Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I can’t believe I’m up this early. Too much on my mind, I guess.

Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. What can one say about it? How can one help those who lived through it heal? How can we make sure nothing like this ever happens again?

Unfortunately, I have no answers.

A new Pope was elected yesterday. John Ratzinger, who will be known as Benedict XVI. He seems a complicated man of contrasts. He wants to remain a hardline traditionalist, yet also work for humanitarian causes. Is that possible? His defense of fundamentalists concerns me. If someone chooses to be a fundamentalist, that’s their right and their choice. Unfortunately, most of them are determined to thrust their beliefs on those around them, which they do not have the right to do. It’s the My-Way-is-the-Right-Way syndrome, and it’s too often used as justification for centuries of cruelty. I don’t believe that if someone is gay, the person is either evil or going to hell. And I deeply believe that women must have equal rights in any church. A woman has the innate right to lead prayer, to bless and hand out the bread and wine, and to lead believers. Women carry life within them – you can’t get much closer to divine energy than that!

While I do think traditions are important in religion, religion also needs to evolve, and that’s going to be a difficult balance for Catholics to find. And inequality is unacceptable in any religion – hence my refusal to participate in organized religion.

I believe faith and religion are two different things. Faith is one’s personal, actual, daily way of living with the Divine. Religion has become (perhaps it always was this way) a way to control, judge and demean large groups of people, claiming to do so in the name of whatever God the religion claims to serve. I know many people who have a deep faith, yet refuse to be manipulated by “religion” because so often it is hypocritical. Those are the truly spiritual people. Some of them belong or even work in the realm of organized religion. Many have found their path via other ways.

It was interesting to watch Benedict greet the crowd. He walked on to the balcony, pleased and honored. And then, as he looked down at the large crowd, cheering him and relieved that they have a leader, he realized the enormity of what he has to do. It moved from being an abstract, intellectual knowledge to something he could feel. Watching him gain the realization experientially instead of intellectually was fascinating.

Day work was fine, although long. I was exhausted by the end of it. I’m picking up a few more shows, and a week at the end of June, but I’m not doing the double calls anymore. It doesn’t serve either call well. It’s not the amount of time, but the fact that, because things have to come out of the laundry and off the dry cleaning rack, and certain things happen at certain times at the same time, that there really need to be two separate people doing the calls. They understand. I helped out in a pinch, but it’s not something that can continue to happen without having a negative impact on the clothes and therefore, the show. While I appreciate the pay for a double call, and I work my butt off to do both as thoroughly as I can, I’d rather see the calls get done properly.

I sent off a request to the publisher mentioned in the last entry, comparing my figures with the publisher’s figures. Let’s see where that goes. Wonder how long that will take to straighten out?

Trying to decide, project-wise, what is the most productive – on all levels – of the projects I’m juggling. Does it make more sense to focus on one or two outside of the serials? But I have to be able to get out work in order to generate income, and often that means working on multiple projects. But do I then jettison the projects most important to me that are not yet income-generating? If I do that, I grow resentful.

I have to find a way to spend less time and energy on the serials – the work put in is no longer paying off on any level. The frustration is outweighing the benefits. I hope this is temporary – after all, on a long-running show, there are periods of time where the way someone else breathes is annoying. I’m hoping that’s what this is, and I’ll be frustrated for a bit, and then get back into sync. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities the serials afforded me, and the first two years of a new venture are always the toughest. But right now, the situation with the serials it out of balance to the rest of my life, and I have to rebalance. And that might mean making some difficult decisions. Ego and misplaced loyalty have to be put aside, and the entire situation in the long term as well as the short term needs to be considered in a rational, clear-eyed way.

I’m reading French Women Don’t Get Fat and it’s not at all what I expected. I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but not a lifestyle book. I enjoy it, but, had I investigated it a bit further before buying it, I probably would have skimmed through it and not bought it. I do much of what the author talks about anyway, and she’s got some good ideas.

I have to do some major cleaning over the next few days. Company’s coming in from overseas at the end of next week, and there are too many piles of papers around. I have to sort and toss and file, and, in general, get the place ready for outside eyes.

I wish for a few months of peace and calm, for both myself and everyone around me. I need it in order to regain my equilibrium.

The cats are screaming for their breakfast. I will feed them. If they ever learn how to open the cans themselves, I’m in big trouble!

For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.


At 12:41 AM, Blogger Celayne said...

Hi Devon! I have to disagree with you a little bit. You are right that women have the innate right to lead prayer, to bless and hand out the bread and wine and to lead believers. But I don't think that means that we can insist that the Catholic Church change to allow it. Not being a Catholic (or even a Christian) I wonder why people who are unhappy with the Church's stance on various issues don't just quit and go be something else. But I am a rebel, and when I had rationality issues with Christianity (at about age 12), I made a break with it and didn't look back. So I'm not the best person to ask about sticking with a religion....but I still say that religions are what they are, and if they aren't what we want, we should find another path and follow it. There are plenty of Christian denominations that have modern standards about women's participation, for example. It is not as if there are no organized alternatives for people who are not locked into a Medieval mentality...

That said, I find a real fascination and comfort in the old traditions, since I study medieval history and write on it and so forth. It's nice to know that there is some continuity over the past 1000 years. ;)

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

I guess I wasn't clear.

One of the reasons I no longer belong to organized religion is because I disagree so strongly with so many of their dogmas.

Do I expect the Catholic Church to change for me? No. I simply am not Catholic.

I don't expect a relgion to change for me. What I disagree with is using religion to justify inhumanity -- such as a Crusade or a jihad -- and say it's in the "name of God". What I have a problem with is religions who try to impose their beliefs on others, instead of finding ways to peacefully and tolerantly co-exist.

I belonged to the Episcopal Church for awhile; in fact, I was an acolyte at several ceremonies for women priests. And, even in the Episocopalian faith, there's too much stringency to suit me.

There should be alternatives for everyone.

However, trying to impose one's beliefs on others, or insist that believing differently or disagreeing with the dogma is a ticket to hell also needs to stop.


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