Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when...

RantWoman presents a sampling of the discomforts of Friends around her, together with more of that tells WAY too much of the Truth commentary.

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
--I think about bedbugs and my skin starts to itch. [Catty Comment Friend: Never mind that bedbugs are nocturnal, it's broad daylight, and I was out in my garden for hours picking up Goddess knows what before Meeting for Worship.]
--I think about bedbug eradication and not blowing out the worship room with industrial blowers after each round of bedbug eradication. I worry that every speck of poison is tested reliably to decay after four hours might not actually decay. [Nurse gushing sympathy Friend: "Ohhhh!" Science Nerd Friend: (thunderously loud eye rolling)]

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....

--RantWoman does Sudoku [cue Worse Auntie: be glad you can see across the room to be bothered! Oh wait, there RantWoman goes getting fixated again.]
--Another Friend crochets
--Another Friend reads silently.

[Cue the Elder-o-matic, Buddhist version: Friend, what are these reactions trying to teach you?]

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
RantWoman recently had a conversation involving a secondhand version of that comment. The comment came in connection with a circumstance where the commenter apparently has not taken advantage of opportunities to acquire information that might either ease worry or enable the Friend to refine analysis of their reaction. Still, RantWoman counseled that if the Friend can articulate bothersome behaviors or interpretations of circumstances, another Friend could be tasked with checking for behaviors and sitting with possible interpretations. But RantWoman is wondering whether anything more is needed than "I hear you Friend and I am sorry you are uncomfortable." The only thought teasing around the edges of RantWoman's thinking: how, beyond the Friend themselves speaking up, might there be a way to test whether the questioning Friend is the only one feeling what that Friend is feeling.

RantWoman herself can most assuredly see both what she knows to look for and points where her own capacity for vehement fixation have surprised her. On one hand, RantWoman sees a Friend with a truly remarkable story. On the other hand, sometimes not even when RantWoman is trying to look at the matter slant, RantWoman can see every loved one who has been hurt by some knuckleheaded outsider, a drunk driver, a petty street criminal, a circumstance the injured person did NOTHING to choose, the sort of hard scarring events that try one's soul and that no one anywhere can FIX. The Friend with the Remarkable Story is almost certainly not the appropriate target for this white hot ire. Even so, his story still pastes a big red bullseye across his presence.
RantWoman is unclear that the big red bullseye is exactly the point. The Friend with the Remarkable Story has a story that is so remarkable as to wash away the bullseye. But in the RantWoman theology, Meeting for Worship is NOT guaranteed to be comfortable, and it's not just different chair designs stabbing worshippers in varying parts of their anatomy. It's the sitting with hard Stuff, with mystery, with vexation, irritation, and the undying sense sometimes that, although one is certain one has all the opportunities for spiritual perfection one could possibly need, for some inexplicable reason, one is to be served up more, more from the same bowl as before and sometimes more from new bowls too!

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
...[cue the RantWoman school of Divine kicks in the butt and endless opportunities for spiritual perfection] Meeting for Worship is going pretty much as it is supposed to and I am being brought into collisions with all kinds of difficult Truth!

Oh heck! God / Goddes / Divine It / ... Bless us all?

A possibly topical blog post:

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