Friday, March 18, 2011
A Tale of Two Believers
There are two blogs I read, uh, faithfully. If you will.
One is by a woman who is devout and identifies strongly with her religion.
The other is by a woman who has left that same religion.
The Faithful Among Us says a lot of things I believe myself. Her writing resounds with me, and often I feel I learn from her. About the importance of choosing happiness, of introspection, of listening to the voice within your soul. Basically, she says "Heavenly Father" and I say "Hermione" but everyone knows we are talking about the same divine soul-vegetable.
The Dissident Daughter was raised in the same faith and has now abandoned it entirely. Occasionally she writes about the sexism, the guilt-mongering, the hypocrisy, the judgmental nature she sees within the church she left behind.
I relate to both of these women strongly. In one, I relate to the irreverence. In the other, I relate to the spirituality. One has great humor and perspective, the other brings the soul. If you put them together it might look like Tina Fey singing "Midnight Train to Georgia".
Oh, jeez. Let's pretend I never said that.
I keep thinking about these two women because together they illustrate how two different people can have two entirely different experiences within basically the same upbringing. Within the exact same religion. You can't just blame The Dissident Daughter's parents either, because she has siblings who are still devout believers. It's just that Dissident was born Dissident, and Faithful was born Faithful, and maybe there isn't much anyone could have done to change that.
I don't try to reconcile the two of these in me. I don't like hierarchies. Two of my favorite phrases are "too soon to tell" and "both are true".
Most things aren't one, or another. I think a lot of pain is caused from this belief.
I don't have to be just the good daughter, or just the wayward daughter, or just the prodigal daughter.
There is room for all of them in me.
I am Vesuvius and I think we all know I am the cocktail daughter.