Posted tagged ‘religoin’

Extra Time and what one can do with it….

May 20, 2010

I started reading a new book this week that I’ve been meaning to get to for years: A History of God, by Karen Armstrong. I was actually down on myself yesterday, in a weird, paradoxical way, for having the time and headspace at this point in my life to embark on this heavy reading. You see, since we moved here last summer, I have lamented that I had to give up my last job (which I was quite enjoying). I had decided not to look for work here in our new home, and might have changed my mind on that point except that I am now four months pregnant….not an ideal time to start a job search!

So back to my reading…. I’m only three chapters in, so I won’t go ahead and start recommending it, but I am especially fascinated by all the research that has gone into this work. And last night, as I began the chapter outlining the beginnings of Christianity, I had a strange experience that reflects where I come from and a lot about my background.

I felt shocked – even hurt! – to read that Jesus was just a man. Just a man! What, not immaculately conceived, part of the patriarchal trinity I learned about in Sunday school and during my once or twice a year visits to church? Okay, I wasn’t really that naive, or devout to begin with. And I know, this is one book, one more of the thousands of interpretations of the story of Jesus that has come down to us throughout the generations. But still, I realize I’ve been “brainwashed” enough to have believed, in some part of my being, the Christmas story that is so central to my life (it is the occasion by which all family visits – and feuds and reconciliations – and school vacations and gift exchanges take place). I also realize, that story is another example of how the story of the religion so central to the society into which I was born, has evolved throughout history…Christmas isn’t, any longer, about Jesus being born to save us from ourselves. It’s about capitalism, and a jolly man, a newer myth in our society, known as St. Nick.

Okay, it’s a whole lot more complicated than that.

Still, I don’t know why I worried about my shock for even a moment. I’ve said for years now, that, although I was baptized in the Anglican church, that if I do have a religion, it’s the religion of nature (whatever that means…I guess just that I believe in nature, the changing of the seasons, the nature that brings us into the world, the nature of…nature!). I wouldn’t even say I follow paganism, because I’ve never been inclined to chant or practice incantations or experiment with odd herbs (unless I’m making soup!). But I’ve also never called myself an atheist, and I do, on occasion, whisper a quick prayer if I’m feeling hopeless or lost.

So Extra Time, and my solo musings on this particular book. This sort of book should be discussed in a group setting, there’s too much in it for me to babble on about here in my blog. But it’s on my mind, it’s keeping me from my fiction writing, it’s something I’m doing with my cursed gift of Extra Time here in the chilly north where it’s coming up on the May long weekend, and just barely above zero degrees (I might add, though, that it was warm enough last weekend that I got excited and bought up a couple of trays of plants during the first day of our local Canadian Tire’s plant sale).

One more thought for the day, to try to bring myself back to why I started this blog in the first place…. I’ve lived here, in my newest home now, for almost 10 months. And I’m feeling SETTLED. Six months was a shocker and a bummer, and I’m happy to say, I got over the hump and have survived to start enjoying my Time here. Extra Time. It all comes, as Winnie the Pooh would say, of having a schedule and sticking to it (like only watching TV once or twice a week, not every night, which frees up a lot of time!). Extra Time is a  rare gift in this day and age, when most articles you read are about how to Save Time. Not for me, not now. Stretch it out. My life is only going to get more chaotic in, oh, about five more months, when baby number three makes its debut. For now, bring on these moments I can fill with reading, writing…babbling…..