My mother is amazing. Really.
She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world. That makes her adorable.
The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife. Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy. And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything. We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.
I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me. I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse. I’ve ALWAYS been this way.
It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will. I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW. I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.
My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around. I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality. If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted. And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently. If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.
Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon. She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about. I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details. It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed. If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.
My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”
I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels. If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works. At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.
We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life. IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year. The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma. When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety. When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity. I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.
This is where God gets funny.
I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction. Just a feeling that one way or the other is right. I feel like I need a compass.”
Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.
Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.
First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature? It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.) Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek. Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it. I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff. I had no idea. Now it’s strangely relevant to life.
I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy. I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas. If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person. I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events. If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.
(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign? I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise? The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible? That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant. It’s all about branding, people!)
Why don’t I just adapt? Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt. Why don’t you? I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”
I’m not that abnormal in reality. Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional. They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries. I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality. I would make a good space cowboy. I would not make a good elementary school teacher. I accept these things about myself and move on.
I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward. The only wrong thing to do is nothing.
Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.