Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Dancing in the shades of grey

Over at Quaker-Pagan Reflections, Cat talks a little about being Both-And, with regard to Quakerism and to Paganism. She mentions feeling inhibited from commenting on some posts, and also the feeling of being both a member and an outsider in two faiths. As I've posted before, Paganism has been an important part of my spiritual journey, as I suspect my current interest in Quaker community is becoming.

The memorial service I attended this weekend was Pagan and reminded me of how much I still love the small circle that nurtured me when I lived in Ohio. We have since moved elsewhere (Mid-Atlantic, Florida, the Western Desert states, the Northern Midwest) and yet when we see each other, that closeness is there again.

I have no idea what I count as, if anything. I've lost words to describe myself with, religiously. To describe myself as belonging to any one step on my journey currently feels false, as though I am denying the journey itself, the way the path has dinged me in different ways, the pain of changing communities and the joy of discovering new ones. I certainly can't call myself a Quaker - I'm not really a member of the community, nor can I call myself comfortably anything else. So right now, I'm going without a self-label on my spirituality. And I'm finding out where that leads me.

So far, it's led me to seek out spiritual community in smaller, simpler ways which is a good thing for me. It's giving me time to appreciate the various steps in my spiritual journey, and to listen to where I am being led.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Quietpaths said...

To describe myself as belonging to any one step on my journey currently feels false, as though I am denying the journey itself, the way the path has dinged me in different ways, the pain of changing communities and the joy of discovering new ones.

This so speaks to me of my journey -- its various themes and steps. I have struggled with labels, names, titles so often. Thank you for clarifying it in such concise terms.

3/13/2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Labels have been a struggle for me for a long time. As a very small child, it became obvious that I thought differently, but it wasn't until first grade that a teacher decided to put an official label on that difference. She wrote in my record that I was retarded and would likely not learn to read or write (despite the fact that I'd been reading for years by then.)

Luckily, my next teacher did not have any particular investment in that label and allowed me to advance at my own pace. Eventually, the school system once again labelled me (this time as a "gifted" student) and that label, too, while occasionally helpful, was just as often frustrating to deal with. I sometimes wonder if those experiences haven't left me a little suspicious of labels in general.

3/14/2007 9:36 AM  

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