My journey has led me to the interior of a lightbulb.
Good thing my Birkenstocks do not conduct electricity.
Alright, alright. But out here in the blue state Blue Gal is attending Unitarian services. It feels right, and not only because it's the one church you can count on in town for good child care (a must).
My big problem with UU (and every UU has at least one "big problem" with it so even with my problem I feel right at home) is that my idolatry radar goes off every time I hear a UU talk about the journey and the search and not finding answers and that's okay because the questions are an end in themselves. I worry about the humanist tendency to worship one's own knowledge or lack thereof. But that's me, and for every me there's 20 UU's worshipping their journey. So who knows.
Some UU ministers end the "church year" (and take the summer off, imagine that) with a question and answer sermon, taking questions during the week before and working them with the answers into a sermon. The one I heard last Sunday, by the Rev. Bruce Bode, was really excellent, and is online here (it's pdf and the meat of the sermon starts at the bottom of page 4.) Here's the blog-able snippet (in the interests of fair use and to make you read more of the whole thing I'll just give the odd points):
QUESTION: How can you help me deal with the anger I feel when reading or watching the morning news?
RESPONSE: Dear Angry Reader and Watcher of the News: I agree that such anger is probably not doing you or your loved ones or the world at large much good, so here are some possibilities to consider:
1. You might meditate on the fact that one day you will die. That is to say, one day the part of you that stands apart from the world observing it, evaluating it, wishing to adjust it, and getting angry at it, will pass back into the world, while the world itself will continue on. It would be a sad thing if you were to spend too much of your brief time on this planet being angry about the ways of the world and so miss the wonder of the fact that this world is here at all, and the wonder at the fact of your own capacity to behold this world.
3. You might consider studying astronomy. Seen from the perspective of a starnursery in some nether region of our universe, our anger over Enron tends to loosen its grip.
5. Finally, consider limiting your intake of the news, particularly in the morning. As valuable and important as news is, a large part of the daily news business is to scan the planet in search of accidents, disasters, diseases, scandals, corruptions, conflicts, controversies, contradictions, and potential accidents, disasters, diseases, scandals, corruptions, conflicts, controversies, contradictions, and then to broadcast these at high volume and in language that is designed to hook your emotions. And given how wired our world now is, it’s not difficult to locate concerns and problems that can perpetually agitate, frustrate, and irritate a person.
You may wish to consider what a Unitarian ministerial colleague of mine did a few years ago during the Lenten season. Following traditional Lenten practice, he decided he would give up something for Lent and determined it would be reading the morning newspaper – which depressed him anyway, depression, they say, being anger turned inward. He discovered through this Lenten experiment that reading the morning newspaper for him was like taking a poison pill to begin the day. How much better he felt, then, as a result of not swallowing this poison pill every morning, and how much more energy he had to devote to making the world a better place during the day. (P.S. I don’t know what he did in the evening.)
There's more good stuff, about being "liberal" and "religious", about solitude, about being an older single woman, etc. again, starting on page 4 of this pdf document. Enjoy.
My addition to Rev. Bode's good comments: We do need to protect our mental atmosphere as much as our physical, particularly if we want to work to improve the world in some small way (Bode has stuff on that in point 2). But sometimes getting mad at the morning news actually makes you feel good. I mean, you couldn't do better than this morning's latest silly business, the Republican House deciding to dare Democrats to vote against Operation Endless War on Terrah(tm). Here's a good example of feel good anger from Alabama Ass Whuppin', the latest addition to the Blue Gal blogroll:
These fuckin' morons. The GOP wants to force a debate on the Iraq war? Umm, what's the phrase I'm lookin' for.....?...... Oh, yeah. BRING... IT... ON!
See what I mean?