Saturday, April 28, 2007


Pre Post: I'm going along with Life, thinking ... I've meant to sit down and write in the blog(s) for a few days", but do I really have anything worth saying? Breaking the ice is most of the time burdensome. I've sat down two differnent times here to write, but got interrupted, and by the time I got back to it, it seemed unnoteworthy.

I get home from work today (Saturday), babes and groceries from the natural market -especially satisfying- in tow, pour a glass of beer, (mmmm) head outside to water the gardens - as it's been really dry and warm the last couple of days.
Start making my way around my little corner of the world (the small lot we own just barely outside city limits of SLC) and here they come. A thousand thoughts. Ten thousand insights.
They flash by.
Later (belatedly) I head inside for pencil and paper - I find pencils to be much more reliable than pens in this house- and....
"Okay! I'm ready!" Only to find that those wondrous insights are now escaping me.

However, I do somewhat remember a few things I wanted to comment on....

A couple of days ago I was reading here, and I was hoping that witnesses to these scribblings wouldn't think "why is this on Unschoolers Blogs?"
And then I had a thought of "Think of OLM as a 'Unschooling in Action' blog, and this 0ne as 'Behind The Scenes'! And that pretty much explains it. This blog is my Life's Story, the grit and fancy of one Mama's attempt to find/encourage happiness, peace, and fulfillment for her family. Life unschooled.
Yeah. I'd say that's about right.
We are unschoolers. Eric (dad) learns at his own pace. I learn world history (damn it!, I'll not apologize or be embarrassed!) through my historic romantical novels. Trev learns vocabulary through cartoon network -and hopefully his mama. No, not only the "bad" things, but phrases like "It occurs to me that...." and "I was observing today that...." and many profound, thoughtful, and vastly amusing things to hear coming from a little five year old boy.

So! Flashing forward.... In line with that thinking, I sort of had a remarkable sense of comradery with the world at large and their constant need to be on the phone.
"Oh!" I thought. "Maybe this is why.... it's sort of like a little tape-recorder that one would slip into their pocket, to remind themselves at Any Given Moment that this is something worth remembering! Sort of like making one's life verefiable!"
Maybe so.

Flashing forward again.... Picked up the babes from Grammy's (my mama's) tonight.
She took Great Delight in telling me a story of how she took Trev next door (Maddie was napping) into the backyard to make friends with the new dog, as neighbors wanted new dog and Kids to be friends.
Trev proceeds to go on and on, informing Kim (he) about prehistoric animal life, dinosaurs, sea creatures, etc. Kim raises eyebrows, and says to Grammy, "He's really smart!" Grammy of course takes pride in such comments (as does Trev's mama) and says something like "I know. I know."
Grammy relates the story to me upon my arriving to fetch said babes.
We talk for a minute about not teaching, and then-
The kicker.
"Just think about when you do start teaching him!"
"Mom," I smile- ever tolerant, benevolent, and wise, am I... (alright, at least in this particular moment) "You're missing the point! The point is, that they'll always learn what is interesting to them, and therefore always be learning!"
"Well.... what about math and stuff?"
"We learn math every day. 'How do you want your sandwich cut, in quarters, of half? Triangles, rectangles, or square?' He makes cookies. And I know that when/if he wants to learn trig or algebra, than he will. Do you know geometry?"
"Uh, no."
"And do you get along without it? Are you still happy and fulfilled?"
"Well?" Pause. "It's not that I expect my children to get along without any math. It's that I'm comfortable that If and When they're ready for it, (outside of strictly natural learning - will this bed fit in this room? let's measure!) they'll learn it."
My mother nods, and says "I've learned much more since I've been out of school than I ever did inside it."
"Exactly." I say.
chuckle. I insert for any non-believers -here and now-
I, Stephanie LS do hereby proclaim that if my children come to me accusingly and blighted at the age 18 for giving them Freedom In Learning, I shall support and honor them while they take highschool math at age 18 so that they can get into a chosen college. Or bust my ass to help them with whatever they deem as their rightful place in the world that I denied them, in the name of freedom."
You think it's the end of the world? Was your life and learning over at age 18? Was that the highlight of your wisdom and learning?
Has your life been on a downward spiral since then?
I daresay "Hardly!"
At worst case scenario, my children will be "behind the curve" at any/possilbly all given points. But I guarantee you -and this I know with absolutely every thing that I am- that they will still, in spite of that, be thinking, reasoning, growing, intelligent, and knowledgable beings.
On the flipside of "not teaching them" and having them be behind their peers - does cracking the whip and browbeating or frightening them guarantee them a happy childhood and adulthood? Or academinc excellence? Or spiritual fulfillment? Is there any person walking this planet that has no doubts of himself due solely to over-bearing and demanding parents? I don't think so.
I daresay in late adolescence and early adulthood (age 16-20) we're learning what makes us tick. Experimenting with what makes us feel happy and fulfilled. It's when we usually learn to fly.
But my aim is to give that gift to my children from the beginning. And honestly, folks, it's not as if it's a foreign concept to my children - they believe they're just as important and respectable as everyone else, as all children do. It's only when we tell them that they're not, because they're not worthy and haven't fought for it that they get a sense of self-doubt.
If it's your belief that the way to survive and thrive in this world is to compete, step on, manipulate, belittle, and demean others - and you choose to teach your children that, I spose that's between you and the others around you. But if you'd not treat other adults that way, then I dare to say I don't believe children are any less worthy of your respect.
I live in a different world than that. One that's supportive, loving, kind, giving, forgiving, understanding, abundant, enchanting, and sometimes vexing - and that's the one I want my children to know.
Hopefully they'll come through childhood feeling cherished. And important. And honorable. And intelligent. And loved. And competent. And like they can and do make a difference in this world.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unschooley Update

Read a post from a few weeks ago about the angst I was going through with Cartoon Network.
Thought I would pipe in with an update...
My son has maybe watched 2 hours of CN in the last two weeks or better.

This post is for Future Reference when I'm down and out!
Hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz.


(as I finally come up for air!)
I was kicked off line for a whole 24 hours!

Explanation: I use netzero, and I've been in a sort of interum, as I was trying to get the dsl thing going. (it's available in my area, supposedly) so I went from my subscribed 'net to dsl-wannabe, but after two months and phone line repairs (thank goodness for linebacker) it just won't take.
I was still expecting that it would, as they told me it would, but they said "expect another email from us" yadayadayada, it didn't come, and next thing I know I connect and there is a nz toolbar in my tray that takes up half my screen and it's flashing ads in adition to popups everywhere!, and I am greatly offended and irritated.
Call them back, "can't give you dsl so you went to the freebie" "I want at least what I had before!!!" "It will be 24-48 hours" so as the 24-48 went by I used up my 10 hours of free, then got kicked off.
A few days ago (synchronicity at work) I recieved a disc in the mail from peoplepc, and since I still am not connected with nz, I popped that baby in, and am now back on line.
Had peoplepc before, but there was a window or something I didn't like, but who knows, for netzero has lots of stuff I don't like, either.

Deep breath.
The rant is over, and I can now get on with my life.

:) (phew)

Monday, April 23, 2007


I've been thinking about my writing on the blogs lately. Mostly here, as Ordinary Life Magic is mostly family history, and I don't ramble on very often.
I think I started to really feel comfortable with writing here when I read about Soule Mama's book. She put her blog into a book, via Blurb. Brilliant!
Oh yes. A project that definitely that speaks to my heart.
I never really got into the babybooks, though I did try. It just seemed sort of forced, if you see. Now I understand why, as the things I hold dear are much different than a first birthday card, or stickers decorating a picture of a tot in the bathtub. That just doesn't resonate with me.
The desire to blog/keep track may be a mortality issue. I thought at first that I perhaps want my children to know my mind, to maybe understand why I made some of the choices that I did. But that isn't quite it. That seems to beg their approval or forgiveness for mistakes. I'm not asking for that.
It's more important that they just know that I am crazy about them, and that I am trying to change my thoughts around to better honor and support who they are.
I've been full of words my whole life. Sometimes they come out of my mouth when I'm so filled up with them I just have to explode. Always they are swimming through my head, sometimes disjointed and random, at others connecting and clicking together, demanding that I sit down for a while and try to set them free.
So as I'm becoming more comfortable with writing - the rhyme and reason- I've decided to just celebrate this part of myself. It is, after all, a huge part of who I am.

Journaling in Public

I remember being a kid in school, and being required to keep a journal a couple of times.
Whenever I read them later I was always embarrassed. It was like my wisdom of today was complete - vastly superior to the folly of yesterday. So I never much enjoyed it.
Interesting that I now choose to publicly state my daily foolishness.
I suppose I've come into a certain sort of understanding, though. Something involving realizing that we all have feelings, insecurities, rages, fears, triumphs, and angst.
Interestingly enough, I've almost arrived at a place where my thoughts (words) of yesterday do not shame me into blushes, but I am coming around to a more objective viewpoint - I can understand that person who wrote those words last year, as I've marked my way well on this path.
Knowing that we are all learning, growing, and changing every minute also helps me to find the courage to go on, and to not make excuses for not knowing or doing better yesterday.
Or even today.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April 22

This recent topic has brought up some very interesting things for me, as I've said.

It explains several things:
Cell phones. I think dh and I are the last ones on the planet not to have one. Or four. We'll probably not have them until we find it necessary for our children, though why couldn't they just use their friends' phone, I'm sure I don't know.
We just don't have need for them. Why on earth would I want to be accountable to any one at any time for the entirety of my life? I did not understand it at all, until I started reading about the psychology behind it. Some folks just are not comfortble being by themselves.
There was a question on the quiz that said " You are usually the first to react to a sudden event: the telephone ringing or unexpected question". I couldn't make up my mind about that one, because usually when someone says something outrageous I laugh or spew my drink, and if the phone rings I flinch. So yes, I react quickly, but I don't hurry to answer it or want to erupt with a comment to the other person until I've thought about it.
Anyway, guess I'll have a bit more empathy for those who are always on the phone. Seems really shallow to me, though - you see people sitting at a table at dinner in a resaurant, and all four people are talking to others on the phone. Wierd. I don't like it. It's shallow, and makes me concerned for the state of humanity. It seems like we're disconnecting.

Emotions. I rated pretty high on the Feelings over Thought section. 62%. The only thing higher was Introvert, which was 67%.
This too, I am sure over the coming days will help me to find a greater acceptance of what I deem as my faults, and reactions.
I started speculating barely a few weeks ago - sponsored by a comment that Melissia made about her daughter, and children, being very high in emotion. It struck me (for the first time) that the same could be said of me.
Since then I've been blaming myself less and less for my own immaturity and craziness (as I had judged myself to be) and have just started to embrace that it's a part of who I am.
I would certainly like to be more balanced, or even tempered, but I think I just might be willing to take the bad with the good. I spose the alternative would be to get on Valium or something -which I am certain I could make a good case for in the doc's office- but being in a state of perpetual lethargy or emotional paralysis does not appeal to me. Botox for the soul? Mmmm... no.

More on this later.

Today is Earth Day!
If the rain holds out we'll be heading to Liberty Park for EarthJam. Should be a grand event, things shut down around here on Sundays, so it should be a park full of liberals and hippies. My favorite! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Me Part II

I'm arrogant enough that I take pleasure in knowing that my personality type (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) makes up just over 2% of the population. I like being considered different, as you probably know. I take great pleasure in being in this particular group with Chaucer, (yes, I am name dropping in the most shameful sense, but bear with me) Robert Burns, Jimmy Carter, Mother Theresa, Shirley Maclaine, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela (I've only named my very favorites.) At least, according to my results of the Personality Quiz by HumanMetrics that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Now, if I could only boast to be in with Albert Einstein and Mark Twain, why, I believe I would swoon!
I mention this sort of outrageous companionism because I've always been strangely comforted by such lists. I don't know why, as I'm not a person that enjoys flattery, but for some reason give me a list of others that I can be grouped together with (no matter how eroneously) and I think "ooooh!"
It's silly, I know! But there you have it.

On to my point.
My results of the aforementioned quiz brought up some very interesting things for me. I've never delved too deeply into formal psychology, though I tend to travel inward into my own psyche quite often. But, as it's Me, I pretty much see it as sometimes "completely out there" at worst, to "a peculiarity" at best. One only knows his (her) own mind, after all.

I found lots of things intriguing, interesting, and thought provoking about this quiz and the results. Some I had never before considered, others were not news to me.

Here are some of the things that I find most interesting (this information was copied from TypeLogic, written by Joe Butt and Marina Margaret Heiss), though I found the whole thing absolutely true regarding "who I am".

"Those who are activists -- INFJs gravitate toward such a role -- are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power."
Of course. I (and surely others like me) don't see what the purpose would be to pretend you're something you're not. It doesn't benefit personal evolution. What good would being pretentious bring to the world at large?

"INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden."
I've known and understood my whole life that I'm a champion of the underdog.

"Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words."
Very true about my friendships and people preferences. Although "symbiotic" made me smile - as I thought of rhinos and the tickbird.

"...introverted intuition frees this type to act insightfully and spontaneously as unique solutions arise on an event by event basis."
I would like to think that I can rise to a particular occasion.

"...expresses a range of emotion and opinions of, for and about people. INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others, and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor."
lol Yes. Didn't I get in trouble with this recently? In fact, several times this last year?
And continuing on....
"Some vent the attending emotions in private, to trusted allies. Such confidants are chosen with care, for INFJs are well aware of the treachery that can reside in the hearts of mortals."
Ahem. Moving on.....

"... thinking is introverted, turned toward the subject....A comrade might surmise that such detachment signals a disillusionment, that she has also been found lacking by the sardonic eye of this one who plumbs the depths of the human spirit.... such distancing is merely an indication that the seer is hard at work and focusing energy into this less efficient tertiary function."
Absolutely. I'm often intrigued by others comments and questions, and then able to delve into my own mind to see what's in there.....

"Sensing, however, is the weakest of the INFJ's arsenal and the most vulnerable. INFJs, like their fellow intuitives, may be so absorbed in intuitive perceiving that they become oblivious to physical reality"
Yes. I'm often astounded that others are seemingly unaffected by the chaos that surrounds me in a certain situation, when I feel energy stabbing and shooting about (from) me; I feel it so keenly that it seems strange that others don't run away from me at once!, until I remember to reign it in, to contain it.

"Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J (justice) preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.
Aah. This accounts for my need to fix the world's wrongs.

"They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." "
I said earlier, before I lost this post, that I thought The Mamas would be surprised at hearing me graded as an introvert, as most of them are more quiet than I. Then I came to the conclusion that they must mostly be introverts, too. I'm just the noisiest one, probably. Could be because I'm the eldest, and coming into my own (again) while nearing the big 4-0. Could be because I spent my twenties working in bars, learning how to stand up for myself, and to not take any shit. Could be just because I'm bossy by nature.
Continuing this paragraph:
While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers."
I think this is true, but only of my intimates. My family, my extended family, and with close friends. I simply haven't the energy or desire to be a people-pleaser for The World At Large. I just don't have it in me.

This part was from Keirsey, written by Prometheus Nemeses Book Company
"Counselors (INFJ, Idealists) are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them.."
How interesting. It's true that emotions are on my face. It's amazing that my face isn't terribly wrinkled or permanently in a scowl. As for others affecting me - my goodness, I can't even express how affected I am by Eric's or my mother's moods. It's amazing.

"Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper..."
Aaah. Imagine that! I'm sure they meant the keyboard, too.....

I've got more to say on this subject, but for now I'm going to read about my friend's profiles, because I am terribly curious.

As usual, this topic is To Be Continued....

The In Between

This is my transition post, where I'll say

For ten minutes while I've been getting the babe ready for bed (britches changed and jammies) I've been incapable of any speech at all, I'm so devastated. I'm not crying, though I was at first.
I'm dumbfounded.
In shock.
May seem over dramatic to you, but this last entry was really important to me.

Other thoughts:
She did it yesterday, too.
The trouble with being a writer such as myself is that you learn as you write, and go more inside yourself as you write, and recapturing the thought after the moment of feeling it smacks of pretention and phoniness.

Another thought: Yesterday I was perhaps thinking "this is trying to tell me something", maybe too much on the pc, or something like that. Tonight, no way. I've been on and off this chair many times, being careful to attend to all the needs of my children. Thinking and pondering as I was tending to them, reporting back here when I had figured something out. Last night Eric was home to aid them. Tonight it's just me. Don't want to neglect them.

I think that's it. Had to get all that out.

Moving on to "The Good News".....
My post, should I dare to try again, will be much less arrogant than it was, no doubt I'll be feeling much more humble than I was two hours ago. (Yes, I've been writing for over two hours.)

hanging head very low... trying to find the courage to go at it with a different attitude....

Did you hear me scream?

It was the "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!" kind, not the "aaack!" kind.
The pain of being a person of words of the readable sort is that when you write something that you're really attached to (i'm being mild because it cuts so deep) is that when your tot comes and turns off your pc while you're up to your shoulders in personal truth, it is really, truly, amazingly devastating.

i'm going to lick my wounds for a few minutes....

Perspective - It's all how ya look at it.

I just remembered something important...
Remember when I said there was another commercial that I couldn't remember that I loved from PBS?

It was a Dad coming up to the door at the baby-sitters to pick up his children.
Getting near the door he hears whooping and hollering, shouting, and in general noisy chaos.
He mutters to himself something about this baby-sitter being "highly recommended" and "it's the last time I leave them here", and inside finds the Woman with a patch on her eye, in a pirate shirt, holding a sword in one hand and the book Peter Pan in the other.
The children were, of course, actively acting out the book while she narrates the story in a happy shout.
The point?
"It's all how ya look at it."

I remembered because 2 minutes ago I went into my livingroom to find my son whooping and hollering in that same sort of way.

All About Me

Don't know if that's a good title for this post, as most of these musings are all about me, but today I started reading more about Carl Jung's philosophies, and heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Here is a link to this test I found by Humanmetrics, a Jung typology test. If you take the test, I'd love to hear about your results!

You are almost never late for your appointments No

You like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job No
God No.

You enjoy having a wide circle of acquaintances No
Don't have a wide circle of acquaintances!

You feel involved when watching TV soaps -Yes
Though I don't watch any.

You are usually the first to react to a sudden event: the telephone ringing or unexpected question No
I usually stammer for a moment.

You are more interested in a general idea than in the details of its realization No
I like the details.

You tend to be unbiased even if this might endanger your good relations with people No
I'm hardly unbiased about anything, though I'm pretty diplomatic.

Strict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome No
God no, again, laughing.
This edited in later: Ack! I read that as likely to ensure a good outcome! Scratch that! Will have to redo...

It's difficult to get you excited No
I get excited about a clean kitchen floor, butterflies in my yard and a cold glass of beer.

It is in your nature to assume responsibility Yes
Goodness, I take personal responsibility for just about everything.

You often think about humankind and its destiny Yes No
hmm. On the one hand, I believe in 'Think globally, act locally', and all that. On the other, everyone's life is made up of his decisions and thoughts, and he is free to choose. Not sure how to answer.

You believe the best decision is one that can be easily changed No
The best decision is the one that feels right.

Objective criticism is always useful in any activity No
Criticism hurts my feelings, I'm sure it hurts others, too.

You prefer to act immediately rather than speculate about various options No
I always speculate.

You trust reason rather than feelings No
I'm reasonable, to be sure, and I think things out, but how I feel about it will win the day.

You are inclined to rely more on improvisation than on careful planning No
Nope, I'm a planner. I like organization. Though the plan has to feel right at the planned time...

You spend your leisure time actively socializing with a group of people, attending parties, shopping, etc. No

You usually plan your actions in advance Yes
I find that things work best in Motherhood Land if I plan.

Your actions are frequently influenced by emotions Yes
Sigh. It's true.

You are a person somewhat reserved and distant in communication Yes
I really had to consider this one. Online I'm not reserved at all, but I think it's imperative that I put myself out there. But that's the written word. While writing I am exceedingly expressive. In real life, not so much. So, I put yes for reserved and distant. In a social setting I am more quiet and reserved.

You know how to put every minute of yourtime to good purpose No

You readily help people while asking nothing in return No
Have to admit to "no" on this one. I'd like to answer yes, but I kept thinking of waiting in a long line to turn left while driving, then seeing others zoom by and cutting in way up at the front of the line. I never let them in. So the answer will have to be "no."

You often contemplate about the complexity of life Yes
Well, of course!

After prolonged socializing you feel you need to get away and be alone Yes
This one made me smile, because I wasn't thinking "rest" so much as "write about it", which for me, is the same thing. I write. It's how I work through my thoughts and feelings on things. And rest!

You often do jobs in a hurry Yes
I do them in a hurry so I can move on to other things sometimes. Clean and dust the livingroom in 20 minutes! that sort of thing. Always thorough, though.

You easily see the general principle behind specific occurrences Yes
I can easily set myself in others' shoes, or figure out why a thing is happening, usually.

You frequently and easily express your feelings and emotions Yes
She laughs.

You find it difficult to speak loudly No
I have a very full voice. Sometimes I forget, since I was always one of the quiet ones in my family.

You get bored if you have to read theoretical books No
I said no initially, and then saw "have to", so I changed it to yes, but now I'm changing again, because "have to" for me usually means "wants to", so if I was interested, I wouldn't be bored.

You tend to sympathize with other people Yes

You value justice higher than mercy No
Justice sort of claims judgment and leaves no room for allowances. I like allowances, so I'll say no.

You rapidly get involved in social life at a new workplace No
What a nightmare.

The more people with whom you speak, the better you feel No
I'm not sure what that means, but it doesn't sound good to me.

You tend to rely on your experience rather than on theoretical alternatives Yes
Why wouldn't I? Either I trust my own insight, or I try to find a better way.

You like to keep a check on how things are progressing Yes
Cookies in the oven, seedlings in the garden.

You easily empathize with the concerns of other people Yes

Often you prefer to read a book than go to a party Yes
Well, I must, I read a lot more books than I attend parties!

You enjoy being at the center of events in which other people are directly involved No
If this is like "the center of attention", then definitely not.

You are more inclined to experiment than to follow familiar approaches No
I'm a creature of comfort.

You avoid being bound by obligations Yes
God yes.

You are strongly touched by the stories about people's troubles Yes
Of course.

Deadlines seem to you to be of relative, rather than absolute, importance No Yes
I take my deadlines pretty seriously. A gray area. I chose no.

You prefer to isolate yourself from outside noises Yes
Noise often irritates the hell out of me.

It's essential for you to try things with your own hands Yes
Gotta figure it out for myself usually. Has to ring with truth, anyway.

You think that almost everything can be analyzed Yes
Can't everything? (why does it say almost everything?)

You do your best to complete a task on time Yes
I do try, it's true.

You take pleasure in putting things in order Yes
My, yes!

You feel at ease in a crowd Yes
Crowds are anonymous, they don't bother me usually.

You have good control over your desires and temptations No
Lord, no.

You easily understand new theoretical principles No
I wasn't sure of the question, so I said no. It would depend, of course, if it were interesting or not.

The process of searching for solution is more important to you than the solution itself No
Nah, unfortunately I know to "enjoy the journey", but my mind is always on the finished result.

You usually place yourself nearer to the side than in the center of the room Yes

When solving a problem you would rather follow a familiar approach than seek a new one Yes
If I have one that I think will work, of course!

You try to stand firmly by your principles Yes

A thirst for adventure is close to your heart No
Not really, no. I'm not very adventurous.

You prefer meeting in small groups to interaction with lots of people Yes
I wasn't sure of the question, but I said yes.

When considering a situation you pay more attention to the current situation and less to a possible sequence of events No
Nope, I think about what will happen.

You consider the scientific approach to be the best No
Wasn't sure what that meant, but like I said earlier, I like to feel things out. So I said no.

You find it difficult to talk about your feelings No

You often spend time thinking of how things could be improved Yes

Your decisions are based more on the feelings of a moment than on the careful planning Yes
Careful planning first, but then we have to see when the time comes.

You prefer to spend your leisure time alone or relaxing in a tranquil family atmosphere Yes
Oh my, yes.

You feel more comfortable sticking to conventional ways No
That's laughable.

You are easily affected by strong emotions Yes
Ahem. Yes.

You are always looking for opportunities No
Not much interested in that. Sounds sort of competitive, fast-paced and actiony. Not my cup of tea.

Your desk, workbench etc. is usually neat and orderly Yes

As a rule, current preoccupations worry you more than your future plans Yes
I get sort of compulsive about things (worries). Mostly it's the now's.

You get pleasure from solitary walks Yes No
I said yes. Then I changed it to "no". I like them best with my family. It didn't change anything (my results). It would depend on the moment.

It is easy for you to communicate in social situations Yes
I do sort of okay at parties, I guess.

You are consistent in your habits Yes
Habits? Yes. Ugh.

You willingly involve yourself in matters which engage your sympathies Yes

You easily perceive various ways in which events could develop Yes
My brain works pretty well in that department.

This exercise has been great for me. It has uncovered a few things that have been in my head lately.
I'll be thinking on this subject for the next while, I am sure!

To be continued...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Perspective - It's all how ya look at it.

Which we all know, of course. I remember seeing on PBS some commercials a couple of years ago that were related to this idea.
One was a child who lived on a farm wanted to experiment with roosters, and he/she (can't remember which) constructed and carried out a plan to trick roosters with a light that simulated sunlight, seeing if the roosters would crow. They did.
There was another brilliant one, too, but I cannot recall it just now.
The closing statement was "It's all how you look at it."

My son lately, for a couple of months or so, has been (he watches television, remember, and lots of dinosaur -nature shows) coming up to me, and holding up his fingers, and saying "Mom! An apatasaurus is this big," with his pointer finger and thumb about three inches apart "and Man is this big" with fingers hardly seperated at all.
"Aaah." Say I, not quite knowing what to say.
Today, just an hour or so ago, holding up his fingers about 1/2 an inch apart. "Mom! This is how big a Giant Dragonfly (Prehistoric Park) is!"
"Oh! Do you know what that's called? That's called perspective. If you look at something that's far away, you can measure it like this (holding up my fingers to my eye), because far away it looks that big. But if the Giant Dragonfly were here, buzzing around my head, it would be this big!" Holding my arms out to about a three foot distance. "Right? That's called perspective."
He actually seemed thrilled that I knew of such a concept, and shortly thereafter went away smiling.

I was in the grocery store today, alone for once, and being alone, I had a chance to observe pe0ple a bit. There is a girl that I run into sometimes at fieldtrips for our Littles group - or other fieldtrips. Other times it's just homeschooler trips. Free zoo day for hsers, that sort of thing.
Today I ran into her at Wild Oats.
I don't know why, but I just really like her. It's almost like having a crush on someone. (Nothing irregular, I don't have any desire for that, just in case you're thinking along those lines.) She's sweet, and pretty, playful, and genuinely good and gentle, it just makes me want to be more like here when I see her.
At first I wasn't sure it was her, but later I asked (in the parking lot) if it was, and she said, "Yeah!", and I said "Hi", and went on my merry way.
Next stop was Harmon's, so I was people watching by this time, and setting my mind for how I wanted to be and act through the rest of my day/life.
Saw a Mama with an infant up front, driving a "car" grocery cart, and the toddler for whom the car was chosen was not in it, but on it.
Honestly, I wasn't paying much attention to the Mama, but the little girl who was so pleased to be riding on the outside of the car. She was about three and a half, maybe.
Now, when I get cars, I am ashamed (really) to admit, that I tend to worry about what Others Will Say (or think), and it's a challenge to keep Trev in the cart. I honestly worry about his safety, too, but mostly because Every Damned Time I'm at Home Depot an announcement comes on that says "Parents! Please keep your children off the equipment and inside the cart!"...yada yada yada. Every time, I kid you not. I wonder if it's standard procedure to push that button 20 minutes into our every visit.
But here was this Mama, driving really slow, and not saying a word about it.
"Aaaah." Thought I. "Here she is, and instead of saying 'Please Keep Your Arms And Legs Inside The Ride At All Times', she was just driving slowly, therefore any chance of knocking the child off the cart, or running into someone and hurting the child is nil. Now why hadn't I thought of that? Why can't I take that time to look at alternatives?"
Now, a couple of aisles later (you know how you run into the same people over and over again in the store, travelling up and down aisles methodically) I hear Mama say "Please get in the car, it's not safe."
Turns out Mama was just distracted, and not terribly enlightened after all.

sidenote: Just now Maddie comes in singing "cook-ies, cook-ies, cookies", I look up, and laugh because she has like 8 Fig Newmans, and she says " 'At Funny?"
"yeah, that's funny, but you can't have those! We're eating soon" if Mama can ever hurry and finish this post.
Back to business...

Now, I did not judge Mama, you understand. Well, maybe a tiny bit, becasue at the request in the name of safety I noticed her, and she looked a bit harried and lost.
But mostly I blessed her because I found some of my own truth in her life and actions.
Shortly thereafter I noticed several mama's/grandma's with a furrowed or constantly-disapproving brow, or an angry look on their face, whatever. I, not because I wanted to rub it in, of course, but because I had found Truth At The Neighborhood Grocer that day, was feeling quite the thing when I got home to my husband and children.

Now I'm thinking of having two or three copies of a signed statement in my purse at all times to pass out to any store clerk that comes to me with An Issue, and I'll just smile and hand it to them, and say "Just in case"" It will, of course say something like "My family takes full responsibility for itself, and I'll not hold you or this business liable or accountable for our curiosity, whims, or needs."

Decided then (thank God, it's been a while since my last revelation) that I didn't want to be one of those with a permanently furrowed brow. I don't want sad lines on my face.

One more oberservance - I'm sure it's relative, but I'm not sure yet how....
Whenever I get down on my knees, to really talk to Trev "at his level", lol, he gets on his knees, also.
What do you s'pose that's about?

So I've yet again decided that I have a choice.
I can choose happiness.
I can choose joy.
I can choose laughter.
I can choose communication instead of demands.
Today I have.
Today I've chosen to be love, and to be happy.

(Author laughs-out-loud) This is, of course, To Be Continued....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Light Sabers and Life Savers Part II

I knew this would be continued, I just didn't know it would be less than 5 minutes after I clicked "publish"...

"Where did you put the Life Sabers, Mom?"
"Oh. I thought you said 'four' would do it?"
"Uh, how 'bout.... five?!?"
"Five more, or five total?" asked I, while holding up fingers for counting and making quick decisions.
"Uh.... five more!" He's bright, no doubt about it. Who says Math can't be learned naturally? He's only five, remember.
We head toward the kitchen and sniff, sniff, sniff around until we sniff out the bag of green life savers that someone at work on Saturday gave me because they have a preference for red and orange only.
"Here they are! One. Two. Three. Four. Five!"
Laugh, laugh, laugh, from Trev. That's what RU looks like in our house.

He's found the light sabers. Evidently five isn't cutting it, either.
Mama sneaks up. "Rah!" she jumps out. Trev looks chagrined.
"Did I scare you, or just bust you?" asked I.
"You just busted me."
"Okay. (putting my hands as horse blinders on either side of his eyes) "Focus! (laughingly) Are you hungry, or you just want a sweet snack?"
"A sweet snack!!"
"Okay, (me), "Frozen Peas?" I'm wanting to run-through-the-gauntlet, and if it's really life savers he wants, it's fine with me. If he's hungry, then we need to do something about that.
(looking through the fridge....)
"Wait, Yougurt? Yeah, I'd like some yougurt!"
"Coming right up."

(sigh) Aah. Two life lessons in less that one minute. Yup. That's what RU looks like in real life.

Light Sabers and Life Savers

It occurs to me, er, especially when I hear my son ask "May I have four... light... er.... life... sabers?" that yours truly, for a long time, referred to 'light sabers' as light Savers', or some such thing (all things being equal - life sabres, light sayers, life sabers, etc).
Not so with my Son.
Light Sabers came first.

I know that there is some sort of Meaning of Life post just begging to come out of this. I'm trying to wrap my poor brain around it, as we speak. I'll certainly keep you informed.

:) I'm sure no one is interested besides me.....

But it's my blog...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Role of the Spirit: The Pursuit of Perfection

I've been thinking on this subject some more.
(this post is related to "growth of the spirit".)

I don't know if I'm trying to justify hanging on to "who I am", as I may sometimes see it, or if I am truly exploring the subject. Maybe it's even alright to leave my judgments out of it, and just venture along... aimlessly... :)

On the one hand, I know that spirit has no agenda. Spirit has nothing to prove, sees nothing as antagonistic or offensive, and has no goal other than to just "Be". 0 On the other, as I said, I am visited/ran by the (my) ego. The part of me that's seperate, has things to accomplish in this life, wants to do the "right" thing, and even wants to "hurry up and master" the things I know I should.
Things holding be back:
A Need To Be Perfect. What do I mean by that, you veriest of the Brave Souls may ask? Oh, Stars, everything!0 From having a sublimely clean house at almost all moments (when in reality it is in hardly any moment) to spending at least an hour a day exercising my somewhat atrophied muscles, to having the guts and willingness to drop everything and to play "Kitchen Garfield" for three hours, meditating at least 20 minutes a couple of times a day, practicing yoga, being a fantastic, loving, accepting, nonjudging mother, saying and doing the things that I know are right all day every day, taking a walk a few blocks up the road to visit the ducks whenever Maddie requests it, keeping up on my chosen obligations (volunteer work for hsers), being able to inspire my children to fabulous heights when they're having a dull moment, and are looking for something to do (well, I'm always up for that), being kind and patient with my mother, strolling up the street to pick up a stray piece of garbage, reading online or from something inspirational like Conversations With God or Naomi's "Raising our Children" book, tending to my gardens, laughing with a friend, having all the drawers and my cupboards neat and tidy (and freshly wiped), the laundry folded and put away, diapers rinsed, windows washed, bills paid, and our truck clean and shiny (at least on the inside).
Some of these rank above others, of course. But I am speaking of my Perfect World. And one that I don't deem as unattainable, and (waving hand over head) out there, somewhere- but one which I see as "if I was doing it right, that's what it would be like". (shrug) I'm not sure why. Realistically, I know that no one (well, not too many) lives a perfect life. Everyone, even the heroes in my life, make mistakes, or have moments where they are not living their highest truth, or being the best that they can be - or want to be.
But Honest to God, it's not something I can accept from myself.
With everything that I Am, I know that there is a different way. In my early adulthood (20?) I read Richard Bach's Illusions. Which is tantamount to my version of perfection. Or... a requisite of this life, anyway. It was something that absolutely rang true with me. Indeed, I came to see such a way for myself.
Living such a life is what the goal is. Not only the goal, but the desired every day subject matter.
It's not that I these things are imperative because they are pressed upon me by others, but that it's what I view as the "right thing" for myself. I honestly could not care less how others judge my life.
But there is a little matter of the viewing of the thing.... I belive (truly) that I can/could materialize a blue feather into my life within the next 24 hours. No doubt.

note from author later (april 19): I left this post as a draft in my box for week, and now I'm going to publish it, unended. This will, no doubt, be continued.
I publish it at all because these are things that are always relative to my life and in mind, and I'll be exploring such thoughts many, many times. -S

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

At Least You Kids Always Had Clean Faces!

This is something I've been contending with for a while, now.
One of my mother's favorites has always been the above saying, something like "We never had much money, but you were always tidy and had clean faces!", and something akin to (while wallking to church when we were kids) "Together! Get up here! We are not a bunch of heathens!"
Actually, (grin) as it turns out... I am!

This is absolutely NOT an Anti-My-Mother post. Just - 'yet another observation'.

On the one hand, I'm anti-appearances. I have a slight or heavy disdain for society's opinion, depending on the moment. On the other, I often think "what would the Mama's (that I look up to and respect) do?"
In my defense to that extremely telling confession... it's not as if I am trying to be something that I don't believe in, or somthing that I'm not. It's that my desire To Be an ideal way for me has led me to an outstanding group of examples, and I take their counsel and example to heart. (shrug) Quite simply, I look up to them.

amusing-only-to-me sidenote: been back and forth in the kitchen to here for the last half hour or so, for some reason "How well do you know me?" came up, and I quizzed dh on my two favorite songs in succession as a child. "Delta Dawn" was one of his answers (indeed, my favorite with tamborine at age 2+) and then "Crocodile Rock" from about 6+. Woohoo Babe! Wow. Way to go! I can still sing both of these songs verbatum to this day. 'Course, most songs I can, I have a knack for song memorization! (a quirk of mine.) Anyway, back to the subject....

Where I had intended to go with this post, and have yet to do so, is that I cannot claim the same. As admitted (a little shame-facedly) in my last post, though while they bathe -they thoroughly enjoy baths almost every day- often times my children are sporting terribly dirty faces. In fact, a friend said something at our last Art & Craft Circle about "seems like Maddie always has a Dirty Face." sigh. "Well, Yes." It's true. She wasn't meaning to be unkind. She was just observing that she (Maddie) is forever eating markers, paints, mud, or freshly dyed easter eggs. But it reminded me that I had been thinking on this particular judgment for a while.

Love and devotion (excellent Mamahood) are judged by certain factors. Cleanliness, manners - quietness in church and sit-still ability in restaurants are all Tell Tale signs of a Good Mother. Tis a hard thing to admit -in vulnerable moments- that (sigh) mine probably don't have it. I can only imagine what would happen if I took them to a church (expecting them to sit still for two or three hours) or even in school, for that matter, and expected them to sit still for seven! Had I been planning all this time for them to be put into such a situtation, our lives would be very different, and no doubt they'd be prepared. BUT, the point is that I had not, as we do not, and therefore they are not! It's just not necessary. It doesn't register on our radar, it's not a part of who we are.
Just as some children in my community do not have a respect for earthworms or other living things, and smash bugs, (an atrocity to me) and think that animals have no feelings or spirit, and are raised to value obedience and rote learning above all else. It's just not the case with us.

I value listening to my child in a time of crisis above his quiet obedience in front of my neighbors. I value his explorations in my front yard in his underwear above his being out there (later, when the moment of magic has passed) only if he's fully presentable wearing non-holey jeans and matching socks. I value their inquiries. I value their irreverence. I value my toddling daughter's outrage and sass, and my son's shouts of "You're not treating me respectfully!" when he feels that his mother is not giving him his due to which he is absolutely entitled.

I suppose in some worlds things are valued diferently than in mine.

But that doesn't really matter to me. This is the world I choose, and I honestly believe the one that my children choose, also. I see it is my duty to follow my child's (individual) lead, and to give each the resources, love, and attention that they require.
(shrug) I love them. I want what's best for them. I'm willing to follow their lead. I trust that they are spiritually sound individuals, and indeed, it is already evident to me that they know what they are about. It's my job to cherish them, and use my greater experience to aid them when I see them faltering.
Having a dirty face just doesn't seem all that important.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Growth of the Spirit

Had this post rolling around in my head a couple of days ago, but since then pretty much forgot about it.
But today I was thinking about my life, and my love for it (see today's post for details) and decided to revisit this particular trail of thoughts.
Had a conversation with (ahem) a friend the other day, and right when I had an important point to make I totally lost What In Tarnation I wanted to say.
As it's been a couple of days, I've since remembered, and it was something along these particular lines...
I've said more than once in my life that you can see things at least two different ways (it's the big picture t0 which I am referring). You can see it (the universe, universal truth) as a giant globe with an infinite amount of tiny cracks and crevices - details, or you can just see it as simply a giant "one" sort of thing. Complete.
Intricate, if you wish.
Or Plain and Simple, if you wish.
The viewing of it doesn't change the whole, it only changes the perception of it.
I'm sort of coming into an understanding of myself - at least in moments- that I'm -at present- a "detail" sort of girl.
My home doesn't consist of sparse simplicity, but one of details. Most of my walls are painted with more than one color. I have many pictures decorating my walls. My decorating style is predominantly Victorian. Not a very "plain" style, admittedly. I like the "storybook cottage" sort of look.
I like details. I like romance. Pictures of mama's blowing bubbles for babies. Children being mauled by a litter of kittens. The sound of a little boys laughter while being tumbled by puppies. My gardens are cottage style. No neat and tidy rows of tomatoes and green beans. Tomatoes next to basil, mixed in with foxgloves with a backdrop of hollyhocks. Filled with all the things I love. Beauty above practicality.
This observation of my self is not new to me, but it was lately brought on by my friend (alright, it's Melissia)'s post. She wrote about being Opinionated vs. being Authentic. While I am not challenged by her thoughts (defensive), as a friend of hers, I am intrigued by her thoughts, and I relate her experiences and stories to my own life.
That's the great thing about having friends, they challenge your thinking and judgments unrepentantly, and spur you to expand your own thinking and introspection.
All in the name of personal -or spirtitual- growth.

Sidenote: I learned today on Saturday -er, Sunday morning cartoons What the most vocalized/common word in the English language is. I was thinking "the", or "a". No, indeed. It is "I".
Probably a more revised and edited version of this post to come. I'm presently in the middle of making Chocolate Chip Cookies with the babes.

note later by author: I may have given the impression that I disagreed with Melissia's beautiful and serene observation. Not so. I know her words to be truth, indeed, the spirit has no ego and nothing to prove. I was only questioning my own need to hang onto certain things in my life, and then coming to the conclusion that for now, such things are a big part of Who I Am, and that I'm alright with that.
Much thanks to her for getting me thinking about self acceptance.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kudos To Mama!

Not me, but mine.
Hooray for mine for saying "All my girls homeschool!" Proudly!, instead of shamefully. Different methods and ways, but equally important and beneficial, in her eyes.
Love to you, Mom,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Evolution Part IV

This post is going to be about a few thoughts rolling around in my head. I think. (I never really know where I'm going when I sit down.)

I've been having mixed emotions about the events of last weekend, ie the events that led up to my comments on Rebellion.
The feelings that were dredged up were strange for me. Not strange, as in unfamiliar, but strange, as they no longer belong to me, really. They are a part of my past, yes, but especially in the last few months, as I have been building stronger friendships with my RU Mama's, as I think of them, I've not had any real resentment for my community at large, or its judgments. As I come to be closer to others in a community of people I respect, there are less thoughts or considerations for those that I just don't associate with.
Which I've always really believed in - that everyone creates his or her own world. I've always lived in a grand, magical place. Sometimes boogymen sneak in when I'm not paying attention, but they're usually dispatched fairly quickly. (I think Those Damned Rebels was part of that dispatching process.)

So I've been beating myself up and lamenting that I cannot just be this sublime being who is able to walk on water, materialize things by just opening my hand, enter a state of absolute peace just by knowing that it's possible, and having the ability to quiet any disturbances in a room simply by entering it.
And then I hear my own words (while writing my last blog entry) about until I am ready to let go of the ego, and my individuality, I'm just not ready to be God.

That's always been the issue. I don't think I'm the greatest, or even terribly interesting, fascinating, or wise, or intelligent. But, for some reason, I like me. Isn't that odd? And probably very sad, but let's not drag that in just yet. (I don't mean I'm unlikable, I mean it's really unenlightened that I'm so attached to who I am. Something sort of smirking about that.)
I've actually had this concrete thought for several years, now. That while making ourselves one with The All, - Peace, Love, Completion, we willingly lose ourselves to it.

There is something here that's a bit scary for me... I don't think it's quite that I'll lose myself, and that I'll cease to exist, really, but maybe I do. Maybe (I'm staring out the window as I type this) I've not yet experienced that Greatness enough to be comfortable enough to let it (me) go.

This thought makes me feel so juvenile, and shallow. Makes me feel like I'm a teen-ager who has stolen a car, knowing he's wrong, but wants... Madly... to go on a joy ride. How ridiculous is that? Makes me think I'm a lot less far down the road than I had imagined myself to be, I'll tell you that!

Gonna think about this some more.

Those Damned Rebels - Final Thoughts

Although I wanted to explore this subject that has recently been on my mind, as I said, I know that I came across as really harsh and judging.
Sort of in attack and defense mode.
I've been revisiting old opinions and old thoughts, reliving certain moments of my life.
I usually don't live with such disdainful thoughts and actions.
I read a quote today by Adolph Hitler that said "Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."
What a way of viewing the world. How sad that one would never know any happiness or peace, and instead have to struggle in fear and anger for every moment of contentment.

I imagine that I might have given the impression in my recent posts that I believe dissention and rebellion is key to one's happiness.
I'm sorry for implying that.
I was trying to say that I think it imperative for each person to discover Truth for themselves. An honest discovery. By exploring, examining, measuring, questioning, and doubting what they've been told. Not just accepting what you've been born into. Sometimes the doing of it appears to be rebelliousness.
I'm pretty sure this is what everyone means when they talk of finding yourself. Personally, I've never had a huge life-altering moment, (think Talking Heads ..."same as it ever was....same as it ever was....
And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?...Am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
MY GOD!...WHAT HAVE I DONE? ", but I've been on a path of self discovery since about 14, I think. (I'm now 38.)
Maybe now I'm just trying to justify all of the parts of myself. My rebelliousness. My emotionalism. Cantankerous. Bratty. Egocentric. Proud, sometimes. Smug, sometimes. Caring. Worried.
Irreverant. Serious. Sarcastic. Optimistic. Pessimistic. Generous. Selfish. Wise and ridiculous.
To what end I make this examination, I don't know.
Maybe this aspect of who I am should just be examined, explained, and celebrated from time to time.
As crazy at is seems, maybe I'm living my best life (representing who I am) by experiencing Beastly as well as Sublime.
Well, it's not in line with the Perfect End, which will be only Love, of course, but until I'm ready to let go of the ego, and my individuality, maybe these parts of me should just be celebrated and enjoyed.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Those Damned Rebels! Part II - Defense of the Sheep

I thought it would be longer before I continued this post, but it's been on my mind, and I didn't really like leaving it on such a judgmental note.
So off I go....

Sheep seems a really unkind way to express it. It implies unintelligence, not thinking, and living life the way everyone else does, following your neighbor's lead, if not following society's.
But I get so drained when I hear people just repeat opinions that they've heard. Church leaders, politicians, neighbors, whatever they heard on the news, etc.
To my mind, you cannot respectably fit into the role of Follower (complacent and content) until you have at least a few times tried on the role of Leader. Or better yet, that of the Rebel.
If you're the first to think a thought, and act upon it, simply because you feel it, way inside, because you know it's the right thing to do for you, and couldn't care less who disapproves of it - your extended family, the neighborhood gossip, your playgroup parents, the lady who cuts your hair.... then you've come into your own Truth. It's simply a matter of taking something you've heard, or been taught, and really examined it. Take it out and look at it, and see if the Truth is really your own. Why does it make sense? What about it doesn't? Is it freeing? Is it constraining? Does it make you fly? Does it make you feel shame? Do you not doubt it at all? If not, why not? Does it make you feel totally at peace?
Even if it's something you already thought you believed, and after examination you realize "Yes, I really do believe that!" or I know, or I Feel, or I Am. The knowing of it after rethinking and being open minded will make you stand taller and stronger. And be in peace.

Besides of comprising 90% of our society (maybe it's not that high), followers have a place in our society as Worker Bees. They're perfectly happy (seemingly) to pick up the garbage after the parade. Which I think is alright, as I said, if you've done the self examination and determined that's where your truth lies. But not if it's becasue you don't have the guts to live your life any other way! It's not hard to stand up to society. And the more you do it, the taller and stronger you get.

Where I think I am possibly Perfectly Wrong in all of this thinking is that though I scoff at the idea of there being "Security in Numbers", in a spiritual sense it almost makes sense. What I mean is - provided you accept the ultimate truth of "We Are All One", then being a member of the flock will bring you into the bosom a little more, where you might find a firmer sense of brotherhood. I've a long way to go on this one. Though I accept it as Truth, it's not something I experience, or know intimately. I feel connected with God (Goddess, The Source, Allah, you choose), and feel one with Her, but currently I feel pretty disconnected from my fellow man in general. So I've got work to do.

On the other hand, I don't believe in any religion, or believe that the purpose of life is to get here, follow the rules, make the sacrifices, and if you Suffer Greatly, then you'll receive your rewards in Heaven.
I believe in a non-judging, non-condemning God.
I believe (know) that the purpose of life is to (yet again) "Live the Grandest Version of the Grandest Vision you ever had for Yourself." (Neale Donald Walsch)
I believe God knows and experiences itself through us. (joyfully and completely)
And if we make it mandatory to limit that experience, then it's not going to be a very exciting and enlightening ride. I believe the Universe - Energy - God - is comprised of all of it. Accepting it all, not judging. Just Being.

Ultimately I think the goal is to experience a sense of brotherhood, but I really think it's an essential step to stand alone before quietly stepping into somewhere of the middle of the line.

Those Damned Rebels! Part I - The Judgment

I'd like to start off this post by a quote, handed over very recently by my friend Julie. I raise my glass in a toast....

" Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only things you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - "Think Different" Advertisement - Apple Computers.

It's come up in my community recently (and even before that I meant to address this particular topic) that rebels are a Bad, Bad Thing.

As a young child I was always friendly, polite, easy-going, and generally agreeable. That wasn't really because I was out to impress anyone, though it was pleasant enough to hear that I was a sweet kid, but I just wasn't a 'beat my chest in anguish' sort of girl.
Later, at about 14, that started to change. Not that I had something to fight against, but rather that I had something to say. At fifteen I started sporting a mohawk. Colored a tail I had in front. Pink, blue, green, whatever suited me. Shaved my head in back and on the sides - patterns, bald, -again, whatever. Hung out with Punks. Not punks, as in slang, but real Punks... safety pins in their ears, slashed jeans, mohawks, punk music, Honest to God Punk Rockers. I Wanna Be... Anarchy. Yeah.
I figured the 60's had the hippies to get society's attention, the early-mid eighties had punk rock. (well, at that time it was early-mid eighties. Punk had been around for quite some time by then, but was now really picking up speed.)
It wasn't a pretense... I was one of them.
I wrote poetry about anti-establishment, "down with picket fences" :) (ha!), and conformity.
I was called names in school, heard a million times (even in Dairy Queens in the Mall) "Did you stick your finger in a light socket? Ha, ha, ha!", and a few unimaginitive variations of the same.
My favorite (honestly... it was at least original) was a cowboy in my Junior year History class asking me if I had had brain surgery. That made me laugh. It was a really open class, and remarkably we had a pretty good respect for eachother. (we were, after all, both totally Anti Preppies! :) )

Which brings me to my point.
I've never been interested in Fitting In with mainstream society. I've disdained it for most of my life. Still do, as a matter of fact.

It just really bothers me when people's main desire in life is simply to Blend In, and to Not Make Waves. To go along with what others tell them. For this to me is perhaps the ultimate sin, which is to not think for yourself.
I view life's purpose as finding your own truth. I pretty much scorn sheeplehood, though I know it's unkind. I don't repect it. I don't respect mindless obedience. I think it's easy, unconsidered, a cop-out, familiar, and too comfortable.

Though I do notice that without the yuppies, the preppies, the squares, and the same-olds, the Non-Conformists and the Rebels and the Eccentrics and the Heroes just wouldn't be the sparkly and fascinating creatures that they are. So I suppose they have their place, for without the experience of the Follower, we would't have the arresting inquiries from the Seeker.

And on that note, I'll continue next time in Defense of the Sheep, I s'pose. Though I'll call it Part II, of course.