Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life in general

There's this little problem.  I feel like all I do is rant and complain, but when I find myself thinking, OK, haven't posted in awhile, need to give my blog some attention,  I feel the urge to rant start building.

Politics - I can't see any willingness to listen, on the part of anybody on any side of anything.  It seems to me that politics has become nothing but quips.  Every issue begins and ends with a sound-byte-trade and then moves on.  9-9-9 becomes "Well that's 666 upside down."  Any math teacher -- hell, for that matter, any 6 year old could tell you that nine isn't six.  The barbs are worse than superficial, they're meaningless.

Then you come to the Episcopal Church, in which each side claims it is "the true church" and the other is one that has no right to represent it in policy or pulpit.  It's come up again because the Bishop of South Carolina has been distancing the SC church from the main group because he disagrees with its direction, and the US church is calling him on the carpet for it.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church.  To many people, the church they're gone to all their lives means nearly as much as family does, and I also find it painful to watch it wreck itself, but I can't find a side to like.  The US Episcopal Church that's adopted all kinds of liberal policies might seem like it's more to my taste than the backlash is, but (long ago) when I went to its site and -- after much clicking -- found the annual reports, all I could think was that this denomination is a massive, useless, self-serving bureaucratic behemoth.

The cash comes in, the cash goes out, to buildings, and utilities, and landscaping, and boardrooms, and desks, and tables, and chairs, and filing cabinets, and computers, and coffee-makers, and printers, and copiers, and executives, and secretaries, and building maintenance, and shipping supplies, and managers, and managers of managers, and committees, and paper-generation, and megatons of absolutely nothing, while the fund for relief gets a small sliver of the pie.

Obviously, it's a big employer.  But so is WalMart, and, I fear, for similar reasons.

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I can't sleep thinking of our kids struggling to get the pile of outrageous rents and tuition fees off their backs so they can get a little ahead, a whole lot harder than we ever had it, prices for life as a student way beyond what an ordinary hardworking kid, even with two jobs, can pay. And how we can help, while feeling like we're trying to help Sisyphus get that goddam rock over the top of that hill.

On some of those occasions, my stomach starts growling and I hit the refrigerator at 3AM, pour a little grape/blueberry/pomegranate juice and eat a little of that good homemade bread that Larry's been making  (What a blessing), and think, this is all the church is really supposed to be.  People, dare I say like me, living my screwy inefficient life as best I can, finding in a piece of bread a reminder of the only human being who has ever lived into whose hands i can completely entrust myself or my loved ones.  None of the bureaucracy makes any spiritual sense.

We can do things to help the kids, and we are doing them, and the fact that getting a degree and putting together a life that has some fulfillment and meaning beyond crappy hourly jobs is a slower process now than it was for our generation, doesn't mean it's not doable and progressing.

I now have office space, for crafts and for storing more of my too-many books and toys.

Life isn't bad at all, except at 3AM.  And a little bread to shut my stomach up, and a good book, get me out of seething over things I can't change, and, eventually, back to sleep, knowing that there are things I can.


ronnie said...

I have no comment on your thoughts about the Church, not having any dog in the spiritual/religious fignt anymore, but happy is any home that has homemade bread and a cat sleeping on a quilt.

southernyankee said...

and a cat who chases acorns, and a cat who looks around and seems to be thinking, "Is this my life? How did I get here?"

Happy the bread is helpful, thinks Scooter, but honestly, how about me?

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

ronnie - the chair, quilts, throws and all, is supposed to be for me, but either Graymatter or Downyflake seems to be on/in it whenever i want it. "Is this my beautiful chair?"

(To any who aren't familiar with Talking Heads, Downy's frequent puzzlement often reminds us of "Once in a Lifetime".)

SY - the bread is one of the joys of life! One of many.

Well, Scooter, you could be sleeping your days away on some soft pile of blankets or cushions, but your insistence on forest exploration makes the fact that you're not doing so your own fault.

ronnie said...

Talking Heads reference for the win!