…is over. Both of us stuck a fork in it and called it good. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes 🙂 I’m still hurt that she never really told me what was wrong, but I’ve got a couple good guesses. But is it relevant? *SHRUG*
Though, there’s that thing in the back of my head that says “Ya know, when you say these things are over, they ain’t over. Life is way too long for anything to ever truly be over.” Damn I hate that voice.
A Moment Of…?
On Friday I found myself thinking about something really odd – I really sort of wished I was going to Synagog. Yeah, seems an odd thought for me to be thinking about, and it wasn’t I wish I was going to SYnagog with Kat, just that I wished i was there. I shrugged it off.
Monday I was talking to Deborah, and told her “You know, I think I’m gonna find another Messianic Jew temple. I really liked that.” Deb supported that idea – she’s a “spiritual” person, but not really affiliated with any particular church, but she sees a bit more value in a church than I do.
As I’ve said before – if I need to talk to God, well, I just have a chat with God and call it good. I have some problems with the idea that one must praise God frequently in the form of prayer – just makes God sound like an egotistic deity.
I actually researched Messianic Jewdism here in Wichita, then Kansas as a whole. Problem: there’s no synagog of the same linage here in Wichita. Now, I’m going to melt your brain when I say this “Messianic Southern Baptist Congregation.” Go ahead, roll that around your brain a few times. But only do it with your fingers in your ears, otherwise your brains dribble out. I think I lost all of 1992’s memories when trying to wrap my brain around that one.
Anyway, the closest to the direct line I could find was Flourence, Kansas, and somewhat in the same vein in Augusta. Hrm. Well, crap.
I hadn’t talked to Devvi since she went to Indiana, so I gave her a ring to see how editing on “Plastic Men” was doing, and chatted with her about the whole Kat thing (otherwise, eventually I’d mention no longer being with Kat in conversation somewhere, and I’d have to tell the whole story later.) At that point, I had already deemed it a dead issue.
We chatted about other things, and the Messianic Southern Baptist Congregation thing came to mind, which rolled me back to the idea of wanting to visit one of the synagogs again. I told Devvi about the problem: that’s Kat’s synagog, and I’d rather not make her uncomfortable by showing up at her synagog. (One of those other reasons why I think it’s a big deal to bring someone to your church with you.)
Devvi asked a few questions about the church, and I proceeded to explain it to her. In great detail. You know how I can geek out about games, or books, or… well, a number of things. I geeked out about synagog. I went on for a good 10 minutes about it, explaining most of it in great detail, and what I liked.
At the end, Devvi told me it sounded cool, etc. Devvi and I have things in common (well, duh) one of them being starting out in Christian faiths, and eventually migrating towards paganism, and eventually to a fairly neutral ground. Devvi attends church weekly.
She asked a few more questions, and I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was headed somewhere with this. Eventually she pipped off with “Davis, quite being a nice guy. Go to synagog.” A discussion ensued – see, Devvi has faced a very similar situation in a breakup before (worse, someone was actively discuraging her from going to their church after the breakup), and I look down upon such things too. Well, unless it involves me, so I have to take a higher ground, and not cause a situation where that might even be an issue. Which is stupid in a way.
“Davis, there’s obviously something there you need to explore. I’ve never seen you get that passionate about going to a church.”
“Well, part of it I think it’s that it’s been a long time since I conn…” I burst into tears. It took a minute to calm down enough to talk. Tried again, and started crying again. Third time, I finally managed to get it to come out. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been connected to anything.”
When I was married, I had Heather. I had someone who, in really odd ways, spiritually grounded me, while at the same time encouraged me spiritually. She didn’t always agree with my viewpoints, and we discussed religious things from time to time. I didn’t need a church or synagog or circle to feel connected, I had her. (As a real jackass afterthought, never once did I explain that to Heather, or thank her for it during the entire course of our marriage. *SIGH*)
I’ve frequently had people in my life that filled that role. When I got divorced, I lost that, and well… I never really connected with any friends in a way that filled that spiritual void, the social aspect of spirituality.
Kat sort of woke that up, I guess, by taking me to synagog. But I think it went a lot further than that – it really sort of fits me in certain ways. You start looking at it, and things like Davidic dance feels very familiar if you’ve studied much paganism. Some of the rituals / prayers are… well, social is the best word to describe it. It’s almost a sort of neo-pagan-christian-judia mix (well, duh. When you get back that far, there’s a lot of lines that diverge, one of my major areas of study in religion. And let’s not get into what “pagan” meant at one point.) It’s modern, but traditional. And the people there go out of their way to introduce themselves – there’s an actual part of the Shabot services dedicated to everyone getting up and saying Hi to each other, and greeting new people, etc. The first time there this was a source of deep discomfort – the first guy that walked up, said “Shabot Shallom” to me made me want to disappear – I felt like an imposter.
But the second time, well… I felt more at home. I knew what to expect (though reading Hebrew is a long ways out for me if I were to keep going), and it felt good to be there.
I can’t say I would ever see myself as a MessiJew. But I guess maybe s spiritual grounding might be a damned good idea if it can hit me that hard. And if that’s where I’m comfortable, well, that’s where I’m comfortable. And Devvi is dead on right – it’s a gather place for those of a faith or interested in a faith. Just because an ex-girlfriend is going there doesn’t mean I should deny myself exploring that.
So, I finally agreed with Devvi, but asked for a favor – not this Friday, but next, go with me, so at least my first time out I can feel a bit at ease. But there was a second reason – I also needed to feel more at ease so I could explore an important question – was the fact that wanted to go to synagog tainted by Kat;s involvement, or by the fact that she brought me there? It’s a pretty important question, really, and I need as clear of a head when I’m there as possible to answer that. IN fact, I suggested the Friday after next because I still wanted to give myself time really think this through.
After I got off the phone with Devvi, there was something I really felt I had to do, and it was sort of silly. I had to go to the Synagog. (OK, and just in case anyone feels like correcting me – yes, Synagog is just as appropriate as Synagogue. So there.) So I drove down there – I just had to see it.
Pulling into the parking lot, I cleared my mind, and recalled the first time walking up there. I was actually scared as hell – I didn’t show up with Kat, she was waiting for me inside, so I had the “OMG what am I doing I’m not Jewish, I’m such an imposter” feeling walking up there, but had gulped it down.
This time, I went to the bench, and sat down. And cried my fucking eyes out. I felt like I had been hit with a wrecking ball. I alternated between crying and talking to God for a while. I won’t talk about the conversation – that’s between me and Him, and all the ghosts and pain I won’t talk to other humans about, not even on here. I even had a few questions to ask, and in a way I got my answers.
I’m not sure how long I was there – may 5 minutes, maybe 30 minutes. Long enough that I started getting cold in 77 degrees (crying can do that.) I never bothered to look at the clock, until now, I never thought to. That wasn’t what I was there for.
When I was better, I made a promise: “I’ll come back. I don’t know if this place is for me, but I’ll explore it. I’ll take this road, and see where it goes.” I also admitted I’ll make a horrible follower – I’ll question everything. Which I do – I don’t believe in the Torah or the Bible as direct God-To-Paper works. Humans were involved, and the minute we truly think we understand or know God is when we’ve sinned. The idea that we wrote God’s words is one of the highest forms of hubris. And exalting Yeshua to the level of God is a form of idolatry. Yes, I believe in God, and I believe Jesus existed (And is the son of God. We’re all the sons and daughters of God though, which makes things complicated.) That much I got down. The rest is a damned hard sell for me.
But I made the promise, and made it in good faith. Not out of weakness, either – out of a weird sense of strength there. I can’t recall ever making a promise to God before, but if I made a promise to Him, I’ll be there.
I can’t say this is a religious experience, per se, where people feel a great weight lifted, or suddenly have their lives changed. And honestly, I figure wherever this road happens to take me, it just happens this one point is where I go from here – I may go to synagog for a while, then explore other churches or temples to see what is a good match. But I’ll admit it – my experience has definitely pointed out a need for another radical change, a search to find a more permanent way of grounding myself.
I’ll admit it – I’ve been wrong. Churches and temples may serve more purpose for me than I thought for a long time.
And if anyone is wondering – yes, I probably have gone completely insane. 🙂 However, a promise to God? Insane or not, that I’ll keep.