Sunday, February 13, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass! But masters, remember that I am an ass. Though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer, and which is more, a householder, and which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina, and one that knows the law, go to . . . and one that hath two gowns, and everything handsome about him. Bring him away. O that I had been writ down an ass!  
Dogberry; Much Ado about Nothing (IV.ii.67–78)
Luckily, in my case, it has been written down....
Apparently, I sometimes come across differently than I intend. Who knew, right? How this is such a surprise speaks to my overconfidence in my writing ability. Though I must also realize that sometimes people hear what they expect to hear. I’m not absolving myself of responsibility for what I say but neither am I going to take on responsibility for the inferences of others.
I am not immune to concerns that I might have a terribly screwed impression of the situation. I’m am often second guessing myself, my perspective, my ability to see the situation clearly and by extension my position altogether. I think that’s a good thing, but it’s a hard thing - especially right now. This change in my worldview has already cost me friends. It has played a large (not exclusive, or even primary) role in the disintegration of my marriage and I hate that. (not blaming anyone - just to be clear) So to think: “What if I’m just wrong?” That’s real panic, I mean blinding fear - the kind of horror that sends the mind fleeing.  
When it comes back (my mind), I think about my position. I try to look at it as clearly and without bias as I can, and here I am again, in no time flat. There is no going back to the faith for me - at least not in any way I can see to now. No amount of fear, or wanting things to be different, is going to be able to change what is. I have wanted to believe again. It’s just not possible anymore. Like Julia Sweeney, once I tried on the glasses of “what if” there was no going back. 
I have spent at least 2 years struggling with this. Trying to decide how important it really is for me to invest in this disbelief. I could just say it’s not true for me and be done right? Do I have to recoil when I hear stories about dogmatically inspired misinformation and bigotry? Can’t I just leave well enough alone? No. I’ve already talked about why and probably will have to again, but not now.
So here we are again.
You will probably not see a big change in the way that I am writing. I don’t do this out of arrogance (at least I hope not). I am already trying like blazes to avoid miscommunication as it is, so until I get better at it, this is as good as it gets. I will still probably have to spend lots of time clarifying. I will hopefully get better at how I present my viewpoints, but I will never be able to prevent people from reading what they will into what I am saying.
Let me say one more thing. I have often chafed at my tone being called angry. The truth is that I am angry about some things. I would be lying if I said different, but I do think that some people take my anger as being directed at them when it isn’t. I hope to be as clear as I can be on this and I will try to be careful. In the meantime, if you feel at any time that I am attacking you, please just do me a favor and double check, make sure before you take offense.
Thanks for your time and attention

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