Sunday, November 21, 2010

D-Day and the Muslims, Creatively Speaking

                What a week, what a week, what a… yeah, yeah, yeah. You get the idea. Once again, I got pulled away from the blog but this time it was for creative reasons. I wrote a story! Yeah! Me! I wrote a whole short story and even sent it to my best friend to read! HUGE progress there; not only did I finish something but I shared it. It’s still very much a rough draft but it will get ironed out in time. That’s totally not the point anyway. Considering that up until this past year it was very rare that I ever let anyone read anything I’ve written, it’s a step forward. I think it helped that this was purely a fantasy piece. I tend to write more non-fiction (such as this blog and my on going cookbook) or stories that relate to either something I’ve gone through or my dreams. Naturally then, it would take a little more to share those.
                In other news, I am officially a single woman plus child. Our hearing was on Friday and despite my fears, it looks as if the courts agreed to the plans Paul and I agreed on. I had some fear about this because my ex’s family talks a lot about seeking revenge against people that have slighted them and I was afraid that since no one was there to represent me they might use this opportunity to screw with me for the perceived slights of only paying rent for the time I was in our apartment, moving my son to a healthier environment, or whatever else I’ve done that, knowingly or not, hasn’t settled well with them. But it looks as if my fears are unfounded for now. Yay!
                What I thought was bizarre was that all of Thursday and Friday I was really down. I was sad because of the divorce but not because I was divorcing Paul. My only regret really with Paul is having put up with his crap for so long. Okay, that and pretending we loved each other when it was obvious that we didn’t and letting him stay in the apartment when it’s obvious that I should have. And all that other crap, too, that doesn’t need to be brought up.  But divorce is such an ugly word. It brings up this idea of broken vows and damaged goods. Am I damaged goods now that I’ve sloughed off part of what contributed to the negative parts of my life? No, of course not. Are others going to view me that way? Am I going to have a figurative scarlet “D” sewn onto all my blouses now? I feel like it a little bit which makes me happy that I’m not actively seeking a romantic partner. I need to settle into this idea of being single again. I need to move out and find out exactly who I am before I start looking for other men.
                At some point, I’m going to want to share my life again. I love the idea of getting married again. I love the idea of Elijah growing up with a strong, positive father figure that will, hopefully, grow to give him the love he would not have gotten from Paul. (I know some of you are going to argue that idea. Sure, I don’t doubt that Paul loves his son. But Paul loves himself considerably more and no matter what he says, his actions are going to speak louder). In the meantime, however, that’s not where I need to be. When the time is right, I’ll find someone and, hopefully, successfully navigate the minefield that is dating with children in tow.
                Meanwhile, Elijah and I went to the flea market yesterday with my Mom. I found a pair of green milk glass salt and pepper shakers but held off since I’ve never used salt and pepper shakers. I also found a mid-1800s Braille Book of Psalms that was in good condition and would have been an excellent start to a collection of religious books that I’d like to start someday. I passed on that, too, because I didn’t have $425 on hand and stealing massive tomes just isn’t my style. In addition to those finds, there was a guy selling musical equipment out of the back of his van that all looked stolen and a really nice lady selling knock off jeans and purses. Believe it or not, I passed on them, too.
                Right as we were leaving, I noticed a group of people standing around a booth that had free information on the Islamic faith. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know a lot about Muslims. Unless they said they worshipped gummy bears, I’d probably believe them. So, I listened for a couple of minutes to the debate going on. On one side of the card table were three young men. They were speaking respectfully about God and Allah and suggesting that maybe the bible was only part of the story. On the other side of the table were three older people: two men and a woman. One man was pretty quiet, one man was upset that the bible had been called “incomplete,” and the woman kept saying “My one, true God…” I could tell that the guys behind the table were getting a little tired. So, instead of saying something like “Can’t we all just get along?” or running a few stalls down and buying all the “co-exist” bumper stickers and handing them out, I thankfully accepted an English translation of the Qur’an that even has a section on how the teachings ought to relate to modern society.
                Now, I’m not trying to bash the Christians here, but it really just irked me that these guys were trying to educate the public about something so many of us know so little about and these people seemed more interested getting all frothy about their faith. Maybe before I got there one of the Muslims said something that could be taken poorly. I don’t know but I was really hoping as I walked up to the table to hear more about the core beliefs of moderate Islamic faith and less about how God doesn’t make mistakes and everything you need can be found in the bible.
                I’ve not read more than bits and pieces of the Qur’an thus far but, fair warning, it didn’t take too long to find several passages about respecting other people, feeding the poor, and worshiping Allah and nothing so far about killing the infidels.

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