Friday, October 26, 2007
I battled it out. I nurtured an interest in music. It is after all the acceptable way to worship God. I learned to play guitar, even wrote a couple songs. I truly believed that music was my thing. It didn't occur to me that making it my thing made me appear to fit.
Well, sometimes it occurred to me. Occasionally I would take a good strong look at the things that truly got me excited, and wonder how these could possibly be of any value. How does my personal character make-up contribute to the church as I know it?
The answer was that it simply didn't. What, after all, can a passion for very sharp things and tree climbing offer a culture of clap-happy evangelicals? I was the best armed pacifist I had ever met. If it was black and silver and sharp, I had to have it. I was the most agile person I knew, I could function nearly as well on all fours as on two legs, be it on the ground or up in branches. I tried that other stuff but the unhappy truth was that the only music that got me excited was loud, angry, growly.
I knew I didn't belong, but I stuck around anyway. Sometimes it felt okay, I deceived myself into a state of contentedness, but there was no passion, or excitement. I always felt that I was missing out on some terribly important secret to my existence. Maybe it was simply because I didn't know anyone who shared my interests (or admitted to it) but I think it was mainly something I did to myself.
I mean, it would be so easy to blame the church, wouldn't it? Church culture held me down and stripped me of my personality, church pigeon-holed me. Church took away from me the things I loved and replaced them with things I thought were "okay."
The truth is that no one, not church or republicans or nazis, can take anything away from me without my permission. If I felt stripped or pigeon-holed or zombified, it's because I allowed it to happen. I may have fooled even myself on most days, but on those other days, the days when I scampered up my favorite oak to doze in the shade somewhere between the ground and sky, when I heard the satisfying thump of a throwing knife embedding itself in a target, I knew that I was living a lie.
I really think that the variety of personality is fascinating. I think everything that we instinctively love serves some sort of purpose in our lives, no matter how outlandish it may seem. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time slot, like I was meant to be some sort of warrior. As though some integral part of my being needs to fight..... something. This is perhaps why I feel so much more settled now that I've incorporated a punching bag, martial arts, and agility training into my life. But people don't get born into the wrong time slots, do they? Is there room or purpose for a sword-happy-treehugging-comic-reading-girl-power-daydreamy-animal-loving spaz like myself in today's world?
Are the things we love about ourselves put there intentionally, or merely the product of upbringing and environment? Does everything serve a purpose, or are our hobbies like cheap chinese knock-off swords, designed to decorate walls, make us feel like individuals, but nothing else? Do these things have anything to say about who we are or are they like the outfits we wear to express ourselves?
And what about reincarnation? Is it possible that I've been here before? And if so, how much of my previous lives inform my current personality?
People always look at me funny when I run up a tree, but the truth is, I'm happier there. I'm sane there, safe, complete. It's a small thing, even silly, but it's so very important. Is there a "why" or is it just "what it is."
The reason I ask, is I finally got around to visiting the new "Liquidation World" tonight and when I turned around and beheld the glorious wall of weaponry, I very nearly got slain by ecstasy.... pointy objects in every shape and style and color. Some tacky and cheap, others sleek and functional..... and also cheap.... and why do I love them? What jumps inside of me and makes me touch them?
The set I wanted was out of stock, and they'll call me if they get it back in. In the meantime I bought a wooden sword, mainly because it was pretty but also because you're less likely to decapitate an intruder with a stick..... And who needs the legal grief of a headless robber?