Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

atheist blog, musings, loving life
Are you like me?
Do you want to know more about things? Like why do people use certain words in certain ways? How did we start doing something just that way? What do they do on the other side of the world in this situation? What is the root of ritual and more (rhymes with foray)? What underlying things are going on in regular, daily situations? What do those underlying things suggest? What is the meaning of nonverbal behavior? Why do we say certain things? What does a thing imply? How do we know what we know? What are other ways to do a certain thing?

I have a deep and burning drive to always know more.

For many years I have noticed many times when someone would ask for my opinion on something, or when a person would state their own opinion on a thing I would often feel kind of confused, unable to answer. When I was younger I thought that I was just lame for not having a ready answer to certain topics. I thought I was wishy-washy with important subjects. I thought I was just unable to think a subject through...I think that others thought this too...

But what I now understand from being older and clearer in my thinking (HA!) is that I now see that what I thought was my inability to come up with a single answer to a question and I now understand my seeming unwillingness to land on one side of an argument or another.

Now I see that when a person asked my opinion or my point of view, my mind is very busy.  I start thinking about the meanings of each word of the question. I sense innumerable inferences in questions. My intuition is picking up on expectations and attitudes of the questioner. My mind is exploring minutia of the question. It is thinking of the many subtle shades of the subject of the question.

I often find it impossible to see the black/white of a situation because I am overwhelmed with the infinite shades of grey...ish. I am considering evidence and fact while being aware of the significance of personal stories and anecdote and situation and preference. 

Ready for the celebration
When being asked to come up with a single, unified opinion, I often feel awash in possibilities and perceptions.

Whew, that was a bit tangential. What I really wanted to talk about is this: 

This week I am in a fantastic and unique opportunity to really learn about another culture, to really find things out. My dear friend Ilakshi from India is in country and staying with her brother Tejash and his wife Radhika and with his parents at their home in New Jersey. I have been invited to stay with them for the week as my friend's sister-in-law celebrates her pregnancy with a baby shower.

Ilakshi and I...
and Minnie
Indian baby showers are 100% different from a typical American baby shower. We Americans have something to learn from the Indian way. I am quite certain our baby showers would be far more fun if we would adopt the traditions of the Indians for baby showers. The men attend the shower and many, many fun games are played. Food and music and dance are a part of the color and merriment of this celebration...and there was not a single egg timer, mother-to-be opening gifts, table stacked with pastel presents, baby shower bingo, chicken salad on a mini bun, melted Snickers in a diaper, quiet, polite background music, pearls and matched cardigan set, or melty dinner mint in sight.

This party had a DJ!

The beautiful
I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude to my friends for allowing me to crash their party. They took the time to uniform me up in a gorgeous sari and jewelry and hair and make up, which was fun. And I was finally able to join in a traditional dance that I have wanted to do for years.

My love and THANKS to Ilakshi, Tejash and Radhika, Mansook and Namala, Ria, Dharmesh, one Gigantic Minnie Mouse, and the many, many friends who welcomed me so kindly. I learned SO much and I enjoyed myself SO much!

...I'm still waiting on my mehndi...

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