Because this is my life, people.
Last night, after a bit of internet hopping, contraception was on my mind.
I know, right? Crazy to think that so many people on the wonderfulworldwideweb are talking about such a thing, but there you are. Amazing, too, that I can even remember what contraception is, really, when you consider that I threw the pills out in 1990, about nine months after my baptism, and then we threw out even the possibility of anything else in 1995, when I became a Catholic. I was thinking about our journey to where we are now -- how we got here, what influenced us, and what we would or wouldn't change. I considered how heated the online exchanges become when the topic is contraception or natural family planning.
So, there I am, with this stuff on my mind, puttering in the kitchen, making chocolate chip cookies. We have a graduation party coming up here next month and I'm thinking that if I make some cookies and freeze the results of my baking sessions every time I have the urge to eat cookie dough, then I'll end up with quite a generous stash of treats when the party rolls around.
And because just a couple of years ago I discovered parchment paper for cookie baking (it was no doubt during one of the infamous gingerbread episodes), I started wondering if there's any reason I can't reuse parchment paper -- as in, on another day, with another batch, another puttering session. So I googled about parchment paper and found the answer and felt rather delighted.
And suddenly, I'm sitting here thinking about what a strange world we live in that I'm considering blogging about one of these two things:
"Hey, people, you can reuse your parchment paper! How did I not know this?"
"Hey, people, there's so much to say about contraception that I don't even know where to start!"
And then I thought about how multi-layered the issue is (contraception, that is, not parchment paper) and about how multi-layered are the people discussing it all around. I thought about how easy it is for us to reduce each other to caricatures and nemeses, to cease to think of the other side as worthy of time and discussion.
I thought of all the women I know who have embraced a life without contraception -- women who stay home with their children, those who work outside the home, those who work from their home offices, women who bake cookies and women who buy cookies, women with high school diplomas and advanced degrees, women who grind their own wheat and those who buy Wonder bread ...
We are all stripes, all makes and models. So are those on the other side of it. But how, oh, how are we going to get anywhere in this conversation if we aren't friends who can talk about the important stuff?
I remember when I had endless questions about God, the Catholic faith, about contraception, about all the tough stuff. I had a friend who listened to me, answered questions, patiently discussed, and never reduced me to a caricature or thought of me as the enemy.
He loved me with a Christian love and drank lots of coffee with me.
That's the Christian I aspire to be.
(to be continued ... perhaps when I get to that next batch of cookies.)