An unsettled return

I wasn’t sure if I would come back here, then again I am not sure that I am staying at this point. Doctoral work in the midst of some depressive features does not make for a healthy combination. Add to that a healthy dose of guilt – not being more social, not writing on my blog, spending my days reading Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late-Capitalism – and it comes together in a gray mishmash of days and nights that blend into a blurry cornucopia of blah.

I am trying to get back again, to find my way in a new world where everyone seems a stranger, to live amongst good people in a good place and be a good person. I am not sure what to make of my life at this moment. When people ask me what I do, I tell that I read for a living. Only that is not much of a life, so after a pregnant pause and uncomfortable silence we laugh precariously and move on to more shallow conversation. I never know what to tell people who actually work for a living. Granted, I work; I work hard in my classes; I work hard attempting to be creative with the materials before me; I work hard cleaning house and so on. Without trivializing the situation of the under or unemployed, I can see the gradual feelings of hopelessness that creep in when you cannot financially support yourself on what you have chosen to do for a living.

Throw into that mix this new revelation that the God I always knew in Reformed Theology is no longer palatable for me and all of a sudden everything is up for grabs. This in-between time is something that I have not experienced often. It reminds me of living paycheck to paycheck, precariously perched on a thin branch in fifty mile an hour winds.

Two things keep me hanging on, a wonderful spouse and the fact that I am pretty good at what I am doing. If things go well I will have two articles published by this fall and will be in the process of researching a third. I will be more than halfway done with my class work and ready to take my first comprehensive exam. All these things tell me I am progressing in good fashion; however, there are moments, days and weeks where I feel as though I have stepped out of time and out of the world.

Some of the things I am thinking about at the moment:

~ God is love, God is not omnipotent.

~ Postmodernism describes everything and nothing at the same time. It functions by trying to make the trivial into the depthful and the depthful into the trivial. I am all for the contextuality of truth and the primacy of narratives and the lack of one right way. However, I am not sure that this approach to life makes life any better.

~ If you want to build a theology that works, begin by starting with the least: build a theology around those who suffer or have suffered and see if the God you have always believed in would work for them. Don’t prance around with an untested God and believe that it works for everyone.

~ Pat Robertson is still an idiot, but he doesn’t bother so much anymore.

~ Skiing is a counterintuitive sport. Who, in their right mind, when going down a mountain leans forward in order to stay in control? However, I kind of like it sometimes.

~ Sometimes the Gnostics were right.

~ Patriarchy is probably the single most devastating institution in the world. Men should not run the world, we like power too much and testosterone keeps us from listening and relating to one another. We should be relegated to the dirty work where we can flex our muscles and make monkey sounding grunts toward one another. Men need to give up some of their power and listen.

~ Suffering is real and I am complicit in it by my lack of protest towards it.

~ Neo-cons are mostly idiots, but they don’t bother me so much anymore.

~ I am tired of petty partisanship from both sides of the aisle. I want candidates and politicians who want to make the world a better place not argue about who made the mess we live in. I want a third, better, way that really wants progress over pettiness.

~ I am glad spring is here. The blue sky in Colorado is amazing, the tulips are blooming, the trees are full of tiny little flowers, and I can’t stop sneezing.

Grace and peace



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