Monday, August 06, 2007

New Zen: Searching for Words

I got to read my new Lit Ma column this weekend at a fundraiser for Write Around Portland. The event was organized by two lovely friends, Michelle Freedman (author of The Ravioli Kid) and Margaret Foley, co-founder of Thereby Hangs a Tale. A number of my friends showed up, including Linera Lucas and Dena DeCastro. Such fun!

This piece -- about God and gender, and about not knowing what to teach my children about God and gender, among other things -- made me particularly nervous because of how I know it would be received by those friends of mine who are conservative Evangelicals (something I once was, before my liberal Quaker days), if they were to find and read it. I've been feeling sad and anxious lately, too -- overwhelmed by sparse summer childcare, a looming deadline, our beloved dog's diagnosis with cancer, the difficulty of living in a too-small house. Life doesn't feel easy these days. It's nice, if the face of all that, to participate in an event that was such fun, and to connect with such lovely people.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Camiseta Personalizada said...

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5:32 AM  
Blogger Rachelle G. said...

Shari, your summer sounds a lot like mine... sparse childcare, a looming deadline, a too-small house. (I am terribly sorry about your dog. I always worry about the day when we get the same type of news about our beloved lab.)

I love your column and completely relate. I wish I could have found words as expressive as yours when you wrote "but who/what I believe in these days is larger, more encompassing, less-pin-downable." My thoughts are the same and I, too, always worry (though I guess I shouldn't) that my evangelical friends will think I'm somehow no longer a Christian, when in fact I feel like I'm much MORE of a Christian than ever before. I, too, have friends who think they know the answers. I'm getting comfortable with my knowledge that I DON'T have the answers, but that comfort makes my friends very uncomfortable with me!

My friends who "know the answers" find it so easy to talk to their kids about God and all spiritual matters; you and I don't have that luxury. For me it's a constant struggle. How to convey in words something that I do not even conceptualize in words myself?

My own blog post today is an example of the type of thinking some evangelicals are scared of. I talked about a book by an acid-tripping Hindu guru type and even posted a link -- the sacrilege!

Anyway, I understand the joy that comes with participating in such a stimulating event and meeting such great people! Sounds fantastic.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Just read your LM column.

Beautiful!!!

6:30 PM  

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