Otherness

At four years of age, I jumped out the doorway onto the crude steps outside. I’d been told not to do this repeatedly, but I was excited, and I knew I could do it. It was a big leap. And I was little. The ending wasn’t how I planned. I landed onto the concrete, with my left arm pinned underneath my body, snapping my arm bone in the process.

Conservative vs. Explorative

7d87a3be938e35d0e50de7f978574c95There is something I’ve noticed about personality traits. Some people really don’t like new things. Even if they have them over and over, they would prefer to go back to their original favorites. We call them the meat and potatoes people. What they grew up with is their traditional style, and it makes them happy. They are conservative. It’s not the same as being a Republican, though. This isn’t about politics. It’s style and moderation.

Seeing the color

I run toward otherness because I’m curious. Chase the rainbow. Yes, this might lead to trauma. Should I learn a lesson, slow my roll? Can we really change who we are? What I haven’t said about my jumping out the doorway from the forbidden height is that I’d done it many times before. Those other times had been successes. I’d watched my brothers who were older and wanted to do what they could do so I learned. I had been successful. Just not that one time. Life must be lived. Some of us will run towards the different things and what many would call otherness. And maybe someday we might fly.

The Borders and Two Flags

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...
Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue skies and the sun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week we filled the sky with waving flags, but it isn’t until next week that my country celebrates its independence from British rule. This week had its own colors and controversies, as many have noticed.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it once again. As a child, I’d walk naively, without the knowledge of borders, not understanding the concept of North side and West side. It’s only as adults that we learn where we supposedly belong or don’t belong. I’d walk inside and outside with a large mirror in my arms, facing upwards so I could only see the ceiling. I liked the openness, the uncluttered feeling. There are moments that I still feel the wild child inside of me stir. She gets restless and wants to run and be free, hating the constraints of the 9 to 5, the should of the day-to-day life. Living in this society means coming to terms with the borders and the rules placed by civilization, but it doesn’t mean being completely tamed. We are never meant to be slaves.

I believe human conventions, pre-conceived notions, religion and the world’s cacophony do not stifle creativity, neither should they. Rather they serve as breaking ground manifestations of the limitless parlay of ideas floating the grand mass called ‘space.’- CL Ngwe-Nwi  A Multi-faceted Creative from her About me page

Life is untamable. Life is wild. Unpredictable. There are no permanent borders. No true boundaries. We try so hard to put up fences. To keep out the bad guys. To grasp on to what we love. But it’s not possible. Somewhere in there is righteous reasoning, but if we aren’t careful, we become like the zealots who kill everything good. We kill instead of healing. There’s a line that get’s crossed, and it has nothing to do with a flag or a country. It has no heritage involved. There are no lasting borders, only love and hate. No flag representing a heritage of shame should fly. Put it in a museum with the other items of shame. But let’s not wave our dirty laundry on the top of a flag pole for all the world to see. Please, America. Let’s have some modesty.

I stumbled upon this ladies writing this week and found her post intriguing. Check her out if you can. http://www.quietrev.com/portraits/gina-stroud/

It’s not about the colors.

 

When I was around ten years old, I was very concerned about Hell. I tried to do right and not wrong. I was careful not to lie or to steal. I wanted to do good things because I truly believed in Hell and God and punishment. I believed there was a definite right and wrong.

Like many in America, I believed that only Christians went to heaven. My faith was, even more, extreme. We also taught that only those of our belief, Pentecostal, followed the true path. Certainly not Catholics or Mormons or any other faiths. Baptists and Methodists were questionable. And that scared me. How did I know which belief was right?

There were definite steps my religion taught me that insured salvation.

  1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  2. Confess your sins.
  3. Believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of god. And he grafted us into his vine.

This was my only way of confirmation. This took away any rights I might have of interpreting for myself, any twinge or spark I might feel is true. My thought, my belief was always wrong if it didn’t meet the 3 requirements above. So there is a right and a wrong at that point.
This lead the 10-year-old me to wonder, what if? What if my religion got it wrong? What if we were the religion that was incorrect? How would I know? Mormons believe their faith just as strongly as I do mine.
If you think any religion is right or wrong, you are entirely missing the point. The Pentecostal aren’t right or wrong with their extreme exclusiveness and certainly the Unitarians aren’t right or wrong with their extreme inclusiveness.

You may come to think of all the colors of the rainbow are good. They are all okay. We are all okay. But that’s not the point. It’s not about the colors of the rainbow. It’s about the rainbow. It’s also about what makes the rainbow. We perceive the colors, but they are not colors. They are light, refracted through the water particles and the dust in the sky that is light pulsing into your eyeball, and your brain interprets it as color. Keywords are perceived and interprets. When you get that, take another look around you. At ten years of age, I had no understanding. I was 10. A child has no skill to interpret an act committed by someone. I translated others intentions and put them into boxes that were provided by those around me. Right, Wrong, Saved, Damned.

It’s not about the colors. Red is right, and Green is wrong. It’s not that all the colors of the rainbow are all right or all wrong. Inclusive or exclusive. We are all one light shining through the water particles, creating the beautiful rainbow. It’s all about the light.