It's Saturday Muse time, tumbling thoughts swirling around in my head while Brahms pumps out loudly via the innernet waves. I keep thinking about how lost I was with this music score, and now it has become part of my body. Not to say I can stand up and sing it with perfection, but while listening to it I know " I get it", it's there...a rain in Spain kinda thing... aaaaaa HA!! I have to say, though, that it's really only through the helping direction of others that I "get it". Not only because of our director's teaching, through fellow choir members sharing of their knowledge of this work I am gaining more understanding. Understanding, how little we understand how little we understand until we begin to truly understand, uh huh.
So where is this meandering muse leading? Well, since we are celebrating this holiday weekend because of historical religious reasons, I will start there. Like the slow catching onto this musical score, I think my 60 years of being on the planet is catching on now to what the word "religion" is supposed to mean. I say "supposed" to mean because we all know in life, there are bunches and bunches of meanings to it. No ONE religious belief system dictates to all of us. We all have our own personal thoughts as to what is relevant to life according to a spiritual understanding. Knowing that in today's world of more acceptance of differences in beliefs, I am still somewhat baffled at the the fact this weekend is a holiday for ALL, though. Some stores are closed this weekend due to what happened to Jesus 2000 something years ago. Isn't that just so intriguing a thought? Good Friday and Easter Sunday we all celebrate the mass understanding that took place all those years ago through the horrific death of one person who was proven he truly was the Son of God.
Do I believe this? I can only answer that in other perspective ways. I do believe that faith and solid belief systems do work for people. And again, I have to restate that it's personal for all people. Even if some remain in strong faith out of fear and guilt, that comes from their personal make up, a choice based on their own sense of what they must choose for their own reasons. It's what we are born into usually. I know of people who don't know anything different than being devoutly religious, born into a very committed line of church goers. My family was not church goers. No, but I can't say I was raised to believe there is no such thing as God. I grew up believing prayer was a good thing to do. I grew up hearing our mom say God will get us through things. I grew up understanding there is something more to this life thing than the obvious. But we didn't get up and pile into the car well dressed to go to church on Sunday. We did love Sunday, the do-nothing day, the day of rest, the day Dad schmoozed around the garden, the day we felt relaxed and into a slower mode of life. Those are good memories.
Then I marry a man who was born into a very disciplined Anglican family. I admit I had some fear of not measuring up as a daughter-in-law because I was not a church goer. My husband talked about being server in the church, church youth group functions, trips with the church in summer, a whole other world I knew nothing about. So, I wanted to learn more so I could feel more acceptable (in my mind) and would ask him about the bible. He couldn't tell me a single thing about what happened in that storybook, not one thing. I even have his notebooks from confirmation school teachings, but apparently he didn't retain much of that. But ask him who was in the World Series in 1958 and he can give you a blow by blow of not only who won, what happened in each inning. Interesting.
I am not saying that Gerry's upbringing with the church very important to his family was a waste of time, not at all. I see that the true teachings of what Christianity is supposed to mean did sink in with him. I remember when we first were dating, and how things that BUGGED me were always something I could easily expound over. Not Gerry, he always seemed to let things just roll off him. He could get called names and berated personally without a single sign of anger showing in him, no defensive reaction, a calm and shrug of "whatever". I recall saying to him " What's with you?? Don't you have any feelings?? Why don't you care and try to defend yourself??" He'd ask me what my problem was, if it was about him and he chose to not react, why should I. Now, 60 years old, I think I get it.
Yes, I think I get it now. Going through his mom's "stuff" the other night and finding all those little prayer books and pressed flowers in bibles, little crosses from every Palm Sunday she ever attended, I think I get it. Grandma Laing was devoted to her church, her faith was so important to her. She'd read her prayer books for personal satisfaction, but in a quiet way, never pushing it on anyone else, it was very personal to her. Right or wrong, I have deep respect for that. I am sure she would have liked it better if we raised our kids with Sunday School and church every Sunday, we didn't. And she respected that, maybe shared her disappointment to others close to her, not sure, but never to us.
Today I look around me and feel blessed in so many ways. Dark days happen to all of us, but we come through them and can live a life that feels wonderful and worthwhile. I returned to praying at night because it helps me go to sleep. I have learned the understanding of caring and forgiveness. The basics of Christianity are very real to me. I cherish the simple moments like last night when Gerry and I were rolling with laughter over something silly. I cherish this time of year when we brought all three of our children into this world, not on the same day, two years apart. I cherish my memory of our wedding happening at this time of year. I cherish my memories of the Easter Bunny knock on the door. Even the recollections of going to Easter Sunday service with Grandma to her church really EARLY are happy thoughts.
In my personal beliefs, I think Jesus would be happy to see that I now get it.