It’s been more than two months since I last posted at Experience Pearls. I’ve been busy at work, tutoring children in various school subjects (mostly math, French, and reading/writing). For a while it seemed like this would become one of those orphan blogs you sometimes see in Google searches: the ones that have obviously been left behind, victims of their creators’ busy lives, to float in the online ether.
What’s more, I’ve been sort of spiritually uncertain, a little bit at a loss. How do you get your spiritual groove back when you’ve been going through a particularly crazy time of it, and you’re no longer entirely sure what you believe? There’s been a lot of change in my life, and as I try to reorganize myself around a series of new ways to interact with the world, I also need to figure out a new way to interact with the divine.
That will be the focus of my blog going forward: how do I work my spiritual side into my daily life when I don’t even know how to characterize my faith? Where do my new beliefs and my spiritual heritage interact? Where do the old and the new meet? My interior life has changed. Now I have to figure out how to bring that new inner skin into contact with the spirit that lives outside of me – the God that my old self knew, but my new self needs to reimagine with all-new assumptions.
And of course, there are some things that haven’t changed. I’m still fascinated by fundamentalism of all kinds, still interested in how people live out their beliefs, and even sometimes gobsmacked by the crazy things people take as straight-up, Gospel truth. There’s a lot to explore in all that, and I welcome everybody who’s interested in exploring it with me as I do my best to take it outside the box.
I gave a guided farm tour today for a group of primary-school children from a private Catholic school that seems to take its religious heritage very seriously. These kids were already wearing school uniforms (usually not introduced until high school in our state-funded Catholic system), and although they acquiesced to a trip through the Haunted Forest, the children and their teachers later told me that their school did not celebrate Hallowe’en. Instead they dress up as their favourite holy people for All Saints’ Day. (I fervently hope I’m not the cause of a rash of angry phone calls chastising my boss for exposing them to the Witch’s Cottage and the Eyeball Patch.)
. . . a question so vast, it’s hard to know where to begin. So I might as well start here.
Welcome to Experience Pearls: the place where one lonely Netizen fills cyberspace with thoughts and ideas that might take an entire rainforest to express if she hand-wrote them all in paper journals. Instead, she’ll express this part of her journey on the Internet, for everyone or no one to read, consider, and probably judge.
Well, at least it’s at least a good chance to practice resisting the lure of somebody else’s judgment. If anybody is reading at all . . .
The question came to mind when I realized I didn’t know what to call myself anymore. Catholic by birth and breeding, I’m not sure I believe enough of Catholic dogma to wear that label in any honesty. I love the seasonal rituals of earth-based and pagan faiths, and the rhythmic daily practices of Buddhist traditions, but I don’t know enough about either to confidently say, “Yes, that’s me”. I think Buddhist doctrine (such as it is) probably comes closest to expressing what I believe about life, afterlife, and faith in general, but I hesitate to walk away from that Catholic label I’ve had all my life. And exactly where do my tarot cards fit into this whole big mess anyway?!?
Thus, like pretty well everybody else in my generation, I’ve come to the Internet for answers. Except these answers don’t really exist, at least not anywhere outside of me. So this blog becomes a tool to help me figure out exactly what’s in my soul by letting it out for the whole world to see.