the luxury of silence

What do you enjoy doing most in your leisure time?

What is “leisure time”? The absolute beauty of my life is that it is filled with the luxury of silence. Not silence in the absence of noise. But silence is a personal choice to be in the presence of Jesus. So everything I do is done in the presence of Jesus – in the luxury of silence.

The solitary life – however it is defined – is about that luxury. It is the presence of Jesus.

here and now

What’s your dream job?

Oh wow! This one I will answer. As Fat Boy Slim said, “Right here and right now”.

I am very happy where I am right now. I am not sure if it is a job or a calling?! But my life at the moment is pretty great. For the first time in my life, I am not waiting for a better day or waiting on another person. I am simply me right now.

I am trying to be content with “right now”. Sometimes I long for a past that I cannot make into a present; sometimes I wish for a future that is not yet nor may ever be. The reality is that I am still working on my mental health, my relationships, and my sense of “me”. But I have a context. Kierkegaard considers monasticism an “existential stance” – I guess that about says it all.

now what?

In what ways do you communicate online?

To be honest, I am a social media “watcher”. I like to see what other people are doing rather than “do” myself. I have Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. But I watch more than I add to the conversation. And, TikTok makes me laugh!

I have this blog. It is more like a journal than any attempt to communicate. The blog itself – the “stuff” behind the scene – serves a purpose in my life rather than the “information” (what does that mean?) that it communicates. BTW: I have changed the URL of the blog!

I am, however, planning a podcast: now what? Once I get over my self-doubt and confusion – should someone claiming to live a solitary life have a podcast? – I hope to record regularly. I have nothing to say but I think that the process itself will be helpful for me.

So there you have it!

and the crowd goes wild

Come up with a crazy business idea.

So here is my idea: I pay people to come to a stadium until it is full (huge stadium!). Other people then pay me for them to go into the middle and get celebrated by the whole stadium. People can play their favourite sport or be their favourite celebrity. I would call it “and the crowd goes wild”.

being different?

What could you do differently?

I love these prompts. My answer is always, “everything”. But doing comes from being. Could I be someone different? If I took the mistakes from the past and “fixed them”, would I still be me? Ok, the “me” is not fantastic or even mildly satisfactory.

I remember once speaking to a priest who complained that I was overly sensitive. This came in the midst of a conversation in which the priest lauded various positives. I remember saying to this priest that you cannot have the positives (of me) without the negatives.

SO, there are plenty of things I could do differently. But would I still be me?

Presence

What is the greatest gift someone could give you?

By choice, I live alone. It is not misanthropy. It is a choice to be with Jesus. Yet, I do talk and interact with people. This is not an invasion of my “aloneness”. It is part of being alone with Jesus.

So the greatest gift that I can give to someone is my presence. That does not mean being “present” with someone but being present for someone. So I guess the greatest gift someone could give me is their presence. Not seeing me as “objective characteristics” that offer pre-conscienced ideas. But seeing me, listening to me, being present for me. That presence is not physical but always personal.

And, yes, that is Jesus. He offers me his presence! Not always with answers or solutions. Sometimes just hold my hand. And Jesus is polite – he will not force his presence on me. A simple act of surrender – of placing myself in his presence. The Cloud of Unknowning puts it this way, “Trying is my desire”. Kierkegaard speaks of faith as resolution.

eh?! No!?

Are you a good judge of character?

I have skipped a number of the prompts as they were, simply put, way too painful. But today’s looks like something I can work with.

So the short answer is No. The longer one is Noooooo! In reality, I spend so little time with people that I would not have a clue about their character. And, living in the “cult of personality” world, what is character?!

Personally, I trust people way too quickly. I move from acquaintance to friendship and then to enemies for life. And, I admit, mostly my doing.

So a very brief answer to a huge question.

Tea?!

List your top 5 grocery store items.

Oh wow! Tea, and tea, and maybe some tea, and lemon slice, and tea.

I like different types of tea but it has to be loose leaf. The routine is to make a fresh pot of tea in the morning and top it up with water during the day. So it is very strong in the morning and weaker in the evening.

I know that is not very exciting. And I get other items at the supermarket but I always check the tea specials first.

speech

Have you ever performed on stage or given a speech?

Yes, I have given a speech – a sermon. In fact, a number. I am not sure about performing on stage: I was once in a Year 6 play about the gold rush.

I find the idea of speaking to a large crowd a lot easier to face than speaking to an individual. Not as much instant feedback. In a modern context, it might be considered unusual to listen to a speech – we want instant entertainment and action. I know that I rarely watch a TV show (or the very occasional movie) all the way to the end. So when I speak I am always conscience of the fact that this is a somewhat strange thing. And, by the way, I am never happy with what I say.

Does that answer today’s prompt?