Thursday, July 20, 2006

Questions and answers

Sarah is doing a question/answer thing to stir up some blog conversation, so here are my answers to her questions (which were great!):

1) What does your notion of "god"/higher being/power/consciousness/etc. look like, if you even believe in such a thing?

I've always felt the presence of a higher being or higher power, but I don't have the words to describe this. As a result, when I say "God", I mean it very loosely. As a child, I bought into the whole "God as man/masculine" thing, but even then I never had a distinct vision of what "He" looked like. Also, "He" always seemed like a YOUNG man, not old.

Now, I'm more inclined to wilfully view the higher power as feminine, not because I truly believe there is any gender involved (or even humanity), but because I'm trying to break the "masculine" limitation of God in my own perception. For as long as I think of God as a male "father", I am not truly open to the true "living" God.

In summary, I think there's something out there & there's something to all this life thing, I just don't know what. It's not so precise as saying "everything happens for a reason" (referencing my original question). Just that there's something important and powerful that guides us which exists beyond our own individuality.

2) Under what circumstances would you have an abortion, if any?

Well, first of all, the timing is critical. I don't have any particular compunction about something like the morning after pill, which is not an "abortion pill", but presumably could allow a ferilized egg to die (b/c it would not have a place to implant). Of course, simply practicing the rythym method kills more fertilized eggs than condom use. (At the wrong time in a woman's cycle, the fertilized egg can't implant, but a condom would prevent the fertilization from happening in the first place).

Other than that, I think I would have an abortion if my life were in danger, or if a pregnancy would cause me severe and permanent health problems. In the case of rape, I probably *wouldn't*. I imagine that would be a very difficult thing to deal with though, and I doubt I would raise the child. Obviously, I hope that would never happen, regardless!

3) What do you think is the primary problem that stands in the way of social justice today?

This is a really hard one. But I think the problem that exists today has been a problem for a very long time in human history. It's that each person feels driven to see themselves as better than someone else, so there always needs to be someone at the bottom to beat up on. Unity among people sadly requires some group of "others" to unify against! Perhaps people are naturally inclined to do this. Lots of social animals have ranking and unfair distribution in their groups. It might not be possible to completely eliminate the tendency to rank ourselves. Even social justice organizations have problems with people jockeying for position. In feminist groups, there's racism. In anti-racism groups there's sexism. Then there's the whole "more progressive than thou" thing (ironic, but IMHO, this tendency is the PRIMARY reason why many people are turned off to social justice movements who might otherwise feel engaged with them.)

Anyway, I know that like everyone else, I'm prone to look for reasons I'm better than others, and it's not something I'm proud of. The solution to this problem is education. Children should be raised in a way that they are constantly encouraged to see all members of their family/classroom/etc. as important. I really like Quaker schools because they seem to promote the best kind of environment for this. In general, bullying should be properly regarded as a serious problem not just because kids might shoot up a school or commit suicide, but because it teaches *everyone* the wrong lesson about how we should treat others.

4) What's the story of you meeting your partner?

I've known Bill since I was 14. We moved in across the street from each other over the summer of 1989, but didn't really meet and talk until the second day of high school. On that day, we were walking home from the bus. It was a beautiful day with lots of puffy clouds that you could imagine were different objects. So that's just what we did - for a pretty long time too. At that time, he and I were the same height, and now he's 4 inches taller than me :o) Our parents invited each other over for dinner on occassion. I remember once we played with legos and he was really embarassed about it (because he thought it was so childish) and didn't want me to mention it to anyone at school. It's so funny now, because we *were* such children then! And now as adults we play with legos with no embarrassment whatsoever!

We were "just friends" in high school, and did a lot of fun nerdy things together like write each other notes in code, play 3-D tic tac toe, and write stories where one person wrote 1-2 pages and then the next person wrote 1-2 pages, etc. We also had lots and lots of goofy inside jokes between us. It was great.

Lots of kids teased us that we were dating. The truth was, I had successive crushes on lots of guys who were *not* Bill, most of which were quite one-sided, but one of which involved a date-type encounter and one a pseudo-relationship. Bill and I really did start dating a short time after high school ended. I'd be surprized if anyone in our grade knows we were "an item", let alone that we are now married. (All the friends I've kept in contact with were in different grades than me). So there's lots of potential for fun if we went to a high school reunion (especially since I never changed my name). Like, we could recruit some friends to pretend they're our "wife" and "husband", and then go to the reunion as separate "couples". Then he and I could "bump into each other" and proceed to have a torrid "love affair". That would be hilarious. Well, there's always the chance that someone will read this blog and my cover will be blown. :o) Actually, it will never happen because neither of us really wants to hang out with anyone from our high school, even for the sake of a really good practical joke. Bill especially feels this way.

5) What artistic abilities do you possess?

I can sing, at times really well (those times being when I'm not nervous and when my singing taps into my emotions). If I'm nervous, then I sing acceptably. I've written some decent poetry (also some really crappy poetry, but no point in dwelling on that). I've written a lot of funny things (stories, fake multiple choice tests, responses to insipid chain emails, etc). I can also cook, which is an art form, IMHO. I could be a really good cake decorator/food artist if I only had a chance to learn. (I'm obsessed with that show "Food Network Challenge".) I like to draw, but the world has told me too many times in too many different ways that I'm not good at it . Not sure how that counts. Overall, I'm more inclined toward music and written things than to anything visual or spatial. I try to avoid dancing in public. ;o)