April 22, 2011
Tofu in my stomach and betrayal on the brain. Told my girlfriend the story of Christ’s sacrifice for us last night over Indian food. And in the moment of describing the pain he felt in the garden of Gesthemane I almost wept into my sweet potato masala. Thinking about the humanity of someone who challenged the system and was then abandoned by everyone in the moment of his greatest need – even god- was overwhelming. It’s a story we all understand. Unfortunately right? I’m no savior but I have been betrayed and abandoned. I’m no judas but I have betrayed and abandoned.
I hate my coworker. I had hope that we would together build something amazing here. Instead we just tore each other down. Not intentionally. I believe completely the damage I received was unintentional and unintended. And I stood tonight before my community with shaky voice and realized I have lost my way. I can’t lead if I am lost. The question I have for myself is am I lost in that way that happens when we are deep in the finding? Or am I lost in that way that is about denying where I need to go?
May 13, 2009
I can remember the first time I swore. My childhood playmate, Todd, and I had heard the words we knew were somehow dangerous. So we gathered rotting apples from the front yard of my grandparents home and then hunkered down behind the bushes. As cars passed, we stood up and threw the apples at the cars and shouted some kind of cuss word. I don’t even remember which ones. Probably things like “damn”. I can remember the fear I felt, doing this terribly wrong thing. I can remember the power I felt, doing this terribly wrong thing.
I don’t really feel anything when I cuss now. It’s usually an accident, more than a choice. The power of the words has been lost in repetition and familiarity.
May 2, 2009
I wonder what I was trying to fill in myself when I joined the LDS church. I was paradoxically highly devout and not very good at following some of the rules. I craved people in my life, family and community. As a teenager I attended church alone, every week, without fail. My mother never joined me. I sat alone in the pews, surrounded by large families with two parents and a loads of kids. I heard stories of people who adopted youth attendees like myself, giving them a surrogate family. And I hoped I might someday be chosen to join one of those bustling homes. When I was included in one family, I spent my time avoiding unwanted sexual advances from their son who was my age. So maybe I should be grateful it was a one-time thing, as far as I can remember.
There were signs of my hunger. I would often gather with other kids in the church halls during sacrament or other meetings. I loved going to church, but I don’t think I realized then how much of what I craved was human connection. And one thing the mormons do better than anyone else is build community. I craved a family and community more than I craved a religion. I was so jealous of those rows of happy groups I sat behind, beside, and around, but not within. Not even when I was married did I ever have that golden standard of a family unit.
The closest I came in the mormon church was my freshman year of college. We were all lonely and we bonded in groups trying to live the ideals of the church as we believed them to be. We took care of each other, laughed, created, bought each other groceries, and ignored the things that kept us from believing, all the way, that we could have this dream we had been taught was real. It was a heavenly experience in many ways.
I might still be looking for someone to choose me to be part of their family. Even grown as I am, partnered and parenting, I yearn for a larger family to keep me safe from the loneliness in my heart.