Theoretical and Practical

24 February 2005

Sometimes, I feel like a moron. And other times, I think that all of those people who push us to compartmentalize are the morons.

(enter rant)

Here’s my latest dilemma…I’ve found that I’m interested in BOTH the theoretical and the practical sides of spiritual formation and spiritual direction. I’m not like one of my friends (who I love), who decided that her favorite part of one of the practical classes was the paper she wrote for it. And I’m not like others that I know who really don’t have a taste for the theoretical, and really don’t see a point to the classes that aren’t theoretical. I’m in the middle. I love the paper I’m writing for the class I’m in, but I also love doing the spiritual direction.

Really, I know that I don’t have to choose. And I know that this is only a sham compartmentalization, that what you THINK really does influence what you DO, and how you go about doing it. And, the more theory and ideas and all of that that I know and interact with and all, the better director I’ll be. But then, why can’t I do practicums AND write a thesis, and get two degrees out of it. Ok, so most of you will think that I’m crazy because I actually want to write a thesis but…well, I do. Not necessarily on Celtic spirituality, but on something that might have something to do with Celtic spirituality.

Well, I know there’s more to it than that. I know that degrees need to have value, they can’t be worthless, we can’t give them out for no work. But why? Why isn’t there a degree for people like me?

(exit rant)
(insert pity party)
(exit pity party)

Ok, so I’m done with that. Over my rant. Really. But I have little else to say, since I wrote over 6,000 words today (maybe close to 7,000…yikes!!). I think that my words for the day are all used up.

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An Open Letter

21 February 2005

Dear Lauren Winner,

Or whatever your last name is now, since I heard you’ve gotten married. I suppose it doesn’t matter, since you won’t actually ever read this anyway.

You’re my kind of girl and, more importantly, my kind of Episcopal/Anglican, my kind Christian.
I love the way you write. Your voice makes me feel like I know you, or like the little that I do know of you is real. One of my first thoughts about your writing, before I even knew if I liked the ideas, was “Girl can write!” And you write like an intelligent human being, which, as another intelligent human being, I appreciate beyond words.

I love the way you truly share yourself. You say things in your book that, if I were you, I wouldn’t admit to in public for a million years, but I wouldn’t love your book and your writing and yourself if you hadn’t included those things.

I love your imperfections. I love your humanity, and the fact that you don’t come across as an arrogant Columbia graduate student, but as a person who walks and talks and struggles like the rest of us.

I love the way you don’t really give a damn what other Christians think of you. I’m sure we would disagree, drastically, on some matters, but I love the fact that you would disagree with me and not think me a moron, but also not sacrifice your views because I disagreed.

I love the way you think. I would love to talk to you, because I think you would really hear me and not try to make me say things I don’t mean. I love your logic and your intuition and the connection between your head and your heart. When you think, your heart is involved, and that’s a rare gift, in our world today.

I love your love of liturgy, and your defense of sometimes saying words that your heart isn’t in at the moment. I love the idea of liturgy giving you words to fall back on when you don’t have any of your own.

I love your love of Judaism. I, too, have read Chaim Potok, though I generally thought the people who believed what they believed about the rabbinic writings were crazy. When I hear you talk about them, and think of them in terms of the Christian tradition that I love, I understand, and I love the fact that you can make me understand that.

I love the fact that you’re a nerd, and that you love books above almost all else. Books were my first friends, and I often think that some of them will be my most constant companions throughout my life. You can’t always take people with you, but you can take a book, and that’s a blessing I think you would understand.

I’m not crazy, I’m not a stalker or a psycho or anything like that. But I connected with you, the girl who met God, in a way I rarely connect with anyone, let alone through a book. So thank you.

Under the Mercy,
Aegialia

PS I know you’re a nerd and all, but do you happen to watch Alias?

It’s also the Chinese New Year, which sounds significantly happier to me. You know, passing around money versus choosing how you will NOT spend it for the next 40 days. Except Sundays. During Lent, it’s TGIS, not TGIF.

My biggest problem with Ash Wednesday is the smudgy stuff they put on your forehead. I know why they do it, and I know that it’s important, but it’s smudgy. As in, it gets black stuff all over everything if I don’t take it off as soon as I get home. Maybe I’m just a mess. The smudgy stuff also makes me remember Melissa and all of the other Roman Catholics in Jr. High and High School who were pretty arrogant and condescending about their smudges. I think I just thought they were strange. Go figure. Now I’m strange.

So, just for the record, I don’t actually hate Lent. Or Ash Wednesday. It’s just that it’s always funnier to write about what annoys you than about what you like.

It’s also the Chinese New Year, which sounds significantly happier to me. You know, passing around money versus choosing how you will NOT spend it for the next 40 days. Except Sundays. During Lent, it’s TGIS, not TGIF.

My biggest problem with Ash Wednesday is the smudgy stuff they put on your forehead. I know why they do it, and I know that it’s important, but it’s smudgy. As in, it gets black stuff all over everything if I don’t take it off as soon as I get home. Maybe I’m just a mess. The smudgy stuff also makes me remember Melissa and all of the other Roman Catholics in Jr. High and High School who were pretty arrogant and condescending about their smudges. I think I just thought they were strange. Go figure. Now I’m strange.

So, just for the record, I don’t actually hate Lent. Or Ash Wednesday. It’s just that it’s always funnier to write about what annoys you than about what you like.