Three Meals

The past 30 hours can be summed up with the three meals I had in that time.

Yesterday evening I met up with my friend Linda who took me out for sushi as a “I’m glad you’re out of the hospital” gift. We went to Sushi Murasaki and I had seaweed salad, a bagel roll(smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado), and a wasabi scallop roll(exactly what it sounds like plus green fish eggs). We then walked over to Cherrydale Cinema and saw Leatherheads. It was a decently fun movie that never had any great moments, but the entire thing was fairly enjoyable. Since a large chunk of the movie was filmed here in Greenville you can recognize several of the buildings. I never thought much of Clooney when he first became a star but since O Brother Where Art Thou? I’ve been slowly admiring most of his work.

Today for lunch I met Fr. Marcus at Handi Indian Cuisine downtown. A bit of background: I haven’t been to church in over three years now and while I was in the hospital Fr. Marcus found out about it and visited me and asked me to forgive him if he did anything that drove me away. Now when I left I had a bone or two to pick with him, but it’s funny how unimportant that is after three years. At this point in my life I’m not sure if I want to get back into going to church. Hell, right now I’d probably even consider myself more agnostic than not if I’m being completely honest. But I do miss the people and the liturgy. I spent seven years of my life with these people and for good or for ill I am connected to several of them in a very real way. Not seeing any of them for the past few years was very painful.

One might ask, “If that was the case why didn’t you go back before now?” Well, my craziness manifests itself as a voice in my head telling me that I’m not good at anything, no one could possibly ever love me or probably even like me, and that these people are better off without me in their life. I realize that this is not reality but the crossed wires in my head messing with me, but it feels very real at times, and I let myself think that in this instance the voices might be right. I’m still working on that.

Anyway, lunch was great and it was nice to spend some time talking with Fr. Marcus again. He didn’t pressure me into coming back, at the end when we parted ways he merely told me that I’m always welcome and he hopes to see me again soon. I want to go back as it’s been a long time, but I’m worried about my current doubts. As the old prayer goes, “Lord I believe! Help my unbelief.”

And the third meal was chinese delivery at Jacob’s house where he, Andy, and I got together for our first poker night. We each put in $10, dealt out the chips, and played several poker variants including No Hold ‘Em, Five Card Stud, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, and Loser No Hold ‘Em where you place your two cards on your forehead and everyone gets to see them but you. Jacob ended up winning after four hours on a No Hold ‘Em hand where Andy and I both went all in. All three of us had straights, but Jacob had the highest one. Ten bucks is a good amount to use for a friendly poker night. It’s not enough that you’ll miss it, and the winner will get enough to do something fun. The chinese meal was Roast Pork with Mushrooms, which is my new favorite chinese dish.

So to sum up, three great meals and three interesting experiences. It has been said that the act of sharing a meal is the last natural act of communion that we have left in the modern era. From my experience I would say that is true.

2 thoughts on “Three Meals

  1. Jenny says:

    Ah, religion. I found myself in church myself this weekend, playing the piano for a student clarinetist, after walking away a few years ago. For me it was realizing that I was the one having issues and everyone else belonged, so why should I stay and drag them all down.I struggle with it more than most people know. To be raised in one religion like I was means so much is ingrained – I can quote much of the Bible, and some of the songs I grew up singing have an immediate emotional response. Even if you walk away, it doesn’t really leave you. It is all complicated by the fact that I was even in the ministry for a while….

  2. David E. Galloway says:

    Well, it’s kind of odd for me, as I have a pretty different religious history than most. From birth until age seventeen I had maybe entered a church building three times. My parents are culturally Southern Baptist, but never practicing. At around fifteen I started to read the Tao Te Ching and various Buddhist and Neopagan texts. A friend of mine got me into C.S. Lewis, and a lot of his stuff made a great deal of sense to me at that time. I started going to that friend’s Baptist church and as I decided to leave music performance behind at high school graduation, I looked for something to fill the void, and newly found religion was just the ticket. I went to a private SBC university (Bob Jones lite), ran into several professors and students professing Hypercalvinism (there is no free will, God chose who was going to heaven and hell before the planet was created, Jesus didn’t die for all people, etc) and that seemed like lunacy to me. I started to look at all kinds of churches in the area; Catholic, Lutheran, Wesleyan, etc., and ran into a close friend’s father who is an Eastern Orthodox priest. I talked to him several times and visited the mission church he was assigned to, and from the moment I walked in the door I was home. I had a great seven years like that until some of my own issues got in the way and I felt the need to isolate myself. Up until that point the priest was trying to get me to go to seminary, I was directing choir and teaching church school. I was dealing with some of my own headcase stuff and I kept telling myself that I was a complete hypocrite and that all of the people there would be much better off if I wasn’t there. So I stopped going.At this point I’ve been away for three years and I’m not sure about some of the core beliefs anymore. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gay men and women, I don’t think premarital sex is always a problem. It seems like when I would pray multiple times daily that my life was much worse than it has been for the last few years. For the past few months I’ve started to drift toward agnosticism. I’m going to go to a lenten Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Wednesday, see how awkward everything is, and go from there. I miss the people, the music, the liturgy. I need to see if there are any holes in me that this fills again. “Are you there God it’s me, Margaret?” You know, I think I may turn this into my next blog post instead of just a comment.

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