Monday, March 23, 2009

nightmarish singing and intolerence

I'll preface this story by saying this: I didn't grow up religious. For many years, I've identified as an atheist. This doesn't say anything about how you feel about religion or a deity or anything on how I feel about how you feel about that stuff. I respect that people can make informed decisions on the topic, and if you happen to believe, you have every right to do so. I'm not going to persecute you for those beliefs, and I hope you'll offer me the same in return. For me, it's about living as a good person and being good to people and the world. Somedays, that can be more difficult than others. ;) Some people who know me also know that I dig Buddhism. I don't agree with a label of Buddhist for religious beliefs. I don't have any religious beliefs, and I believe Buddhism is a philosophy, one that resonates on some levels for me, but I honestly don't know enough about it overall.

That being said...

I woke up from a dream this morning, and I was convinced that, as I was screaming in the dream, I must have been screaming in real life. Unfortunately, Anne had already left for work, so no one was around to confirm that. It would be fair to say that I was screaming because the dream had become sort of a nightmare for me, but not in a scary way.

I was catapulted onto a Southwest flight to somewhere warm. Yes, catapulted. Roll with me here. The set up of the plane resembled some sort of dormitory sleeping room, which had open space and ten or so sets of bunk beds pushed up against the walls. I was laying on my bed, trying to get some quiet time and eventually some sleep before we got to our destination.

Unfortunately, what I can only guess must have been a church youth group or a college church group was nearby. And, they starting singing. And playing guitar. And playing the bongos. And singing... the same few lines over and over and over and over and...

I about lost my mind.

I jumped out of my bunk and screamed at them, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" over and over. I was practically pulling my hair out, I was so frustrated with their lack of concern for the rest of the people there. I was especially perturbed that they assumed it was okay, too, to share their religious music with us, that they just assumed everyone believed what they believed and would want to share in their joyful singing (or at least be okay with it).

I made a huge scene, and I couldn't even care. I couldn't stop yelling at them, and I haphazardly gathered up my things to find another place to sleep, in another room/compartment. None of the other passengers (who weren't with the group) said anything; they just stared. They just watched as I screamed at the singers about how rude they were by singing and by forcing their beliefs on everyone and how I wouldn't stand for it.

And I woke up with that feeling that I surely must have been screaming.

On Saturday, we had a particularly feisty group of 10-15 protestors at Planned Parenthood, so I elected to go outside and "escort." (And the weather warmed up to be simply beautiful while I was out there.) The protestors were singing (badly) the same 2 or 3 lines about Jesus over and over. At the time, it got to be funny to me, listening to them sing the same words over and over--so uncreative, so uninspiring. Apparently, some part of me felt a little bit differently, and I'm guessing that's partly where the dream came from.

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