In all her infinite wisdom...

In all her infinite wisdom...

A Native Montanan's view on feminisim, politics and life in Montana.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy 4th of July.

I am re-reading a book about Vampires and Greece, see Pandora by Anne Rice, and there is a very interesting chapter that talks about freedom. Basically it said that during the reign of Augustus Ceasar governments were run by logic not ideology and the time was peaceful and prosperous (yes, they had slaves so they hadn't gotten that far) but it was not lost on me the trouble that we are in because we have not learned from history.
Happy 4th, let it be a very logical, peacful and prosperous one at that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just Day Dreaming

I am driving on the Interstate this morning and I start thinking about strange things. Like;the reason we don't know when we are going to die is because we would all go crazy. I mean it is one thing to get your death sentence and party like a rock star until it happens but what if there were hundreds of thousands of people who were also going to die that day, that week or that month and they knew it? Pandamonium.

Just day dreaming....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Because I Roll Like That.

I am a little crazed right now. I spent the weekend helping to steam off the most ungodly wallpaper I have ever seen from the dining room and kitchen of our new house. The transformation is astounding. Finally it seems like a place that just might one day represent "us". I am in a paint choosing quandary. The house was built in '55 so do we try and upgrade to a contemporary style and color palette or maintain some of the retro styling?
I added a little more craziness to our lives with a new kitten as of last Thursday. He is a cool little cat. Actually he is Sabine's half brother; they share the same mom. He has little Manx points on his ears and a leopard spotted belly. Very cute. He is obsessed with his tail which can entertain me for hours, if I only had them to spare. We named him "Cash" for Johnny of course.
Planted the Garden finally on Sat. Your basic garden variety. I now know why they use that expression. The people before us must have really liked gardening. The plot is 40 by 60'! Hello! Who has time to weed that much of a garden?
Anyway, we are enjoying our new place. The hard work is paying off. We still have not been able to get the Internet hooked up, making blogging all but impossible for a while.
I did want to congratulate Wacko Lib on he and his wife's new baby boy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rehburg is Poop.

Dear MoveOn member,
Last week the House of Representatives voted on the McGovern bill, which required a mandatory withdrawal from Iraq by early 2008. It's the strongest bill that's come to the floor of this Congress yet, and your representative, Rep. Rehberg, did the wrong thing and voted against it.
Most Democrats—including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barbara Lee—voted for it. Unfortunately, a few dozen Democrats voted against it—including Rep. Steny Hoyer, the second ranking Democrat in Congress. Since Congressman Hoyer's vote can influence the way a lot of other representatives vote, it was a big failure of leadership.
It's time that Rep. Hoyer got the message: The American people want a quick and responsible end to the occupation in Iraq. Can you chip in $25 to help us run radio ads highlighting his vote in his district so his constituents—most of whom oppose the war—know what's going on?
The McGovern bill got 171 votes in Congress. That's not enough to pass, but there is good news here. A year—or even a month—ago we wouldn't have imagined that so many members of Congress would vote to mandate a swift exit from Iraq.
In fact, right before the vote happened we were told to expect only about 90 votes for it. Your calls helped almost double what was expected. This vote was a huge sign of progress, but there's a lot more work to do.
While Speaker Pelosi and Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel voted for the bill, Majority Leader Hoyer abandoned them and the voters. If he'd start voting to quickly withdraw our troops from Iraq, it would bring a lot of other members of Congress along too.
Democrats should be emboldened and pushing for a mandatory exit from Iraq—not holding back.
Please chip in $25 to help us make sure folks in Rep. Hoyer's district know how he voted.
Recently, 11 Republican Members of Congress met with President Bush at the White House and berated him on his handling of Iraq.1 Meanwhile, polls show President Bush has a 28 percent approval rating and 57 percent of Americans favor Democratic efforts to tie any war funding to a plan to end the war.2, 3
The tide is turning. The country is with us. Thanks for all you 're doing to end this war.
–-Nita, Eli, Wes, Karin and the Political Action Team Monday, May 14th, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Closing on the House Tomorrow.

The day is here-almost, at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning we will begin signing our lives away and become house poor and really we could not be happier.
There must be something intrinsically based in some of us, the primal need to seek shelter is a satisfying event for the boy and I. It is by far the scariest, most adult thing, I have ever done.
Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To Everything there is a Season...

I have noticed a tinge of sadness in the eyes of many of my co-workers this week. The pressures of work, of home, of health problems, of money problems, the list goes on. I tried all week not to think of the sadness of the shootings at Virgina Tech. I blinded myself from the media frenzy surrounding it and just tried to send prayers to the people affected including the family of the man who perpetrated this monstrous deed. I tried to blanket myself from it and sadness found it's way into my world anyway, I met a 14 year old girl with terminal cancer, my dear friends daughter in law is in the hospital delivering a still born in her 7th month. Where is the sense in all of it?
I read Wacko Liberal this week and see that this feeling is apparantly as catchy as a virus. But I don't believe there is a vaccine, it is really just part of the human condition and I suppose the point is to teach us. Without the balance of bad can we understand the joy of good?
I have had struggles in my life and I have found my ways of coping. Some healthy, some probably not. Am I a happy person? For the most part but sometimes it gets to me, this craziness ,this feeling of despair. All I can say to those of you with this sickness in your hearts right now is that I have found truth in the simple sayings that have stuck with us through out history; To Everything there is a Season: be reminded that a season of bad will change into a season of good, it is simply the law of the universe. This Too Shall Pass; and it does, but when it does it will leave it's mark as readily as a scar from a wound. We are never the same, sometimes we are better for it, sometimes not.
Our season will come.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lent; A time for Introspection. The Longest Blog Ever.

First things first, although I profess to be a Catholic I do not practice all of the dogma of the Church as may be apparent by the content of my blog and it is not my intention to convert anyone to this religion. I simply feel like sharing what has been on my mind the last 40 days before Easter.

I was raised by a very Catholic mom but my father was a convert and didn't go to church with us much. While growing up there were times when I envied him and there were times when I pitied him. These times were reflective of how I was feeling about God and my religious faith over all. I was a good little Catholic girl for the majority of my life. I tried to live by the concepts that had been taught to me by my family on my mothers side and by the Church through CCD and ultimately my confirmation. My relationship with the church itself has been one of great content, embarrassment and in a few cases hate. Let me try and explain.

Growing up in a small town in Central MT I had no idea about prejudices regarding religion until one of my best friends had to tell me, at the age of 10, to make sure not to mention to her Grandfather that I was Catholic. He was a Mason and truly hated Catholics. About a year later I was staying the night with my new best friend who was Pentecostal. I asked my mom if I could go to church with her the next morning and she was at the door picking me up with in 10 minutes. That was embarrassing especially because of my mom's total misinformation regarding evangelicals and the fact that I repeated what she said during gym class and hurt my friend very badly. Our children listen to us.

I didn't think much about religion until college but was surprised that guys were always interested in getting in the pants of a "good little Catholic girl." This was very interesting ot me. There is something very sexual about the Catholic school girl de-flowering. I think it has to do with the outfits they wore to school. I wouldn't know, I attended public school. HA!

I was very involved with the Catholic Campus Ministry. For the first time I enjoyed going to church because it was more of a social event. I learned a lot in this time in my life. Mosty that Catholics have their own set of rules about morality but that no one Catholic believes what the one standing next to them believes. In that way it can be very versatile. I have met some who are very moral-old school. Some are very laid back about morality because they believe that with confession they can literally get by with anything-think Mafia, others who have never explored any other religious school of thought and others who, like me, find the symbol and ritual of the Church to be a very powerful life affirming tool but not neccesarily allow themselves to be defined by the structure of the Church. But mostly, I found Catholics to just be people looking for a little security in a crazy world.

I went out of State to Oregon State University for a year and a half and met my match. She was my new room mate and the daughter of a minister. She had spent most of her life in Germany as a Missionary. I have never met anyone who I adored and hated more. She was truly trying to be what most Christians claim to be. Her every waking moment was spent in adoration of God. She prayed constantly. She would not listen to music unless it was Christian. I made her go to Pet Detective with me and some other girls and she walked 5 feet in front of us on the way home, sobbing. I was really angry with her. I finally made her tell me why she was crying and she said, "That was not glorifying to God." Of all of the people I have ever met in my life she made me think about what it meant to be a Christian. Could I do it? Did I fit the bill? I began to study the bible and took many classes on the Theology and World Religions, a passion I still cannot quench. To my mothers dismay I went to 28 different churches that year, I was exploring the options. She did not speak to me for 8 months. Eventually I realized that for me the Bible is a social tool. One that I believe was written in response to the human condition by leaders, all men, over 2000 years ago. I know that it was written to be a guide line to help people, not to harm them but I found that it had a lot of loop holes. For example, love your neighbor, but only if they are not gay, Jewish, Romans, murderer's etc. Because of this inconsistency I started to form my own idea about Christianity. We men had taken something we could feel; the presence of a higher power, and tried to define it. We did the best we could, we tried to do it from a place of love but we messed it up somehow. We didn't get the whole picture because we could not put away our hate, fears, bigotry, not even for God.

I began exploring Eastern Philosophies, Religions and Mythology. Although they are all very unique I started to see some patterns within them. The virgin births, the messiah, the wrathful gods. It fed into my original experience that we are just trying to make known that which is unknowable.

Now back to Catholicism: Religion became unimportant to me for a few years. I found the very idea of organized religion laughable and then a tragedy occured, my sister died at the age of 29. I was so angry at God but more powerfully, because of this very real anger I understood that I believed very much in him. I say him, because to me, in my life experience, God is male. He is the father and the son and the holy spirit. After my sister's death a chain of events began to unfold that made me choose Catholicism and stick to it. I had not set foot in a Catholic Church for at least 2 years and then there I was next to the casket of my sister in the Church where my mother was baptised and married, where all of her siblings were also baptised and married, where all of us; her children were baptised and educated. There was a lot of history in that Church and I felt it. It was the most powerful thing I had ever experienced. I thought of the Asian concept that we should honor our dead ancestors as they, like what our culture refer to as Angels, held us up in trying times. I had been searching for a long time and in just a moment of breathing the familiar scent of incense and wine I knew I was home. I knew I was honoring the memory and the life of my sister and all of my ancestors who had grown up in this faith; some in this very church. I took communion that day and although I cannot describe it, it strengthened me knowing that a sacrifice had been made, blood and body of the Savior that I had been raised to know as God. I felt held up, loved, comforted by taking it into my weary and grieving body. I knew then that I had seen past all of the mistakes that we as humans make when attempting to control and define this higher power, this vibration that is but that cannot be defined and I realized that that was OK. I did not have to believe everything the Priest said, I could vehemently disagree if I wanted to; the higher power was not going to condemn me for listening to the Pope as a Sage or listening to Billy Graham; religion meant nothing-the experience it created; one of capturing this higher power and knowing that I was intrinsically part of it was the only thing of importance!

Like understanding a divine secret I understood the importance of knowing that we connect with this higher power on our own terms and that our relationship with him/her/it, is the most personal thing we carry with us. It is OK not to be defined by a religion, it is OK to question, but it is certainly OK to say that you may not agree with every person who stands in that church or temple or whatever it may be, because this is a relationship that only you and God can take part in, and whatever you get out of that hour can sanctify and hold you up through the trials of the week in the secular world.

So I am a little weird, I look forward to Lent every year. I think it is because it makes me slow down and think; be more introspective. 40 days and nights of thoughtful contemplation. No meat on Fridays. The Stations of the cross. All of these rituals reminding me that of my heritage, my history, of my ancestors who hundreds of years ago heard these same words, may have even spoken these same prayers. I decided to repeat a mantra this Lent, it goes: We are not mortal beings trying to be spiritual, we are spiritual beings trying to be mortal. It holds a lot of meaning for me.

In 2000 my mother and I traveled to her home land, Ireland. We were able to walk through the so-called ships that were like the one's that her family came over on. Many people died on these trips to America. The ships were smaller than a Winnebago and the families were crammed in without sunlight and in deplorable conditions. I could not help noticing that my mom cried as we walked through on the tour. When we talked about it later she told me that she could feel the spirit of her ancestors, she could feel their prayers pushing her forward into her life; so different because of the sacrifices they made to make it so.

And so, on Sunday, I take an hour to go to Church. I find it to be meditative, and comforting. I find that I am fortified for the week ahead in a way that I would not be had I not taken the Eucharist. For me, this is God. This is my time with him. This is my time to honor those people who sacrificied so much so that I would have the luxury to choose- or not to choose; a religion.

The boy seeks his communion in the rivers with his fishing pole. He does not call it Church but I know that when he comes back, the small stress lines in his forehead will be lessened. He will come walking up the front steps tired and achey but full and he needs not to try and explain or define it. I know it will be this way with or without a good days catch. It has simply been his Lent.