Skip to main content

what I can't write about

Sometimes I think of a cool idea for something to write about here and then realise that it probably isn't such a great idea after all. The two most prominent reasons that happenings in my life, despite being interesting and meaningful, don't appear on my blog is 1. some of them are too personal (I do have some sense of propriety), and 2) they involve other people.

My blog is often read by people that I contact in a professional or scholarly setting. Since this website is easy to find when you google my name (and the link is often at the bottom of my email), these people sometimes read it to find out who they are talking to and get a sense of who I am. For that reason, I try to avoid overly personal details. I won't be writing about how sweaty and tired I am right now after an hour-long walk to the store and back - and they didn't even have my item available! I won't be telling the world that I occasionally suffer from irregularity or that yesterday a waiter flirted with me. That's just too much information.

The other thing I can't write about a lot is other people. I used do a bit more of this, because honestly, most of my life lessons come through contact with others. Challenging relationships and interactions make up most of my inspirational and character-building moments. But I don't want to show anyone in a bad light, nor write something about a person that they would rather not have up on a public forum, even though I never identify them. So I won't tell you about the person I struggle to love because we just seem to see the world so differently, or the relationships I hoped would flourish into deep friendships but seem to have stalled (sigh), or all the ways in which Dean loves me and on occasion, frustrates me (lets just say there is a dishwasher involved). That's just wouldn't be kind or considerate.

I cannot write about any one's life here except my own. I cannot live another's life, either. Sometimes I have tried to give advice, offered unsolicited wisdom (I thought it was wise at the time), but that never really turned out well. Though it strikes me as self-indulgent at times, my own life is pretty much the only material I have at my disposal. And if I don't do something with that, if I don't learn from it, if I don't pay attention and see what is going on there, and if I don't share the process with others, then it is a bit of a waste. At least I think so.

So, to all the people that have been and are part of my learning and loving journey: thank you for being there through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the still-being-worked-on. You will probably never read about it here, but I am constantly aware of the gang of great, funny, silly, loving, sometimes hurtful, sometimes challenging, occasionally annoying, and many times heart-bustingly generous people that walk through my life. I need you.

This is a photo that Dean took at the Ernest Hemingway house in Key West, Florida. A group of people gathered for just that one second and none of us at our photographic best! That's just the way it is sometimes.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

lessons from a theological memoir and a television series about lawyers

It's a hot Wednesday afternoon, so let's talk about false binaries. Basically, a false binary or false dichotomy happens when a person's options are artificially limited to two choices, thereby excluding all other possibilities. Insisting on the limited choice of either A or B leaves no room for middle ground or another, more creative solution. In other words, a false binary assumes the rest of the alphabet (after A and B) does not exist.

Binary thinking is quite prevalent in our society. Either you are for me or against me. Either you are guilty or innocent. Either you are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. Either you are a Christian or a pagan. Either you are all in or all out. Admittedly, it is convenient to see things as either black or white, but we live in a multi-coloured world and not everything fits neatly into two categories. This is why insisting there are only two choices when, in fact, other options exist, is labeled as a fallacy in logic an…