Sunday, April 14, 2013

blessed are the peacemakers, except when they take themselves too seriously

I've never really studied birth order theories very much (although I did just read the Wikipedia article), but I've heard that middle children are usually peacemakers.  Whether I got that way because of being the middle of three daughters, or whether I would have ended up that way anyway, I seem to be cursed with the compulsion to mend fences.  Or at least, to try and help people see their opponents' point of view.

It's a tough time to be a peacemaker, because other than the six or seven of us who have the urge, nobody else seems to want peace--or at least, they don't want it unless it comes in the form that supports their agenda.  Finding common ground, resolving polarites--it all involves compromise, and that is not the spirit of our times.  This is a time of knowing what you believe, knowing that your opponents are wrong, digging in your heels, and refusing to give in.  It's admirable in many ways.  In a less divided time, we admire people who have strong beliefs and refuse to compromise.

But if you've got that peacemaker urge, it's like being stretched on a rack all the time these days.

Oh, good lord.

Do NOT google "stretched on rack torture" and then click on "images."  What was I thinking?  I thought I'd find an illustration--maybe a funny cartoon-- for how this feels, but trust me, it doesn't feel as bad as those pictures.  Blecch.  I could have lived a long time without having those pictures in my head.

Well, it worked to get my head cleared.  I was feeling all angst-y about my urge to be a peacemaker, to build bridges in an age when nobody wants to see things from their opponents' point of view, but that was a good slap up side the head to remind me that my life is just not that fricking hard.  Get over yourself, Aunt BeaN.  and for the record can I just say how happy I am I was not born in the Middle Ages.

Moving on.  Seems like when I sat down that was going somewhere, but now I can't remember where, and I need to keep typing until I get that crap out of my head, so let's see... what else could I tell you.  It snowed twice today, which was unwelcome (it's MID-APRIL) but not all that unexpected around here.  But even if we get enough to stick overnight, it won't last long.

Have I told you about singing in choir?  I spent quite a bit of time singing in various choirs when I was a kid--in elementary school I was in a group that sang at various community events, in high school I was in our youth choir at church (which involved trips and contests--called "festivals" in Southern Baptist-land because it wasn't supposed to be about competition but you better believe we knew exactly how well we did), in college I joined the choir at a local church for a couple of semesters, and for a few years after college I sang in my church choir and also in a women's ensemble.

Then we joined a church with a really good choir--the kind where you had to audition, and people with average voices need not apply--and then we moved here and somehow I just never joined the choir.  But for various reasons there have been a number of defections from the alto section recently, so egged on by a friend, I joined the choir.  It's been fun, and also it has increased my church attendance from about once a month to 3-4 times a month.  That has to be good, right?

And that's enough for tonight.

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