Stuck for words
Sometimes I am stuck for words – not written ones, but spoken. I don’t know what happens. I have my thoughts and ideas perfectly laid out in my mind but they can’t seem to escape my mouth in an orderly fashion. The same happens when I draw – I know how I want the picture to look, I can visualise it beautifully but will the pencil form that vision? Absolutely not! It isn’t always the case (well, it is with the pencil and paper – I can’t draw for toffee!). There are occasions I can talk with the eloquence of a well versed politician (is that a contradiction in terms?) but for that to happen I must be one of the following:
a) Very well prepared
b) Discussing a light subject matter
c) Pleasantly (but not excessively) drunk
d) Talking to people who I know share the beliefs/ideals/views I am expressing.
That does, fortunately for me, cover quite a few situations. However, at a Friday night gathering a couple of weeks ago, I found myself flustered, speechless and totally tongue-tied. With a bit more warning, another glass of wine or a different subject matter, I am convinced my opinions would’ve flowed at a terrific rate.
So, what was it that left me like a gibbering wreck? …… Religion – well, it had to be either that or politics, right? Barry (my husband) brought it up – it’s alright for him, he thrives on such spontaneous debate! In future I’ll just chime in with; “What he said!” (Unless of course we disagree). He carelessly (or maybe intentionally) uttered the words “a couple of atheists,” in reference to us, at a dinner that had been preceded with a prayer and shared with devout Christians. The ‘A’ word did not fall on deaf ears! Indeed, we were in the company of very close friends who probably already had an inkling of our convictions. Naturally, a discussion ensued.
“So, is that what you consider yourselves?”
What was that? It isn’t that I have any doubt about the non-existence of an omniscient being called God – I absolutely do not believe there is one. I have felt that for a long time. In my defence, I was raised and educated a Catholic (I use that in my defence for many things!) so the term “atheist” does not really sit right with me. It seems to have impure, Satanist kind of connotations.
That being the case, I’m not keen on using it as a term to define myself. After all, I hold firm beliefs in doing right, rather than wrong; in being morally sound and instilling positive values in my children; in helping others; in maintaining a positive spirit of family and friendship. The list goes on, but suffice to say that many of my beliefs are, in fact, also the basis of most organised religions. The only difference is that I don’t believe in God – just that one thing and I get a title and all of the implications that go along with it. Barry went on to explain very eloquently and articulately how a god or a belief system are not necessary in order to live a good life, have good morals, be a good person etc. He’s right of course (I should marry him….oh, I did already – in a Church incidentally! Even then, it was for the tradition as opposed to the religious blessing, however, I wouldn’t choose a Church now, 11 years later) – and I think the table agreed with the points he made. Nobody changed their beliefs – I wouldn’t expect anyone to. I have a lot of admiration for those who are solid in their convictions and take strength from their faith. It was the perfect discussion (except for the parts where I fell over myself in an attempt to interject). We listened to one another without attempting to convert from one end of the spectrum to the other. Wonderful!
I have the same issue with politics. I freeze – my mouth loses any connection it had with my brain, my heart rate increases and my blood pressure rises. I’m not going to express my political leanings in this post – one thing at a time – I don’t want to lose all my readers in one fell swoop.