 

Life is so odd, isn't it? The way things begin and the way they mutate and change and present paths to us, some of which are what we expected, some of which we never, ever could have. 
I think we do the best we can, most of us, and that our hearts are probably in the right places. 
Most of us. 
One of the things I love hearing about in the stories of Mormons who have lost faith in their religion is what they are left with after they leave the church. Their beliefs mostly. 
It seems to me that a lot of them are so very happy to have the freedom to believe what they want to believe, to be able to base their life decisions on what they feel is true rather than what their religion tells them is true. Big difference there. 
And so many believe in kindness. 
Kindness. 
And love. 

I believe in those things too. 
No special underwear required. 
Thank goodness. I hear those things are really, really uncomfortable and that's the last thing I need. I mean- we all know how I feel about bras. 

Time to make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon


21 comments:

  1. Have you read
    Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer (Author)? It is non-fiction about a Mormon sect. He is such a good writer, and it is fascinating. I bet it would make a good walking book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I obviously must read this book. Of course I've heard of it. I wonder why I never have?

      Delete
  2. No special underwear required. Kindness does not discriminate or judge :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. And the older I get, the less apt I am to find myself judging. Perhaps I am just becoming more and more aware of my own vast imperfections.

      Delete
  3. I have just started reading Faith and Betrayal: A Pioneer Woman's Passage in the American West by Sally Denton. It’s about a Mormon woman who lost her faith. I got it on www.abebooks.com for a few dollars. So far it’s very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! There are a lot of books out there about Mormons, aren't there?

      Delete
  4. The questions you would ask.a Mormon missionary reminded me of a facebook question today that made me laugh: how many eucharist wafers does it take to swallow Jesus’ whole body? Anon Suz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay. That made me laugh. And how many bottles of wine would you have to drink to consume all of Jesus' blood?
      Vampire religion!

      Delete
  5. I've read that book, it was good. Learned something about the Mormon religion.

    "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark Twain generally said it best, didn't he?

      Delete
  6. there has been a house halfway down the block that has stood empty for most of the years we have owned this place but the yard has been maintained. learned a couple of years ago from the neighbor who lives next to that house that he thinks a mexican family if buying it, owner financed, and that they can't move in until a certain amount is paid. and then Harvey. they have diligently worked on that house all year, even raised it up a foot, and about a week ago it seems they have moved in as potted plants appeared on the porch and there is a truck there all the time now. what all this is leading up to is that another neighbor told me they are Mormons. Mexican Mormons! who ever heard of such a thing. also, my niece, in her major rebellion, converted to Mormonism, married two (one a drug addict and the other given to fits of rage). Mormons don't associate with non-Mormons and so she was expected to turn her back on her family. she did eventually leave that church saying that while they expected her to leave her family behind, they never really accepted her as a convert. apparently you have to be born a mormon to be a real mormon. an attitude I faced during my brief stint in Judaism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness. There are many, many Mexican Mormons. The church sends those kids out to preach the Book of Mormon and convert people all over the entire world! And they believe that the indigenous people of the Americas are a lost tribe of Israelites so they definitely need to lead that flock back to the church.
      I'm not sure about that converted thing. I've heard a lot of people in these podcasts speak of the Golden Converted- those who converted who become stellar Mormons.
      I bet those new neighbors will be fine neighbors. The good thing about the Mormon church seems to me to be their beliefs about hard work and families. Of course not all of them practice what is preached.

      Delete
  7. I'm sure I have asked you this, but did you ever read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by John Krakauer? That is a FASCINATING book about Mormons and their religion, particularly some of the more extreme forms. I don't remember ever hearing that about polyandry and I'm trying to figure out what that even means. Did Joseph Smith sleep with multiple men? Or were Mormon women having multiple husbands?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I see now that Susan beat me to that book recommendation! But hey, a recommendation from two of us is twice as strong, right?

      Delete
    2. Polyandry is the taking of more than one husband. Joseph Smith would go to the husband of a woman he wanted and tell him that God had instructed him to take his wife in marriage. And he, being the prophet, was allowed to do so. So yes, the wife would then have two husbands.

      Delete
  8. Third vote for Under the Banner of Heaven! So good

    ReplyDelete
  9. Under the Banner- was the first book I read, the latest was 19th wife, I am done. Although I did watch a few too many episodes of Sister Wives, all of the babies, stacks of children and One egotistical GOD man, spreading his holy seed. Revolting. The beliefs are not unlike Scientology, or any other religion for that matter, They are all searching for rules to follow, lacking confidence in themselves, I reckon. If I had a choice , and I do, I would choose the catholic church - their saint stories are hilarious and their trappings are dazzling- however, I think that one must believe in a god and some measure of BS mind control, and that is just a bridge too far. I will take the pretty little Mary's , and
    Saint Lucy's and leave the rest for those who believe in nonsense. Over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, honey. I totally agree. I have Madonnas all over my house but I have no love for any man god. Or belief in any of them.

      Delete
  10. From what little bits I know about Mormons, I have a hard time understanding how adults can dedicate their lives ... but then there's scientology and well yes, the virgin birth.

    I once spent the best part of the day in Cologne cathedral, which is massive, with one of the elderly spinster aunties from Ireland while she slowly shuffled on her knees from one stony saint statue to the next until her knees were literally bleeding. She took this as a sign of something holy. I felt like crying.

    Another thought: There is a time point in a teenage girl's life when she will be allowed to shave her legs? Does it correlate with the drinking age?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, religions like Mormonism and Scientology seem really, really weird until you think about what Catholics believe and even plain old vanilla Presbyterians or Methodists or Lutherans. That Jesus died and was resurrected. The virgin birth (why is that even an issue?), Jesus walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the lame, raising the dead, communion.
      Whatever.
      That poor old lady. Bless her heart. And so many people believe that to bleed is to show true faith.
      In the United States when I was growing up, when a girl shaved her legs it was a sort of rite-of-passage indicating that she had grown from little girl to teenager. The drinking age came much later.

      Delete

Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.