Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Music, My Experience with Existence | Tags: Lewisburg, Religion, The Mountain Goats, Westboro Baptist Church
This morning, I started to think about my senior project, which is going to be a zine. I’m going to take photographs around Lewisburg. I’m going to bring together some of my forgotten writings and make lists and I am going to compile it all into ten or twelve pages of concentrated literature. I only have a few ideas for the name. I could name it Chouette! based on the title of this blog since it would be a sort of hard-copy accompaniment, but I think that would be overkill. Although I do love the word. Chouette. I have also considered naming it Sourcils or Pamplemousse, but then what would I put on the cover? I will think of something by the end of this weekend.
Another dilemma is where to get the writing from. I know that for the first issue, it will all have to be mine. Every bit of it. And then I shall ask for contributions from friends. But I can’t just pull things out of my ass. I considered new literature and things I’d already written earlier in high school. Journals for English classes came to mind, then, and I pulled up my journal from junior year and my journal from freshman year and I began to re-read them.
My junior year journal is not so cringeworthy. I have some great revelations about love, war, and religion in there. I have changed a bit since then, but it’s just because I now love more people and I have an urge to know something about everyone in a non-prying manner.
My freshman year journal is atrocious. I almost spelled “optimistic” wrong in it. But then I fixed it. I wrote about boring things like middle school and how Catholic I was and how much I loved Switchfoot. Looking back, I admire my steadfastness to the band and to my beliefs, even if I don’t agree with myself anymore. And I also love this passage, no matter how fluffy I was when I wrote it.
And suppose we had an atheist, lesbian, African-American president (obviously a woman) who was neither Republican nor Democratic? I think that would solve everything. I would vote for her if I could vote. When I can vote. That’s just me. Bush needs to go.
I know that “Democratic” is the wrong term. And in my head, I have also changed “African-American” to “multi-racial.”
Here’s where the revelation comes. May 31st, 2005 Mr. Towslee gives us the quote, “When you punish [a person] for dreaming his dream, don’t expect him to thank or forgive you.” By John Darnielle (aka the Mountain Goats). I did not write about the quote, not really. What I wrote doesn’t matter. The Mountain Goats sounded so familiar to me, and then I realized that the day before, I’d listened to “Autoclave” by the very same band.
I hopped on Wikipedia to search John Darnielle, and sure enough, the Mountain Goats popped up by his name. I opened iTunes and listened to “Autoclave” while reading the article. Monsieur Darnielle was an English major. And all of a sudden, this great respect cropped up in my chest, and I felt the connections. Fate, maybe, being fulfilled. This person I wasn’t three years ago, this person who can’t appreciate anything subtle, this person is gone. And now I am fresh and new and I can appreciate subtleties because I know who the Mountain Goats are and I actually heard about them four years ago in English class. Three years ago.
Last night, Travis came over and we hung out at my house. Everyone means something different to me. So I think that sometimes people get jealous of one another, “I am not Paige’s exclusive secret-keeper and confidant! I am not the one Paige has loved since forever! I am not the one Paige silently and secretly admires from across the room! I am not the one who influenced Paige’s haircut!” I’m not that popular or anything, but I think it slightly saddens some people to know that they can’t be my everything-at-once. But let me tell you this: you should not be jealous of what you are not to me. Because you should know that you most definitely mean something to me that no one else will ever mean to me. I should have a dictionary of all of the people I know, and each person will have a different definition.
Well, on Thursday, I went downtown with Travis and he bought me dinner and we talked a lot, and then yesterday, he came over and we watched YouTube videos and television and we talked more, too. And we got around to talking about the Westboro Baptist Church.
If I had questions about my religious beliefs before that church, about the Bible and Catholicism and about Christianity as a whole, that church has answered them all.
I do not enjoy thinking about the afterlife because I’m so scared of dying before my time and never being able to tell my loved ones what I really think of them. I don’t hold grudges and I don’t hate people because I couldn’t imagine dying pissed off. After I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, I started to picture my own heaven. And I wondered who I would meet. And I wondered where I would settle. I decided that I would have to settle with people I loved.
But thoughts about heaven didn’t really satisfy me. If I was a religious person, I didn’t have a church to belong to. I can’t be Catholic because I don’t believe that there is a sin in being gay or in abortion. I think their aversion to divorce makes people think harder about getting married in the first place, but Catholics still do get divorced. Look at my parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents.
And I can’t be any protestant religion because of my support of gay rights and my staunch belief in choice. God can’t hate anyone. God has to be loving and forgiving. This world may be going downhill, but there’s no Maximum Occupancy in heaven.
I tried reading the Bible once. The people who can quote it randomly to fit life are ridiculous. The more I think about it, the more it seems like a fictitious, made-up story to fit the time it was written. A fairy tale, written to keep people in line. Women are powerless, homosexuals are shunned and executed, first-borns are most valuable, and animals are meaningless. The times have changed, though.
To think that some people could even interpret the Bible as some huge hate guide just turns me away from it more. My life philosophy, I guess, is just to try and find something positive in everyone. You can’t go wrong with that. It’s a waste, anyway, hating.
I’ll write more later, and I’ll also post a mix that I’m making for Derek at the moment.
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