Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Listen, God? We have to talk...

I mean, I have questions (okay, some complaints about stuff for which I'd like some explanations, too) and what with menopause and all, figured I'd better make a list so I can remember them when I finally can ask them in person.

Now, these issues aren't really all that new; I've had many of them since I was a small child. Was raised to ask questions and find answers, and looking back, I'm pretty sure I wasn't exactly expelled from Sunday school, but the teachers were probably relieved when I stopped coming at about 5 years old.

See, I wasn't content to listen quietly to the Bible stories, color my picture and eat my cookie. I wanted to discuss the stories. I had questions! A four year old with questions that don't have nice concrete answers is a pain in the you-know-where.

So, failing Sunday school, and later turning to science and literature for answers that were equally unsatisfying or unforthcoming...I began collecting this list. It seemed reasonable and I thought likely to stay with me, but since some days I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast, perhaps recording them someplace other than my head is a good idea.

And I'm not talking about particularly abstruse theological, or even scientific questions, here. It is true that I have some of those, but so many other people also do that surely I'll be reminded. Right?

So, okay, even scientists can't figure out why the sky is dark at night, since all the laws of physics currently understood do not explain how that could happen -- at least, not without a lot of handwaving and magic numbers to fudge the equations.

No, I want answers to the important stuff. Like, why is it that your favorite dress, the one that fits perfectly and looks smashing, is the one that wears out the fastest? And that truly ugly mistake you picked up at Macy's sale ten years ago still fits and looks brand new.

Here's my list, not sorted by priority, yet:

1. Why is it that when children are too small to be much help they are intensely interested in chores, but when they are finally big enough to do them well, can't be bothered?

2. In the over all design of things, how come housekeeping has to be done every day? My main definition of Heaven is that once done, chores just stay done.

3. In farming, we hope for a good yield, but when it happens, the prices fall because everyone else also had a good year. What purpose is that in our lives?

4. If entropy is true, why does life consistently evolve into more and more complexity?

5. Or, in general, why are there so many paradoxes?

6. And don't get me started on menopause or the whole post will list questions, moans, whining and complaints!

7. Where does all that rubber go that wears off the tread on my tires?

8. Why design an entire creation so that the critters in it have to figure it all out by themselves, if there is a Plan? (This is a whine, really, about having to do homework and taking the test.)

9. How come when I plant my garden to have enough squash to share with the wildlife, said critters only attack the carrots & tomatoes & beans, and then my neighbors and family begin to pretend they aren't at home when they see me coming to their doors with bags in my hands?

10. Why can't I get my cat to sit for a decent portrait instead of contorting herself into poses of nether regions or turning her back whenever I get out the camera?

11. Okay, so I'm the ant who toiled and sacrificed in order have the wherewith all the survive the winter, and now some grasshopper who spent his time having fun and buying all those things I lived without, comes by and needs access to my stores. Or worse, his children need me and mine. What am I supposed to learn from that?

12. When I was young and virile and full of energy, I looked at the world and saw things I could fix so it would be better. Now I'm old, decrepit and tired, and just about all of the things I tried to fix are still broken. Every thing I built or completed has been torn down, allowed to fall down, or ignored by those for whom it was intended. As soon as I put down the load, it was just left lying on the ground, without anyone picking it up and carrying on. Don't give me a bad time about being grumpy!

13. Am I supposed to concentrate only upon relationships and spiritual endeavors, instead of material concerns? If so, who's going to wash the dishes and remember to pay the bills?

14. Okay, why are there bills? Diseases? Floods?

15. Why do humans refuse to learn from history? Why do institutions originally designed to utilize experience and history, allow, for instance, all those homes to be built on the Sacramento flood plain beneath Folsom Dam, which has been allowed to crumble into dangerous condition due to deferred maintenance? This appears to me to be a design flaw in the species!

16. And speaking of design flaws: why do cows walk like their feet are killing them? Horses, deer, dogs -- even elephants -- walk smoothly and gracefully; cows plod like they weigh tons and bought shoes too small.

17. Why did the salinity of the ocean increase gradually for millenia, and now seems to have reached equilibrium? Equilibrium with what?

18. Ices ages and hot dry spells seem to have alternated fairly regularly for most of the planet's history. We study this history as averages, but is the planet one whole living organism, whose time scale is just beyond an individual human's ability to sense it?

19. History as it has been collected shows that the human species is designed to work in groups in order to survive, yet regularly develops belief systems based on the notion of individual primacy and competition. Another design flaw? Humans must depend upon one another to grow, develop and be happy, but consistently deny those constraints in order to wander off in other directions.

2o. Why is it that the very foods that cause the most pain to my aging body are the ones that taste the best and are my favorites?

21. It is absolutely proven that there is no cure for death. Why are we still looking for one?

22. Why is fussing so much a part of me that even when things are going well in my life, I'll borrow other people's issues to worry about? And not even just people: I fuss when my MIL's potted plants are wilting from lack of water. Or when the neighbor's chickens want out of their coop to roam the farm yard looking for bugs. Or that the neighbor across the road has posted no parking signs, so that hunters must park their trucks teetering on the edge of a ditch big enough to swallow a school bus. These are deer hunters, who walk through the brush beside and behind where we live to reach 60+ acres of swampy woods. There is less than a foot of gravel beside the pavement and deep ditches mostly on both sides of our shoulderless country road. They get tickets if their trucks are too close to the pavement, and I worry that some of them park so far down the slope of the ditch that the next big truck that whizzes by will blow them over. And it would be far safer for them to park across on the side which does not have a ditch along this quarter mile stretch, if it weren't for the new no parking signs. Etc., etc.

23. Why IS the sky dark at night? "God divided the heavens and the earth and the day and the night," is no more vague an explanation than the magic constants inserted into the quantum equations presented in my physics class.

24. For that matter, why didn't my family refrain from tossing muddy book bags, not to mention dirty socks, on the dining room table -- even though I told them time and again why it was unsanitary, unsightly, and made me crazy? Ditto: wiping dirty shoes before walking into the house, hanging jackets in the closet directly in front of them instead of dropping them on the floor by the door, or throwing away the candy wrapper in the wastebasket by their elbow instead of just leaving it on the table, floor or couch? These are mysteries of life!

25. Why am I always the last one to realize I've just made a fool of myself? Like, why is it 40 years after the fact that I suddenly look up and see how ridiculous was some project or other over which I spent much time and energy? I suppose that's like asking why I have (had) red hair and freckles, but what was the point of that design decision?

No doubt I will continue to add to this list, but right now I need to shower and do some housekeeping. Plus learn new software because the old one that worked fine for me no longer runs on this new computer -- which, while I'm at it, was perfectly good, too, but being 6 years old was no longer able to keep up with all the new software and was no longer being serviced. Ditto my favorite software.


Meanwhile, summer is over, frosty mornings with ice mist as the sun comes up are here.

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  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where did the summer go?
    It's autumn now, and no new thoughts since June? Did you float away in all the water?
    Just checking in with you,


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