Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life is not a Dress Rehearsal...or is it?

"God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." ~ Voltaire

First, let me just say it is never a good idea to spill water on your laptop. Ever. I don't know why PC manufacturers don't find a way to make water-proof keyboards, considering all the people in homes and offices who drink coffee/tea/Singapore Slings at their workstation....well, actually I suppose it's because THEY MAKE MORE MONEY that way, thoughtless.

Anyway, if you're like me and happen to knock over a bamboo-filled vase while trying to swat a perversely friendly fly, you want to know your PC can survive a few drops of liquid. Even now, months later, the keyboard gets all possessed and starts typing 'TTTT' on a never-ending loop until I shut it down. Guess that'll teach me not to drink and type.

Another reason I haven't posted is that I didn't have anything interesting to say, so don't get your hopes up too high, but, I recently experienced a second of insanity enlightenment that left me laughing out loud in surprise. Some of you know I can get really heavy in a finger-pointing sort of way with my former Mormon community, and I've realized that I took my religious practice very, very serious, as in, too serious. And then expected everyone "should", too. And then got all judgey when they toppled off my pedestal (really it wasn't THAT high, but still).

It drove me nuts when people didn't honor their word, slipped in integrity, or failed to show up to do something they committed to do, even allowing for the occasional slacker/bad hair day/sugar over-consumption, which by the way, is rampant in this community because they don't drink--a shame, considering it's a much more enjoyable way to get that sugar high. Much more enjoyable than the local popular fetish for green Jell-O.

Because I took it all so seriously, it sucked the fun and humanity right out of the journey, especially for me. My expectations could suck the fun right out of being Buddhist/Atheist/Muslim, not that they're bastions of frivolity anyway, but in my defense, temple-going Mormons are admonished not to indulge in 'loud laughter' (one of my favorite indulgences; just ask anyone) which made me slightly paranoid, given my irreverent nature.

Truly the apple doesn't fall far from the McIintosh tree--and we know how devoted to ancestral details Mormons are. One of my grandmothers--and she wasn't even Mormon--used to pray and weep over the departed at the local cemetery in her spare time, unless I'm remembering the family stories wrong.

One of my dear Mormon friends hangs out at pioneer cemeteries when life gets overwhelming (and since she has seven kids, I imagine that's fairly often) reading the headstones of the dearly departed whose sufferings make her feel infinitely better about her troubles. Who can complain when some epidemic wiped out a faithful pioneer woman's ten children? Or rampaging Indians took Sister Mary Elizabeth Ellswater's husband and firstborn and burned down the spacious one-room log cabin? What's a foreclosure/no healthcare/totaling the family car in comparison to the sufferings of old?

Like Grandma, I was almost sackcloth-and-ashes serious, to the point where religion became joyless, and I expected too much of others and myself. Thankfully, this approach no longer works for me. I'm realizing that spiritually connecting is not just about attaining the ethereal, but embracing humanity as well. So while I may still occasionally take things too seriously (old habits die hard), lightening up is part of the practice today. A big part (no offense, Grandma).

Go Conan! Hindus are hip to enjoying a good laugh too.