Saturday, April 29, 2006

"pre-nuptial question"?!

"If we did not believe in god, would we still desire to be married? Well the answer to that was and is an overwhelming yes." That's off Natala's blog. Made me think that did. About what marriage is?
Perhaps the most fundamental question in other words "what matters - the person or the intstitution?". It seems to be that this is what the question boils down to. It is a stripping away of the "marriage props" to the bare bones of it all.

I don't have the answers (as usual - just the questions). But in a relationship it would be wonderful to look across a room at the other person and know that given the choice over and over again, it would be the same one I make. I remember reading something in The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russel) where one of central characters - Anne - decribes her marriage:

"I have been married at least four times, to four different men. They've all been named George Edwards, but believe me, the man who is waiting for me down the hall is a whole different animal from the boy I marrried. Oh there are continuities. He has always been fun and he has never been able to budget his time properly.... George and I have faced the fact that we have changed and we've had to decide whether it makes sense to create a new marriage between these two new people...."

Makes sense that. Makes a lot of sense.

Friday, April 28, 2006

thinking about being "real"

I am a bit tired of the god-talk that underlies everything...the god-talk that is a cover up and not an illumination of Him. The god-talk we use for our own benefit: "the Lord told me...", "the Lord led me to...", "the Lord opened this door..." (never mind that the door led to a job with deeply unethical roots). I am tired of the way we take God's name in vain - to cover up our tracks, to justify ourselves, to prop up fallen edifices in our lvies.

I felt a tremendous respect for Natala and Matt - for their courage and honesty in walking the path they do. I am not sure, but maybe they are closer to the heart of God than many of us.

I would like to excavate into the heart of people and see how many of us are doing what we do, and living the way we are, out of a subconscious need for acceptance and the fear of rejection. I think the good question to ask is that if ALL is stripped away - family, church, society - would we STILL live the way we do? What if our inner life was made public and people knew who we really were?

I am reminded of a sketch I wrote once about the different people I am:
- the person that I *think* I am
- the person that I *know* I am
- the person that I don't know I am
- the person that
people *think* I am
- the person that God knows I am.

I have always wondered whether a truly Godly life is when all of these things are one and the same - albeit not completely but as close as they can be. At least a corelation of 3 might be good! One does need a bit of mystery and we can never know ourselves, others or God completely. But at least we can live transparently and be "real".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dr Dido and Dr Aristophanes celebrate

Dido and Aristopahnes celebrated.
They say it was "kewl". They have the distinction of possibly being the first pe-pellet life forms to have a viva from within a cloth bag. They thought that it was real fun. Especially when the examiners found a few things I said funny!

Dido and Aristo say that life needs celebrations. Gifts. Love. Laughter. Wine. Cards. Special times. They got it too.

Post-Viva celebrations? It celebrated the end of a long journey that often seemed too difficult to survive, and the benediction of love and friendship through the years.

It reminded me that life happened to on the way to a PhD, and I survived by the grace of God and the love of special people. It was a reminder that this is not a exploration I began or completed alone.

So I am thankful
for love and friendship - for people I have met as strangers and grown to love so very dearly.
for those who stood with me, beside me, prayed with and for me through these years.
for 6 years of invigorating study and research - despite the struggles and traumas inbetween.
for time to think, and meditate (I did meditate on my research!), formulate thinking and grow.
for laughter - Adams, Pratchett and Python - who are gifted with creating spaces to laugh!
for conversations that challenged my thinking and stretched my imagination.
for the caring I have had, especially through times of grief and bereavement.
for people who pushed me on and helped me to the finish line.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Aristo fired up


Don't let anyone tell you that travel is hazard free. I almost got ate up, I did.

A furry monster ravaged me...well alright it was called Daffy and it didn't xactly ravage me but it attacked fiercely - oh yes it did. I was lying helpless on the rug with this monster towering over me, drooling wickedly at me. Fortunately she got there in time or I shudder to think...WHY she left her bag open lying on the floor I don't know...

To add to the indignity I got called a "wee brown bear". TCHA.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

aversion to tentacles

Some conversations are very surreal. Like one I had recently. Someone said they never eat anything with tentacles. How very odd.

I tried to argue that tentacles are similar to limbs, and after all people munch on lamb chops and chicken drumsticks etc. The response to this was "can we describe a human being as having tentacles?".

I didn't think of it at that time, but I now realise that if it was an octopus or squid speaking, this is how they would describe us: "look darling, there goes that humanoid...have you noticed the branching tentacles they have...urrrggghh...remind me never to eat one".

But then what can one expect of male logic.

finely refined torture...alternatively called "A VIVA"

I must say I would have loved to watch John Cleese or Terry Jones, or for that matter any of the Pythons face a viva. I can imagine what they might have spewed at examiners. A bit like the Spanish Inquisition skit in reverse.

I WISH I WAS John Cleese. I am sure anyone with something like the silly walk repotoire should be able to face a viva with the snooty aplomb required. I am unfortunately a quivering mass of jelly, probably trasmuted myself into some distant relative of a jelly fish. I think my brains have melted and run into the sand.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"am" at a.m

Existential questions are a b***** nuisance, especially in the middle of the night. I am sitting up wondering "what makes" and "who am I". "I thnk therefore I am" is what Descartes said - but thinking hasn't given me much "am" so far even though it is a.m!

Was thinking about whether we construct ourselves everyday - creating wonderful and varied "i"s and "me"s. And are these the "real" or just surface constructions like drama masks that we gotta wear for the parts we play.

Maybe the trick is to learn to create ourselves less and to let God do the creating more! Maybe the people we love and trust have a hand in creating who we are meant to become?!

I think I should sleep. It is after all morning now.