Friday, March 9, 2007

Friday Five: Matters of Taste

From RevGalBlogPals comes this week's Friday Five:

My mother loved figs.

I only like them in a Newton.

It's all a matter of taste.

Name five things you like a lot that some close relative or significant other did/does not like. This could be food, movies, hobbies, music, sports or whatever springs to mind.

This should be a fun game!

I adore classical and sacred music. I could listen to the Mediaeval Baebes all day long. But alas, my husband could only look at them all day long. :-) My family is not as fond of classical music as I am, although my son will listen for short periods. But lest you think this is all I listen to, it's not. My favorite bands are Carbon Leaf and Chicago.

I also love asparagus, and, in fact, most vegetables. But while I can get my son to eat broccoli, and my daughter to eat green beans, I don't have much success in drumming up appreciation for veggies in my household. When I was on retreat last weekend, we had a salad with every meal - fruit salad with breakfast, and a tossed salad with lunch and dinner. It was wonderful. There's nothing better than a salad that someone else has made. (Most of the time I have little patience for ripping greens and chopping all those vegetables.)

One that causes a little tension in our family is that I want my home to feel secure and stable. While I don't have a problem with changes for the better, sometimes it seems like others in the family want to change things in the house purely for the sake of change. My husband likes to move the furniture around every so often. He'll say that this is to make the room feel more roomy or to use the space better, but then when the furniture gets moved back after 6 months or so, we say the same things about how the room seems so much roomier. Yes, I know we need to paint and replace our carpeting and stuff, but I want my home to be comfortable and stable, and not in a constant state of flux. I have enough uncertainty in my work environment, thankyouverymuch.

I'm going to bend the rules on this one a little bit - my daughter and husband are tv junkies, but I mostly don't care about television. There are a few shows I like to follow, but if I miss an episode or two, I'm not heartbroken. We have a Tivo that records them all for us, and I feel pressured to watch them right away, even if there are things I'd rather be doing with my time. This causes conflict in the family, when one person says, "You have, like eight things on the Tivo to watch! Why are you reading a book when you could be watching your shows?" And the other person responds, "But watching tv makes me tired, and I just want to relax with my book." We have trouble understanding each other.

And finally, the one that causes the most friction in my house. My husband believes that organized religion is probably the worst evil that mankind has ever perpetrated upon itself. He may be right - I saw a bumper sticker for sale recently that declared, "God established the Church, and the Devil organized it" - but that doesn't mean that there is still much good to be found in the Church. Would we have had Teresa of Avila or Hildegard of Bingen or Julian of Norwich, if we'd had no Church? Would we have the Sistine Chapel or Mozart's Requiem or Bach's B Minor Mass? How about Chartres Cathedral? There is so much beauty in the world that has been inspired by the Divine One - by the Trinity - by our deep need to believe. And I wonder whether the problems in organized religion are not the problems endemic to any organization. The Church is, after all, composed of flawed, unlovely humans.

It's interesting to me, because at first this question seemed like it would be light and a little frivolous, a fun little game. But it turned out to be much more revealing. It's not just about "Give it to Mikey - he doesn't like anything!" but about trying to understand each other, to connect with each other, to love each other. I've heard it said - and have probably said it myself - that Christianity is not about right behavior but about right relationships. And at their heart, relationships are based on understanding, connection, communication, trust, love. This "fun little game" is really an exercise in relationships. Wow.