Sunset

She sat with one leg either side of the pipe, the pup curled between her knees, and it suddenly occurred to her that this was the best part of the day.  This was the time, she mused as she reached down to scratch his ears, that the world disappeared and it was just her, the pup, and the sunset.

She calmly thought of the past week, with all it’s trouble and stress, and all of that seemed a world away.  How could anyone be upset, sitting on this pipe with their dog at sunset.  She admired him as she absently picked prickles out of his fur, and he looked up at her with a mixture of love and admiration.  The love of a dog is a wonderful thing, she thought to herself.  Dogs don’t care if you’re irrational, and they certainly don’t care if the world hates you.

She raised her sunglasses; they weren’t needed now.  The sun wasn’t bright enough to hurt her delicate eyes any more today, and she could view the naked world without worrying about a headache.  Even that seemed far away, the small flaws that placed rules on her life.  When she was sitting here with the pup, she could do anything, be anything.  She picked up his paws one by one, and noted with detached amusement that he didn’t fear her at all.  She could do anything to him, and he would just watch curiously and admiringly.  Even if the whole world hated her, he loved her.

She found no prickles to irritate the young pads, and her gaze again wandered to the sunset.  The pup, bored, rested his head on her knee and closed his eyes lazily.  She pondered that sunset, so like the others, and yet so very different.  Sunsets are very profound things, she mused to herself.  You can learn a lot from a sunset.

She started as the pup barked a greeting to some passers-by, who cooed and commented about the pretty puppy.  She found that amusing; everyone saw his beauty, yet how many of those same people would cluck over the “pity” of his imperfection if they knew it?  People were like that, quick to admire beauty, and quick to judge perceived faults.  It was the very fault that made him unacceptable that endeared him to her though.  He had first appealed to her mostly because he was rejected as “faulty”.  It hadn’t taken long for endearment to turn to love.  She noted that it was mutual.

The sun was behind the clouds now, and she gathered her things.  With a gentle word, she got the puppy down, and dropped down after him.  Together they walked across the yard, toward home, two halves of a whole.

© 2012 Caghs

The beauty of nature …

When you hear someone speak of the beauty of nature, you probably call to mind such traditionally beautiful things as bees in a meadow, or a robin singing merrily, or a magnificent waterfall. But I wonder … do we give all of nature its due?

I was out in the shed today, continuing the work I started yesterday (namely cleaning, organising, and de-mousifying), when I came across a Daddy-Long-Legs spider standing near an egg sac. The spider saw me, grabbed the egg sac, and legged it. It looked for all the world like a momma screaming “my babies! My baabiieeeeeeeeesss!!!”

You can call it instinct if you like, preservation of the species, but I call it nature’s wonders. I wondered about the same thing on Friday when I saw a picture of a snake, and for the first time really saw into its eyes; curiousity, interest, and something else benign that I couldn’t identify.

We fear these creatures, and we’re right to fear them; after all, many of them can harm or kill us. But do we give them enough credit for their uniqueness?

And what about harmless but traditionally ‘ugly’ creatures such as mice? I opened up a box yesterday, reached in to pull out some papers, and a little grey mouse poked his head out and looked at me with interest in his eyes. In that split second before I screamed with surprise (I’m not scared of mice, I used to breed them), I registered a complete lack of fear or malice in his approach, just pure curiousity.

Is that not beauty, in and of itself, that a creature so small and vulnerable would approach a relative giant just to satisfy his curiousity?

I think we need to redefine what is beautiful. I don’t think beauty is limited to those things which are pleasing to the eye, or the soul. I think beauty is all around us, in the everyday wonders of discovery and individuality, even in such creatures as mice, spiders, and snakes. What do you think?

Houses

ROFL!!! Just came across a poem I wrote when I was ten. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I’ve worked on it all my life, I sure hope I’ve improved since this one XD

“Houses”
Houses can be tall
Or small
Or they might just fall
If they’re not built properly

So if you ever build a house
Make sure you build it nice and strong
Or it won’t last very long
But if you build it high and strong
It will stay there super long
THE END

Christian Freedom(?)

Has it ever struck you just how free and complacent we are here in Australia/America/England/etc? Those of us who wish to own a Bible can simply walk into a book store and buy one. Seriously! We just walk in, hand them our money, and it’s ours. We think nothing of having several different versions out in the open. I’m looking at my NIV and NKJ right now!

And to think, in some places they have to tear out pages or sections and pass them around in secret, hoping against hope that they don’t get caught with it, because being caught even with a few pages means prison or death or public flaying. They have to memorise those passages before passing them on, because having a Bible in their possession is too dangerous.

I wonder how many of us could keep faith under those conditions? How’s the saying go? “You don’t appreciate what you have … until it’s gone”

Pondering Religion in a Census

There is this simplistic view that if a person has a certain belief, they can be fit into a certain checkbox.  Believe in God? You’re a christian.  Believe in Allah? You’re a muslim.  Believe in reincarnation? You’re a hindu …

For the purposes of this entry, I’m going to focus on Christianity, because it’s the faith I subscribe to, and it’s the one I know most about.  I feel it would be disrespectful and counter-productive to focus on a religion I know less about.

I came across an event page on Facebook today stating that Australians who don’t actively go to church should just write “no religion” in the upcoming census.  Why?  Because if you’re not active in church, you’re only aligned to that religion because somebody told you to be, and you’re taking “numbers” away from the atheist community and thereby disadvantaging them (there was even a claim that it leads to discrimination against non-Christians).

As a non-conformist Christian (aka a freethinking Christian), I know first-hand that going to church isn’t a mark of a Christian.  It’s one of the accepted practices, sure, but it’s not all there is.  I personally avoid church because I find too much hypocrisy and conflict in there that distracts from God.

There were other statements made in this thread, that Christians are anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-euthanasia, and that they’re the reason gay couples can’t adopt in Australia.  I find it interesting that someone who would mock me as “unintelligent” and “believing fairy tales” would make such fallacious statements and thereby show their lack of research and understanding.

For one thing, Australian laws are not solely decided by Christians.  In fact, Christians often get upset because their views aren’t even taken into account.  But that aside, you can’t know what someone thinks on a certain issue based on their religion.  I’m not anti-gay, I’m not pro-gay, I simply take the view that each person is responsible for their own lives, and if that is their life, I have no right to say otherwise.

That said, I actually have no issue with gay people, and I certainly can’t support anti-gay hysteria using the Bible (you know, that book that has love, forgiveness, charity, and acceptance as its core message).  And the statement about gay couples not being allowed to adopt is rubbish anyway; had that commenter done their homework, they would see that not only is adoption by gay couples legal, gay couples can also get legal de-facto status and be recognised by government agencies as a legal couple.

I’m anti-abortion (except in certain cases that I’ll probably go into at some point), but that’s not because I’m Christian and have been told to think that way.  I’ve been anti-abortion since I was 15 and really started to research what abortion was.  I’ve been a Christian since I was 19.  I was anti-abortion four years before I became a Christian!  I’m not the only one who is/was anti-abortion without being Christian; most pro-lifers don’t have any kind of religion, they simply believe in the inherent right to life.

I’ve also been told that my belief in creation theory is brain-washing by the church, and no intelligent person would believe in a literal 7-day creation.  Actually, I started to question evolution theory (yes, theory, not fact; it’s just one of many theories) when I was 13.

It just didn’t make sense to me; if we came from bacteria that turned into sludge, where did that bacteria come from? (“Particles in space” is the answer I was given when I asked this in class).  Where did those particles come from?  “Another planet”.  But who put them there?  How did creatures select certain adaptations?  Why would an Emu develop the ability to run rather than fly, and why didn’t they then develop arms instead of useless wings?

I started to doubt evolution theory back when I was 13.  That’s six years before I became a Christian.  I had no Christian upbringing; the one time I asked to read the Bible as a kid, I was told “no, it doesn’t make sense and you wouldn’t understand it”.  I’d hardly call that being brainwashed.

As far as the question of voluntary euthanasia, that is being decided by ethics committees and lawmakers, not christians.  No doubt some of the people involved in the process are Christian, but they won’t be allowed to use “the Bible says” as an argument.  They will need to provide legal evidence and case studies, etc, to support whatever stance they take.  Same as anyone else.

So we come back to this group of atheists.  The basic drive of their campaign is to “get religion out of politics” (not that it’s in there anyway, that’s just a scapegoat for their own agenda).  They make such claims as “us atheists are being forced to live under Christian rule” (Australia has no official religion; we’re considered a Christian country only because the majority write “Christian” on the census) … and yet they want to make sure that atheists have the majority vote, which would put us under atheistic leadership.

Can’t they see it’s exactly the same as what they’re against?  One group dictating to the other how they can live?

The major issues are decided by lawmakers and ethics committees and occasional polls.  These include representatives from atheists, agnostics, christians, muslims, hindus, etc, etc, etc.  There is no one group in control, and we’re better off that way.  It allows us to think for ourselves should we choose to, and it gives all the groups a voice.

And the census isn’t political, it’s about gathering data.  This group, however, is using it to push a political agenda.  And mocking and belittling anyone who dares to stand up to them, making such statements as “the ‘holy books’ belong in the fiction section of the library, and anyone who believes in those fairy-tales is an idiot”.  If a religious group made such definite claims that their beliefs are right, it would be “Bible-bashing”.  The hypocrisy astounds me.

Why doesn’t she leave?

I was reading a post on Facebook today that made me angry, as similar posts in their arrogance always do:

“I give up! If she wants to go back to that dipshit, she’s obviously happy being abused”

So simplistic!  Of course everyone who stays in Domestic Violence is perfectly happy, that’s why they call it Domestic Violence; it’s code-name for “land of happiness and bliss”.  And if you’ve never been in DV yourself, it can be almost impossible to understand why someone would escape just to go back again.  And again.  And again.

So why DO people go back?  Is it an underlying sado-masochistic tendency that enjoys being abused?  Some people seem to think so.  Let’s explore that, though … if a person is truly sado-masochistic (or whichever term you’d like to apply, “sucker for punishment” perhaps?), then why do they leave in the first place?  Leaving is often traumatic in and of itself, so why go through it again and again?

I’ve been in Domestic Violence.  My partner had violent mood swings, and would lash out at me over the simplest things; perhaps I hadn’t folded his washing exactly right.  Perhaps I bought the wrong size drink.  Perhaps I just happened to be standing in the wrong spot.

I justified his behaviour.  I explained to people that he was under stress, or that he’d had a hard life, or that he was just having a bad day, he wasn’t normally like that.  I explained away the bruises.  When my parents revealed that he’d been preventing me from receiving their calls, I explained that he was just protective of me.

It was bullshit of course, but when you’re in that situation, there’s always an explanation.

By the time I finally decided to leave, I was on my own.  All my friends had turned away because I obviously liked it, or I wouldn’t have stayed.  My family had been distanced by his behaviour.  I ended up on the street briefly because I had nowhere else to go.

So I went back.

The next time I left him, I took what little money I had and I went to a caravan park.  He begged me to come home, promised me he’d change.  So I went home with him.  I was convinced that I loved him.

And then I got to a point where I hated him, but then my confidence was so low that I believed I didn’t deserve any better.  So I stayed.

It wasn’t until he violently raped me, resulting in a pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage, that I could finally leave.  I threatened to call the police if he came around again, because the grief of losing the baby was stronger than any hold he had over me.  If that hadn’t happened, I might well still be with him now.

So when I read comments like “well, she obviously likes it or she’d leave”, it re-opens those wounds.  Were those years just self-inflicted pain?  That’s what comments like that imply.

It’s easy to judge when you haven’t been there.  Of course it looks simple enough to leave, when you’re sitting there in your comfortable life, with your store of confidence, and things are going well.  Of course it’s easy to see he’s an asshole when you’re on the outside looking in.  But when you’re on the inside, it’s not so black and white.

I’m helping a friend right now who is in Domestic Violence.  He can’t seem to leave either.  Yes, it happens to men as well …

Maybe if we can get people to understand what living in DV is like, they’ll be a bit more supportive of their friends who are in it.  Because support is what’s going to help them get out, not more judgement and criticism to reinforce what they’re getting at home.

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Footy fever

Well, I did it … I finally gave up the last line of resistence and succumbed to that which they call footy fever.  Mind you, it’s not much of a fever … maybe one degree above normal?

Yep, I’m actually interested in Aussie Rules Football.  And I have the hospital to blame, for putting me in a semi-private room with a footy fanatic during the Grand Final match.  She taught me a bit about footy, and together we cheered for St Kilda.

I laughed when it was a tie (purely for that back-stabber Julia Gillard’s sake, she begged that we not have a tie, claiming that Australia could live without a government, but not without a Grand Final winner).  Then groaned when I realised it’d be another week before we found out who wins, because some idiotic fools decided to ban overtime in a Grand Final match.  So I had to wait a week for the new love to be consummated (inasmuch as a love of sports can be consummated … that’s a metaphor, people!)

A week later, and bloody Collingwood won.  Figures.  Ah well, there’s always next year 😉

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