Somewhere in the mountains as we were driving and driving and driving back to the field, a new realization began to settle on me, about my writing here and this new space I live in.
You see it's not gone unnoticed by me that the writing in this space has become so sparse and narrow, and I've really become uncomfortable with that. I am censoring myself at every turn and I've started to run out of things that i feel comfortable talking about here mostly because I don't wish to cause offense, because that's not why I'm doing this.
I've always had a kind of a don't crap where you eat policy, here at the old blog. That is to say I tried to not get specific about my work, either its goods or its bads. Because that's just not fair for the place I work, or for me, and it's not helpful. So I would comment on my life things or my kids things or Lauralea and I things, or my house things or local community things or even general church things. But rarely about the local church I worked at.
But in moving here, at least for the time being, most of everything that I am here in this place is about my work here. And since I don't want to talk about things that are related to my work here, I am kinda hooped.
In the olden days I'd talk about my house or my lawn or my yard or the neighbours or the city and on and on. I could talk about these things because they were "my whatever." Now I live in a place, because of my work, and I live in a house owned by the church with a lawn cut by the church (Which is SO VERY NICE!!!). But it kinda removes those topics from my topic bank. You know what I mean? They are no longer mine so i can't justify comments about them.
If I were to throw out a flippant comment about the house being cold or hot, someone would be worried and concerned and may even call someone who may call a meeting to discuss my warmth or coldness. The concern is well intentioned, but I'm not interested in stirring up a whole lot of activity simply because of an off the cuff remark I lay out here. So every post is processed accordingly, and rightly I believe. And that turns this space into a tentative and deeply processed communication tool, rather than a place to explore the things that make me crazy or interested or, whatever I want it to be.
It's really quite a complex thing and I've been wrestling about it a great deal this winter. To quit or to continue, and if I continue, then how can I continue to be authentic here and share my heart, without being a problem.
I'm learning that these are some of the complexities of living in a rural environment, and a fish bowl. It was finely focused for me this past weekend when I was living among 2.5 million people and I was anonymous there and I didn't have to be concerned about what the local culture was. I could be who I was, and am, my culture. It's kind of like cross cultural ministry for me here because I'm coming into a different culture that I am learning. And the curve is steep.
So many people last weekend asked how it was going out here in the field, and a great many people here ask the same question of me. My answer used to be "Well this part is going good and this part is a struggle and that part is so so." Now my answer has become that "God has made it very clear that we are here for this season of life, so it is good." And it is good, just not easy. But whoever said life was easy.
So on weeks like this when I'm tired and cranky and so lonely, it's ok, because He brought us here and it will be well. I just need to figure out how I am to live and write in this space. We'll figure it out.