Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[Christmas 4] insomnia, church, "collision"

So, I went to bed ~9pm because I was tired. Scott had sent me an email to apologize for dinner running late (oh, his family) but I didn't really feel like I was in the best condition for a phonecall -- and especially didn't wanna continue staying up late since I wanted to be up ~early.

An hour later I was still awake and was starting to draft emails in my head and could feel myself growing more awake so I got up.

Me: "I went to bed 'cause I was tired -- and then I got less tired."
Housemate: "I don't know what to tell you."

Once I was significantly awake, I texted Scott, but he didn't call.

I watched a TED talk and emailed Pr. Lisa re: liturgical items she had mentioned on Monday (Welcome, Communion, "the prayer that Jesus taught us").

I went back to bed ~1am. I'd set an alarm for 7:30 and then turned it off and set one for 8, given how late I was getting to bed. I woke up a little after 7:30, surprised that I seemed ~awake figured I'd stay in bed until my alarm went off, but possibly I'd never really set that one either as I looked at the clock ~8:03 with no memory of getting up and turning off my alarm. I got up ~8:10. idek.

I wasn't really ready to leave the house until ~9:15 and decided I didn't feel like going to Jeff's office hours just for the tail end, so I puttered on the Internet until ~10am at which point I left for The Christian Community. I got there in ~50min. *approves*

Remember when I went to Unity? Possibly I need to start rigorously Wikipedia-ing places before I attend (I looked at their website! I tried to get a feel for what they were! it didn't occur to me to research further). It, um, is definitely not the place for me.

I was really unclear where I was supposed to be going and wandered around (found a coat rack, didn't find a toilet) sort of following people.

The service itself ... was ~40min of ritualized talking where the 3 presiders mostly had their backs to the congregation (there was a reading of John 1 in there) and I decided I was NOT taking Communion 'cause their magical Body and Blood was not a thing I wanted.

Once people started leaving, I went to check out the bookroom I hadn't really been in earlier. Again, I was reminded of Unity. Very different, but triggering a similar "backing away" response. Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner and yeah, I was wigged enough to leave. (Ironically, given the service's wholly male language including e.g. "men" for "humans," there was some stuff about The Feminine.) But when I went to get my stuff downstairs I heard people chatting and I suspected there was a snacks+fellowship time before the Angels study and decided I would try the full experience. Someone finally introduced themselves to me. I thought but did not say, "You're the first person since I got here who has tried to engage me at all." (I do understand the value of not accosting people and forcing them into social interaction ... but with 10 congregants and 3 presiders, I think someone could have said, "Hi, I don't think we've met, is this your first time? what brings you here?")

The lead presider person introduced herself to me next and welcomed me to ask any questions I had. I have learned not to tell people their baby is ugly, and I didn't know where to begin with questions -- the whole thing was so far from how I do church that finding specific things to latch on to ... and since I was decidedly not going to be coming back, I felt like it would just be me telling them I think they're doing it wrong (sometimes veiled as questions, sometimes not).

The lead presider person asked me how I'd heard about them and I told her about the ad in the Revels program and she asked me about this year's Revels as she hadn't been able to go. She offered me a seat at the table (I'd been sort of picking at the snacks and browsing more of the literature as people mingled) and we chatted some. The woman on the other side of me had transferred from MHC to Holy Cross ('08) and we chatted a bunch.

Eventually we transitioned to the Angels study -- which we were apparently going to begin with Christmas carols. The lead presider asked me, "Do you like to sing?" I said, "Maybe." My instinct is to caveat that I'm not very good at singing in tune, but what I said aloud was, "I'm going to edit all the masculine pronouns."
Transfer student: "Smithie."
I couldn't remember how I'd edited "Prince of Peace," and there was one other line I just didn't sing the gendered word, but yeah, I did not sing any masculine language in any of the carols ("Joy to the World" all 3 verses and something else verses 1&3).

I basically didn't talk during the entire study/discussion session -- this is not a topic I have much interest in or knowledge about, and the things that did ping me were big picture arguments/topics. If I felt like we were more on the same page, I might have opted to stay and discuss, but I could feel that all I would be expressing would be negativity and that I would have to work really hard to operate within their framework ... and while I am willing to have these conversations with people I am already in relationship with (either people who hold these beliefs or just as theological/philosophical discussions, I suspected this would be high-negativity/low-utility).

Continuing my travels:

I stopped by the Gap and attempted to shop for pants.

I stopped by HEUMC and picked up dish towels and altar cloths for laundering.

Some of you know the Powder House Rotary. I came up College Ave and at Warner, a car was coming into the rotary and I was thinking, as I sometimes do, "Do you not see me? Do you just think you're going fast enough relative to me that you don't need to yield to me [who is traffic in the rotary!] because you'll just be past me?" I was moving to the right so I could take an right onto College, and I wasn't sure the car and I weren't gonna be occupying the same space at the same time, and I considered slowing down and going straight (but then that puts me in a really awkward position because lacking mirrors I don't feel safe taking sudden turns in front of what may well be oncoming traffic) and as I'm considering decisions, impact. On the ground, I had a moment of thinking, "If this car keeps moving, I'm fucked," but it was going relatively slow, so I just had a scrape/bruise on my right elbow and a sore tailbone. I initially felt a bit shaken/dizzy, but standing around for a bit I felt sufficiently fine. And I didn't feel any fear at all about getting back on my bicycle, which I was glad of (though the beginning of Hank's vlog definitely gave me a bit of fear about bicycling as I was watching it).

I opted to walk to evening church -- weather.com had some sort of severe wind warning, and I'd certainly experienced strong wind out by BU (not just bicycling v. slowly into the wind, but also being literally pushed toward the right), so I decided since it was dark and I was injured, walking would be wisest (though I felt like I was being a coward, and I am totes bicycling to Thursday morning prayer).

***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. And they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2, Handel's Messiah)

Good things about today:
  • Kathryn Schulz: Don't regret regret - I don't love this TED talk, but I really like the very end (which I quoted on my facebook when I shared the link):
    "if we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don't want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn't to live without any regrets. The point is not to hate ourselves for having them. [...] We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn't remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better."
  • Rest and re/New (about which more when I'm not intending to be up in ~6hrs), after which Keith invited me and Jeff M. (the only other attendees) to have dinner with him and Gianna, which we accepted and which was lovely (though hi I got home ~10? even with Keith driving me home).
Things I did well today:
  • Wrote a check to FCS for Wednesday evening services (and remembered to bring it to church, and to put it in the offering bowl, and to remind Keith about putting the offering in the office).
  • Post-Sophia's wedding facebooking.
  • Emailed Pr. Lisa re: liturgical items.
  • Did some prep for Sunday.
  • Went to church. Made conversation. Did not tell anyone their baby is ugly.
  • Went to the Gap and tried on pants.
  • Picked up CWM dish towels & altar cloths and laundered them and emailed Julia re: cloths and candles.
  • DID NOT DIE. Okay, that one was largely out of my control, but...
Things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
  • morning prayer and breakfast thereafter
  • coffee with LaTayna
  • Art Night
Tags: bodies in motion: bicycle, church: boston: the christian community, joy sadhana
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