No parcels to do myself meant that i had done stuff with the kids, jiggled the very cute Baby-Flower for a while (up to and including putting her down for a nap which was rather lovely because she didn’t require me to lie down and feed her for 30 minutes first… if i ever do have another, i think i might bottlefeed!) and given the house a (very) cursory tidy up by 12pm, plus sit and have a cuppa with a friend 🙂
Felt very civilised.
Fran was emersed in EC, Maddy in Studydog, Amelie in playing with Josie. Then a present from Auntie Greer arrived, bringing enormous delight to the (still having her) birthday girl and not much else happened until after lunch. Had a long chat with Mummy-Flower about HE, as she is half considering it and then it was time to rush about making lunch and so on.
Somewhere in all that we discovered our borax snowflake crystals had all grown beautifully. So, so pretty, so sparkly, so CRYSTALLY and such and excelelnt illustration of why not to have another child; we did them in 2 batches, a pot with 3 snowflakes in and a pot with 2 in – and the ones that only had 2 grew bigger becasue they didn’t have to share their borax so much! Even the kids spotted that 😉
Spent a very enjoyable afternoon with Hannah and her lot; the girls played, the boy looked mildly affronted at the lack of things with wheels and we chatted about all sorts of things from religion, to HE to.. well… lots anyway 🙂 Very enjoyable but although i’ve pontificated all afternoon on aspects of it, i now can’t stop yawning so i won’t blog it very well.
The crux of it though, i think, is am i going to carry on searching for a truth to follow, when it might be no more than a doctrine of someone elses making, or am i going to concentrate on trying to instill love, tolerance, thoughtfulness, community spirit, gentleness, strength of mind, morality and humanity of spirit in my children?
Those things, for me, are what the human embodiment of a religion should be. For me, i see too much of something very different in it all, religion twisted to suit need, creating divides, shutting people in, shutting them out, bringing down judgement of worthiness, a them and us mentality that creates wrath and hurt. And it’s easy to say “well they aren’t true x, y or z’s” b ut the reality is, they believe they are and if you face the reality that they see their stance as right, it becomes hard for me to see who to follow, who to trust, who to risk being led by. If there is a true path and i meet only people 1 step to the left or right of it, can i trust that they are worth following, or as they as far off as the people who are already forging their own motorway under the same name, people who have stepped away 20 paces from that path?
I don’t want my children to grow up without faith, but i wonder if faith in humanity might be just as relevant. I don’t want to be seen as unworthy for heaven, unworthy or too unclean to care for others, too lax to deserve love. I’ve seen all these things in religion as i’ve grown up, yet until recently, i’ve never seen religion shine out of people and having met people who i do see living love and openness and genuine faith, while i rather envy that, i wonder more how many paths there are, than which is the right one.
I don’t have any regrets about how we live our lives here; i’ve got plenty of time for a heritage of genuine happiness, time for thought, time for love, time for making time for one another. If i’m brutally honest, i’d love a god who wanted me to have those times with my children far more than one who wanted me to devote my life to prayer. I find it hard to accept the notions of suffering, struggling and feeling the burden of god.
Religion isn’t going to go away; the English church divided in the 15 hundreds and we’re still feeling the effects of that division today in thsi country. It is only going to become more painful too, with our multi-faith, multi-cultural society. I can’t really see the point of the “we’re right and you’re all fucked and while your at it, please don’t get too close” mentality and i’ve kind of come to the conclusion that i don’t want to be part of it, not as a Christian, not as an anything. I’m not a big enough believer in a concrete hereafter to think that i need to.
What i do believe, is that there probably is something in it all – and if forced to say, knowing the truth would be immediately revealed afterwards and i had to take the consequences, i would say that i probably did believe in a divine force, one force that was all things to all people, lots of slices of the same pie, speaking to each faith as they came upon it – God, Allah, Hindu gods, pagan gods, the works. And i’d say that if i had to choose one thing to stand up on my day of judgement and offer as my lifes work, i’d offer up my attempt to bring some understanding, some tolerance, some ability to work together as humans. If it wasn’t good enough to have lived well, been kind, been gentle, tried hard and tried to be (for sake of a better word) godly, then i didn’t want to be part of it anyway. I’ll stand up on that day and say “i wanted to believe, but not for me was the path of prayer and piety but i did practise tolerance and love for everyone who also felt you.”
It may, or it may not, be good enough. It would be good enough for me; it would be good enough if one of my children came up and said “I tried not to shout at my sister when she made me cross, because i knew how sad it would make you, so i got her to come out and play in the garden with me.” It would be good enough if they said “We made a mess, but we tried to tidy it up so you wouldn’t be sad.” I’d rather a half tidied room or a game in the garden than practising perfection on their own inside.
This has been something of a long struggle for me, the acceptance that i’m NOT going to find that perfect niche for myself, but that it doesn’t actually change me at all. Not being a ‘good’ Christian, or a ‘good’ and devout anything else isn’t going to make me less worthwhile – but carrying on hunting for the niches might very well give me a lot less time for being a good person.
I can’t think of more important things i can teach my children than tolerance, open-mindedness, love, kindness, thoughtfulness and a sense of spirituality, of kinship with the other valid and equally entitled people who walk the earth with them. I’d be horrified to think they imbibed ideas that made them think less of someone with different coloured skin, a different accent, a different background. I can’t see that i perceive religion any other way. And so i think, instead of carrying on looking for how to start being religious, i’m going to concentrate on simply how i live my life and how much of all those moral codes i do value i can help my children to take one step further than i ever will.