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Pondering the Big Questions

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So Much For Summer

Hey guys -   Have I told you all lately how much I appreciate you? I don't blog here enough, although I think about you daily. This is the only place I can come and say what I'm feeling - not only about religion, but about anything - because no one here 'knows' me. ;-) I mean, you all know me as an internet friend, but you aren't blood-related, a face-to-face friend, or park visitor, or a team mate at work. Since I've been working, now everyone I know there is my friend on Facebook. So

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

The Forest Is A Nice Place To Visit, But...

I've decided that as much as I as I love nature and the forest, I decidedly don't like:   * sleeping on the ground * sweating profusely for indeterminate, endless, periods of time * getting eaten by ticks, mosquitos, and biting flies who apparently think I'm sweet and delicious * sharing the bathroom facilities with 5 species of moths, 2 species of spiders including 1 as large as my thumb, and innumerable various tiny, fluttery and creeping arthopods, almost so many that the cin

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Detour Into The Here And Now

When I decided to go back to school for a second degree, I originally planned to study anthropology. However, the university most convenient to me only had programs in cultural anthropology, not physical anthropology. After a very helpful discussion with my anthropology professor who had a background in physical anthropology, I decided to go into the biology program for a B. A., which is where I am now.   When I started this journey, I wanted to study the intersection of biology and behavior

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Into The Chasm

So, last time I explained the depth of my ignorance. Today, I will begin to explain the depth of the depression - the chasm of bottomless need - that I lived in.   In 1982, when I was 18, everything about my life changed. I went from being:   a country girl living in a trailer in an all-white town of 2000 people with 3 friendless unemployed adults who literally watched TV all day   to being:   pregnant and married to a black man, living with his family while he went through basic trai

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Believing In Everything

All through my childhood, teenage years, and much of my adulthood, I believed in everything. I don't mean I was particularly gullible, although by others' standards I may have been - I don't know. But I just hadn't learned to think critically or skeptically about anything, nor did I have even the rudimentary scientific education necessary to understand how nature actually worked.   There was the usual Xian stuff about God and Jesus, of course, but I also believed in a host of other things

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Last Weekend, In Church

Last weekend, I was obligated to attend a church service. It was for my 6 month old grandson's dedication Sunday morning. We drove 12 hrs from Virginia to Indiana on Friday, stayed in a hotel, then drove back on Monday.   My son (my youngest child) and his wife live near Indianapolis where she grew up and all of her family still lives.   My husband thought I was kidding when I told him last week that I was going to listen to my audiobook on my iPhone during the service. I wasn't. And

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Insults, Injuries, And Secrets

So today, I want to tell you about other insults, injuries, and bitter-inspiring moments from my past.   My mother never went swimming with us. My dad took us swimming many times, but my mother not only refused to go in the pool, but never even came to the pool with us. Or to the lake when Daddy took me fishing. She refused to go no matter how I begged her or told her how fun it was. She refused to get into a swimsuit because she thought she was too fat. (It's true she wasn't rail-thin, bu

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Being Busy Is Both Good And Bad

I've been so busy the last few weeks, it's crazy. I don't want to complain about it - I'd never want to go back to the days/weeks/months/years when I was virtually housebound and had no constructive stimulation. But I've been so busy that not only have a few homework assignments slipped by uncompleted but - worse than that - I haven't had the time to sit down and type out the next installment of my life story for you guys.   What am I busy with? Well, I'm carrying a full-time university loa

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Forward Into The Past

Now that I've got that bitterness out of my system for the time being, let's move on. Where were we? Oh, yeah. I'm 18, pregnant, newly married, and about ignorant as a shy-sheltered-country-girl-loosed-into-the-big-bad-world could be.   Of course, I didn't think I was ignorant. I wasn't stupid...in fact, I have always been really smart, quick to learn, enthusiastic about school, and had good grades. I was mostly bored and unchallenged at the schools I'd attended and never found any mentor

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Sins Of The Mother

So far I've just described a few of the 'high' points in my relationship with the mother. Those were a few of the climactic moments. They don't shed light on the day-to-day neediness, the constant mixed messages, the emotional blackmail, and the just-plain strangeness.   Like I said before, my parents weren't bad people in the sense of being purposefully cruel or negligent. They weren't alcoholics. With the possible exception of two questionable incidents, they were never physically abusiv

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

I Answered A Prayer

I want to tell you that my parents were not bad people. I also want to tell you about all the mistakes they made and have you validate my resentments.   They weren't bad people. They were law-abiding, patriotic, and paid their bills. They were also uneducated, damaged, and a product of their generation (The Depression and WW2).   I idolized my dad, as most little girls do. I didn't learn about his personal failings until after he was dead, which I guess is ok in the long run. He was h

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

An Aside Before The Storm

This morning I was realizing that I was having a storm of old bitterness well up because of re-telling my story in these blogs. It's unpleasant and unexpected. I thought it was... cured? If not cured, then certainly dealt with and healed and done. Maybe that never happens entirely.   People have always considered me an angry person. I caught crap all the time as a kid from my own family about 'having a chip on my shoulder.' I didn't know what that meant; all I understood was that my feel

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

Moving, Moving, Moving

Other than being busy, this portion of my story has been slow in coming because it's been difficult trying to capture all of 'what I felt' and 'why I felt it' from events that happened 35 years ago. I have to keep reminding myself - and therefore remind you - that I'm only trying to relate my religious journey. There's no way I can capture the totality of my experience. Instead I just have to do the best I can to tell you what I remember.   For 7th grade, instead of the small rural 6 room/6

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

A Few Flashbacks

Since my last blog, I've remember some incidents that I want to include before I move forward with my story.   The first is a conversation I had with my mother. My grandmother was getting glaucoma and had to be driven into Little Rock to see the eye doctor. Once while my mother and I were waiting in the car for her to come out, I was staring out the car window thinking about how angry I was at my little brother - the two of us never got along well - and I was thinking about various ways to

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

My First Experience With God

I was probably 9 years old, standing next to my mother at the end of a church service, and the preacher was calling for people to be saved, accept Jesus, and come down to the altar.   Now I must say that compared to a lot of church services I've been to and seen on TV, these at this Baptist church were very mild, well-mannered, sedate gatherings. There was never any hollering, speaking in tongues, faith healing, fire-and-brimstone - none of that stuff. So I can't say I was swept up with the

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

In My Beginning

I've decided that instead of posting my history and de-conversion to the forums, I'll use this blog to tell my story. I welcome any and all questions and comments that are thoughtful and well-intentioned, but if you just want to rant, criticize, or preach, please put your vitriol someplace else.   I've kept a diary since I was 12 (I'm 47 now), and I've had several blogs over the last 10 years or so, and I have degrees in both fine arts (creative writing) and philosophy. Additionally, I have

NaturalMary63

NaturalMary63

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