Thursday, August 23, 2007

Anyone seen my voice lying around?

About a month ago, "normal" life suddenly came to a halt. I knew it was going to happen. I was complicit in allowing it to happen. I was, as the saying goes, "shocked but not surprised."

My ministry in a particular parish came to an end. My ministry in a particular (some would say peculiar) diocese came to an end. I got on a plane and flew to an exotic far-off land for about ten days and had a bunch of exotic experiences. Then I came home, packed up the house, and moved 2,200 miles to a land where it seems to do very little but rain. At home I'm still treading water in a sea of cardboard and packing paper. In my daily work, I'm trying to learn a whole new cast of dramatis personae. I'm trying to take my familiar patterns of prayer and adapt them to new surroundings. I'm trying to hobble through life without an outdoor grill because I surrendered my New Braunfels grill-BBQ-smoker to the greater good of the move and haven't been able to replace it yet.

And in the meantime, I seem to have misplaced my "voice" as a blogger. Part of it is simply a matter of time. With a house still in chaos, it seems a little decadent to be spinning out erudite commentary on the arcane agonies of a boutique church. Besides, having kept up with little more than the headlines in the Anglican universe while I was vacationing and moving, I still feel out of the loop, and have really nothing new to add that hasn't been said better already by someone else (most recently, as is usually the case, by the ACI, this time by Craig Uffman). Yep, I'm still what the Stand Firm folks call a "communion conservative," in league with Radner and his ilk, and more and more wary of the ACN (which I can truthfully say I helped found).

But my blogger's malaise runs deeper than that. For the moment, at least, the passion just isn't there. I can't work up a decent froth over anything. I've been slipped an ecclesiastical sedative. I'm pretty excited about my new parish work--I'm passionate about that. But so far I haven't had the drive to join in the drumbeat leading up to the next HOB get-together. One possibility is that I'm just burned out on it all and will simply pretend that normalcy exists even in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Another possibility is that my lack of passion is tied to my changed position within the system. I'm no longer in a "hot" diocese, with my ecclesiastical "life, fortune, and sacred honor" riding on every breaking news story. I had speculated that my departure from San Joaquin would make me and my views less interesting to others. Quite possibly, however, my translocation has made me less interesting to myself!

In the meantime, I'm going to keep my eyes peeled, in the hope that my blogger's voice might come strolling by. If you see it, tie it up securely and give me a holler.


Mousie's Mommy said...

My first thought, Fr. C, after reading this blog was "don't fight success!" Being out of the mire is probably a good thing...and one which may increase your life span by many years! You may not be interesting to yourself (for the short term) but you are always interesting to B and me! We will keep an eagle eye out for your "voice," capture it and send it posthaste!

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

My first thought was: Don't be in a hurry to get your voice back, there are plenty of other voices already sounding. Perhaps a break from adding to the cacophony is just what God had in mind! As a moderate and self-proclaimed centrist, I find myself less and less passionate about adding to the froth generated every day, even every hour, by bloggers and others from across the theological spectrum. I have enough challenges with pastoring the congregation God has called me to serve without expending energy adding to the din!

Anyway, enjoy the silence of voicelessness and put finger to keyboard when you feel passionate and articulate enough to say something of value, as you have so often in the past.

Randy Muller said...

I'm glad your voice has returned. I hope and assume your interest in events coming soon will remain, just as your interest in the Episcopal Church remaining catholic has remained.

Anonymous said...

I do hate filling in the letters supplied below, partly because I never know whether they want capitals or not. The one supplied below looks like the last name of a Polish prelate. Szsadwxq -pronounced as in Cholmondeley as Sadsax.

At any rate I hope the muse returns along with a driver's license. As an alien, I now have to produce a "green card", no longer green which if one mislays it, as I have done at least 3 times in the last 40 years, requires months of wrangling with officials, form filling, picture taking and assurances that I have never been a communist or a Muslim fanatic: just an Anglican fanatic.

I am glad you are in a good diocese with one of the most splendid bishops this church, in it extraordinary process, accidentally popped up.

You will have plenty of time and space to wax eloquently after September 30th although I expect nothing much of that date or of anything much said by anyone on that date. I'm glad you and yours are back in what is left of the biretta belt.