Friday, February 24, 2012

Lent this year

Lent again - possibly my favourite season of the year! New stuff growing, days getting longer, frogs appearing in the pond and birds in the trees. Hurrah.

My efforts at enlightenment for 2012 include: no alcohol at home on week nights (now an annual fixture); no snacking unless actually hungry; half an hour to meditate / pray per day; vague attempts to exercise daily, stop picking at my nails and skin; read Love Unknown (Rowan's recommended Lent book). All the above intended to make life more enjoyable, rather than deny myself.

Last year you may remember I gave up Sunday church. This has also become a fixture: I mean, I am at churches many Sundays for work, to lead or preach (Christian Aid). And I help put on our monthly Encounter event at Chepstow Methodist church hall. And I meet up with Christian friends to chat regularly. But 2011's Lent exercise helped me free myself from the compulsion of attending services on a Sunday morning. Nobody from the community has indicated to me that they've noticed I've stopped attending ..... which in my newly enlightened state matters to me not one jot. Hmmmm........

But seriously, life is much lighter without. And, I think, faith deeper.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Otherness of others.

I love those moments when you talk to someone and discover their way of seeing the world is fundamentally different to yours.

My usual tendency is to assume everyone is basically like me, so would feel the same way I would in the same situation. This means I don't tend to look down on people, which is good. And, as I'm strongly empathetic, it is an assumption that rarely leads me into too much trouble.

But every now and then I get a wake up call: someone says something to me and I think, 'my goodness, I would never think about that in that way'. I find this fascinating. Sometimes it leads me to despair entirely of the person in question. But usually it's wonderfully entertaining. How diminished we are if only take our own opinions into account!

Unfortunately my most recent encounter with this phenomenon was a little embarrassing. The thing is, I tend to worry a lot about things and fantasise about worst-case scenarios. I know this is a particular problem I have but - in keeping with what I've said above - tend to assume everyone does the same, a little bit at least.

I often decide Jon has died in some horrific way if he's not (back) in the house when I expect him to be. I confessed recently to fantasising about what I would end up doing if he died while out on a run, as he never takes a phone or any ID so the police wouldn't be able to identify him or contact anyone he knows. There I was, planning at what time and in what order I would start ringing hospitals.

As I was explaining this to him, I looked at his expression and realised. He was thinking, "This woman is a total and utter loon and a total and utter mystery to me".

Fundamentally different, you see.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The magic of the movies

I love the cinema!

Jon and I have Cineworld Unlimited passes - £15 per month to see as many films as you want - so we go at least once a week. It's great. I am a child before the big screen - readily tipped into giddiness, tears, cackling, absorption, terror or whatever else is required.

Our two most recent viewings have been The Descendants and The Grey. Which, combined, tipped me into existential angst. The former made me depressed as I contemplated Jon dying. Nobody knows me except Jon. Who would I be without him?

The latter is part gripping adventure, part allegory. A man fights to remain alive in adverse circumstances, despite the fact his life means little to him. It reminded me of Beckett's "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

But honestly, I love the cinema. Recommend it to anyone......