Ok, so now that I have your attention, I'm telling you, I'm not feeling very funny today. My newest grandchild and only granddaughter has pneumonia. Yea, that's a real bummer to say the least. Apparently, it's common among babies born to mother's with gestational diabetes. So my Zoe (add umlaut on the e) is in that "common" quota ...sometimes I hate the word, "common." She'll be hospitalized for the next 7 days and treated with antibiotics. My daughter decided to stay at the hospital while her hubby, Michael, holds down the fort with the Penis Posse.
So why am I thinking of "God?" Well, I hear people giving Him either far too much credit or bashing Him because "shit happened." This is my take on the guy, it's a mixture of Catachism, religious studies in college and a little awareness thanks to Zen. When I was a child, I attended St. Patrick Parochial school and that was our parish anyway. I was there from kindergarten to 7th grade. My parents decided that since my 7th grade teacher wasn't certified yet, hell, she hadn't even gotten her B.A. yet, for the $$, I was getting a shoddy education. I'm a parent, I suppose I would probably have handled it the same way. When I was a teacher's assistant at a local Catholic school, after the ex and I split up, I realized things hadn't improved on the "certification" thing. While I was there, the diocese decided that it's educators should have at least 12 hours of education courses under the belt. One teacher who had been there for 15 years quit instead of working on his 12 hours....come on, it's only 4 courses!!
So I digress, as usual. I was one of the last of our generation to be taught by nuns. Yep, it was the ol' penguins back in the day and of course, we always wondered if they were really bald underneath their habit until one day, Sister Rebecca Marie was showing a tiny bit of hair line, hence the mystery was solved. From first grade and onward we were taught to learn and repeat, ad nauseum, all these little phrases, such as, "Who made you?" "God made me." "Who is God?" "God is the Supreme Being who made all things." etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. The first of the sacraments was Confession and the First Holy Communion...they went hand in hand. I still somewhat remember my first confession with Fr. Alderete:
Fr.: Yada, yada, yada (in Latin)
Me: Bless me father, for I have sinned (was 7 years old, of course I had a few sins under the belt). This is my first confession.
Fr.: Yes, Georgina, continue (back then they knew who we were!).
Me: I have used the name of God in vain (called my little brother a GD dummy...my pops was a class one profaner so I had lots of vocab under the belt...in two languages to boot), spit in my sister's milk because she was mean to me, got mad at my mother because she got mad at me for spitting in my sister's milk. That's it, father.
Fr.: (Trying not to laugh) For your penance, Georgina, you will say 10 Hail Mary's and 10 Our Father's)...Go in peace. (then he blesses me in Latin and shuts that little window).
So I knelt at the alter rail, said my penance, more or less, and was on my way to my first Communion...and got to wear a preeety white dress with a veil, white silk purse, brand new rosary and a Mother of Pearl cover missal (prayer book). So all that kept me going till the next sacrament, Confirmation. Got another swell party and white dress for that one too, plus a Godmother, who's still very special to me these days.
When entering a Catholic high school, I had one year of Public Ed. under the belt....sure had a lot under the belt!! Most of my old friends from St. Patrick never knew anything about public schools, so I was special!! LOL Anyway, we had this wonderful religion teacher, Mrs. Dusbabek. We would get her off the subject of religion and talk about other things, like the occult...even took my Quija board once...that was entertaining!! We one time questioned her about what's this with Lot and his daughters living in a cave after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah...if ya don't know the story, look it up...in the Old Testament. Anyway, what I'm saying here, is that this layman or layperson to be P.C., but when have you ever known me to be pc, began making us think beyond Catholic doctrine and catechism...it created a dialogue..a no-no in the Church, or at least it used to be...been a while for me...been away a long time. Then I entered college, but I was too busy rebelling and flunking out, then getting back in, then bailing again because I fell in love and got married.
My ex is a Baptist. I defiling my faith by being with a "protestant!" Not really, luckily, I was educated by the Nuns of Loretto and Jesuit priests...very open about lots of stuff. However, he also opened my eyes to other ideas....I discovered I was a bit more "Calvinist" than Catholic....it happens. I recall once going to his church and the preacher was what I always imagined, "FAR N' BRIMSTONE" kind of guy. It was Mother's Day and the preacher asked "Will all you Mothers please stand." My f-i-l began to rise...I almost lost it right there, in front of God and his congregation! A memory I shan't ever forget.
After my ex and I separated, I began a journey of self (that's the Zen part). My older two accused me of becoming selfish, and I guess I was...still am to a certain extent, but hell, I'm looking at turning 60 in two weeks, you betcha I'm a bit selfish!! Anyway, I really got back to attending Mass and of course, working in a Catholic school reaffirmed my faith. We split up in the early summer of '96, and I went out to look for work, and within 2 weeks, I was employed....hadn't had a job since '76 when my ex graduated from dental school and we took off to Germany for 3 years while he was in the Army.
I realized while at that school two things: my mind hadn't changed since I was 15, I didn't want to be a teacher (or a nurse) and I couldn't make a living working part-time at minimum wage if there was an impending divorce ( we still talked about a reconciliation in the future). So I gave my notice the following Spring and that Fall I entered college...hadn't been a "coed" since '72. So I took all these courses and some of them were a waste of time, but others were a source of enlightenment. I balked because I had to take 9 hours of humanities....really????? I could have minored in it since all I would have needed was 9 more hours. Well, they turned out to be pretty interesting, plus, since I was an art major, I had to take some hours of art history...really interesting. My art hist. prof was a real tool, but he was a damn good teacher...learned quite a bit, not just about art, but about lots more. So began my re-thinking on the Divine.
This is the way I look at it, God is so far above our understanding, that to say things like, "He works in mysterious ways," which he does, or when someone dies, like a young person, "Well, it was God's will." I personally hate that one. I don't think God wills suffering, death, hardship, etc., etc., etc. I doubt the greatest minds in the subject of theologies can really understand Him/Her/It/Force/Light/Whatever, so they try to explain it to us as simplified as possible because we're all just too lame to understand it, it's too much...our brains just don't have that capacity. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I saw an artist's rendering of the Earth compared to the Sun. I'm not saying we're dismissed, hell no, He's listening...wow, talking about hearing voices....constantly!! I'm amazed at how many times He's come through for me and mine. He's doing it right now...my little Zoe is much improved and things are looking up. My wonderful and dear friend, Anne, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer, is becoming one of Peru, IN's miracles and it has to do with praying.
So there you have it, my take on the Big Guy/Girl...whatever. He's all about life, not death or suffering. But I firmly believe in an afterlife, and He's there too. When you hear about a vengeful, selfish God, don't know who that dude is, but he's not mine....I like mine lots better.
I thought I'd show you a pic of Andria and me right after she was born. The "artsy" pic was taken when Andria was 5 days old by my cousin, Julie. She and my aunt and uncle were visiting relatives in Germany and came by our place for a couple of days before they headed back to Paris where my other cousin was living. The one below that one was taken when she was about 2 weeks.
Now here's a pic of my Zoe taken within an hour after her birth this past Sunday.
See a resemblance??? She also thought her hair was wavy, but in fact, straight up and fly-away, just like hers when she was a baby...called it "birdie hair." Once I tried to train it by applying baby oil on it...she ended up having spikes....she was right in fashion, though since it was the beginning of Punk Rock in Europe. Well, it's time for me to get back into the studio and do something constructive, maybe make a doll or paint a saint...?quien sabe? But I'm off. Peace out.