My First Half Century Ends Tonight
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Fifty years ago tonight, I was getting along very well with my mother. That's because I hadn't been born yet, but was growing and developing nicely in situ. Tonight when the gong sounds at midnight, I'll commence the second half century of my earthly sojourn. I'm going into it with accumulated wisdom ... a wonderful thing to have.
For the vast majority of my first 50 years I was a Christian. It was the religion I inherited from my parents, and their parents, and generations of ancestors, as far back as I've been able to chart.
In my case, the tight seam of Christianity began to give way easily at first. I married a lapsed Catholic boy and heard his mother, grandmother, aunts, and sisters all praying to the Blessed Mother. Everywhere I looked in those East Baltimore rowhouses, I found a statue, or a picture, or some weird icon, of the Blessed Mother (or St. Theresa -- She's in my dining room now).
The Protestant religion deep-sixed the Blessed Mother, so all I knew about her was that she gave birth in a stable and asked her kid to turn water into wine, and cried at his execution. I had no idea that people actually prayed to her.
I started praying to her myself. And that's when I learned that she was more than the mother of Jesus. She was the Mother of God. Which in my book makes her a Goddess.
Now, that there's a leap of logic. But what happened to me in 2004, after years of drifting toward polytheism, was a full-fledged conversion experience.
I stuck my feet in the spillway at Berkeley Springs State Park, and all of a sudden I was surrounded by deities, and faeries, and elemental spirits, and ... of course ... the Sacred Thunderbirds overhead. I could feel a thousand different sorts of divinity simultaneously. It wasn't a shabby moment. I changed, in the blink of an eye.
It is this celebration of the diversity of deity that underlies The Gods Are Bored, no matter how silly I become, no matter how cynical I seem at times, no matter how nasty I get about turnpikes and mega-grocery stores and No Child Left Behind legislation. The best impulses of humanity seek Greater Powers. Every culture, every individual, we all embrace or deny -- at least we think about -- the concept of deity. With that in mind, I believe that no culture's deity does not exist. No culture's deity is inferior to another's. If one culture has 300 deities and another has just one, well, so be it. All deities are holy and sacred and deserving of the coin flicked into the fountain, the prayer whispered into the pillow.
I'm Anne Johnson, about to turn 50, and I approve this message. Our operators are standing by to take your call. And thank you for visiting my page. You are very important to me. A blessed 2009!