Navigating Parenting

thinkingman4A few days back my nine year old casually declared that he doesn’t believe in God. “There is no place like heaven, so where does God even stay? It’s all a wash.”

I did not (could not) reply immediately, busy as I was turning his words back and forth, up and down in my head with wonder. A need to comment responsibly stemmed from the fact that I am a believer. Don’t know how it happened, having grown up in a pretty non conformist household with an atheist mother but here I am,  a believer. Not rabid though, far from it, I don’t follow the numerous rituals my religion calls for, don’t visit the temple every month- or even six- but I believe in the divine and I do find comfort in God.

Calibrating my response was important because having my son tow my line of thinking just because I birthed him is not my cup of tea. In fact, I take a disproportionate amount of pride in the independent thought process he displayed. Think about it, how many Democrats have Republicans for children? Or how many hardcore hagglers have their progeny getting ripped off when shopping? I’m sure there are some, but they don’t constitute the norm. What cannot be overstated is the influence parents exert consciously or unconsciously over their child’s life choices. So I laboured yet again on an interesting, unending debate I often have in my head. God vs Science. Fear vs Self Belief. Unknown vs Known. Fate vs Action …and so it went till it dovetailed (as it always does without fail) into concepts of Karma, Dharma, Moksha, Kismet, Universe, Circle of Life, Meaning of Life…

Needless to say, I still don’t have a cogent enough response for him. But after all that rumination I know that I will encourage him to draw *his* conclusions based on *his* life experiences, *his* knowledge of the world and *his* ability to process religion and philosophy. How exciting, I can’t wait to write more about about our discussions going forth.

Plus he’s only nine; for all you know one day he may run his own religious cult in Utah!

 

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Of Garbage and Me

Why am I compelled to write a post on Garbage? Well, for starters I had nearly forgotten about it – a band that was almost
the fulcrum of my existence whilst I waded slushy, dark waters of teenage angst trying to put a brave face to my mostly confused, somewhat lost, borderline depressed, forever emotionally overwrought self.

Most times, quicksilver emo personalities such as mine find therapeutic releases in (over)thinking obsessively, drinks, drugs, arts and music. After experimenting with the others, only to find them fucking my mind up even more, I stuck to arts and music. A lot of music. Music saved me even while inflicting at times wounds so deep, I was forced to take deep breaths and calm the self.

Enter Garbage:  

I think I’m Paranoid she sang and she had me. That Shirley Manson.

Here was a girl, talking to me about my thoughts, only she said they were her’s as well. I’m Only Happy When It Rains, I’m Only Happy When It’s Complicated her voice drawled as if sticking a finger to the world, daring it to lecture. Now, if I were to have shared these very thoughts with my BFF, I would have got that “see how great things are around you and what a privileged place you are in” spiel, all of which I knew. My BFF did not understand that part of me so we became friends; Shirley and I.

It also helped that Shirley’s persona exemplified the person I was – raw, angry, not very girly, experimental and ready to bust balls at the drop of a hat. With Madonnas, Whitneys, Mariahs glamming around, there weren’t many like her. I would go as far as to say there were none.

I bought and heard every album of this band religiously. For acceptance, inspiration and the music. Especially the music. Dark, rich, solitary, meaningful, with an ability to cut into my soul’s sanctorum.

Replete with talented members including the legendary Butch Vig, Garbage disbanded  just around the time I didn’t need it as much. So I like to think of it as being heaven-sent : especially made for me.

Garbage sang for me, to me. It did not make me  feel sad(der), just understood. It told me The Trick Is To Keep Breathing…And it was.

Signed, QueerStupid Girl