Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Telephone Conversation

I talked to Doug today, - probably the single most successful person in the family. He's in NY working with an investments firm. And he travels and does guest speaking and all that stuff. He is supposed to be in West Palm Beach at the end of next month.

Anyway, Doug was his usual effusive, lovely, wonderful self. He did make a comment about talking to June many years ago about leaving something in the will to my father. Sandra too believed that June was completely awful to my father. I bet the whole family saw it, and I just NEVER realized it.

I can see that Doug is still committed to God all the way. *wistful smile* I do not know if he'd really be happy with my mystical turn of mind. But I can't hide it. I saw what I saw, back in 1996. Blinded by the light, as it were.

I'm telling you...this business with my father dying has really made me look at a lot of things differently. Odd as it may sound, it has brought home to me very forcefully that I'm a Gael in ancestry. It has also whacked me with my Christian identity. Suddenly everything in the Wiccan world looks so very -- self-centered to me. I'm seeing, from this perspective, far too much of the "look at me, I'm different and I'm so persecuted" attitude. A lot of my desire to be anything RESEMBLING Wiccan just evaporates in the face of my real family.

I might get over this eventually.

Then again, I might not.

I have to admit, and I know this isn't cool, but sometimes I could just KICK MYSELF for where I am now. When I look at how I live, compared to how Doug lives, I'm so bitterly ashamed of the mess I have made of my life. I don't want any of the family coming to my apartment and seeing the poverty and ugliness I live in. I could just cry. I could just absolutely scream.

Then again, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes put it in her book "Women Who Run With The Wolves," I am one of the Scar Clan. I wear the scars on my soul of the abuse I suffered in my college years, and they know nothing about that because I never told them. They'd be shocked if they heard what happened to me when I was 21. Hell, so would Dad...he's the one who turned up at Mom's apartment with two Montgomery County police officers at 2am when I called him shrieking "Mom's beating me!" because she was drunk and we had argued about something. And thankfully Dad never found out in THIS life about what Denny did to me. I wouldn't even want to know what would have happened, had I told him. He knew I didn't like Denny much, but he thought it was because Denny just drank too much. He didn't know it was because Denny laid hands on me...

Yes, I've been initiated in another way, a very painful way, but initiated nonetheless. I'm an initiate in the Coven of Hard Knocks. LOL!!

I guess I've earned the grey hairs that are coming in at my temples now.

I'm so very sorry that Dad never got back in touch with Doug and Sandra. I believe he wanted to. And I did search frantically for information on where Doug was. I have the Bible Doug gave my father many years ago; it is the Bible that I read the 23rd Psalm out of when we scattered his ashes to sea.

I'm finding myself spending a little more time in the Word these days. I'm reading the Psalms and just basking in the beauty there.

And while I think about that, I'm seeing in these things wisdom that I never saw there before. I see the wisdom in the Scriptures teaching how awful a thing divorce is. I see what happened to my life after my parents' divorce. And how not putting Godly values first cost a great deal.

Doug put Godly values first, and look at how successful he is. And happy.

I see people putting things like Wiccan values first, and I don't see anyone nearly as successful or happy as he is.

The proof IS in the pudding, after all, isn't it? Doesn't Scripture say that ye shall know a tree by its fruit?

Yes, I have a LOT of happy memories of Woodside United Methodist Church. I'm so proud that my family is associated with that church.

But over the years I have come to see things and learn things that make me question. Yet, questioning aside, I do feel something soothing in my heart when I read the Psalms, as I mentioned I was doing.

Funny. I find myself thinking back to the time when I visited Aloma United Methodist, right up the street, right before the holidays year before last. It was when Joe and I were apart. I walked to the altar to receive communion, and something in me snapped and it was all I could do NOT to weep upon receiving the bread and wine. I had to struggle to keep it in.

I guess I felt the grace, and somehow didn't feel worthy of it. But it was so tenderly gifted to me, so freely...how could I not be moved? Mystic that I am, how could I not feel something sing in my heart?

So why did I want to cry?! I shouldn't have felt that!! I should have felt...elation! But I felt misery, as if I wasn't deserving of it and I didn't belong with those people and at that church and I felt so wrong. Like I was doing something wrong and I'd be found out and thrown out soon. Like I was lying.

Yet, what on earth was I lying about? I was just a seeker kneeling there, trying to understand. I'm just one person.

There are times when I sit in meditation and just open myself, and I allow myself to become aware of the grace, gently showering down upon all of us here, and all we have to do is open to it and smile and say a simple, humble thanks for it.

All I know is that conservative or liberal, Catholic or Protestant, white or black, male or female, the grace IS there. We are never, ever separated from it. We might claim to be. We might think we are. But it's always there. If it wasn't, we simply wouldn't exist. Galatians 3:28.

"It's all about serving God - It's all about Saving Grace!"

What I take that to mean is that this grace, poured out upon us like a shower of golden light so softly and sweetly, is the healing balm for the soul. "Salvation" means "to heal" and that is what I remind myself of when I see that word.

Yes, I suppose I am rambling. I should stop.

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