There's so much I need to do that I'm feeling utterly overwhelmed. I know part of that is just tiredness from sickness, so I'm trying not to take it too seriously, but I've been very weepy lately. And unfortunately, most of my comfort things involve curling up and reading or doing other things that necessitate not working; which means that I get farther behind, which means I get more panicky. I'll feel better once I have more things accomplished. Done. I'm very task-oriented.
Okay, I need to make some phone calls. I'll do that now.
6:00. Well, I got offline but couldn't cope with actually talking to people on the phone. I buried myself in tech writing work instead, and managed to actually work a full 8 hours (with an hour or so of napping in middle) for the first time in this project. It's such a relief to have clearly defined tasks and some idea of how to do them -- this part of the project is editing, and I know how to edit. I felt surprisingly better, emotionally, once I'd finished the day's work. (Though I still don't know how to send attachments in pine, which is frustrating. Help most welcome.)
I still feel physically pretty cruddy, although I took a shower just now, and that seemed to help. I don't know why. It's just nice to be clean, I suppose. On my second mug of tea, which is also comforting. I'm glad tea takes a few steps. It's soothing to go through the ritual, to put the loose tea in the teaball, to wait for the water to boil, to pour it, to wait for it to steep, to add the sugar and milk and stir. There isn't much you can do to hurry up the process, not if you want your tea to taste right, and I get such strange pleasure from the small ritual. Perhaps I need more rituals in my life. David has many rituals in his. Kevin has none, as far as I can tell. I think I fall somewhere in between.
It's amazing to think that I only started drinking tea regularly a few years ago. I'm not sure I did when I first started this journal...and it's become such an integral part of my life. I get cranky when I don't have tea available...
The notes I've made recently on religion and faith in here have been generating ongoing e-mail. It's interesting seeing what sort of things in the journal prompt people to respond. Pathetic pleas for help, or sympathy, of course. And corrections when I get something wrong. But also certain topics; I suppose the controversial ones. When I was talking about rape, I got quite a lot of feedback. Unsurprising in retrospect. One of these days, I *will* learn the CGI scripts I need to in order to set it up so people can respond publically if they want, and talk to each other instead of just to me. I think that could be very interesting.
I've been thinking more about the religion question. I think where I really get stuck these days on the question of whether there is a god at all (whether sie's a good god is another issue entirely and goes back to that problem of suffering I mentioned before) is at the leap of faith. I can't make that leap of faith -- and I don't particularly want to. I'd rather be convinced...I empathized tremendously with Doubting Thomas. Gruesome it may be, but if Christ had returned from the dead in front of me, I'd be tempted to put my fingers in the bleeding wounds as well, just to be certain of the solidity of them. And I did find it encouraging that Thomas wasn't cast out for doubting, or even chastised too severely -- unlike poor Job. Oh, I could rant about Job if I got started...
But I'm not just a rationalist. I might want to be, but I'm not. That's clear in some of my arguments with David -- I have faith in things that he doesn't. And it's almost inconceivable to me that he doesn't have that same faith -- it seems obvious, self-evident to me. But faith generally does, no? That appears to be part of the definition. You believe it because you believe it, because it would be impossible not to believe it. So even if the kind of things I believe in aren't what one would normally call religious, in the end, I'm just as much of a believer as the most devout. Not a very good skeptic after all, it turns out...
Today's ManifestoI believe...
- that we can make the world a better place.
- that we are progressing, and not just in technological ways.
- that despite the setbacks and the hatred, it is possible for sense and love to triumph.
- that grassroots organizing makes a difference.
- that there is worth to every human soul, and that very few, if any, are truly evil.
- that good people sometimes do bad things, but that condemnation is not the answer.
- that books, music, and art have the power to create change.
- that joy shared is joy increased, and sorrow shared is sorrow decreased. Mostly.
- that every little bit helps.
- that even entropy is insufficient cause for despair.
- that even though beauty is evanescent, it is still worth creating.
- that people are good at heart, and that is what will save us in the end.
And I know, don't tell me -- I sound very young. I'm sure I do. But I hope I still sound like this when I'm 80.