Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The quote

I was raised in a fundamentalist church when I was a kid in Texas. In fact my Dad's parents were founding members of that local organization.  The church had very strict ideas about what was holy and what was not especially when it came to women.  Makeup was frowned upon like jewelry and other "sinful" adornments.  My Mom and Dad were obedient to a degree but did not buy into all the rules.  Particularly the ones they did not think had any religious purpose. 
One Sunday at dinner, after church, my brother said, "Daddy what is a harlot?"  If we had been doing a sitcom Dad would have spit his coffee out but this was real life.
My Dad had a thing about bad words.  I never heard him curse at anything. He would even say, "I don't give a rats bottom".. rather than say rat's ass. Later he shortened that to RB because bottom was a little strong.
So, here is Dad who doesn't even say "bottom" and the "H" word has just hit the Family Sunday dinner table. Not wanting to commit to a definition of the word until he had more information Dad said, "Where did you hear a word like that?"
My brother said he heard it in Sunday school that morning. Dad said, "Was it the story about Jesus saying 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'?" 
This confused my older brother. That is not the context in which the word was used.  My brother said, 
"Well, no.  It's just,  the Sunday school teacher said a harlot is a woman who wears lipstick.  Since Mommie wears lipstick I wondered if she was a harlot?"
That afternoon my family became Methodist.  We never went back to that church again. 
Later in my college years I began to read new thought books and found they were closer to the way I felt about my faith than some of the more traditional churches.  I eventually discovered Christian Science which, for me, was kind of the bridge between the two philosophies and joined that Church as an adult. As I continued to study, I followed some teachers and practitioners who left the structure of the Christian Science organization so they could express their own interpretation of Life. I liked what they had to say even if Christian Science declared their writings "NOT Authorized". Eventually the CS organization did not fill my spiritual needs any longer so I gave up my membership.  I am now a free spirit. I still attend services that lift me up, but I will probably never become a card carrying member of any religious organization. I feel like every religion, at its foundation, has good things to help improve our quality of existence. The problems creep in trying to make a "club" out of a philosophy and call it a church.
I collect quotes from writers, teachers and philosophers who make sense no matter what flavor of religion they served. These quotes become little meditations that I can think on during the day and feel better. If it is a quote from Mary Baker Eddy I would write CS at the bottom so I would know it was found in Christian Science. I use JS for Joel Goldsmith, well, you get the idea. I still find scraps of paper stuffed in various places with some spiritual jewel on it.  That was the case this week when I was clearing out some old "dead files". 
I came across this quote printed in my best block lettering on the back of a cocktail napkin.
It said:
"Do what you want when you want, cause you can do anything" CS.  

I took it as a Christian Science statement and applied this wisdom to my daily chores. Somehow it empowered me to take some risks and believe I could do anything I set my mind to do. It was inspirational.  My day was more productive.
As I was falling asleep listening to Pandora  last night, I sat straight up in bed after hearing that phrase in a song.  Because Internet music provides instant information on the artist and the song I managed to discover something interesting.  
"Do what you want when you want, cause you can do anything..." is not a religious quote. It is from a 70's  song entitled "Where do the Children Play".  The block printed  CS on my "cocktail napkin chestnut" did not stand for Christian Science.... the CS stood for CAT STEVENS. 
Inspiration is what you do with it. 
As you were,

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