Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

On Tradition

I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school (K-8) where there was a very Dead Poet's Society-like emphasis on tradition. Of course I rebelled against it in high school and embraced a noncomformist point of view based somewhat on my very limited reading of Thoreau. I also liked the science/philosophy technique of questioning everything and making no assumptions. I have since been wary of anything that is done purely for tradition's sake.
I look at religions/denominations that attempt to push their traditions on everyone and it boggles my mind. I have always had a really hard time understanding why they would place so much importance on tradition.
For example, I was an altar girl, but my stepdad made me quit when he found out that the Pope thought that there shouldn't be altar girls because girls can't become priests. I asked why girls couldn't become priests and the only answer anyone could give me was, "It's always been that way."
That was never a satisfactory answer to me, and I'm sure that the Catholic Church actually has a better reason, but none of my Catholic superiors knew about it.
Now my church is considering a name change. Many of us are very reluctant to change it. It's a four year tradition. It goes against many of my thought-out beliefs to make myself see where those reluctants are coming from, but I can. I completely can. I am coming to an understanding that tradition is not only about being afraid of change and about doing things in the same way as those who came before you. It is about heritage and about feeling a connection to the past and about honoring where you came from. I don't pretend that this is a sudden, name-change-based revelation. I have grown up to this realization through learning about my own past and heritage and that of my husband and his family. The name-change issue helps me to put words to this realization.
I guess growing up starts to blend the blacks and whites that youth sets out. I see now that, while it is important to "question everything," sometimes the answer you return is, "There is no reason to do this other than tradition, and that's okay. I can enjoy tradition for tradition's sake." I also still believe that sometimes we do need to let go of tradition in order to make way for something better.


Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose. A
time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

'Thought & Humor' by Howdy
CyberHumor, CyberThought
CyberRiddles for your divertissement!!!

8:06 PM  
Blogger kate said...

What ON EARTH is that previous comment about... BAAHAA! So bloggers get spam, too, huh?
Anyhoo. Geez. I can't even remember what your post was about.
Oh yeah -- tradition, and changes. Just wanted to say, good stuff. I like your conclusion a lot.
Best wishes for continued ascendancy, Maggie! *snicker*

11:26 AM  

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