Saturday, January 22, 2011

Me and Rob in the Foxhole

There are no atheists in foxholes.  

This aphorism arose on Wednesday night as I wandered toward the cafeteria a little too early to get anything.  It was nearly 11pm and I had a few minutes to fill, so I wandered over to the chapel.  I stood outside the door a moment and realized something.

I hadn’t prayed even once during the whole time.

For over a year now, I have been pondering what it is I believe and gradually coming to terms with a simple fact:  I am atheist.  I didn’t know this for certain because I knew what I believed can and often does change.  And what’s more, I knew that what I thought I believed had not yet been tested.

But if ever there was a time to reach out to God, the past few days surely would have been the time to do it.  And yet, I didn’t.  In fact, I distinctly recall thinking there was no point in praying to God when whatever healing Rob needed was here already.

I never prayed to God for a miracle.

So, I can say with some assurance that I am an atheist.  I may change my mind.  After all, I claimed to be one back before I became a born again Christian so there’s no saying where I will turn next.  Or it could be that like so many spiritual seekers, I am coming full circle.  How many Christians proclaim to no longer believe only to return to the fold–albeit usually in a different denomination?  From Catholic to Unitarian or Baptist to Episcopalian?

Do I believe in an after-life? I don’t know.  I can’t say.  I was still trying to come to terms with my atheism and was not yet ready to think beyond that single frame of reference.  But now that I have God out of the picture, I do have some more thinking to do.  A lot more.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 3

If (or rather when) you move to death, you’ll learn its language through the educational process known as total immersion.  (7)

I suppose this should be frightening but I find it wonderfully comforting.  Full immersion makes me think of sinking into a feather bed or a perfectly warm bubble bath.

. . . I understand that I was writing (recording) as well as seeking to right (to rectify) the wrong, and now, as I retell the tale, I realize that ‘I am still at the same subject’ still engaged in the same fearful and fierce activity–writing and seeking to right a mortal wrong.  (86-87)

Why write wrong if the writing won’t right the wrong? (90)

I posted this last on the well-being blog because I think it is an interesting question.  Why write about a wrong when writing won't change the past or the wrong that is still there?

Women know intuitively when they are being devalued.  (121)

I could write so many stories of times when my intuition told me something that proved to be true.  Why didn't I listen?  Usually because I listened to a friend who assured me it wasn't that way.  Or some comment on my blog telling me that I was reading too much into something.  And yet, every time I intuited something it was correct.  I have so rarely been mistaken that I could easily number them on both hands.  Perhaps only one.

We must teach our girls that if they speak their mind, they can create the world they want to see.  (145)

Any self-prompt that reminds you to focus on flow not ebb, contributes to your greater sense of abundance.  (53)

Every day offers us simple gifts when we are willing to search our hearts for the place that's right for each of us.  (January 15)

I think most of the people I know would say that I am a Pollyanna, seeing the silver-lining in just about anything and everything.  Sometimes it takes a little time and distance, a bit of perspective, to help me see clearly but, in the end, I usually find myself seeing something glorious in every experience.  It helps me get through some of the hard times, walking through them with a confidence that eventually I'll look back and see things for what they were all along.

Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most:  quiet, reflective time.  Time to dream, time to contemplate what's working and what's not, so that we can make changes for the better.  (January 17)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Rob is home.

We are all exhausted.

He needed an emergency appendectomy.  See that not pink thing inside him?  That not only should be pink but it's no longer inside his body.

From an email:

I'm back.  Home.  Not falling back into our routine yet.  I realized this morning that the idea of routine probably won't fall into place until sometime next week.  

One of the things I simply had to share was this:  I grabbed a few books as I headed out the door for the hospital and one of them was Death's Door by Sandra Gilbert.  Gilbert is the woman who wrote The Madwoman in the Attic and is fairly well-known in academic circles. I  wasn't thinking when I grabbed the book--the title alone made it a rather odd choice.  But it's academic right?  I mean, it's about writers and poets and artists and death . . .

It's also about Gilbert's own experience with her husband's death due to complications following a routine surgery.

I argue that when I grabbed the book, I didn't know Rob needed surgery--routine or otherwise.  I couldn't leave it in the car because then some superstitious voice suggested that if I did it would be a sign of acknowledging something worse than what I was already imagining.  So I had to take it with me.  

I didn't start reading it until I knew Rob was recovering, however.  I had it but I found anything else to read.  

I have to say, so far I highly recommend this book.  Very interesting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why I Hate Diabetes

As I type this, we are waiting for an ambulance to take Rob to the hospital because he is not getting better but significantly worse.

By the time you read this, I hope he will already be there and attended to properly.

A stomach virus is not a serious thing unless you have diabetes (and other such conditions, I'm sure).  I won't bore you all with the details but he's on his way and soon I will follow.

I won't be updating again until I have the time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scary = Exhausting

Rob was hit with a stomach flu.  After a day and a night of vomiting and diarrhea, he's eaten three crackers.  I've been checking on him frequently, occasionally waking him to make sure he hasn't slipped into a diabetic coma.

Sadly, when one has diabetes, such concerns are not melodramatic.

I need a nap.  So does he.  First day of better intentions out the window.  Tomorrow . . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reading Challenge, a Real Reading Challenge

On, there is a 2011 Reading Challenge.  I thought about it:  What would be a real reading challenge for me?  One book a week?  Two?  Three?  Then I realized that for me a real challenge would be to read no books at all.

Unfortunately, decided that reading 0 books is not a challenge. And here I thought the site was run by other avid readers who would understand that reading a lot of books is easy . . . but going without a books altogether? Now that is a challenge!

2011 Reading Challenge
30,534 people participating
Motivate yourself to read more books: Enter the 2011 Reading Challenge!
You read 225 books last year.

Goal must be greater than 0
My goal is to read
books in 2011.

Total goal for all Goodreads users: 2,370,853 books
63,615 of 2,370,853 (2%)
Average goal for all users: 77 books
Total challenges completed: 11