Friday, July 04, 2008

about that thing i'm shy to talk about



I haven't really talked about spirituality on this blog, but I think I want that to change. I've talked about it a little bit on my other blog, Bloomerang, the blog that lives and dies and lives again and is in a dead period. Is between worlds. Is hopefully enjoying its little afterlife.

I rarely talk about spirituality here because I'm shy about it, my dears. But it's important to me, and I think I would like it to be even more important than it currently is. Yes, yes. I don't talk about it here, though, because I'm afraid of alienating people. I've given myself permission with Bloomerang because it's tucked away where nobody knows of its existence, whereas The Gallivanting Monkey hosts literally dozens of visitors a week! (I know, it's crowded here. Feels crowded. This place needs a door guy. So busy.)

I don't know who I think I'm going to alienate that I won't already have alienated, though. I have this cynical, skeptical reader in mind who thinks that spirituality is the lamest word alive and that anyone who uses it in earnest is a sappy featherhead. Something tells me that reader has other places to go on the web than this cheery little enclave. So I don't know exactly what I'm worried about.

It's residual, I think. I grew up in a sort of offbeat, spiritually inclined family, but none of my peers had the same kind of background. All of the kids I knew came from more traditional religious backgrounds. (Everyone in New York was either Jewish or Catholic, and in Seattle it branched out onto the Protestant scene.) My parents were Theosophists...which...I will either explain later or you can go ahead and google it because I ain't got the strength to lay it out for you now. I will say this - it's Eastern religion-friendly. My grandmother was clairvoyant, and wrote a few books stemming from her abilities: The Real World of Fairies, The Personal Aura, The Chakras and the Human Energy Fields. I grew up hearing a lot about Buddhism and Hinduism and different Eastern-flavored theories about the soul and its evolution, about karma and reincarnation and all of that stuff. I don't know. It's such a big question, what we're all doing here, and how you grow up with that question is so formative. I felt embarrassed that my backdrop looked so different from other people's backdrops. It lingers a little. There's my shyness.

But what a question, no? What the hell are we doing here? What is going on? What is the point of all this? I just don't think this is a skippable question, even if it seems farfetched that we're going to find the answer. I don't think that's a good enough reason to skip it. I want to try anyway. I think even just thinking about it, staring at the question with curiosity, is worth something.

I was walking through the parking lot of QFC today, and it struck me: where am I? Where am I, other than in the parking lot of this Quality Food Center in North Seattle? I don't quite know how to put the question that emerged. It was something like, where is this parking lot in relation to Reality? Oh, man. OH MY GOD SHY ATTACK. Shy attack.

But I go on.

Then, yesterday, I was outside a Barnes and Noble with a very fakey fake stone exterior, and I had a funny epiphany: I like places that are obvious in their fakeness. I really like, you know, faux-Roman this and fakey French that. I like it on a large scale. It makes me feel like the world is this big stage set, and makes me remember that this Tina is just a character, and that the actor deeper in me is very real. Something about the contrast of a sense of realness inside with the fauxness outside is satisfying. Feels like a wink. I like it.

And what's this God business? Who is that? Is there one? Divinity - I love that word. What is inside there? Something draws me on to look into this. I don't have devotion to some kind of singular, figureheady God. But the word divine...that pulls me along somewhere, hints at something gorgeous that I would like to know about.

So I would like to get a little serious about this, and since this is the place where I come to talk to the people, I will maybe be talking about this some more.

P.S. I want you to talk to me, too. I would love it extremely. What do you think we're doing here? What is your relationship to these things? Are you curious? Uninterested? Satisfied? Repulsed? Bored? Attracted? My ears, they are so open.

P.P.S. This is a post I wrote a long time ago at Bloomerang about meditation.

1 comment:

lbh. said...

that affection you have for the obvious fakeness? me, too, and it's not just a love of kitsch. it's performance theory! i'm serious. also, one of my teachers did a lot of research about madame blavatsky, famous theosophist, for her last book, and . . . woah. that lady had a lot going on. MB, not my advisor.

if you ever want to talk about this stuff, i'm in. although, perhaps the fact that performance theory is my spiritualism is sort of . . . suspect. i really think it has a reassuring and non-douchbag-ey presence in my day-to-day, though. sorry i missed you while in town; the best laid plans of this mouse kind of . . . didn't work out as planned.