I’ve put off developing this post for quite some time. I recently enrolled in Blogging U’s Blogging 101 course, so naturally this is when I hit my first real writer’s block. I don’t know why I’m surprised. If I’m being completely honest with you, I’m not surprised. Because I’m a good student, and exceptionally compliant when it comes to deadlines and expectations, I’m annoyed, sure, but surprised? Nope. I fully anticipated that having specified writing tasks would deliver me to this very moment: the moment when my brain decides to go all “meh” on me. This is why I’ve avoided it til now. ‘Cause I’m intuitive like that.
Today’s assignment is to identify your audience, and to publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read. I’ve had the un-freaking-believable good fortune to have had two of my idols read pieces I’ve written, but I don’t write for them exactly. I have a handful of readers and friends who follow me here because blogging’s quite an efficient vehicle for checking in. But I’m not sure I have an audience, a type, and I’m vexed as I ponder this. So I’m supposed to pick one person to write for tonight, and no, it’s not YOU. Geez, get over yourself, y’all, and don’t read too much into this, m’kay? No, it’s really not you, and you will just have to trust me on this.
I’ve had an inner pretend dialog going for a really long time. I alluded to it some time ago in a post I wrote about the wonderful/terrible things people say to you when they learn your child has a super shitty disease. I am not a religious person; the Catholic church and I broke up when I divorced my first husband. I didn’t get how spending a couple hundred bucks and having three people vouch for me on some affidavit could result in a proclamation stating my marriage never existed. Oh, that shit was real, people, bad shit happened. Having survived it was something of a badge of honor, so I couldn’t get behind the sweeping it under the carpet for cash system. YES, absolutely, I am minimizing, and YES, I know it’s not that simple. Even I am not that big a creep, but the concept of annulment in the twenty-first century was the deal breaker for me. And plus, let’s be honest, I was totally on birth control because 1) I had really bad acne and it was supposed to help, 2) female issues, and–brace yourselves here–3) I had sex before I was married. *gasp!* AND I ate meat on Fridays once in awhile. I was never exactly what they were looking for anyway because I lean pretty much toward the left side of most arguments, but for a period of time in my young adulthood, I did enjoy going to mass, contemplating the priest’s homily and being part of the fellowship, if not the rules of Catholicism. The golden rule is a damn good one, but my experience with religions has been that mine is better than yours, you’re wrong and I’m right, and there’s exclusion along with inclusion in equal measure. Maybe more.
There are a million, billion things I cannot explain. I’m not saying there isn’t some higher power out there pulling strings and creating events, putting people, myself included, where he/she decides we should be. I’m not so arrogant to think I know more than the universe. I’m a smart cookie, but I’m the teensiest cog in the machine. Infinitesimally sub-teensy at that. I’m wise enough to know that I’ll never know how much I don’t know. I’m just some girl from Milwaukee. Just some girl who doesn’t believe that showing up in a beautiful church on Sunday renders anyone a better or worse human person.
I have friends who find tremendous joy and are provided great comfort from their bibles and their churches. I know some of the best examples of the human species the earth has to offer–I am so damn lucky to call these people my friends–but I just never felt that electric a connection with a church. Not like that. I’m flip about some things (yeah, see previous paragraphs for examples), but I’m not flip about others’ beliefs. Church and God matter to people, and I’d never tear that down, but I’ve never bathed in that same light. A part of me wishes I shared that faith, that devotion. A wonderful friend of mine’s rabbi says a prayer for my son every week. I wept when she told me she requested this for our family, and I ugly-cried when she went home that evening. Her faith is so essential to her being, and she brought us into her circle. I will never be able to thank her properly. It would be so great to think that a power–God, a god, someone, something, anything–had the capacity to FIX FUCKING MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY. Some days I think it would be a dream come true to have the kind of devout belief that removes control from our earthly hands. But I just don’t believe the meme–
Soooooooooo. . . my inner dialog. If God/a god is responsible for everything, including healing all illness, doesn’t it follow, or more accurately, doesn’t it come first, that a god/God causes it all? You hear people say, “What kind of god allows (insert tragic event, accident or illness here) to happen?” all the time when a tragic event, accident or illness occurs. I don’t think a god wants tragedy any more than I think some higher power wanted my son to have MD–he was an eleven-year-old boy when diagnosed–MD is certainly nothing he deserved nor is it some type of punishment. I don’t think a higher power wants convenience store clerks to get held up at gunpoint. I don’t think a higher power wanted Carolina to lose the Superbowl, and I don’t think people choose poverty. You hear people say they’re mad at God for making something happen or denying something else. I don’t blame God for MD and I don’t think a god can fix it; it just is.
All this mess is a draft in consideration of today’s homework, “Who’s my audience?” So who is it? I think maybe my audience is small, so small, I think it’s an n of one. Maybe my entire audience consists of one mom, the mom of one really terrific 12-year-old kid.