Monday, January 14, 2008

Who me?

Do you ever have a day where you are sitting at a table with others and you feel so different from them?

A common human experience I’m sure…

Sometimes I eat lunch with some friends who are interested in things I, well, am not as interested in. Like movies and TV. They had to explain to me why there was no G.Globe this year. And they always mention so many actors and singers I have never heard of…

So I don’t have a TV. So I usually don’t listen to music. Though I do LIKE music, but well, not usually the music of today’s pop culture.

I like old detective movies from the 70’s and 80’s – esp. of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I guess if I do anything TV like it is reading blogs; and I am re-reading a PD James book.

I am also sitting in a room full of lit candles and the only manmade light is from my computer screen; and I like teapots and teacups.

The cool thing with this group I eat with is that they still accept me – I am the only Christian and probably the only Orthodox Christian they know – they think that my church has really good food! (I have described it before, as talking about a church meal is easier than talking about liturgy, as food is familiar and they are really not necessarily up for hearing in detail about theology) (I keep hoping though).

It is like being in another world though and like I do not know how to meet half-way that well.

I would love to hear about others who perhaps also struggle with this – I know those of us who are Orthodox are around this deep beauty in church – even the most humble mission church has beauty because icons, including replications, are so beautiful. And to be surrounded by the cloud of witnesses and to see all these saints who love us. Wow. It is no wonder that being anywhere else is a bit jarring. The world is not with us…

Any stories about this and how you deal with living in seemingly duel worlds? I would love to hear…


Anonymous said...

At my work, most of the people around me are either atheists/agnostics or nominal somethings...the 3 exceptions are 2 devout Catholic men and a Muslim woman...we chat and talk about faith in hushed tones at work...I like to think it's because we don't want to scare anyone....hehe.

V and E said...

I find it very, very hard to discuss Orthodoxy.

With the initiated and the interested, it is easier, although still hard - there are common grounds of belief or respect.

But with the dwellers of these strange lands in which we dwell? What can be said? What can be shared?

For me, what makes it so difficult to discuss Orthodoxy is that at its heart there lies so much beauty, so much soul-nourishing Light... and there are things that ought not be discussed, ever. Things too ineffable, things too sacred, things too personal.

To speak of the holy idly? The sacraments are not dinner conversation, and one does not speak of the workings of the Holy Spirit when shooting the breeze.

I suspect, Elizabeth, that your discomfort is more than the social awkwardness of being 'not of this world'. I suspect it also stems from a wholly appropriate desire to veil what is sacred from profane eyes.

- V.

V and E said...



"But with the dwellers of these strange lands in which we sojourn? What can be said? What can be shared?"

The original was accidentally repetitive.

- V.