A Potpourri of Thoughts from Someone Ill

 

For the last several days I've been ill. Unclear if it's coronavirus, or influenza, or just a bad chest cold. While I don't feel like I'm at death's door, I feel weak, and slightly feverish, and have a ugly, chesty cough.

Spending a lot of time in bed or just thinking, so many topics have come to my mind. I thought I'd just mention a few. They are not necessarily connected at all--just warning you!

1) Every good thing just seems so much better when you are sick, doesn't it? I woke up at 4 AM this morning feeling feverish and bad, and I stuck a shower cap on and put on the hot water in the shower and just let it run all over my face and my back. What a totally exquisite feeling! Sickness puts you back in your body whether you want to or not, and it really grounds you. Yes, sickness grounds you mostly in bad, but the good, relieving things that occur are also so very, very precious. Thank goodness we are embodied!

2) I still get pretty upset at people who want to liberate women from their bodies in the next life. I was reading a piece by a male member of the Church who was trying to suggest that in the next life we have children through adoption, so celestial woman don't have to do any of theat bodily procreation stuff. It really ticked me off--who is he to say what meaning a woman derives from her body? What right does HE have to wish women's bodily differences were irrelevant or even useless in the celestial kingdom? Does he not imagine Heavenly Mother loves Her body and its capabilities, and that she had to earn the right to keep it forever? Arrgghh.

3) Another mundane matter that has become spiritually precious to me is paying the bills. I paid our family's bills today, and every time I do I feel gratitude from my head to my toes that God has provided enough temporal support for us to do that. Ironically, I had to leave BYU to find that divine blessing--finally--in my life. But every month as I tap out all those transfers on my bank's website, I am filled with the spirit of thanksgiving to God.

4) I've begun to feel that our journey through our mortal life is about coming to feel about our Heavenly Parents the way we hope our grown children will feel about us. I'd like to write more on that in a subsequent post when I have more time and more room, but some of the most tender times are when your kids actually recognize that you have their best interests at heart, that you really do know a thing or two and maybe they should listen to you, and that true felicity comes from the hearts of the children turning to the fathers/mothers--because speaking as a mother, the hearts of the mothers (at least) are always faithfully turned to the children. I want to be a daughter of God who through her experience as a mother now knows for a surety that trusting in God and inquiring of God are the keys to happiness for all God's family and even God. I think that is what God's glory is--when God's children finally and sincerely reflect back the love God has shown them.

5) I realize more and more with every new day of reading, thinking, pondering, and writing, that peace and love between men and women is the bedrock of all true happiness. Anything that undermines that peace and love--such as pornography--rips peace and love from the earth. It is so important we get sex right, and that we promote sexual integrity as a foundational part of integrity, without which the word is meaningless.

6) But now there is a new way for the world to be denuded of all that is good--the erasure of the very concepts of man and women. Our heavenly destiny is also erased when we erase sexual difference and when we trivialize embodiment, for sex and embodiment are great keys to happiness.

In regard to the last point, I thought I'd share a few paragraphs from a nice essay by Edie Wyatt for the Spectator today:

"Today I read the headline, TOTAL SICKO Woman jailed for having cocaine-fuelled sex with an Alsatian. Iím not playing anymore. A man rapes a dog in the UK, and the press donít notice he is not a woman? Not only can women not have their own spaces anymore, they have to take crimes and social stigma for the worst of men? Sure, itís not Ďall mení, but it is definitely that guy and he is all man.

"By calling men Ďwomení we are allowing them to access our vulnerable spaces and changing the gender meanings that we give our daughters about what it means to be a woman. We are allowing the colonisation of sacred female rites of passage; periods, birthing, breastfeeding, menopause, motherhood, grand-motherhood, and all the gendered narratives we write to help women through these rites.

"Bathrooms do not exist to affirm identity, they are spaces women change their sanitary products while leaving a pram outside the stall. They are places women flee to, they are places women cry, they are spaces womenís bodies are allowed to exist away from male bodies."

Amen, sister, preach it!

I know that the only people who will inherit the earth are those who will reject this Charybdis and Scylla situation, with Charybdis being the same old evil of misogyny, and Scylla being the new evil of the erasure of sex and embodiment. But I am left wondering how tiny that remnant of people will be . . .

Well, time to go take another hot shower! As I feel better, I hope to expand on some of these thoughts . . . Happy New Year!