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Have I become… 11 April 2014

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings, Time.
Tags: , ,

…Comfortably Numb?

I suspect I should blame it upon my age. The birthday approaches, the numbers spin upwards towards one I don’t really wish to contemplate, and my mind wanders. In the light of the stimulation my brain has been getting from reading research proposals (as a member of the university Research Ethics Committee) I have found myself dreaming about research and pondering my own old PhD, and how to get it into readable shape (not so easy with a data format that is nearly 20 years old). And that’s without the theological challenge of one of the proposals (about the measuring efficacy of pagan spell practise). I find myself meeting visitors from the US and pulling out my old 1980s Rand-McNally road atlas of America, reading Bill Bryson and trying to grapple with the immensity, and incomprehensibility of it all. I find an invitation to learned discussions on the Russian mafia, led by a gaming friend and taking place on my birthday, in Moscow, strangely appealing (and yes, monumentally improbable!) I even had to turn down the offer of tickets to a classic motorsports event at Silverstone this weekend. (It wasn’t until afterwards, when I explained to the GLW, that she said I should have taken the nephew who lives but 20 miles away).

My life isn’t an unpleasant one, however. I have no wish to flee from what seems at this time to be the perfect manifestation of my vocation, as University Chaplain. I do not hanker after the embrace of another woman. My aspirations are modest (at least the affordable ones) and my biggest gripes seem to be that the children don’t tidy up, that I can’t concentrate over the TV choices of others, and other similar items of minor domestic pettyness. I am both gently satisfied and gently dissatisfied.

And yet, and yet… the question must be asked: have I become comfortably numb? Too often my immediate response to suggestions, both internal and external, seems to be negative. Stasis. No change. Like the Silverstone tickets offer. Negative for a good reason, that I don’t feel that it would be fair on my wife and children. (And as to visiting somewhere far flung, well, let’s just say that I should be more concerned about clearing the credit card than buying tickets for serious air travel…)

Gentle dissatisfaction, and gentle satisfaction. Two sides of the same coin. Not moved enough to actually do something different. Not bothered enough to really plan, nor worried enough to clear the outstanding oddments. Lacking the word still beloved of evangelical Christianity, “passion”.

I’m not looking for sympathy, nor having a pity party. I am merely thinking aloud, musing. Neither despair nor wild joy, but somewhere in the middle. How terribly, predictably, middle-aged and middle of the road! (And still smiling…)

(And, for the Pink Floyd fans among you, here’s the You Tube link).



1. Jane Williams - 11 April 2014

Resting between passions, perhaps? You can’t live on the adrenaline-inspired edge all the time, it’s too tiring.

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