some of the topics others are dealing with in their blogs and I'm not sure why. Partly it's because I often go through an autumn slowdown creatively; there's just too much church stuff needing my attention, from growth on steroids in the congregation (we went from 10 kids enrolled in RE to 40, overnight), the need for policies about building use and rental fees enacted immediately, the acoustics in the sanctuary---you get the picture. This is hands-on stuff, immediately requiring attention, and my brain just isn't taking time to think about such things as:
"Oh no, a UU World article discussing all the ways we can/cannot eat ethically."
"Oh no, a ministers' chat discussion about the Mormons and the upcoming Salt Lake City GA and whether we should boycott (no) or stage a wedding-in (maybe) or some other pointed act of opposition to the passage of Prop 8 and its clones."
You get the picture. These are actually kind of interesting things to think about but I'm just not enthused about going there.
Here's something that does interest me: how often extremely smart, well-educated people see criticism and condemnation in places where criticism and condemnation are more in the mind of the beholder than in the intent of the creator. It seems to be one of the more negative aspects of being extremely smart, that we jump to the sort of paranoid conclusion that we are being criticized and condemned.
This is a definite failing of mine. I have learned that when I'm feeling critical of someone else's behavior (and I sometimes get so bad at this that I obsess about another's behavior) I need to recognize that it's MY behavior I'm really obsessing about.
So I'm not planning to weigh in on ethical eating, Salt Lake and the Mormons, Prop 8 and its clones, the election, Sarah Palin, Barack (well, maybe Barack). I am going to tell you something else that seems worth mentioning: the similarities between Magnificent Max the Massacrer and the Favorite Son.
Actually, it's not so much the similarities between cat and young man, it's more the similarities between my anxieties about each of them---at least when the FS was much younger, more the age of Maxie the Magnificent, who is now approximately the equivalent of 16 human years old.
Last night Max didn't come in at his regular time----dinner. I had been out and about with friends and expected he would be eagerly awaiting me when I got home about 7:00. Nope. So I fired up the teevee and watched the Colbert Report (delayed edition), got online and played some games, read a little, worked on today's UU 101 class, always expecting to hear his plaintive mew. It got to be 10 p.m. and no Max.
I just had to go to bed because I knew I'd be up early, so I hollered out the door "Max, come home, I'm going to bed now!", turned off the deck light, and went to bed, but read for awhile, assuming he'd be scratching at the window shortly. No Max. At 10:30, I turned out the light, said a little prayer that he'd be okay and home soon. At 11:30, still no Max. Hoping he wasn't dead in a ditch, I slept intermittently until 1:30 a.m., when the little mew came at my window and Max was home.
The similarity is that I used to do the same with the FS. He can attest that there were nights when he'd find me glaring out the window at 3 a.m. when I finally heard his car in the drive. When he was 16, we both found this rather appropriate. When he was 21, not so much.
Max is old enough to fend for himself, as was the FS in many ways. The FS didn't drag home headless bunnies or other dead things, fortunately, though he did have some very interesting friends. And the FS didn't come home drunk or stoned (at least that I know of---and don't tell me differently, FS, keep me innocent), while Max comes home with mouse on his breath and feathers in his whiskers on occasion.
I've learned that I can't really prevent Max (nor could I prevent the FS) from doing dangerous, obnoxious things. The consequences have to be his, though I am often needed to clean up a mess or to retrieve him from his perch overlooking the neighbor's fish pond. He's a cat; he's going to act like a cat. The FS was a boy; he acted like a boy and now acts like a man.
I'm grateful to have both of them in my life, even if it does/did mean some sleepless nights.