19.12.10

Caricatures and their truths


"Great enthusiasm, but a fly has enthusiasm and it doesn't stop it head-butting the window." (Lord) (Sugar) 


Rachel Marsovenus: The thing is, Lesley Bloke, I'm really really excited. I see Barth having a point of contact in the revelation to us and Brunner developing that point of contact like upwards, and it's all about the impact the Bible can have on your life and we obviously don't want to be doctrinal when we get people interested but there are Christian standards like. But I read your blogs and I don't get that, so I get like theological subjectivity if it is theological at all. Where's the rumour? Is it some theology we haven't done yet at college, or they might do at a different college.


It is quite strange to find yourself caricatured.

In training for priesthood, we're encouraged to become self-aware, to think over our strengths and weaknesses and to be accountable. With theological reflection and the pastoral cycle, transactional analysis, modules on pastoral care and counselling and a day working out our 'Myers-Briggs-iness', we gain insight and discover too that the traits that make us who we are are unlikely to disappear completely. I think the gospel also teaches us that God has made us each unique and he can use some of those characteristics about which we feel ambivalent for his purposes, if we let him.

Lesley Fellows has been reflecting on her caricature, as have I. Throughout my life, on school reports and work reports and now on the so-called 'Bishops Report', which is written throughout your training so that you might be placed somewhere as a curate with care, I have always been described as 'enthusiastic'. It is only during theological training that I have been encouraged to look at this aspect of my personality and wonder about it. I am learning that it needs to be tempered with a kind of steadiness, a long-term, big-picture perspective and sometimes a suitable sombreness. I think the priestly vocation requires some kind of careful balance between a gospel child-likeness and a careful maturity.

So Adrian's Radio Chatterbox dialogue asks his imaginary guests why they blog and I guess for me it has a lot to do with this child-like enthusiasm and this desire also for a kind of maturity that might be aided by the insights of others, who either challenge me with their comments or write interesting posts of their own from which I can learn.

Child-like enthusiasm has me instinctively trust people and so far, so good. I have not had to turn a comment down or filter anything particularly. My public profile is non-existent so perhaps I have little to risk, I have no episcopal oversight, I do not influence public opinion. I admire those bishops who blog their reactions to world events both at home and abroad and who share their joys and frustrations.

I think that the Anglican blogosphere is motivated by a desire to share a journey due to an orientation towards people, creating community, even a virtual one and to wanting to share that sense of awe and wonder that there is in being alive, however sometimes painful and frustrating that might be.

I intend to continue blogging, throughout curacy too. It is a habit that strikes some people as rather strange and as Adrian implies, a little risky, but I think overall, the risk is worth taking.

Adrian made me laugh at myself with the name he has given me: Rachel Marsovenus. It just shows how well someone gets to know you through all 'your stuff' exposed in posts over the years. I can only think it must allude to my interest in gender issues and how these are played out in the church ('Men are form Mars and Women are from Venus'). He has captured my enthusiasm with my 'really, reallys' and probably some of the ridiculous tangles I get caught up in, awed by theologians whose words fascinate and frustrate me.

Lesley has worked out who the rest of the team are and I must admit I really rather enjoyed being included in this group, even if our meeting was imaginary.

Merry Christmas fellow bloggers!!

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