Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Five: Ch-ch-ch-changes

Change is the only constant in this week's RevGalBlogpals Friday Five:

Share, if you wish, the biggest change you experienced this past year.
Losing a parent -- and in doing so losing both parents; becoming what a friend of mine calls an "adult orphan" -- was by far the biggest change that I experienced this past year. It was a change that shook my bearings in all aspects of my life; that sent me spiraling into a depression; that impacted me physically as well as emotionally, in serious ways.

But, ironically, my loss eventually led me to another, profound, positive change in my life: finding myself living into partnership after a life of singlehood.

Thinking about this, I think of what I heard once about the Chinese character for the word "crisis" being formed from the characters representing "danger" and "opportunity."

Talk about a time you changed your mind about something, important or not.
Karl Rahner's cleverly snide comment about mysticism "beginning in mist (or Mist, for you German speakers out there) and ending in schism" used to resonate with me -- until I had my own life-altering numinous experience.

Oh...and on a less profound note: I used to despise winter squash. I refused to eat it...well into my 30's. Now I love it. Go figure.

Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote a controversial book called "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." Setting aside his ideas--what kind of changes would you like to see in the Church?
Let's see...how much bandwidth will Blogger let me use?...

Seriously: I think that one of the most important changes I would like to see in the Church -- in Christianity as a whole, as well as in my own church body -- is the recovery of a sense of celebrating the Mystery. I think that ending the trivialization of worship and practice is of vital importance. This is such a big issue for me personally that I have a hard time containing my thoughts in coherent sentences. But I want to worship in an atmosphere that isn't like a university lecture, that isn't like being in the audience of "Let's Make a Deal," that isn't like some quasi-spiritual community singalong with bits of Scripture and sermonizing thrown in. And I suspect that I am not the only one with this longing for more depth in worship; more attention paid to worship; more education at all age levels to help people enter into the worship experience in a mindful, reverent way.

That's one meta-change.

Just speaking to my denomination: I wish its official policies would change in a direction of affirming persons like Fellow Traveler and myself as equal members of the Body of Christ, called to live in and serve the Church just like the other members of the priesthood of all believers, and not as some distasteful, semi-tolerated hangers-on, and that it would stop slandering the goodness of our committed relationships.

Have you changed your hairstyle/hair color in the last five years? If so, how many times?
Well, I know this is a serious "don't" among the fashion forward...but I haven't changed my hairstyle since I was in college. And I don't plan on it, either. During my pre-midlife 30-something crisis I did briefly covet red hair, rather than my own basic brown, but thank heavens that feeling has gone away.

What WERE they thinking with that New Coke thing?
It's called working in a committee -- where sometimes the most chowderheaded ideas suddenly seem...good.

The best Coke I ever drank, by the way, was when I was a child, tagging along with my dad on his frequent trips to the local grain elevator. Grain elevators are fascinating places for children -- at least they were back in the day when kids were given fairly free rein to roam. The elevator smelled of dust and mineral blocks and the molasses that was mixed into feed; I can smell it right now, in fact, in my imagination. The office of our grain elevator, which also sold veterinary supplies to farmers, held a jar containing a pickled tapeworm; sometimes people would bring in boxes of puppies or kittens to give away; there was a rack of colorful horse tack and dog collars and leashes that I used to like to play with. Sometimes I'd get to ride in the cab of our truck when it went up on the lift that tipped the grain out of the box into a cavernous holding area below the floor -- a brief, stomach-dropping thrill, like a midway ride. Sometimes I'd watch the grinding machinery in action, or squint my eyes and follow the swirling dust motes' travels through the beams of light pushing between the wall boards. But whenever we went, my dad would give me a quarter for a Coke, from an old machine stuck in a dark corner. I loved the green glass; the curve of the bottle; the coldness of it on hot summer days; the exotic spiciness of the taste; the sting of the carbonation. The deal was that I had to split the Coke with my father; so that's what we did. Coca-Cola has never tasted the same since.

15 comments:

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Shame on Karl Rahner ...

Yum on the coke and the memory.

hipchickmamma said...

thanks for sharing the chinese breakdown of the character for change, so very true. blessings.

Mary Beth said...

Love the Coke story.

And I, also, have not changed my hair since college. Okay, ONE time I got highlights. Once. That was it.

Leah said...

Congrats on your wise change to loving winter squash! It's long been one of my most fave foods.

Shalom said...

The coke story is great, and lovely. Thanks.

Sally said...

Great coke story- and that chinese letter thing is intriguing....

with you on the recovery of mystery, why do we feel we must explain everything???

Verdugo said...

I'm not quite with you on winter squash, and I'm pretty happy with my post-college forray into grey-covering highlights, but I'm with ya all the way on returning the sense of mystery to worship. Your comments reminded me of a favorite quote by Annie Dillard that confronts the complacency w/ which we often enter worship, and challenges us to remember that worship is, in fact, a very dangerous (in the best sense of the word) activity, bound indeed, to change us:

“It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pew.”

Songbird said...

I love your answer to #3.

LutheranChik said...

You know, I started second-guessing my memory regarding the Chinese character melding the characters for "danger" and "opportunity." Looking it up -- the word is actually crisis. Not that it makes much of a difference. And I think that tumultuous good things suddenly happening in one's life can also be thought of as crises because -- well, because they rock your world and sense of self and relationships with others.

Cathy said...

Great coca cola story.
I'm not much for changing my hair style either.

Kievas said...

I had the old glass bottles of Coke, too, when I was a kid. It's just not the same from a can (or a 2-liter plastic bottle).

Gail said...

Hi again loved Coke story, even more the stuff about Lutherans-- yes and yess and yesssss....Gail

Trish said...

You know, I heard that Crisis thing for the first time this week at CPE, and now I hear it within the same week again. To me, that's very interesting. And thank you for the post. I enjoy reading.

Rainbow Pastor said...

Wonderful post, LC, as always.

I loved the Coke story, although I can't follow you on winter squash, sorry...

revabi said...

Well you wrote a profound friday five.
And yes, those cokes were the best and still are.