Thursday, September 1, 2011
this is the inner world that informs me
I just used a six-letter word in church when my phone fizzucked izzup as I was chimping pictures, in order to post them on facebook and on this blog. "Dizzammizzit!!" just fell naturally out of my mouth, fortunately not loud enough that anybody heard me. I am here at the back of a quarter-full sanctuary at St's Peter & Paul, about an hour after myself and a onie full of chocoloupe got my bake on--good stuff!
i did yoga in the pews. i was alternating between: a) activating my muscles dynamically in static yoga poses; b) stretching and using the seat of the pews to massage my upper hamstrings, and the pewtops to massage around my shoulder blades, and my lower ribs and abdomen; c) gathering myself for prayerful moments; and d) writing personal notes on an old bulletin.
there were some teachers and administrators from the church school up front giving a presentation to the students' parents explaining their program, including how important it was that the students take their studies and their homework seriously, and are always on time with their assignments. overall their pedagogical approach appeared to have a good ethic, well punctuated by giving students 10-15 minutes at the end of each class period to get started on their assignments, for the purposes of momentum and assistance from the teacher.
for the most part, none of the parents really looked back and noticed me, though i think the presenters sitting up front did, though i was trying to minimize myself as a distraction for them. for me, it was an exercise in exploring boundaries and values. i think churches should be open to all and are vastly underused resources. having found a new use for pews presented me with an opportunity to move into my enneagram-8 space, from my usual 5 position. i don't believe i would do this during a regular worship service unless the service were geared toward stretching and yoga (maybe that will be an avenue for me to pursue in my own ministry one day, maybe not).
anyway, after they were done, sister celine came over and said they'd be closing up so everyone had to go. i asked her if i could go into the candle rooms. i went into each of them and cast a spell to bring god's love-light down into those rooms like streams of a waterfall. i think i made her nervous.
in order to be in good interpersonal relations with her, i probably should've checked out my assumptions, but i didn't. i had to ask her her name three times before i had it memorized. we talked about the church a little and about our plans. i don't know if we were having the same conversation however. she was feeling compelled by some force to close down the sanctuary area, and i didn't know what it was, i couldn't discern what it was, and i didn't ask to check it out with her. that would've required asking her if she wanted to be in dialog with me. gosh, i sound like mister spock all of a sudden....
(me, with warm toasty smile, and non-anxious) "hello sister, how are you?"
"good, thank you. we're going to be closing down now that the meeting's over, so i'm going to have to ask you to head toward the exit."
(standing up) "okay. thank you for letting me do my yoga and stretching here. this is a very nice church you have here. the architecture is wonderful. i wish i could spend more time here to get to know the building and the community, but i'm going to be moving to pittsburgh in a couple weeks. my name's joel."
"i said 'my name's joel.'"
"oh, i'm sister celine."
i could've said:
"excuse me, sister celine, if you will, i would have dialog with you."
"i was sensing just now that my presence might be making you uncomfortable, but without checking in with you, that's just my assumption. i am wondering what this might be about. when you came to approach me a minute ago, what was your feeling and your intent?"
instead i just said "thanks for letting me do my yoga thing, do you mind if i go into the candle rooms for a minute," and thought to myself that i was a freak in her eyes and those of her fellow teachers. eh....