samedi, décembre 07, 2013

Why I indulge in 50 Shades of Gray

 I'm surrounded by partisans, fire-breathing men and women of strong convictions.

They know black from white (sorry if you thought I might be WHIPPING a dead horse in this post, or CHAINED to reviewing a certain novel).

They sleep well at night.  They aren't dogged by questions, don't wonder if they got it right, veer from ambiguity like a mediocre wine.

They are my friends, my colleagues, my sounding boards. I have many friends who would as soon agree with each other on political, religious or ethical matters as swim the English Channel. In winter. In a bikini.

I'm in the muddled middle -- which can be, and often is, a rather lonely place.

Part of my inability to commit stems, as I confessed to a friend recently, from my understanding of history as a playground, oftentimes a battleground, of competing ideas.

Men and women have behaved nobly in the past.  They have also treated one another with disdain, ignorance and violence.

Reforming movements have bred bad outcomes. Evil men and women have accidentally done good.

(I'm sure, at this point, I've ticked a few people off. After all, how can corruption breed anything but ill?).

Another element of my ambivalence? I have a family that includes a multitude of political viewpoints. We choose to live together and love each other, even when we drive one another crazy.

It's hard to think you have cornered the market on righteousness when your second cousin once removed has a very different point of view.

There are a few matters on which I am absolutely, some would say rigidly, convinced that science and reason are on my side.

Yet as a convert to Christian faith, I am also very much an outsider.  In some ways that is a gift -- but an equivocal gift indeed.

Belonging to any clan, or sect, is often an outgrowth of where, when and with whom you grew up.

I am a wanderer, a pilgrim, a jongleur, a curiosity.

If you allow, I'll sit down beside you, listen to your story, and ask if I can walk beside you for a while.

But whether by choice or by nature, I find, I cannot stay in one place for long.

I envy you who can.

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