February 21, 2008


I threw up a little in my mouth this morning when I read Lori Gotleib's Marry Him! The Case for settling for Mr. Good Enough after a hipmama friend posted a link to it on our discussion group. It had been forwarded to her by a friend wondering if she should settle for "Mr. Good Enough," though she was decidedly not in love with him. While Gotleib does make one good point — that many never-been-married hetero women of a certain age have very unrealistic ideas about "the one" and what a "perfect" marriage should look like -- the author swings to the opposite and cynical extreme, advocating settling for the "infrastructure" of a "traditional family" in lieu of "passion and deep connectedness."

Didn't Gotleib realize that without that connectedness -- everything else would fall apart anyway? That it was that passion and connectedness that allowed us to navigate through all the tough parts of marriage -- and that foregoing that connection for a "household management" approach was fatalistic and self-defeating?
As I argued this point with my girlfriends, it hit me. This dynamic translates perfectly to my spiritual life.

Yesterday I learned that the local bishop came calling and "cracked down" on my church's rather subversive tradition of lay preaching (most notably by women, gasp!). I tried to get a discussion going on my parish listserve and got a response from our Pastoral Associate, basically saying that yes, there was a crackdown, and that the proscriptions for the allowance of lay preaching are very narrow (ie, asking for money, duh!) and that "for now" we'd be complying with their wishes.

Lay preaching was what brought me to this parish. It was the most significant connection I found to the Divine Feminine -- and gave me hope that challenging the patriarchy was not only possible, but that I wasn't alone in wanting to challenge it. It allowed me to have the community I longed for and could never manifest as a practicing pagan. The richness of scripture as expressed by the wise-women of our parish truly fed me.

After dining on that sumptuous feast, can I go back to dry crackers? Or, as a friend put it, can I settle for the glow of a 60 watt bulb over a walk in the sun?


In my past relationships, I've settled, only to learn that the inviting warmth of the sun cannot be sustainably ignored. It is life itself, and without it, one withers and dies. Eventually I chose freedom over passionless companionship, I chose hope and love and all possibility over security and mediocrity. And I've never regretted it.

Can I look forward in my spiritual journey with the same gusto? If I listen, will She speak to my heart and soul? Something tells me to get my traveling shoes on....

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