Thursday, May 19, 2005

Nobody's Fault But Mine


Last night, I did two things: watched "Tuesdays with Morrie" and finished reading My Glimpse of Eternity by Betty Malz. They were strangely connected with their theme of having to learn how to die in order to learn how to live.

First - "Tuesdays with Morrie." I had glimpsed the T.V. movie back when it was on T.V. and thought it sounded sweet. A couple of years ago I took the book out of the library and was seriously impacted by it. Not because it solved any of life's philosophical dilemmas, but merely because it reminded me of eternal truths that we already know and to appreciate my life. Yesterday, I was in my library's video/DVD section looking for a copy of Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet and instead stumbled upon "Tuesdays with Morrie." I took it home and watched it and was moved once again. I think the fact that Jack Lemmon passed away in 2001 makes it even more depressing. The thing that bothers me, though, is that even though Morrie was prepared for death and could make sense of it, he still didn't know anything about what it would be like.

Something that I found moving was Morrie's quoting of W.H. Auden: "We must love one another or die." Mitch later asks him, "But don't we die anyway?" Yet they don't mention in the movie that in 1955 Auden changed this line to "We must love one another and die." Says it all, doesn't it?

On to My Glimpse of Eternity. Betty Malz died for twenty-eight minutes back in 1959, and she claims to have been to heaven. She describes the typically Christian heaven of golden streets and hymns being sung and eternal light and a masculine-looking angel walking with her. The first time I read this book, I was around 15, and I believed all of it. I had seen her interviewed on T.V. and she beamed like no one I had ever seen before. Now, of course, I'm more skeptical, but that's not to say that I don't believe it anymore. I'm just not taking leaps as easily as I used to. It was good to read but it kind of scares me that I am such a different person from the last time I read it.

Now, what would a post be without a little rant? I was so angry yesterday. Mother told me that she spoke to So Christian It's Scary Aunt. So Christian It's Scary Aunt apparently asked Mother if she has been going to church. She then proceeded to ask if she has any sin in her life because Father will not get healed if any of us in the family have sin in our lives. I hit the ceiling. "Do we have sin in our lives?? Yes, we do! It's called the human condition!" I have come to conclude in the past few months that everyone wants to find a way to blame us for the bad things that have happened to us. I once had a professor who spoke about this. She said that victims are often blamed because people want to feel safe. People will try to decipher what the victim did to deserve it so they can rest assured that it will not happen to them. It's like hearing about a rape and thinking, "Well, she was walking in that neighborhood. As long as I don't walk there, it will never happen to me." And we live with our beautiful delusions until something does happen to us. It's ludicrous. I just wish that if people thought things were our fault, they would keep it to themselves. I wish that Cynic hadn't told me right after my cat died that I shouldn't have let her run out of the house. I wish that religious relatives didn't imply that our sins or lack of faith are to blame.

I told Mother that I'm going to record a new message for our voice mail:

If you are calling to tell us that every horrible thing that happens to us is entirely our fault, please press 1.

If you are calling to tell us that we need to face reality and that there is no hope, please press 2.

If you are calling to preach to us, please press 3.

If you are calling to say something that is not offensive, please remain on the line and we will speak with you.

She dared me to do it. *Grins*

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