grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went on a date today!

Not with the guy I mentioned in a previous post -- the one from American Lit class who seemed kind of like he was flirting with me? Yeah, it wasn't with him. It turns out he:

(A) Has a girlfriend

and

(B) Is a bit of an asshole, so I don't really envy her

No, this guy I met through feminist club. He's sweet, kind, and funny, with glasses and a long coat. He studied kendo (Japanese sword fighting) for several years. He studies business and environmental science. He has a learning disability but still manages to get As, and is currently interning as a Study Abroad Counselor after having spent some time himself in Thailand. He asked me out, and he also paid for our first date -- though politically liberal, he's pretty socially conservative. His Dad was a Mormon and his Mom was a Catholic.

We just went to a cafe downtown and had a casual coffee/lunch together. We wore fancy jackets and tried to look nice, but we also both just wore jeans. It was the perfect blend of "nice" and "casual."

We talked anime, because it turns out we're both really into that. (He shall henceforth be known as Cowboy Bebop Dude.) We also talked politics, religion, and family and life experiences. It was a really nicely intellectual and deep conversation. We even made future plans: to watch Cowboy Bebop together (I've never seen the whole thing) and to take swing dancing lessons in 2016.

We went to a bookshop afterward, and then we went back to his apartment briefly. It's a really nice apartment right in the middle of downtown. His roommate is a funny guy who drinks a lot and talks to his plants. We got helmets from his apartment and then he drove me home on his scooter/motorbike! I was nervous getting on, but it was so much fun!

We hugged and kissed briefly at my door, and then I went to go back inside. If I were a less awkward person, this would be the moment when I threw him a sly smile over my shoulder and walked smoothly in the door. As it is, it took me a full minute to find my keys and another two minutes to force my way in through the door. He thought it was kind of funny. He applauded when I finally managed to get in.

Just me being my usual, awkward self.

I called my Mom and dished with her over the phone after the date was all over. I also made sure to emphasize to said boy that I had a great time, we should do this again, and he should text me. I even texted him to let him know I had a good time.

So now soon I guess I'll know one way or the other if he was really into me. But either way, it was just nice -- to meet someone through normal social avenues (instead of online) and have a sweet, casual date with him.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Here's the article:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/01/manhunt-on-for-gunman-after-cop-reportedly-killed-in-chicago/

Basically, a Kentucky clerk is refusing to issue any gay marriage licenses based on her religious convictions. I find this stupid and patently unfair. While I can sympathize with a Church not wanting to marry two gay people within their precincts -- who would even want to get married in an institution that considers them a sin? -- there is one thing I must point out. And I really can't emphasize this enough.

THIS WOMAN DOES NOT WORK FOR A CHURCH.

She is not in a place where religious beliefs should have any say over what goes on. It's called a separation of Church and State. I'm sorry to break it to you, kiddies, but marriage is not purely a religious institution anymore. It can be, but it can also be simply a legal matter. In this case, it is. They don't want to get married in a Church, they just want to get married! And they should be allowed to! Marriage is an official, lawful document that allows people privileges -- family precedence during hospital visits, for example -- that simple couples don't have.

While there is some paperwork allowing gay couples similar rights to married couples, this practice is very uneven and varies from state to state. Allowing gay marriage is much more universal.

I don't care if gay people are allowed to get married in Churches. I'm sorry, but frankly, I really don't give a fuck. You want to deny them entry? Go ahead. But don't deny them their goddamn legal rights.

Rant over.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Thought this was an interesting article:

http://www.ibpf.org/blog/mania-spiritual-experience

Mania is an experience that is kind of impossible to describe. You react very strongly to everything, are constantly convinced of your own rightness, and everything suddenly takes on entirely new meanings that they didn't take before. Some common symptoms of mania are recklessness, excitement, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior.

When I experienced mania during my last episode, I became convinced that people were watching me and trying to communicate secret messages to me via things like my music and my social media. I became convinced that everything was a secret message to me, written in code, and that unseen people were trying to speak to me in my daily life.

The thing is, these people were not always a negative influence. Sometimes they were very encouraging (though they could turn sharp very quickly).

I mentioned this to my mother, and she said that sounded like a spiritual experience. She said it's natural to feel like someone is watching over you. She gave one example from her own life: She was in the car at a stop light. The light turned green, but she didn't go immediately. She paused. To this day, she has no idea why. Just at that moment, a car came speeding outward, running a red light. If she had gone immediately, the car would have hit her, and she'd have died on impact, and I wouldn't exist.

The way my Mom put it, she became convinced there was someone watching out for her that day. Someone stopped her from hitting the gas pedal. And she thinks I have the same thing. I've lost my grandmother, for example, and my Mom is completely convinced she is out there somewhere and fighting from my corner, helping me out.

So now the real question is: Are spiritual experiences a kind of mania, or is mania a spiritual experience?

On Abortion

Aug. 6th, 2015 02:30 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I wrote about this in a previous blog post, but I feel the need to devote my own post to the issue, considering all the things that are coming out about Planned Parenthood.

I am against abortion. This stems from my personal perception of unborn babies as people. I see unborn babies as their own individual beings, completely separate from the mother they are inside of.

This is in contrast to pro-abortion people, who see unborn babies as an extension of the mother's body.

This is where the argument stems from. If you see unborn babies as an extension of the mother's body, then the issue is about women's rights because of course women are allowed to regulate their own body. If you see an unborn baby as its own individual soul, however -- an individual soul who is innocent and full of potential and has done nothing wrong -- then the issue becomes one life ending another life for the first life's own convenience, which of course is WRONG.

I'm not saying one perception is better than the other. I'm just saying about half the population has one perception, and half the other. It has always been this way, even all the way back to the times of Ancient Rome, and I doubt we will ever all agree on the issue. I have the perception of an unborn baby as a person, and that makes me anti-abortion. And no matter how many facts you spew at me, that initial, emotional gut reaction probably won't change.

Just to be clear, I don't have any problems with contraceptives -- ending the process before a life is formed. I also know that sometimes the pregnancy would kill the mother, and under those circumstances I see abortion as an okay thing -- after all, if someone is breaking into your house and attacking you, you are of course allowed to protect yourself. The same reasoning holds.

But where I have a problem is when people end a life for their own convenience, and then auction off parts of the body. That is wrong to me. What's so wrong with adoption? Just give the child to a set of parents who want a child and can't have one of their own. Put up with nine months of pain and discomfort and give a child a future.

I won't hate someone or stop talking to them just for having an abortion. I'm not militant and in your face about it; I don't go to anti-abortion protests. But deep down, in my heart of hearts, if I hear someone's had an abortion, my respect for them does go down a couple of notches. I can't help it, no matter how hard I try. All I can think of is that poor little baby.

I refuse to condone abortion as an acceptable thing, and I'm sticking to my guns on this issue.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Very interesting article on quantum mechanics:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/06/05/distinguished-scientists-gather-to-emphasize-matter-is-not-the-only-reality/

This ties in very strongly with what I believe. It's not that physics isn't true, it's just that there's a deeper layer to the universe. We have both individual energies and a collective energy. This is the moment when science finally catches up with religion.

I've always believed the two are very closely intertwined.

As I've said before, I don't really believe in organized religion. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in God, souls, or morals. I read an article once that a Russian photographer photographed heat signatures of dying people -- he saw a collective energy leave them upon death. I saw another article that claimed the energy of the Earth changes around a certain area whenever hundreds of thousands of people experience a horrific natural disaster.

We are all interconnected.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I have faced death twice.

The first time, I was about nine. I was walking outside in the summertime wearing a pair of shorts, on my way to a friend's house. I walked out my front door and down my walkway, and I saw something small curled up on the end of the walkway. I stopped, puzzled, and stared at it. Then I ran inside and got my Dad.

"Dad!" I said. "There's something curled up outside. It looks like a piece of poop."

For some reason, this seemed to alarm my father. He hurried outside to see what it was.

It later turned out to have been a rattlesnake. A baby, actually. If I'd come any closer, it probably would have bitten me. The babies don't know not to put all their venom into you when they bite (it kills them too) and if it had bitten me, I'd probably have been dead instantly.

So that time I faced death without realizing it.

The second time, I was very well aware I could die. I was in the local choir in high school. We went on a camping trip to the nearby river, which was set deep into the woods. There was whitewater rafting at the river, which is basically paddling in a raft across river rapids, and I decided to try it.

Our raft leader was an aggressive, peppy blonde woman with a ponytail. With her standing up straight in the back, shouting where to go, we paddled our way across the choppy river. Then our raft leader led us straight toward a whirlpool, exclaiming that it "sounded like fun!" The minute we hit the whirlpool, the raft tipped straight over and tossed us right into the foamy white river rapids. (The only one who didn't fall out was the raft leader. Typical.)

This was dangerous enough. But I'd gotten tangled up with another boy -- I'd been tossed into him when the raft had tipped over. We were caught underneath the fast moving water, tangled up in each other and struggling to free ourselves.

At last, I managed to push free and made it to the surface, gasping for air. The raft leader saw me and pulled me back up into the raft. I later realized the river had been moving so fast it had literally ripped some of my clothes away from me.

That time, if the river had slammed me into a rock or if I had drowned caught by the limbs of the boy, I could definitely have died.

I have often wondered what death would be like. For someone who's been suicidal, this is of absolute necessity. It's impossible for a suicidal person to avoid thinking about death.

I had a dream once. In the dream, I was floating in a... substance. It was sort of like white, sort of like silver, sort of like light. It's impossible to describe. Floating before me were people. There was a long line of people, and they were all smiling and holding hands. I remember distinctly a little old Black man holding the hand of a small blonde girl -- the two bridged the gaps between age, race, and gender easily.

I knew somehow that these people were dead, and that they were also happy. For them, there was no contradiction. These had been their living forms, but they were not their ultimate, natural forms -- these people were putting an illusion up before me, of how they felt, to try to comfort me in a way I could understand.

All of a sudden, a warm presence wrapped around me from behind. It felt sort of like a hug. I couldn't see or really even feel the presence, but I knew it was there. Let me try to explain to you what I mean.

I used to have sleepovers with my Nana, my grandmother. We would lie next to each other in the big sofa bed in the living room late at night, in the dark, and watch cartoons together. I couldn't see my grandmother next to me, but I knew she was there, and I felt safe and protected. It was like that.

And when that presence hugged me, I suddenly felt like everything was going to be okay. Somehow, I felt, that this presence was God.

That's when I woke up. It took me a few seconds to realize there were tears on my cheeks. I was crying.

I'm not sure if the dream really did come from God, but I'd like to think that it did. God didn't tell me anything specific, anything particularly great. Just that the dead are happy and everything's going to be okay. But that's all I ever needed to hear. Ever since the time of that dream, I have never doubted the existence of God.

I'm not a particularly religious person. I don't go to Church every Sunday. I have my own private beliefs about how the universe works, and I'm perfectly fine with them. But I do believe certain things. For example:

That the universe has a creator, and that creator exists around and beyond the universe. For lack of a better name, I call this gender-less, bodiless presence "God."

That by studying science, we become closer to knowing God's creations and miracles.

That when we die, a collective energy leaves us.

That this collective energy will eventually find its way back into the space beyond the universe, with God.

That our energy lives in the earth and air for a while, and thus goes through multiple existences in different bodies. That we remember subconsciously what we learn throughout our lives.

That we are punished for our bad deeds -- whatever we do to others, will eventually find its way back to us. Maybe not in this life, but sometime, eventually, it will always find its way back to us. So be careful what you do and how you treat people.

I put my faith, as always, in God.

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Hopeless Dreamer

March 2016

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