March 19th, 2016


Does anybody know what I mean?

In writing this month's newsletter article, I found myself offering a meditation featuring large chunks of Middle English poetry, which I translated on the fly into Modern English. That'll raise some eyebrows. Then, for the Easter Sunrise Service, I find myself writing a message for two readers which has extended quotations from Dorothy Sayers and J.R.R. Tolkien. That's really rather more literary than we Methodists normally aspire to.

The interesting thing is, the non-geeks -- that is, the normal people -- in the congregation will, some of them, assume that I'm reaching. That I'm straining after some effect that is beyond them -- showing off, in fact. They couldn't be more wrong. This is the normal mode of my thinking, how my brain always works. I have to work extra hard at translating my shorthand, multi-weirdness, everything's connected kind of thinking into stuff that normal people recognize. It's only when I'm really, really tired that I can't make the effort to sound normal. I suspect I'm not alone in this.

So when your pastor gets extra freaky and a little more "out there" than usual, it's not because he's trying too hard. It's because he's too exhausted to focus what he sees all the time into an image that other people find easy to understand. That's the reality we people who live in our heads try to mask, so you'll think we're normal. We're not talking over your heads, we're just saying what our minds are thinking all the time because the regulator is temporarily broken on the gas jet.

It's related to the urge I feel when the cashier says, "That'll be ten sixty-six," to yell out, "Battle of Hastings!" Normally, I can throttle it, so she never knows what she almost provoked. But then there are times when you never know what you'll hear your own mouth say next.

Man, am I gonna sleep good on Easter afternoon.