Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Ultimately, to make a long story short, reading more Lewis (his autobiography Surprised by Joy, as well as his apologetics works) brought me eventually to the place where I could accept Jesus as God who came to earth in the body to make the ultimate sacrifice of dying in order to save me from having to keep trying to do it for myself! I knew I needed saving from Karma, at least; I knew that I didn’t want good and evil to exist together into eternity, and that something ultimately had to work to keep them separated so that Heaven, or Paradise, could actually be experienced; I knew that every human being had the potential to be or do “evil,” and that coming back to earth over and over might increase the odds of that happening, not decrease them. And so in one moment I acknowledged my need and Christ’s gift, feeling in that moment of accepting this “grace” a huge relief and thankfulness! No other religious system described a god who so loved what he had created that he died for them so that in accepting him they were free; Instead, they had more or less offered up a formula for how you might do it yourself. And good luck! (But you can have all the time in the world that you need.) On the human plane, laying down your life for someone had always been perceived as being the ultimate act of love, so why wouldn’t it be true on the Divine level? Well, I held that Grace in my heart for all about 5 seconds before my true nature took back hold of me and I thought, Oh shit! You’ve got to be kidding!
Monday, November 23, 2009
These are some of the discussions that J and I would have, which would ultimately lead to my asking him what he thought the answers might be. When Tolkien came up, and how much I loved that story of good versus evil, and how little self-control was exhibited when the chance to wield great powers were at stake, and how the worst of everyone started to come out so that ultimately sides had to be taken; and how only an act of sacrificial love would save Middle Earth (like almost all heroes journey stories, where the hero must go into the underworld, face himself or some form of evil, and either be defeated by it or return triumphant to save the day) I thought, yes, I'd like to read another author who wrote like Tolkien, even if only slightly. I was still hoping someone would point me in the direction of a real hero, or at least something I could believe in.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Now, since this story is not about my parents' divorce and how screwed up I became, I'm going to make a long emotional story very short: I swore I would never get married. Okay, I did get married a year after graduating from high school, but that's only because I still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I was not at all in love with the guy. He wanted to marry me, I had become temporarily homeless, plus I was only 19 (and a little screwed up). That marriage lasted one year. It was after that that I swore off ever getting married again! And I stood my ground until I was 34. (Though I had a baby sans marriage when I was 23; but again, another thing this story is not about.)
So I became a single mom for eleven years. But here's the thing: I got motivated! I figured out what I wanted to be, and where I wanted my life to go, at least for the most part. I started school and then kept going. I began reading, not sappy love stories where the women got married and lived happily ever after, keeping house and doing who knows what else; I read the kind of literature that opened my eyes to a past that I had not up to then learned anything about, and to an understanding of the human condition of peoples back in time and around the globe that I might not ever be able to fully appreciate. At the same time I was also studying literary criticism, and while it also definitely expanded and challenged my thinking, I knew that I never wanted to be a critic, nor could I ever be a true academic. But I did want a bigger life! I still wanted adventure and travel, but I also wanted the chance to really experience other cultures and people. I didn't want to "sit out" life. I wanted to dance! And this is when my heart began to open up enough to let a certain young(ish) graduate student working on his PhD in ancient history take hold of my imagination so that I might eventually once again consider marriage.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Though I am not an archaeologist by profession or otherwise, I have learned an awful lot about it in the years since I married my husband in 1993. Since the early 1980s he has been part of two excavations, one in northern Jordan close to the Syrian border, and one in central Jordan in the Kerak plateau. I have been fortunate to have traveled with him over much of the Middle East, throughout Turkey and Greece, and most of Western Europe. While this is not his story, nor is it in the least academic in nature, it's mine, and I've come to see it as being valid in its own right, especially in terms of my personal observations and experiences. And like so many of the wives (or male spouses) of near eastern archaeologists, we each have our own stories to tell: of life behind-the-scenes in the dig camps, and about the variety of work done in the field, including how it is to work alongside both the natives and the other foreigners; about selling archaeology to starry-eyed college students who want and expect to have more of an "Indiana Jones" experience; about some of the gossip we've all heard about various well-known, as well as lesser-known archaeologists; about sharing slides and introducing Biblical archaeology into the local churches; about what it's like taking students on Bible Land tours to the Middle East before 9/11, and to Greece and Turkey after 9/11, plus all of the other related traveling we've done abroad, and of the vastness of the cross-cultural experiences; and finally, how it all had to work at home.
This is my story. I hope in telling it I dig up some yet uncovered part of myself.