Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sleep. And lack thereof.

I have written before about sleeplessness when it has affected me, so I'll try not to repeat myself too much. Yes, my insomnia, which once affected me solidly for the best part of two years and now returns sporadically when I least expect it or least need it, has returned. For tonight at the very least. It seems on this occasion the reason lies behind my over-thinking brain which I just cannot seem to switch off.

No, there is nothing life altering happening. I am, for once, living a good quiet life involving hard work, no drinking and up untill now early nights. Perhaps this is exactly what is life altering. I've had to leave something of my independence behind me in the fabulous city of Cork, and move to my family home in Carlow. Now don't get me wrong, I do love my family, very much. I consider myself rather lucky on that count. But I'm 23. Nearly 24. To once again have to explain all the time where I'm going and with whom and when will I be back, and to give as much notice as possible of all of the above.....well, it gets a bit irritating. Especially having lived away from home for so long, when I could, on a whim, decide to go camping in the wiles of Waterford with people I've only really just met, or decide, at 10pm, to head out, and get plastered, and maybe, all going well, kiss some lucky young fellow (I'm very fussy, don't you know) or even, on those wonderful days when it's pouring rain outside and the wind is howling, to stay in bed until three in the afternoon, reading. Now I feel guilty if I stay in bed past ten, and as for the luxury of reading all day on a day off? Forget it - there must be SOMETHING useful I could be doing around the house.

But it's not even this which is keeping me awake. I think about it alright, but not too much, because I know I made the right decision in coming home, I know it was necessary and logical and if I just keep my head down and get on with it, it will all be fine. Besides, it's not like I don't have any friends here. I have plenty. Friends. Therein lies the rub. Specifically the friends I've left behind. I miss them. Very much. Of course in this day and age I have plenty of options for keeping in touch with all of them, and I fully intend on doing so, but the sad truth is that despite all our new ways of keeping in touch, it's still all too easy to lose it. When you take into account that we are all busy leading our own lives full of work and our own everyday dramas, an email or even a text is not quite the same as actually being there when Mary's ex boyfriend John saw her kissing some fella in a club and punched him before being dragged away by the bouncers with Mary screaming all the while in a corner and having to be taken to hospital for a ferocious attack of anxiety. It's just never the same. It's missing out I suppose, is the problem. There are lots of wonderful things happening back in my beloved adopted city, life continuing without me, as it should. But I miss it. I feel left out. And I can't help wondering about missed opportunities. Or at the very least, possible missed opportunities. What if?

Would that question had never been invented! Aside from it's use in a rather fun drama game, it is the plague of many a person, and the cause of more sleepless nights than my own I'm willing to bet. What if? Please make it stop. I suppose it wouldn't be a good idea to ban it altogether. Imagine if Einstein had never said What if E=MC2? or Benjamin Franklin had never said What if I tied a metal key to the end of this kite in an electrical storm? or Alexander Graham Bell had get the idea. Still, I really wish it leave me alone right now. It's all I can think about. Not the same question over and over, but a large variety of questions which could possibly summed up by the single question: what if I had stayed in Cork? Well, part of that I can answer with certainty - I would be stone cold broke. Again, I know I made the right decision for me. Still, I do wonder....

And that is what is keeping me awake. Wondering. What if? It is a most pointless exercise and genuinely hadn't bothered me all that much up till tonight. Probably because up until I'd been working like crazy and was therefore exhausted most of the time. Once upon a time I would have been very definite about my belief in fate and things happening for very good reasons though we may not see at the time. I probably would have soothed my case of what if? with a balm of everything happens for a reason and if something is meant to happen it will and for the love of all that is good do not forget that what's for you wont pass you. Now, I'm not quite so definite about that belief, but I suppose there really is nothing I can do. I have neither a crystal ball for the future nor a time turner for the past. I should really get in touch with Dr Who. Failing that, I suppose I shall just have to submit to the harrowing human condition of having to wait and see.


That's cheered me right up.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pope Evil.

Ok, so maybe the Pope isn't actually evil in the true sense of the word. However, it has become increasingly clear to me that he is most definitely a sick man. His mind, is not a functioning, normal, logical mind.

Today I read a news story that quite truthfully made my blood boil. Really, I couldn't help looking at the picture of Pope Benedict and wishing I could just smack it. Very unCatholic of me, I know. But I couldn't help it. The Pope has announced that women attempting to be ordained, and those attempting to ordain them, are committing a crime as big as child abuse. Seriously.

This makes me angry on several points, but for my own sanity and for the sake of this keyboard, I shall stick to the two biggest points.

1.Female priest = horror of paedophile priest

EXCUSE ME?! I'm sorry Mr Pope but do you truly believe that a female saying mass, giving the sacraments, offering comfort and guidance to people who believe in the faith is the same as a Priest, or anyone for that matter abusing and traumatising a child, taking their innocence and leaving them scarred for life?! That just isn't true. It is so incredibly untrue. No one in their right mind would think so. (Which serves as further proof of Benedict being entirely out of his). This reads like something straight out of the middle ages when understanding the Bible was limited to the clergy and women had to be 'churched' after giving birth and were even put out of their houses during their periods. Being a woman does not make you a bad person Mr Pope, nor does having a penis make you a good one. That is up to chance. Also, I may not be 100% correct on this, but I'm fairly certain that it does not say anywhere in the Bible that it is a crime punishable by excommunication, for a female to be ordained and give communion. And even if it does say something that could be interpreted as such, everyone, including the Pope would do well to remember that Christ nor even God wrote the Bible. People, human people did. Also, rules such as celibacy in priests and even the pope's infallibility were all made up years and years into the Catholic faith by people wishing to save money or be more powerful etc etc. This whole thing reeks of oppression and really it is just disgusting. I am aware that female priests have long been a no no in the Catholic Faith, I am after all, a Catholic. Well, I was raised Catholic. So if Pope Benedict is too stubborn in these old ridiculous rules (along with not allowing contraception and abortion, but those are both arguments for another day) fair enough, he's old, here's would be unchristian of me to say...but even that being the case, to go so fecking far as to say that it's as criminal as child abuse?! Dear Christ in heaven above! Surely someone should have said, 'eh, Benedict, I don't er, think it's quite the same thing...'

2. What is so wrong with a female priest?

The Catholic Faith is seriously dwindling and has been for many years. Faith in general is dwindling, but the Catholic Faith more so than others, and I can see why. While other Faiths such as the Church of England have taken huge steps forwards in order to survive, the Catholic Faith (which in the past, I repeat, has made changes to suit itself - the celibacy thing only became a law in 1139 and the infallibility thing only became strict dogma as late as 1870), refuses point blank to change, at all, despite the whirlwind changes that have occurred in the world in the last hundred years. The emancipation of women to name one such change. In almost every other aspect of our civilisation, huge, massive strides have been taken to ensure equal rights between women and men. It may not always happen, but according to law, women are equally entitled to the same jobs, salaries and legal status as men, and apart from the occasional case, this does happen. Just not in the church. Or at least, not the Catholic church. If you want to be devoutly religious in the Catholic Church, as a woman, you must be content to merely be a nun. Not that there's anything wrong with nuns, they do amazing work, but why can't they say mass? And why must they always be subordinate to a male priest? This is not the only overhaul The Catholic faith needs. If I had my way, (which I never will) Women could be priests, or nuns. Dare I say it, even Pope one day? Just as men can be monks, or priests or Pope. If you really want to go for the celibacy, be a nun or a monk. Priests should be allowed marry, and have children etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with it. The Jews do it, and they've been around longer than Catholics. They heard from God himself. well, the prophets did anyway. The root of what I'm saying is that the Bible (I realise I straying rather close to The Da Vinci Code here, but there is a reason that book struck a nerve, and it wasn't the writing) is a man-made creation which can be interpreted by man in as many ways as there are faiths in the world. Thus far, people tend to interpret it the way that suits their ends best. The church has made many, many changes to it's dogma since it was born, why not now? Pope John Paul II made leaps and bounds towards that. Pope Benedict (personally I'd rather call him Ratzinger, I think it suits him better) seems to be pole vaulting backwards through the centuries.

Having been raised a Catholic, since reaching my late teens I will say that year after year, sometimes week after week, I find more and more reasons to detest the religion that was put on me, and I know hundreds, if not thousands feel the same way. Why should I adhere to rules that are so archaic, do not serve to giving me any feeling of being close to God or whatever spiritual being that exists (if any), do not give me comfort and whose 'agents on earth' do so many deplorable and often evil things? The church, as it is right now, has no place in my life, or the lives of thousands of people. It is simply not relevant.

There was this guy, way back in 1139, an Irish guy as it happens, St Malachy by name, who had this...seizure I suppose, in which he shouted out 112 short Latin phrases, each of which adhere to a list of popes and even some anti-popes. (not sure what an anti-pope is, but fact are facts). Thus far, he has not been wrong. After our 'beloved' Pope Benedict, there is only one name left. It could be that St Malachy was only granted a certain number for whatever reason and there may be many popes after Pope Peter the Roman (the final name on the list), or it could be, as I fear it will be, the end of the Catholic church. According to the prophecy, as is translated, it could also be the end of the world. However, the end of the world or not, if the church continues in it's refusal to change and adapt, I can certainly see it being at the very least the end of the Faith. Can't say I'm overly upset.