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Posts Tagged ‘geekery’

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.  — Carl Jung

Yes, it is indeed that geekiest of holidays: Star Wars Day.  In our family that means an all-day full length marathon of Star Wars movies.  Of course, Flash and I disdain the new three, so the kids watch Jar-Jar and the adults wait for the real thing.  The fact that after over (ahem) thirty years of watching the film we know most of the lines by heart doesn’t seem to reduce the fun.

Except–if you’ve been paying attention, you know this whole “change my life, move across the country, engage life anew” blog inspirational thingy was originally spawned by my own diagnosis with severe depression.  And the problem with severe depression is sometimes it crawls back and bites you on the ass.  Today was not a good day.  I had horrible nightmares all night, and by the time morning came I was ready for a full-fledged withdrawal from the world and an overly melodramatic cry. 

So I coped.  Maybe not as well as possible, but I made it out of bed and not a tear escaped.  I even joined my kids for part of the first trilogy–although if anything is able to induce depression, George Lucas’s take on the prequel to one of the great mythological pieces of the 20th century will certainly do so.   If there is any point to my ramblings this evening, it is that the loss of joy that happens when your brain goes awry is truly incomprehensible.  Me?  Not enjoy Star Wars?  How is that possible?  For almost 20 years I’ve been dealing in a professional capacity with people suffering from depression, but I just never really got it.  Well, I get it now.  It sometimes feels like life will never be the same again, as if someone has mysteriously changed the world from full HD color to a grainy black and white. 

Perhaps that is what inspired my incredibly ambitious plan of jettisoning our worldly possessions and spending the summer travelling across the country.  I’m looking for something to remind me of the color, the joy, the simple pleasures that have become difficult for me to grasp at times.  Some days it is there, and then others like today I wake up and it slips through my fingers like smoke. 

And, of course, may the force be with you.

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My experience of the past two years and my ultimate social and mental defeat (albeit temporary, I have hope)  has led me to reflect on what I have discovered about the nature of  community.  Strangely, for someone who has spent her entire adult life employed by churches (dare we say, “church communities”) I’ve always struggled with finding true community.  A place where the metaphorical masks come off.  It’s not that I don’t have a wonderful family, fantastic friends… but those I am closest to are all members of a very small subculture.  Geek tribe.  Ironically, a place where literal masks sometimes go on.

Now, you may say that I might have to be more specific about my allegiance.  That the real geeks are (choose your personal favorite):  comic geeks, science geeks, cosplay fans, hobby boardgamers,  computer nerds, anime otaku, schoolgirl goths, nerdcore rappers, yaoi readers, SCA reenactors, old-school role-playing gamers, sci-fi fanatics or anyone who owns any sort of t-shirt referring to the above.  It’s a cross-section of geekery like you only see at Comicon.  And… it’s my tribe.  And if you have any idea what I’m referring to above, it’s most likely yours as well.  Yep.

As I’ve struggled the past two years to create lasting friendships in a new community, I’ve realized that ignoring my own geek tendencies only compounds the problem.  I live a double life–pass for vanilla by day and then come home and have fun with my family.  So one of my dreams is that as we travel across the country, as I journey into where and what I want to be, I am able to be authentically… me.  Just me.  The woman who spent much of the past week jailbreaking her iPhone so it looks like a Star Trek TNG Padd.  It’s fantastic.  Regardless of whatever stars the other sneeches have on thars.  Isn’t that part of the human condition, how God created us to be?  And, importantly, I must ask the obvious question:  Can I be myself and still find ministry in my life? 

Tonight I’m having Mommy/Son time with Kinetic.  We are watching favorite movies like the original Indiana Jones and a couple of Harry Potter movies, plus he spent some time playing Oblivion while I watched.  Ice cream is involved.  We’re going to “sleepover” on the couch and watch movies until we fall asleep. 

  We’re able to have this together time because Flash and Entropy are out at one of their favorite   Friday night events–Magic The Gathering league play at the game store.  It is mostly attended by men from their 20s to middle age, but 9 year old Entropy fits right in.  Tonight he wore his Requeza hat.  (That’s a Pokemon, for the uninitiated.)  He’d worn it all day.  Entropy was amazingly well-behaved, asking people’s names, introducing himself, shaking hands.  Then it happened, as he interacted with one of the few kids his own age.

Kid sitting next to Entropy says, “Dude! You have your own Requeza hat!  That’s awesome!”

I want all my life to be like that.  Dude!  You are awesome!

Back to the boxes tomorrow.  The mountain grows behind the couch, and the empty boxes have taken over the entryway as well as much of the living room.  That’s for tomorrow.  For tonight remember: there are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

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