Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Philosophies of Men

Marriage is hard.

In my poetry class lately, a girl in my group wrote a poem (Her last name is Sivertsen.  Remember it.  She's going to be a famous poet someday, I swear!) called Riddle of the Rings.  It used beautiful and genius imagery to describe the sparkling diamonds on many girls hands in her Utah college classrooms.  She uses the rings to describe shackles and captivity.  Awe, I just love her descriptions "a finger still swollen with the memory of captivity" and "chains of diamond are not easily broken" and "if love is love, why should it need a paper seal and diamond chain to go along with it?"

The ideas just get me thinking.  Marriage isn't something to rush into and many people (in this state, it's typical) do.  It's a hard concept to wrap my head around because...marriage can be a wonderful, beautiful thing.  But, it can also be just as Sivertsen describes: a diamond chain of captivity.

I've felt both ways.

I think every married person has.  If they were truly honest with themselves.  Because marriage is a contract that's binding (or it should be binding) and when you are bound, you feel bound, whether there's a willing or even happy spirit about being bound or not.  We've discussed a lot in my classes this semester about gender issues and how the female role is always seemingly beneath the male role.  It's gotten better then in mid-evil times, but is it really that different?  No.  But I guess the real question for most people is should it be different?  That's usually where the arguments arise.  Frankly, I don't know which side I want to take.

On the one hand, I love being a mother.  Females are usually mothers or mothers-to-be, and even if they don't or can't have children, it's in the nature of a female to be nurturing and motherly.  Right?  Or is this just something we are made to believe through our culture?  Even if that is the case, and we are created by our culture, does that make it bad?  Well, no.  There are of course the exceptions - those women out there who feel no pleasure in being nurturing at all, but are we really taking away their ability to be whatever they want to be?

The American dream is that we as citizens can be or do whatever we want to be or do, if we work hard enough.  And it's been said if an American citizen fails at what they wanted to be or do, they just didn't work hard enough.  Really?  What if they have worked as hard at it as they could?  Some may say...oh well, too bad.  I think that's just plain tragic - and a failure of the American system somewhere.  But who knows where?

This is ranting on so many levels.  Just thought I'd put it all out there because these are the things I've been contemplating a lot lately.  There seems to be such a fine line between truth and untruth.  One of my professors has said that fiction and fact get blurred a lot when we are talking philosophically like this.  It's crazy.  Suddenly I don't have my feet on the ground anymore.  I can see why so many people who go forward as English majors and become Academics, professors, or professional philosophers, or what have you, so many of them lose faith.

But one thing that I hold onto - one truth that may seem simple - is that I have a mysteriously indescribable but undeniable faith in God and the teachings of my church.  When I hold onto that, it seems like everything gets straightened out.  Some things may still be unexplained to me, but those things aren't as important as what I do know.  And when I read all this stuff about philosophy or history or whatever it is.  Somehow I can see next to it the plan God laid out for our world, those little baby steps that had to be taken during the Apostasy in order to bring his authority to the earth again.  I am so grateful to have the faith and testimony that I have.

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