another leg of the trousers of time

March 5, 2015

so I’ve just spent half an hour attempting to marshall arguments against someone arguing that instruments are central to Christian worship because singing is central to Christian worship, based on a Logic Combo of a) Because We’ve Always Done It That Way and b) Because It’s More Practical.

Don’t get me wrong. I like instruments in Christian worship. I just don’t think they’re crucial for worship, and I hate ‘Because We’ve Always Done It That Way’ and ‘Because It’s More Practical’. Those are not theologically adequate reasonsArgue better.

I feel like a pedant and a useless windflapper and That Person Who Argues Useless Things, but mama, someone is wrong on the internet. It was that or shrug and smileyface them, or shrug and say “I disagree but I’m not going to explain why because it’ll take too long”, which. Which is like copping out.

I need to get better at not caring. Seriously, how have I become this person?


Someone I only vaguely know just moved up to Auckland to do his Masters in Drama. He’s looking at Elizabethan clowns and fools and their influence on theatre during Shakespeare’s day, and I stared at his status and. and. and I wandered away and made some iced tea and felt-

I don’t know. longing? incredulity at where I am now? nostalgia?

I miss being able to look at things like that. I miss it. The familiarity of it, the shapes and sounds of something that fits my heart like the first skin, like a voice I know, like my own mind. that familiar thrill I associate wth theatre and its ideas, with literature and the beautiful turn of words, the loveliness of concepts made real in space and time, the long string of fiction and its joys. Clowns. Fools. Language. Elizabethan society, translated from conceptual everywhereness into this one place of sound and sight and three-dimensionality in time, mirrors held up. I miss subjects that let me do that. I miss that.

today, now, I drink iced tea and read up on depression and phenomenology and theological representations of God, psychological terms and sociological methodology, making analytic memo notes on what I need to cover next in my literature review before I move back to my data in that old interative analysis cycle, and I miss.

and I think: if I hadn’t been so sick by the end of university, I would’ve gone into something like this. I would’ve done my Honours and my Masters in something like this, theatre, literature, the shape of words and the shape of time and colour and the human imagination. I would’ve been looking at Shakespeare, or beloved Beckett, or Fry and Eliot and verse plays, or Heinrich Muller, or Greek dramas, or medieval mystery plays, or Augusto Boal and his games. this would’ve been mine.

and I think: I never thought I’d be doing a Masters in this. The only thing I’d ever thought of doing a Masters in was Creative Writing. That’s what I’d wanted, back in high school. That’s the only thing I thought I’d be capable of.

and I think: I could’ve done Honours, but I was so sick and so burned out by the end of it all that I burned up all my bridges and chances and staggered into two years of the smog it left behind.

Still not clear, yet, even here, not wholly. Am I sorry?

Am I sorry that I’m not doing my Masters in Theatre or English Literature? That I burned up my chances of doing so? That I’m not looking into Artaud or physical theatre or Grotowski or improvisation, that I’m not looking into Shakespeare and his representation of women or Christianity, that I’m not examining the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins or Dylan Thomas, or the ways medieval mystery plays expressed the incarnation in their staging?

I don’t know. Maybe a little. Maybe not. I do like what I’m doing, I find it challenging and satisfying and scary and at times joyous, but it’s just- different. It’s so different from the things I’ve loved so much and for so very long. It’s- I find what I’m doing very interesting, but I don’t instinctively delight in it in the same way, things falling into place so easily in my mind. and there are many aspects of theology that I do delight in, but it all feels so very different. so much more cerebral, often.

it’s curious, to see where I could’ve gone and what I could’ve been. but I’m glad to be doing this. I don’t know precisely what it is I’m doing, but wherever I am right now feels like it’s a good place. right now, at least, I’m pretty happy.


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