Sunday, June 29, 2008

OK, I got inspired. It happens sometimes.

I attended a church conference this past weekend. This humanist attends church and this was the first time I'd gone to General Assembly. It's something everyone in our denomination ought to do at least once -- kind of like making the pilgrimage to Mecca...now if THAT isn't a warped little analogy!!

It was exhausting but there were a number of very profound moments. I half expected to find myself surrounded by ideological extremists ... and quite possibly 5 or 10 years ago, it would have seemed that way. The political shift that's occurring now just continues to build momentum like a tsunami, whereas previously it was just random gusts blowing over the water. And so, the feminists, the environmentalists, the BGLQT and everybody else who sees an urgent need for a massive overhaul of our society now seem a lot more mainstream to me.

I've mainly stayed in the moderate-to-left group most of my life, but truth be told, I have nary an edgy bone in my body. I've strayed to the right a couple of times, but I now realize that the years I spent in the evangelical Christian realm were akin to time put in by an investigative reporter looking for the inside scoop.

One of the many things I like about this group I'm in now is that they're a WYSIWYG bunch, and they are more likely than any other kind of people to reach out to other generations. We had a bridging ceremony, in which high school age kids were welcomed into the adult community. The Good Asian Drivers were among the featured performers, and if you ever longed for a dash of pure glacier water right in the face to wake you up to what's in people's heads RIGHT NOW, you must check them out.. I have a choice here -- I can give in to the urge to feel "old," to say I'm past the point of being able to relate to 20-somethings, and in doing so become old overnight, or I can put the brakes on the age thing and drink it in until it makes a real difference in my life. Which brings me to another little factoid: Of the 8 people from my church on this jaunt, I was the youngest ... and quite possibly the one most in need of growing down a bit.

Then there was Van Jones. Check out his message. He didn't say one thing in his lecture last night that didn't resonate with me -- especially in the last couple of years that I've been working with my neighborhood association. The far right's rapidly dying paradigm -- the Strict Father model -- doesn't help anyone. It doesn't work. The world around me now -- not just me, but the whole world, all of life, the life I read about on cnn.com every day -- feels like a plant that hasn't been watered lately and is on the brink of turning yellow and dry and folding in on itself.

This political crystallization has been working in me for the past six years -- this weekend helped speed the process.

2 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

Interesting observations. I think age has mellowed me in some areas and made me crazy (or is that crazier?) in others. My tolerance for fools and damn fools is reaching zero and I have decided that momma was wrong -- I don't always have to be a nice girl. It's a freeing experience!

p.s.: Thanks for the link!

Elaine said...

Thank you - I enjoy the Friday "groaners!"