Sunday, May 15, 2011

Factual v. True.

Witches don't proselytize and I am, if you wake me up at 2:00 am and ask me what I am, a Witch. And I don't proselytize.

I have a Pisces G/Son who has ancient eyes and who is Here, unless I miss my guess (and given those old eyes of his in every photograph ever taken of him, I don't imagine that I do), to Connect to the All, and I am his Nonna, but I will not be the person who "shows him the way." His 'rents are a bit agnostic and his other grandmother is devoutly Baptist. G/Son tells me that, at his other grandmother's house (and I love her, she's a wonderful woman, a great cook, a fantastic matriarch, and a dear friend of mine who has accepted my religion in a way I had no reason to expect), they say Grace at every meal and she teaches him about Jesus.

This weekend, G/Son spent the night with me so that his 'rents could have a bit of adult time. The weather wasn't wonderful, but we did spend some time in my garden and we played with toy knights and toy trains downstairs in Nonna's basement. G/Son played on Nonna's treadmill, running as fast as he could and being a runner like his Dad. We curled up on Nonna's couch and read our new Geronimo Stilton book, including some time spent learning the secret runes in the letter from the Queen of Fairie. We watched some movies: Batman Beyond (a regular favorite), Hook, and Phineas and Ferb. (OK, Phineas & Ferb did require a slight discussion of feminism and how women are portrayed as anti-male, anti-adventure, and anti-fun in modern media. G/Son: "So you are saying they show girls like this on purpose?" Nonna: "Yes, that's what I'm saying. Just always ask yourself: 'Qui Bono?' That's all that I'm saying. Just ask that." G/Son: "OK, I'll ask that. Now I'm going to push 'Play.'")

Ever since he was a little baby, I've sung G/Son to sleep with three songs: Hush Little Baby, and We All Come from the Goddess, and Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, All that Dies Shall Be Reborn; Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain, All that Dies Shall Rise Again. I admit that I never thought of any of them as a way of protelyztizing, or even as particularly religious songs. I sing them because their repetitive nature tends to put little babies to sleep. (And because, to be fair, their unchallenging scope allows me to sing them. You'd have to love me the way that my G/Son loves me to want to listen to my singing. I'm a woman of many talents; singing isn't one of them.)

Last night, just as we climbed, clean-toothed and cotton pajamaed, under our heavy covers and turned out the lights, it began to rain in earnest. Through the open window, we practiced listening to the rain drops all together and then we practiced listening to each individual drop. G/Son was watching the lightening and listening to the thunder, clutching his new Thor Super Hero toy in his hands, and explaining to me how lightening and thunder do not mix well with water. He said, "Nonna, sing the song about the drops of rain." And, so, I did. "We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return, like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean." I said, "Each drop of rain that we hear outside is flowing into Spout Run, into the beautiful Potomac, into the Chesapeake Bay, and into the Atlantic Ocean. And, someday, that is how I hope to flow."

G/Son said, "Nonna, I know who the Goddess is. Jesus." And he sang a song that I think he must have learned from his other grandma about "Jesus we love you and we know you will heal us." I said, "Yes, a lot of people worship Jesus as a god. And 'god' is the male form of 'goddess.'" G/Son thought about this for a bit and then he said, "Nonna. I know who the Goddess is. She's the Statue of Liberty."

And I said, and if this is wrong may the Goddess forgive me, and if this is right may the Goddess forgive me, because I am only trying to walk a middle way, "Yes, the Statue of Liberty is a statue of a very important Goddess. The Goddess of Liberty. And I pray to that Goddess every day."

And G/Son said, "Sing to me again about 'hush little baby,' and then sing to me again about 'corn and grain.' Is the 'corn and grain' like the seed in your garden that comes back every year?"

And I said, "Yes, what matters most to me in the whole world is the way that the seeds in Mother Earth's body come back every year. Listen, now: 'Hush little baby, don't say a word. Nonna's gonna buy you a mocking bird. If that mocking bird won't sing . . . .'"

I don't want, I don't, to bring this serious intellect to the Goddess. Nor do I want to turn it away. What I want is, and well, this is selfish, is for him to come, as I am trying to come, shedding all kinds of detritus, to what is true.

This weekend, we were talking about King Arthur and the difference between what is factual and what is true. I won't mind if he grows up to discover that what he learned from me is less than factual. As long as he grows up to learn that what I told him was true.

Picture via the blogger. If you copy, please link back.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I have four grandsons now, ages 3 1/2, 7 mos. and 1 week. I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to say when the topic of god/dess comes up. I was a xtian a good many years and raised their mommies as such. I have went on to wander a different path now so it is one of those things that may come up someday.

LittleIsis said...

That is beautiful Hecate. Your grandson is lucky to have a Nonna like you.

Anne Johnson said...

Beautiful post, and you are very, very wise.

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