What I can find just by going and digging around in my garage for a couple of minutes:
What I can find just by going and digging around in my garage for a couple of minutes:
I wrote a week ago about losing faith in people, and then the next day had a wonderful experience in Half Price. The kids were spread out all over the store (typical). One thing I never stint on is books. Now, I'm not going to buy new hardbacks (or even used ones if they are not pretty cheap), but I pretty generally buy what they want me to. Yes, the library is awesome, but I know just from being myself how important it is to own books. I like having them around me. There are stacks of books around my bathtub. There are stacks upon stacks of books around my bed. My schoolroom - let's not even get started. The doors of my study are closed for a reason. There is something about having the books, especially when you are an re-reader like all of us are. /justification
In any case, the nicest old guy in Half Price saw me with an armload of books and asked if I read Clive Cussler. I told him I hadn't lately, but that I had a lot in high school (Raise the Titanic! anyone?). He told me that he had always passed on him before thanks to the ridiculous covers, but that audio books changed how he approached books, and that one of Cussler's really good ones was available for $3. He led me to it, pulled it off the shelf and handed it to me. Score! I'll take it. He asked me if I had read Devil in a Blue Dress. Yes, super nice older black gentleman, this white chick loves Walter Mosley! We talked books and authors for a few more minutes and then the kids came up. He started throwing out kids' books. He talked about a sad one with dogs named Ann and Dan. Where the Red Fern Grows! I throw back Steinbeck's The Red Pony. And then my nice friend had to go. He temporarily restored my faith in humanity. Then again, he was my father's generation. It was like talking books with my Dad...
Speaking of books. I just read A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in the Trash. I rarely pay full price for any book. I'm all about Kindle Unlimited (search my blog for my previous posts on that gem), Half Price, Daily Deals, garage sales, and any other cheaper alternative to new books. When I read the review of this one a few weeks ago, though, I couldn't help myself. I pre-ordered it. I am a diarist at heart (with running commentary in my head all day every day), even though I stopped being faithful to the paper about a decade ago - something I am remedying as of last week) and I love reading books based on letters and diaries. Maybe I'm a voyeur. In any case, I loved this book. To say anything else would be to spoil it. I am so happy that I got it on Kindle so I couldn't do what I always do and cheat and flip to the back to find out the ending (well, okay, I could have, but it wasn't easy enough to justify it). It was like reading a book with an unreliable narrator. I recommend it.
Why the title of the blog? Because my dad sent me a disturbing email about the cycle of civilizations that depressed me, even as it didn't tell me anything new. He emphasized to me that in these times, personal connections are what is important. He gave me an example of a relationship he has developed with a 30-something year-old man whose mother is one of his clients (my dad runs a St. Vincent de Paul pantry). I understand what he means. I made a connection with the book man. I have a connection with someone I met later in life - a connection that was pretty instantaneous as mentor/mentee, but through circumstance has been allowed to metamorphose into something deeper. There are a few women in my later years with whom I have made (surprising) connections, too. Life really is about the one-on-ones.
I have a couple of random things floating around in my brain, but they are so unrelated that they must wait. Have a good week and try to connect with someone.
I feel like I've lost a lot of faith in the last few years - not my faith in Jesus Christ...in fact, that's the only thing that keeps me going most of the time! No, I feel like I'm losing faith in my fellow man. I look around and I wonder what the hell is going on with people. I just don't understand what motivates them. I'll go ahead and blame Facebook - why not? No, not really, but I'll confess that I have been dismayed, to say the slightest, by the number of my "friends," people I've known in real life, who have, in the past eight years, unfriended me, called me names (homophobe, hater, etc.), and such. These are people who know me (or at least who once knew me)! I have two favorite examples. First is someone I met when I was in 7th grade (around 1987). I'll confess our friendship started with my crush on him (he was an older man - an 8th grader). Many people made fun of him, called him gay (the chic insult of the 80s), etc. I didn't care. I liked him. He was funny and kind. We became very good friends. We dated briefly in high school. It didn't take FB for us to reconnect - we talked on and off over email through our adult lives. I ran into his wife and him at the grocery store once. Now, there were a few years in there where we didn't talk and it was FB where I saw him next. When we became "friends," he wrote me a long email telling me that he was divorced and that he was gay. Did I care? Not that he was gay (divorce always saddens me). We were friends. We had more than 25 years of history between us. That was such a small part of our friendship (for me). I continued being the same me I had always been. Of course, that included posting Catholic posts on FB. Catholic posts included anything against redefining marriage. Turns out that meant that this person and I couldn't be friends anymore. Turns out I was a hater. And a homophobe (because gay people are *scary* don't you know). Turns out that the fact that once upon a time people called my friend gay and he cried and I comforted him and told him, "Screw them. It doesn't matter what they think. You're awesome" didn't matter. I meant it when I said that. I didn't care then if he was gay and I didn't care now. Why? Didn't impact me one damn bit. I prayed for him, but guess what? I prayed for him when I was 13, too. How many of his friends now pray for him? Well, doesn't matter. So many times I want to ask him something, but I can't. We're not friends anymore, you see.
Second best story: when I first started homeschooling, I met someone who was just in the process of being chrismated in the Ruthenian church. She had been Roman Catholic, but she was going Eastern Rite. That resonated with me on many levels, not the least of which was my favorite uncle is a Ruthenian Catholic. I have been to their Divine Liturgy and I love it. Plus, this woman was cool. She was the me I am on the inside. She wore combat boots (which I have started wearing again - too bad they are actually "in" right now. Oh, well. They'll go out again.). She had a past that included writers and NYC and tattoos she wore long sleeves to cover all the time. She got me in ways no woman has ever gotten me. I couldn't believe I had a female friendship like this! Michael actually received his first Communion at her church (hazards of taking young children to an Eastern Rite Liturgy without adequately preparing them or the priest!). Well, it turns out that some things are too good to be true. When someone goes from Protestant to atheist to Buddhist to Roman Catholic to Eastern Catholic, they may be on a search, or they may just be confused. She stopped going to Liturgy altogether when she found out about a sex scandal in her church. Life got busy and I didn't see this woman for awhile. She was on and off FB. I could tell by the things she was posting that she wasn't faithful to the teachings of the Catholic church on sex and gender issues (I have no idea if she is still religious at all), but I didn't give it much thought. Well, when the whole bathroom issue was in its infancy (just a state issue in CA), I posted a story about it and she came unglued at me on FB over my insensitivity to children and their identification issues, etc. Again, this woman *knew* me. At least I thought she did. I tried to respond, mostly because I was so incredulous that she was coming at me this way, but I couldn't. We weren't friends anymore.
For the record. Again. I don't hate gay people. There are actually gay people I have loved very much. Any random gay person I am just as likely to like or dislike as much as I like or dislike anyone else. I am also not scared of gay people. I am a little scared of anyone who advertises their sex life. I'm a pretty private person. I also don't want children to be punished in any way, shape, or form because of who they are. Now, their parents should be strung up by their toenails for doing what they do to their children, whether out of some kind of motive or just because they are ignorant. Confused children need a good therapist and, most importantly, time. They need adults to be adults.
So, yeah. I've been losing faith. And, truthfully, I don't know how anyone can do it (life) without God. I wouldn't be able to. I'd be terrified if I thought we had to endure all of this without something else up there/out there, or whatever. Without God. Without salvation through Jesus. Because I've had this conversation before, I know the answer. Atheists, it turns out, are just stronger than I am - true story. Maybe that's true.
...have so much to say that you feel you can't or are not allowed to say that you really feel you can't say anything? That's where I am. There are so many things going through my mind, but I keep censoring myself, thinking "You can't say that. X might read it and think it's about her." And, well, maybe it is, but it should still be said. I am feeling such frustration! I saw some ugly things this week. Someone I care about a lot was thrown under the bus and then run over by that bus by someone who cares about him a lot more in a very public setting. I couldn't say much because of the circumstances, but it hurt to watch.
The rest of the week similarly stunk. I know I should be thanking God for these opportunities to offer things up to him, and I do, but I also get angry. I feel impotent.