One of the superfamilies shows, is called 18 and counting. This would be the Duggar family. They have 18 kids. They had them one at a time and support themselves via rental properties, farming and living within a church community. It works, their system.
Note the ankle length denim skirts, NOTE THEM!!
This show, it calls to me. I see a lot of our family in their family. There is a loving husband and wife, their life is focused on the kids, they are relaxed and self-sustaining. They have 'conservative' values. They have a life focused on God.
It all looks very nice, warm and inviting. And I follow along with them, on their journeys, via the LCD screen. They look like very happy people, all sorts of squishy family love.
This positive experience is always interrupted though. It's those damn ankle length denim skirts the women wear. Like a fly caught in a window pane, buzzing spasmodically-but not dying. THAT is what those skirts feel like, to me.
This garment is part of their religion. I think there is a passage in the bible somewhere that says women shall not use the clothing of men. Or, women should dress like women and men like men. This is why most of your fundamental Christian women wear the long, ankle length denim skirts. And white anklet socks. And white keds.
It irritates me to no end. I can fly into a psychotic rage if I linger too long with my thoughts on the matter.
Ya see, to truly live the life they lead, to truly dissolve yourself in the culture and faith of their community, I would have to omit certain areas of my life. Truly, I understand where they are coming from, why they shun modern society. There is a lot of disagreeableness out there. All sorts of sin and in congruency with what they value, what I value. This is why they shun movies with violence and sexual content. Why nekkid nekkid is reserved for the marital bedroom. That is not to say they look with shame onto sex or love.
In fact, they have very healthy way of understanding sex and love. There was one episode, when their oldest son got married, where the father gave him some absolutely wonderful advice about sex. He basically said women need nurturing, they need to be cared for, throughout the day, to feel loving. Communication is so important, women need to talk about things and include details most men find unnecessary. But the husband needs to listen, to show her his love.
Men are much different, he said. Men basically have on and off switches. It is up to the man to slow down, understand the wife's needs and support her. Then he gave him a DVD/Book that outlined the practicalities of sex, the importance of touching, looking and exploring their sexual bodies. Mex is wonderful and a gift to each other, as husband and wife. A gift from God.
Of all the sex talks I've heard about, this was by far the most moving, the most valuable for that young man. And he was very young, eighteen in fact. His bride was also eighteen. And this is where it gets complicated. They, the kids, were not only virgins, but they had never actually kissed each other.
The thing is, is that some of what their life is about, is very true. For me anyway. There is so much joy to be had when you strip your life of peripheral influences. There is so much out there to distract and numb ourselves. For example- the 800 cable channels my parents have. All of it pretty much useless. And heavy on my senses. I will be glad when it is gone. I also shun most modern devices and gadgets. Not because I don't want them, but they numb my brain.
Yet as I walk through this life, focused on my family, focused on a greater purpose, I still value some of the evil out there.
Like art in all it's forms. Women centered art is the best. I can't help but truly enjoy a good Playboy or indie art project celebrating the beauty of women. These women, for the most part, are smiling, happy enjoying themselves. This is women folks, beautiful and enthusiastic and not wearing any clothes. So how do I reconcile all of this? Being drawn toward a pious life yet appreciating such sin?
Here's the thing, being aware and in tune with high concepts such as spirituality, religion, morals, all of this is based on the duality of existence. If you recognize good, you recognize evil. However, it is impossible to ever separate one from the other. EVER. Good and evil are inexorably tied to one another there is no separation. No versus, just channeling the different energies.
And so, basing one's life on exclusion or omission of all that is evil is to deny life. So by all means, let me know God's love, feel the good word, raise my family focused on the greater. And let me see God's beauty. Let it calm and inspire me to share the happy and joy it makes me feel.
It's all part something greater than me. Something that I am not separate from but thriving in. It's all good, all solidifying, all reinforcing the joy I feel while being who I am.
Sadly, no matter what, I will never ever understand or accept ankle length denim skirts. Dear Lord, no. No no no. This will be my sin.
Now go forth and sin no more good people!