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Fade to black

On the way home yesterday, thought about how I doubted I could successfully go back to my old line of work in higher education anymore, even if there were an open door. I feel plainly and simply too old for the front-line work, and navigating the agendas and back-room politics of upper administration is too maddening to be worthwhile.

As if to punctuate the latter point, this morning brings news of more of the same from my last institution. This kind of garbage is hardly exclusive to Jesuit institutions, but it adds a texture that's all the more sinister and repulsive.

Still, it's strange to realize that a competency has vanished, that I can no longer effectively do something at which I once excelled. That's life, of course—it's not the first to slip and likely won't be the last. I'm just not who I was, and I have to try not to see that as a failure. In some respects, I never was who I hoped to be, and maybe that's the kind of thing I can only come to grips with over time. Letting go of heroes is hard, and perhaps none so difficult as myself.


I know what you mean.

what is "shocking"?

In the PI story, Bollard was quoted as describing the cards he was sent as "shocking". I found this intriguing. Should Christians find certain things "shocking" and others "not shocking"? And if so, what things should go in the two lists? Or can we even generalize that much? And if we can, what grounds can we provide as bases (on an aside, is "bases" the plural of "basis"? and if so, is it pronounced "BAY seez" or "BAY sez"?) for our generalization and for our lists? Hmmmm...

Re: what is "shocking"?

A couple of great questions. I think you and I are similar in that we find few if any things truly "shocking," even if they might be disturbing, etc. On the one hand, I could attribute my unsurprise to a theological understanding of the world's brokenness and man's capabilities and so on. On the other, I think some of us simply have experiences and/or temperaments that make us harder to shock. I don't know where between the two an answer might lie. For my part, I suspect I will be more shocked by God's holiness and goodness than by any evil I may see here.

On the aside regarding "basis," I was just asking the same question a few minutes ago. Spooky...

Re: what is "shocking"?

Indeed. This is why I often get wierded out by Christians who carry on quite blasely (damn, I want an accent mark over the "e" in "blasely") ok, wait, here it is "blasély" (yes!!) about holiness--like they sing about in worship, and they talk about in sermons, and so forth. It always strikes me like a bunch of fish carrying on about "dry". And I mean bottomfish, not flying fish. and this metaphor works well for me with the other as well. I mean to say, Christians (or people, for that matter (not that the two groups are necessarily mutually exclusive)), experiencing shock over (sin/darkness/horror) are like fish experiencing shock over wetness. I just don't get that. But that's me, and I don't get LOTS of things on a regular basis, and on regular bases
I noticed last night that I DEFINATELY don't have the patiece needed for Higher Ed anymore. I hate to say it, but much of my bedside manner has been lost over the past 18 months, and I no longer feel I can, or even really desire, to identify as much with the population.

Granted, I still hink I'm good at working with them, but in a tough-love kind of way. It's the just the i'm-ok-you're-ok-let's-talk-it-out mentality of the field dosn't come naturally anymore.
so gross.
I hate hearing about this happening, each and every time. While not exactly "shocking," they do make me mourn. The experience of these young men and children is very real to me. Somewhat distant family members of ours were victims once -- well, many times. That sort of abuse doesn't leave a person alone just because it's stopped. Sinister and repulsive, good words.
Figuring out where you belong is hard and for me, it hasn't turned out as a I expected. Sometimes the place you belong isn't easy or fun or necessarily where you want to be - but it's still where you belong.

Letting go of things is darn hard. Letting go of parts of yourself is near impossible. I never thought it would take so much effort to unclench ... especially when I'm holding tightly to things that are long gone.