About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

'Tis a Puzzlement, said the King of Siam

I found a link to BeliefNet’s Belief-O-Matic Quiz on the “Knitting Our Way to Peace” group at Ravelry:

You’ll get an ad [which I cheerfully ignored] and then the quiz. Here’s how I came out:

1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2. Mainline to conservative Christian/Protestant
3. Jehovah’s Witness
4. Mainline to liberal Christian Protestants
5. Eastern Orthodox
6. Orthodox Quaker
7. Roman Catholic
8. Bahá’i Faith
9. Orthodox Judaism
10. Seventh Day Adventist
11. Islam

I think my bishop and my Relief Society president would be pleased if they knew that my study of doctrine [and my ability to decipher some of those quiz questions] gave me results that are consistent with my beliefs.

I know a lot about my own faith and doctrine and a little something about the others on the list. Sometimes a *very* little something. I was quite surprised to see #4, because I am not mainline anything, unless it’s mainlining chocolate, and I think that most days the only thing I am liberal with is sharing my opinions.

In light of my gaffe yesterday, I have been doing more thinking than usual on the topics of repentance and the law of the harvest [reaping what one sows].

When I first investigated the church, I was taught that the repentance process consists of: 1) recognition of the sin or error; 2) remorse; 3) restitution; and 4) resolve not to repeat the sin or error. I have read more in-depth and eloquent treatments of the subject, but this is simple enough for me to remember from day to day.

I think one defining difference between adulthood and childhood, is that an adult holds himself accountable for his choices. And I think that a large part of the civilizing process consists of making small good choices, or small course corrections, over and over until the desire to do right is knit into our hearts and our bones.

When I was younger, it was all too easy to confess somebody else’s sins. Somebody did A, so I did B, therefore I could not possibly be blamed. “No snowflake in an avalanche feels responsible”, said Voltaire and Stanislaw Jerzy Lec and George Burns [Gracie’s George Burns?] and my friend Sooz. I certainly did a lot of this kind of thinking during and after divorcing the children’s father. You know, I am not sure that I ever really left that train of thought after my first divorce; I think I rode it into the second marriage like Charlie on the MTA.

One of the silver linings of all these years of single blessedness is that I’ve had time and space to think, to see my own contributions to the implosion of a twenty-year marriage, and to maybe learn the lessons. I would very much like a third marriage, whether on this side of the veil of mortality, or in the great straightening-out period that will be the Millenium – when I will presumably be well and truly dead, and [hopefully] past mortal foolishness– to be one that will stand the tests of time, and endure through the eternities.

Yesterday was supposed to be the day that we got LittleBit’s learner’s permit. I took my last half hour of PT, and an hour of comp time that I got at the support staff meeting earlier this month, and I drove like a bat-out-of-Houston to pick her up, and we had a notebook full of lessons 1 and 2, everything but the Power Point presentations, and our forms, and her newly-found SS card and state ID, and my DL, and…

The school didn’t fill out the form that we gave them for proof of enrollment; they have their *own* form on their letterhead, and LittleBit’s day didn’t take her back by the office to pick it up.

I didn’t bark at her, because she already felt so disappointed. I just remarked calmly as we were buckling up in the car, sometimes being a grownup means realizing that you’ve shot yourself in the foot and then dealing with the consequences, and that it happens to me a lot.

Thankfully, I’m already scheduled to be off next Tuesday, because Willow will be in town, and she and Firstborn are taking all the grandmas to lunch. So I’ll have a nice lunch with my oldest daughter and my oldest granddaughter and at least one of the other grandmothers [who used to be my favorite library lady, back in the day], and then I’ll pick up LittleBit from school, and we’ll have all the paperwork ready, and we’ll just be six days behind schedule. And we’ll have more of the book-larnin’ checked off.

Maybe because I was calm with my kid, maybe because most things that used to infuriate me barely faze me, maybe because I prayed for my friend’s daughter who had surgery today to make sure that an earlier surgery caught all the cancerous tissue, and for LittleBit’s boyfriend who had a major endurance test as a newbie Marine today, maybe all these things were little seeds of do-unto-other-ness that blossomed when a woman who could have hauled my thoughtless self into court, didn’t.

Some days it seems to me that I spend an inordinate amount of time making things right. Sewing on a button that popped off. Darning a sock, because I am not going to just throw away half of a $24 pair.

Apologizing. Learning a new way to do something that doesn’t hurt somebody’s feelings or tread on one of their rights. Being exquisitely aware of my fallibility as a human being.

How little time that leaves to know that I did the right thing at the right time, and for the right reasons. [Instead of just thinking that I am right.]

Other neat but not earth-shattering stuff: found the legs for my sweater-drying rack and am washing up two pairs of socks and you don’t want know how many pairs of pantyhose and knee high hose that I found in a box.

After receiving the gracious note from Author, I took my knitting over to the couch and listened to #27 of the KnitPicks podcast, Kelley’s interview with Crazy Aunt Purl. And with each round knitted on the sock, I could feel the tension leaching out of my body. To the degree that somewhere around three-fourths of the way through the podcast, I dozed off, only to waken when LittleBit called and asked me to pick her up from work.

Those days, boy howdy, are numbered.

And I wore the de-hoochified new skirt to work yesterday, with a pale banana yellow T-shirt and the stretch corduroy jacket to which I’d reattached that button over the weekend, and my Samhain scarf from Jo’s yarn. Lots and lots of compliments on my ensemble. I felt like a queen until LittleBit came as I was standing in front of her restaurant and said, “Um, Mom, your lining is tucked up in your undies.”

So much for the de-hoochification. She grinned, “At least you’re wearing underwear. Be glad for that!”

She will take a picture of me in the new skirt, etc., some morning when my face is rested and does not bear mute witness of the kind of day I had yesterday. And after making sure that I’m properly decorous.

And a postscript to the photo, above, which I snapped last night before bed. After lovingly lifting both socks out of their warm happy bath, I discovered three holes in the other sock. I am too frugal to throw them away, so I will be carefully frogging them once they are dry and recycling the yarn into something like unto Fetching. I loved these socks, and I always wished I had made them longer. [I used the International Sock of Doom pattern, which makes for a fast knit and a decent fit, but a shorter-than-I-would-like cuff.]

1 comment:

Tan said...

No puzzle. It's that first question. Nobody but LDS believe that God has a body.