Yesterday was a really good day. Not because it was Valentine’s Day (a non-holiday in my opinion), but because it started with a coffee date with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years and years. He was in town on business and we met up for a chat. (“Who’s John?” my husband asked. “You want a date on Valentine’s Day that badly, just ask!” Ha!)
After talking about our kids, our spouses, my recent move, the topic invariably turned to matters of religion. John’s a Christian, one who attends a mainline church on the liberal side of things. He told me he’s come to terms with the fact that there’s just a ton of stuff he doesn’t know, might never know, and that’s ok. He was honest about the fact that he doesn’t read my blog (“I suspect you have a lot of words about this topic.” He has no idea, does he?); this isn’t the topic he spends his precious non-working hours reading. I can respect that.
What the conversation highlighted to me is that I love talking about religion. I had to dial down my enthusiasm, scale back the two dollar words. I want to know what people think, and then talk about that. This particular conversation reminded me how much my thinking has shifted in the last few years. I do not view the world as a monotheist might; I definitely have a polytheistic view point. It makes discussing spiritual relativism interesting. I see little conflict; the monotheist sees quite a bit.
My baby (who is one today!) was fussing and tired and full of snot, so John and I cut our time together short, right as we were in the thick of conversation. We’ll have other times to talk, now that I’m back in the great state of Washington for the long haul. I drove home buzzing. What do I do with this passion for religion? I could teach. I have a master’s degree. Perhaps the local community college would hire me or the nearby Evergreen State College. The thought of creating an entire class and teaching it scares me: I have many professor friends and I hear all about the struggles of teaching. And I don’t feel like I know enough! But I do.
I could get a PhD. I tried that. I may go back, but not to the same topic, not to the same type of program. I was really tired of engaging Christian theology so exclusively. I certainly won’t go back to a PhD program with wee children. I can barely keep up with this blog right now, due to sleep exhaustion.
I’ve even thought about looking at spiritual direction programs. Of course, starting another program seems silly right now. And I’m not sure I’m empathetic enough for this type of ‘counseling.’
Today, I’m enjoying the surge of enthusiasm I have for my chosen subject from the conversation with my friend. I’m fired up! This coincides with some dreams I’ve had recently and a strong pull to practice – not to practice Christianity, but to dive back into Feri, tarot, meditation, things I’ve put on the shelf for this quarter. I see them up there, shiny and inviting, familiar and full of surprises, and I want to stop reading theology, stop praying for mercy, stop rehashing my testimony (yes, I’m dragging my heels on part four).
This is good information. I’m grateful for this blog project. I feel like it is doing just what I’d hoped it would do: refine my own path, get me more comfortable with vulnerability and visibility, challenge my writing skills, and open up dialog with others. Thanks for joining me.