A follow-up to my last entry.
All day today I was thinking about what I wrote last night, and not just in the usual finicky way I go over grammar. It is a piece that, I think, betrays my feelings of being unmoored and adrift, something which is reflected in nearly all aspects of my life. Last year at our house, no one really wanted to put up the Christmas tree. The v. idea of it was exhausting and onerous, and I thought, Why bother? It’s not like the day holds any particular significance for us, and my sister and I are too old for Santa Claus now anyway.
Immediately afterwards, I felt a sort of loosening, as if something once deeply lodged inside my head had been exposed and was ready to crumble away into nothingness. I realized then that giving up such rituals is dangerous, for if the Christmas tree no longer matters after 20+ yrs, what would be sacrificed next to indifference?
In the end, we put it up, and were the gladder for it.
I said before that I don’t like religion–or rather, I don’t like the forms it has taken. Many of the values are fine; I can do w/o the fear-mongering, mysticism and misogyny. I have this idea that if I read enough books and watch enough movies, then I’ll be able to patch together that acquired knowledge into an Answer, and I’ll know what to do, based on the work of so-and-so and such-and-such and what’s-her-head. I don’t have one yet, but maybe once I finish reading Le Deuxième Sexe, I will.
My last entry included a lot of quotes by learned men, b/c I don’t know what I think, and am dubious about its worth and worthiness. So I comb through the literature, pretending to be critical, but all along asking the question, What should I do? And if I don’t like the response, I turn petulant. Is that all you have? I demand, stamping my metaphorical foot and demanding an alternative. But why should the onus be on others to supply me w/ one? Is it not more appropriate that I invent my own substitute for the stability and assurance religion brings into life, to find my own raison d’être? And so I continue “perplexed but not in despair,” doing my best in the absence of answers. Doing what I can.