I Don’t Know I Can’t

I Don’t Know I Can’t

I’m older than I was.
Grayer. Heavier. Slower.
But the thing is –
I don’t see myself that way.
I still do the things I did –
bike, hike, dance –
because I don’t know I can’t.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Karen's twirly dress

Karen in her twirly dress.

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(3rd Book) Introduction to The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New

(Introduction to The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New)

Vonnegut, Stevenson, and Adams Talking in My Head –

In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness. And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely. “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God. “Certainly,” said man. “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God. – Kurt Vonnegut

But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, “Well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in,” and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question that is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into, and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says, “So who made this, then?” Who made this? – you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks , “Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me, and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male.” And so we have the idea of a God. Then, because when we make things, we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself, “If he made it, what did he make it for?” – Douglas Adams

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love… God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4

This year I’ve had the great good privilege of holding conversations with authors Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series), Kurt Vonnegut (author of Slaughterhouse Five and other equally amazing novels), and D.E. Stevenson (author of the Miss Buncle books). Okay, so I didn’t, like, actually talk to any of them in the person – seeing as how they’re all dead and everything, but I did have the great joy of reading their books for the first time this year, and sort of… well… talking to them in my head.

We all laughed together at the nonsense of life and humankind and ourselves, we chatted about God, and I found kinship with them in our similar views of “Life, the Universe, and Everything” (another of Adams’s books).

Adams and Vonnegut were atheists (I didn’t find any place in her writings where Stevenson actually voices her thoughts regarding a belief in God) and, although I do believe in God, I, too, am an atheist when it comes to an anthropomorphic god who lives in the clouds and zaps his children to hell periodically. I am of the opinion that THAT kind of a god should have long ago gone the way of Zeus and Mars and ridden off into the sunset on his fiery chariot never to be seen again except in the study of ancient cultures and literature.

I wish I would have found Adams, Vonnegut, and Stevenson earlier in my life. I can’t believe it took me so long. I’m sad that I didn’t get to know Adams – who was only five years older than me – when he was walking the earth. I’m sad that his sudden death at the age of 49 didn’t have the significance to me that it would have, had I known him then. I wish I would have understood , then , what his early departure meant to the world . And when I read his last book, The Salmon of Doubt – compiled in the year after his death by his friends and editors – I found myself sobbing when I got to the end of it – knowing there wouldn’t be any more. I felt like I had lost a good friend.

Kurt Vonnegut introduced his readers to the fictitious but way cool religion of Bokononism in his book, Cat’s Cradle, and I will be making periodic references to Bokononism in my book.

And D.E. Stevenson introduced me to the wonderfully enlightened and wise Miss Buncle, who’s brought me laughter and the comforting feeling that I am not alone as I pretend to be a grown-up.

I’m going to bring my new friends into this book with me. They are a part of my life now, and they need to be a part of this book, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientist-All-Things/dp/1499746164/ref=asap_B0044P90RQ_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415835816&sr=1-2

“Sixty is the new thirty!”

“… progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.” – Mary Baker Eddy

Ahem. At this time I would like to present to you the 600 year-old tree of Deception Pass, Washington. I’m pretty sure there is no one out there who believes this tree was better at 300 than 600, right? I bet there’s no one who would try to “compliment” this tree by telling her she looks just like she did when she was a sapling. I mean, who would want to see this tree go back to her seed? Isn’t she beautiful in her fullness of age?!

??????????

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

It would be an understatement to say that I am now closer to sixty than thirty. And as I openly contemplate what this means to me, more than one person has informed me that “sixty is the new thirty” – like this is a good thing. But – oh lord! – I do not want to be thirty again.Seriously. I mean, really, who WOULD want to go backwards? Who would want to take retrograde steps? Who would want to regress? That person I was at thirty – I liked her – she was well-intentioned, sweet, idealistic – but I wouldn’t want to be her again – I wouldn’t want to have to go through those same lessons again or deal once again with the vanity, insecurity, and female rivalries. I have finally reached a place where I no longer spend my days worrying about ridiculous stuff like wrinkles on the brow and pounds on the scale. I have made it to the other side of caring about that crap. And there is a lovely freedom in that.

I love my spiritual development – why would I want to wish away the progress in my life?

        “In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.” – Mary Baker Eddy