Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 08 November 2003

Another day without much writing. Today, though, it wasn't because I'm not quite sure how the next bit goes. I was simply too busy.

Early in the morning I read the first draft of my brother's zeppelin story, and wrote up some comments.

Later in the morning Jackie and I lifted weights. We took our warm-up walk along a different route from usual to swing by a new wine store that's opening just a couple blocks from the Fitness Center--we wanted to look for any sign of when they're going to open, and found that they were opening today! So, we shopped for a bit.

All afternoon and evening was spent at a wedding. One of my coworkers was getting married.

It was nice. I've not attended very many weddings; most of the ones I've attended, I've been a participant in--once as a groom, three times as a best man. I think this as just the second wedding I've been to where I was just one of the people there to witness the event and attend the party.

The group seated at our table were Christians--of some of the more enthusiastic denominations. The DJ had offered a prayer for the new couple and one of the people at our table asked him if he was a man of faith. "I could tell from the way you prayed that you were." The conversation turned to denominations. A couple were Pentecostals, I missed what the others were. But they were the sort of people who would say of friends who were not present, "They don't go to church--they're not bad people, though."

It's a situation I can find uncomfortable. What would I say if someone asked me if I was "a man of faith"? I suppose saying "yes" would only be a small stretch. Then they'd ask what denomination, and I suppose I could say that I used to go to the Unitarian church. There wouldn't been any need to mention celebrating the pagan holidays or the Ganesh poster in the living room or my Buddhist rosery.

We don't go to the Unitarian Church any more. I was comfortable there, at least with the religious part. (It'd be hard to feel excluded on religious grounds at a Unitarian church.) But there were some other issues, minor in themselves, but taken together just enough that we started having trouble getting off to church when the weather was bad, because we didn't want to drive through the ice and snow, and then deciding not to go when the weather was nice, because we didn't want to spend such a nice morning inside, and then just deciding not to go.

The people at our table talked about liking their various enthusiastic churches because they felt comfortable just raising their hand and saying a prayer. They talked about other churches where, if you raised you're hand, it would only be because you wanted to ask a question: where an exclamation of faith would get you stared it. It made me think of the Quaker services I attended when I was a student at Earlham. The Quaker meeting house always felt comfortable. People their didn't raise their hand, but did stand and speak when they felt moved by the spirt of God. It was the same idea, I think, as the Pentecostals, if perhaps somewhat different in the actual experience.

As I said, it's a situation where I can feel uncomfortable, but I didn't today. There were a few minutes there when Jackie and I smiled to one another and kept our mouths shut, but mostly we just enjoyed celebrating the wedding of some great friends.

When we saw the bride and groom slip out, we figured it was time that we escape as well. The sky was clear and we could see the eclipse. After we got home, I looked up the timing--the very minute we slipped out was the beginning of totality.


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