Friday, September 21, 2012

And now in a scene right out of Sixteen Candles...

Jake Ryan knocks on the door, only to be told (by Long Duck Dong), that she got married.
The unforgettable Jake Ryan (married?)

Good Stuff. You can watch it here:

But I digress.  The other day, the news reported that an historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School had identified a scrap of papyrus on which is written, in Coptic (a fourth century greek language), “Jesus said to them, `My wife ...’ ” 

Is it so incredible to think that Jesus might have been married?  Was he not a man?  Did he not live among us? Breathe, eat, sleep, God forbid... poop, like the rest of us?   And why should we think he didn't also fall in love, get married even?  

I realize that every religion picks and chooses portions of scripture around which to build their business model (yes, that's what it is, it's a business with a model, just like anything else.  That doesn't make it bad, or good, by the way.  It just is).  What is the travesty in considering that Jesus may have had female disciples?  

That maybe there was something to that theory in "The Divinci Code" - that right there in the painting of The Last Supper, was a woman, seated at the table, among the 12 Disciples chosen by Jesus.  Well, surely, he was born of Mary, right?  She's pretty spectacular, no?  And if there is a God, and He is, in fact, Man, as we understand that term to mean, well then, he came from somewhere, did he not?  And let me tell you folks, he sure as heck didn't come from another man.  I guess you could argue that if Jesus can be born of a virgin, then God can be born of... what? Nothing?  
It's a crap shoot, I'm telling ya, because we just don't know.  We can all proselytize till we're blue in the face, but: We. Just. Don't. Know.  Ya know? 

Ah, but what we do have is Faith.  Can't see it.  Can't smell it, touch it, hear it even.  But, it's there, man.  Because if there is one sense we can engage to find faith, it's touch... because we can feel it.  

Faith that what?  What's important here?  Do you need the knowledge that God is a man to have faith? Do you need to know for a fact that no way, no how, did Jesus allow women at that table? Is that what you need to believe?  Or is it the idea that something much greater than you - God - as we call Him - is out there...somewhere.  That He holds you in his palm.  That He loves you as you love your own children. That in times of great sorrow, great need, great joy even, you can call out to Him, pray to Him, talk with Him?  

Does it matter, really, whether or not the people around him that last night of his life on earth could pee standing up?  Does it?  

Do you think in your heart that if Jesus promised to devote all he had to God, that he couldn't possibly love someone here on earth, too?  'Cause I don't.  Not for a minute.  It's part of what really gets me about the Catholic church.  And I can say that because I was raised Catholic.  Baptized into the faith, received all the necessary sacraments, the whole ball of wax.  And it's how I raise my own kids, too.  Not because I need them to have some organized religion making rules for them.  But because I believe they need a foundation from which to someday be able to make their own decisions re: religion.  And, more importantly, I want them to have Faith.  That illusive creature, that helps them through the bad times, picks them up off the floor, crying, bleeding, broken, and helps them get on with the business of living.  I want them to know that there is something greater out there than themselves.  That they are loved.  That there is good in the world.  

But I digress (again).  I suppose the knowledge that Jesus really did have a wife would change the whole foundation on which the Catholic church was built.  Why, they might even have to allow priests to get married and let women become priests. 

I don't know a whole lot about the business of religion, but I do know that I can sit in church and listen to a man (the priest) speak eloquently about our God, about Jesus and his disciples and feel that faith.  But I'll tell ya what, I could just as easily sit in that pew and listen to a female speak to me about my God.  What difference does it make?  Didn't God create EACH OF US in his OWN LIKENESS?  Well, then, I ask you, does it matter?  

We were having this discussion at dinner last night, my kids and I.  And my oldest was telling me about how they discussed this news of Jesus possibly having a wife in his religion class.  Connor was adamant that it does not matter.  But he also struggles with the idea of faith.  "How do you know He's real," he was saying, "if you can't see Him, talk to Him..." As he was saying this, my daughter (age 7) piped up, saying in her sweet voice, "But you can talk to God, Connor.  Like when you're feeling sad, or you need help with something..."

Leave it to the little ones, right? Truer words, my friends... God love her ; )

But I'm very curious, what's your take on this bit of news? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall In!

This summer was a hot one.  If I remember correctly we went from the wet, cool days of early spring right into three digit temps, nothing gradual about it.  At first, I sighed with relief as I threw those fuzzy boots to the back of my closet, slipped on my coveted flip flops and pulled my hair into a ponytail.  But after many months of this sweaty, oppressive heat, we are finally feeling some relief and I couldn't be happier.  Mid-September, how I've longed for you!  

My favorite time of year is on its way my friends.  And with the arrival of Autumn comes those glorious colors, like a brand new 64-pack of Crayola crayons.  While Mother Nature makes her changes, I'll make a few of my own. Starting with my closet:  I'll cram flip flops, summer sandals and open-toe heels into the back and bring forth the shoes of Fall:  Hello, Boots!  The tall, black leather heeled ones, the brown suede mid-calf, oh... my furry uggs, how I've missed you!  I'll line them all up right in front, little soldiers standing at attention for their turn to step out.  Then I'll move up to the hangers, sliding halter tops, tanks and sleeveless blouses to the far side, and bring forward the hoodies, long sleeve tees and soft sweaters and cardigans. 

While Mother Nature is blowing in cooler temps, I'll throw open the windows.  And as she puts a slight haze over the strong, summer sun, I'll switch my bottle of white wine for red.

But I digress.  I'm so looking forward to cooler temps, comfortable days, and cozy nights in front of a fire.  Okay, okay.  I've got this grandiose image of myself in a long, soft sweater, leggings and furry boots, curled up in front of a fire with a pumpkin spice latte and a good book (or maybe a glass of Cabernet and the two-part finale of Sex and the City).  And I realize, Autumn also brings some not-so-fabulous reality...

Like  the sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes of fall allergies.  And while watching the trees turn from green to bright copper and gold really is beautiful, those leaves will eventually turn brown and fall slowly, deliberately to the ground where I will be forced to undertake the back-breaking labor of raking said leaves into humongous piles.  But, oh, those piles are fun to jump in if you're 7 years old!  And I'm sure there'll be some great photo ops there.

The simple truth is, Mother Nature's not going anywhere.  And every few months she throws us a curve ball - no avoiding the seasons if you're in the Lou, that's for sure.  So, enjoy every day, every season, everything she throws at you, because believe it or not, it won’t last forever...Case in point: At the end of a very long, miserable winter a few years ago, I wrote about my burning desire for a spring thaw, here.

Happy Autumn!  What's your favorite season?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

8 Months and Counting

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to visit Paris.  I can't remember exactly when the desire hit me, although I think it was the first time I saw the movie "Sabrina."

 You know, the one with Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear?  Sabrina (Ormond) has a terrible crush on Ford's younger brother, played by Kinnear.  She is a bit of an ugly duckling - a wallflower, but spends a summer in France finding herself, growing up, and comes back completely changed.  Beautiful, confident.  When the movie came out in 1995, I was 23 years old.  A newlywed who, by all appearances, was all grown up.  But maybe it was this desire to be transformed myself that began my love affair with the city of lights.

Ten years later, in 2005, I finally realized my goal of earning my writing degree.  And once I'd checked that off my bucket list, I started thinking of other dreams and goals, started believing that I could achieve those, too.  Being a published writer was one of them.  I was published online for the first in 2007.  On a whim, I went down to the post office one day at work, and applied for a passport.  It arrived a few weeks later, and I stowed it in my night stand drawer.

Over the next few years, I'd come across it as I searched for other things or attempted to clean out drawers and "get organized."  I'd always put it right back in its place, under my journals and homemade Mother's Day cards from years past.  2009 brought my first publication in a regional print magazine.  And 2010 saw my first of several essays published in national anthologies.

So, while these dreams of mine were beginning to come true, this trip to Paris was stored away in the back of my mind.  A few years ago, I decided that I would take that trip by the time I was 40.  Well, I turned 40 in July, and thought, okay, I've got 12 months...

A few weeks ago, I found out that I will get to make that dream a reality.  On May 1, 2013 (2 1/2 months before my 41st birthday), I'll be going to Paris.  I've already checked the weather for that time of year (upper 50s is the norm), checked out advise on what and how to pack, and scoured the Taulk Tours website to learn more about this "Taste of France" River Cruise on which I'll spend the majority of the trip.

But I digress.  Until then, I'll be counting down the months, weeks and days until I depart.  And maybe even give thought to other dreams...  I've always wanted to visit Ireland.  Drink beer in a little pub while the fog swirls outside.  And I've always wanted to write my own book, walk into some little out-of-the-way bookstore and see my name on the cover of a paperback.  No sense in thinking that can't happen.  Of course it can.  

What's on your bucket list?  And what one dream or goal have you achieved that you weren't sure would ever come true?