Friday, May 11, 2007

philomena ruth rush r.i.p.

I attended my second cousin's (my mother's cousin) funeral yesterday.
It was a strange experience. I didn't like it much for many reasons.
Fortunately, my brother also attended with his partner.
For some reason my Mum didn't want to come up from Tasmania to commemorate Mena or send her wishes to her family in person. I don't understand Mum sometimes...
A close friend of mine told me about her experience of a funeral last year where she sat up the back of the chapel and was faced with numerous mourners' indifferent
backs. She told me how alienating it was. I had a similar understanding of the process yesterday. I felt faintly excluded from the process and fair enough. I never knew Mena that well or spent much time with her, living in different states as we did. But I always enjoyed her company whenever I spent any time with her.
I never knew this but she had a clique with a name. They called themselves The Peasants and they used to have all kinds of low brow fun together, such as dressing in weirdo old lady drag. Sort of Queen Mother style. Dancing drunk from sherry on tables was another practice.
I found it hard keeping the others' grief out of my head. I suppose that's because it's a grief I shared with them. At least in part.
The low point of the proceedings would definitely have to have been the photo slideshow montage with a soundtrack from Hell: Celine Dion's cover of Power of Love.
I don't know how someone misconstrued Celine for affecting or appropriate. Perhaps there was a message in there for her husband, dear Jeff. He's devastated of course, after sixty years of marriage.
As her coffin was loaded into the hearse, four doves - one for each of their children - was released into the air. My brother and I looked at each other with a smile and the same unspoken question, "Are they homing doves?" It's much more cost effective to have homing doves. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Turns out they are homing doves. Mum's twin sister, Aunty Naomi, asked Jeff and he confirmed our thoughts. The doves are trained to circle twice before heading for home.

Aunty Naomi is a funny one. I had thought I might point out to her the fact that the ring I wear on my finger is her Dad's wedding ring (her Dad being a well-respected man in the family). But then I questioned my motives and realised I would only be drawing attention to that because I was feeling left out. Whatever you call that feeling. The feeling of leftoutness. Unacknowledged. Because Mum maried above her station (for station read class, a corollary of which is, somehow, against the odds, Dad married beneath his.) I felt quite different to the family and further out of place. I guess the Catholicism didn't help there.
Speaking of religion, I found a lovely little leaflet about how you can help any loved one in your life to overcome their SSA. Same-sex attraction, that is.
Oh yes! The pamplet (pictured) offers such pearls of wisdom as:
"Same-sex attraction is not the work of God ... There is no scientific proof that SSA is the result of genetic factors. SSA is an aspect of underdeveloped sexuality."
I wonder which scientific bases they used to make these assertions. Umm... Yes, let's empirically research the origins of queer sexualities... Yep, just as we suspected: definitely not the work of God. And as for not being genetic, well no shit.
And this one:
"The orientation of SSA, although disordered, is not in itself sinful. Homosexual acts, however, are sinful and do not lead a person to a deeper life in Jesus Christ."
You don't say? "I don't know about you, Hon, but I really am looking forward to a hetero marriage so our sex-life can lead us to a deeper life in Christ Jesus."
Oh now I get it! I'm underdeveloped and my heterosexual friends are fully developed. Yep, it's true. I probably hate my mother too. Nice one.
I've decided I hate it when people try to link sexuality to spirituality. In fact, I'm not spiritual these days. Sexuality and spirituality are about as compatible as me and Priests.
Anyway, that pamphlet sure brightened up my day, providing me, as it did, with comic relief.
Now Playing: Severed Heads - Guests

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At 11:02 am, Anonymous Ali said...

Actually, I believe they have been finding evidence that same-sex attraction has a genetic basis. It's certainly completely natural in the sense that it happens all over the animal kingdom -- I believe I read that it was at least 100 species of animals exhibit regular same-sex relations in the wild.


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