Friday, December 21, 2012

Just a quick question......

One thing that growing older--aging to perfection, in other words--has done for me is that I allow myself the luxury of questioning. Everything.

I wasn't one of those kids who asked dozens of questions. Where does the blue come from in the sky? Why can't dogs talk? Where does God hang out when He's not busy?

I tended to accept everything around me, and to be honest, I don't think it was that I was afraid to ask. I don't think it even occured to me to question things that everyone else seemed comfortable with. My dad was the one who put on the Navy uniform in the morning, but all of us were in the military, too. That's how it works and if I recall, that whole system doesn't like being questioned by its masses.

One day the light bulb clicked on in my head, though (or maybe it went off and I was suddenly in the dark about everything), and the sacred was no longer safe with me. I can never quite put my finger on when this happened to me. When I think back, all I can come up with is that age 35 was a demarcation for me. I became a mother and shortly after that, I was no longer a wife. Multiple jobs (simultaneously) and caring for an infant alone don't translate to leading a quiet, tidy existance.

Around that same time, I had a professor who looked at the world through a lens that was angled the slightest degree away from the rest of the world's. I was amazed at how much that tiny angle could change life's entire viewpoint. It intrigued me. 

Whatever the impetus was, I began to question everything. Why? Who? How? When? And once you start, nothing is safe. I have questioned rules, laws, religious tenets.

And people are intimidated by this. To say the least. Maybe it's that they wish they had asked those questions themselves, though. Now they're resentful that I am the one who is having fun doing the asking instead.

But now I know how that professor must feel, almost as if the world has been knocked off its axis. Questions are one thing, but the answers are quite another.

God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back.
Gloria Steinem

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