Sometimes, when my family is all together, it makes me feel very, very lonely in a way that can only be cured by being alone. Maybe it makes sense. When I’m alone, I have in my heart the best things about the people I love. When I’m face to face with them, I have to deal with them in their messy personhood.
Except that, for instance, hanging out with the Professor or with the knitting group doesn’t make me feel lonely.
So, I don’t know.
I was, actually, glad to go to church. Not in a way that’s going to cause me to give up my imaginary friends and return to the mono-imaginary-friend fold, but glad in a way because I could see how it fucked us up. And I’m not saying that being Christian inherently has to fuck a person up or anything. I’m just saying that the intersection between Methodisim, the ministry, and my family was the corner of fucked up and FUUUHHHCKED-UP.
All these songs that the cantata sang were of the, as I said, “Jesus/God is my needy, insecure boyfriend” variety and I was sitting there listening to all these songs that are supposed to illustrate how much the singers love their god, and in which ways, and all of them were about how their god is alone and the only thing they need and how they want to be humbled by their god if the thought of them ever being able to make it without Him should even enter their heads.
And, on the one hand, I get that there is a limited vocabulary to try to describe some fundamental mystic truths. And that, for someone who has had a mystical experience in which she came to understand that, for instance, god is the eager groom and the church is the bride, “groom” and “bride” aren’t prescriptive words so much as words that kind of resonate in the same way the Truth resonated in that mystic moment.
And I have no problem with that. Like I said, all we have are limited vocabularies for mystic truths. Woo woo shit is woo woo shit for a reason.
But not every church service is going to be a mystical experience and, even if it is, not everyone is going to be having a mystical experience.
And so it turns out that I did sit there and listen to that music and kind of feel enlightened. Not in some holy way, but in the “Oh my god, this is what the people in my pew (my family) thinks love is.” That it is a kind of abject surrender to a capricious asshole who needs his ego stroked constantly.
And to have that reaffirmed day after day as you work for that dude and with others who behave so poorly and also claim to be working as extensions of the will of said dude?
I think that can only fuck folks up.
Maybe not “folks.”
I think it clearly fucked us up.
And, because it’s religion and my dad’s job, we can’t ever talk about it as a family. It’s too close to the bone, in a couple of spots.
This was the first time I noticed my dad giving the Butcher shit about not being married and about how no one would marry him if he didn’t have a good job.
And I thought, seeing it from the outside, how grossly unfair it is to tell someone for the first 18 years of his life that he is not like other people only to turn around and express such unmitigated anxiety towards him for not being like other people.
Fuck it, this is depressing me.
The thing I keep reminding myself is that knowledge isn’t happiness. Even if we could enumerate all the ways we’re fucked and why, it wouldn’t make us un-fucked.
Anyway, the Butcher is doing a shitty thing today. I will maybe tell you about it later, but please keep him in your thoughts. (Ha, though, in my efforts to creep in the polytheism, I sent him off with the same sentiments Frigg sent Odin off to fight Vafþrúðnir–drive safe, be safe while you’re there, come home safely.)