Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We watched The King's Speech Saturday. Every bit as good as it was made out to be. And the story really resonated with me--the story of man unmistakably, and unavoidably called to greatness, who nonetheless has a terrible, embarrassing weakness obvious to everyone.

My own vocation is not nearly so great, and neither is my weakness so obvious. But as I get closer to ordination, I have felt some intensification of anxiety about the significant amount of responsibility I will be taking on, and the fact that I am at heart so flawed and fragile.

I've always been something of a hypochondriac--never about physical illness, but about psychological maladies. My imagination keeps cooking up all these excuses, reasons why I'm really not fit to be a minister.

I can't do this job because I have an undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder. I can't do this job because I'm really bipolar. I can't do this job because I'm on the verge of a psychotic episode. Or I'm suicidally depressed. Or I'm really transgendered. I can't do this because I'm not a human being at all, but a super-realistic android, and my whole life is just an experiment to see if a robot raised as a human can attain to a normal life. The experiment is failing. I should be deactivated and recycled for scrap metal.

But I'm afraid the truth is, I'm not crazy (above paragraph notwithstanding). I would like to be. I would like to have an excuse to give up, throw in the towel, jump off a bridge. But the truth is, I can do this job.

I keep clinging to an image of myself as utterly incapable of accomplishing anything, a complete and total failure. And yet, here I am one quarter away from completing an M.Div., getting ready to take ordination exams in August ...

Honestly, I don't know what to make of that. Obviously, the thoughts I have about myself are ridiculous distortions. Yet they hold some truth. I may not be crazy, except that to be human is a kind of madness.

Perhaps George VI was lucky to have such an obvious weakness--it made it clear up front that he was a flawed and fragile human being, like me, like everybody else--and that his greatness did not eliminate that frailty, but transcended it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Una Poema

So last night, Brandon gets home and notes that I seem tired.

Slumped over at the table, each word requiring an effort, I exclaim, "Must ... write ... perfect ... brief, explanation ... for my blog ... of what is wrong ... with Platonic metaphysics ... from a Christian perspective ..."

"Is this for your internship?" Brandon begins to ask and stops himself, "This is just to appease the demands of your muse, isn't it?"

Oh, the muse. Indeed a harsh taskmaster yesterday--but then (of course, when I was supposed to be going to bed) she graced me with a very special gift: my first ever poem in Spanish.

It's certainly not in the beautiful/profound category--just quirky/philosophical. But it sure was fun to write. (English translation below.)

Fingir a Querer

Yo quiero lo que no puedo tener
quiero el imposible
Pero si de verdad no puedo tenerlo
¿es un verdadero deseo?
¿o quiero querer y solo fingir
que quiero tener lo que quiero?

Ahora escucho a mi corazon
¿Quieres querer o tener?
Me dice, "Yo debo fingir a querer"
Así le pregunto por qué
"¡No sé! Que extraño. ... Ahora yo veo:
es porque yo no quiero nada."

Yo no quiero nada. ¡Que serenidad!
Siento tan mucho mejor
quiero sentir esta paz por siempre
--¿o solo quiero quererla?

Pretending to Want

I want what I can't have
I want the impossible
But if I really can't have it,
is it a real desire?
Or do I want to want and only pretend
to want to have what I want?

Now I listen to my heart
Do you want to want or to have?
It says to me, "I have to pretend to want"
So I ask it why
"I don't know! How strange. ... Now I see:
it's because I don't want anything."

I don't want anything. What serenity!
I feel much better.
I want to feel this peace forever
--or do I only want to want it?

Monday, March 7, 2011


So, last month, we started doing Zumba classes at the gym. I kept thinking, the first two weeks, I should write some silly little piece about how terribly clumsy and uncoordinated, how absolutely awful I was at it--you know, quick, before I got really good.

Um ... dream on, me-of-the-past.

Okay, so, yeah, definitely been at this for over a month now, and definitely still chronically about one and one third beat behind the rest of the class, still the gaping dope struggling to catch on, even when all the instructor is doing is marching in place. "C'mon, dummy--left, right, left, right--no, your other right! How can it be that hard?" Once I finally get the hang of some step, I cannot allow my mind to wander even for a moment, or else all is lost, and suddenly, I'm just standing there, looking like a complete idiot, as everyone else moves gracefully, all together, in perfect sync, or so it seems to me.

I blame it on my autism spectrum non-disorder. (Because even with the supposed over-diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, people like me, without a disorder at all, continue to slip through the cracks.) It's all about having a one-track mind--being able to block out external stimuli, finding the world at large to be overwhelming, shutting it all out, except a small, manageable bit.

But more specifically, related to my utter ineptitude at Zumba, it's about only being able to think about one thing at a time. If I try to do the footwork, I can't manage the arm/hand motions. Even once I get the hang of the leg part, if I try to add the arms, it just all goes to pieces.

This is also why I am the world's second worst driver. "Oh dear God," I hear you say, "Someone out there is a worse driver than Virgie?!" Indeed. The world is not safe.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Does This Even HAPPEN???

Brandon caught a whiff of some horrible stench the other day and was having a hard time locating its origin. It seemed to disappear when he shut the case of the DVD he'd just checked out from the library. Puzzled, he re-opened the case, sniffed the inside of it and retched in disgust.

I guess he must not really love me, because what he did next was bring the DVD over to where I was and have me smell it, too. Horrible, horrible, horrible stinking body odor. The discs and the inside of the case positively reeked of B.O.

How does that even happen???

The only explanation I can think of is that it was lost for a week in the fat folds of some 700-lb person. I wiped it with copious amounts of glass cleaner, which helped, but did not entirely eliminate the odor. So bizarre.