A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Friday, November 11, 2005

In praise of other people


Goodricke A
Originally uploaded by sweet-indigo.
I am quite an anti-social person, by which I mean not an obnoxious hooligan (although I do own a hoodie, it has a Gilbert and Sullivan quotation on the back), but a hermit. I actually quite enjoy my own company - I can spend a lot of time alone, thinking, writing, pondering, and of course, on the internet. I enjoy going to places on my own... I was in some sense quite pleased that my trip to Edinburgh (for Make Poverty History) was done independently.

This may be a great strength (people often tell me I'm brave. Huh.) but it's also evidence of one of my great vices. I have trouble trusting people. I'm frightened of ruining the trust that people place in me. I like being a free agent in many ways because I won't let anyone down and nobody will let me down. This means that I can be a bit of a rubbish friend who forgets to phone. And e-mail. Sorry guys (you know who you are) :(

I had a friend called Abi (wonder where she is now? hmm) who introduced me to Simon and Garfunkel and we both shared, if that is possible, the fantasy of becoming a hermit goatherd in the Hebrides. Paul Simon put it well - Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock, I am an island


And of course 'Stay home' by the aptly named band 'Self' also puts it well:
Simple life's my cup of tea
I don't need nobody but me
Watch me march to the beat of my own drum


Of course every now and again I do get lonely, but recently I've isolated myself quite a lot. On Saturday, however, I went out to a fireworks display (we Brits have them on Nov 5th :) ) and Lizzie (editor of the campus Christian magazine and Doctor Who companion girlfriend of James) invited me to her house for a party. James (wearing his 20ft. Tom Baker scarf) asked me what I'd been up to.
"Being a hermit," I said.
"Stop," he ordered me. "Come to Dougsoc. Come to G&S."
Which is one of the many things (the scarf is another) that I suddenly realised I'd really missed about seeing James. I also missed the crazy text messages (he sent me one saying "breathing concentrated otto", I sent him one saying "Are you my mummy", to which the replies were "an existence a la Watteau" and "Go to your room" respectively), and just general James-ness. Lizzie's lovely too, we seem to get on really well and she likes stripy socks, which as far as I'm concerned must indicate someone with taste :)

And then, Monday I went to Christian Focus. I just didn't realise how much I missed it. Despite the fact that we were discussing Divine Command Theory (the idea that God essentially defines good, so say if he asked you to kill someone that would be a morally good thing to do), which was pretty heavy going, it was a pretty laid-back evening - ended up going to the bar and talking about Christian Unions and the inerrancy of Scripture with a guy from Bradford. Turns out we both love "Liberal Backslider" by Martyn Joseph.

Gonna take a stand on justice, take a stand on race
Gonna take me a TV evangelist and punch him in the face
I sing about the hope that's in me, Ask why the poor aren't fed
But if I don't toe the party line, it'd be better if I were dead


And I somehow managed to get my hands on a copy of Messy Spirituality (I lent mine to a friend in Cambridge) which I've been wanting to reread since it's a book that gives me hope even when I'm doubting. The Bradford guy had borrowed it from a girl at CF, only she had gone home, so I got to "look after" it. I love that book. "Spirituality is not about competency, it is about intimacy." The whole evening was a welcome change from my angsting over whether I believe the right thing. Also I met a guy who was excited to meet me because Lois had told him about me. He asked if I'd read The Lost Message of Jesus (controversial book by Steve Chalke). I said no but curiously enough Chrissie mentioned that in response to my entry on Universal Reconciliation. Which is slightly worrying, perhaps I am a heretic after all! :)

Yesterday I went to a magazine meeting, met the most infamous writer at last (who once wrote a shocking, but funny, piece of satire on the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship), and met Rachel (who's in CF and studies philosophy) and we were just having a chat, when who should I see, but Mark?

Mark was dubbed 'Cheerful Mark' by Matthew and me, on account of him always being cheerful and having the name Mark. He is possibly the most enthusiastic man alive. He's currently training to be a teacher and he's the sort of person who doesn't seem to see negativity in anything. I referred to him in this entry.
Mark, being so pleased to see me, didn't just settle for a hug but kissed me on both cheeks. If he didn't always seem so happy on every occasion I'd feel so selfish being his friend because he makes me feel special :) So I introduced him to Rachel and spent the rest of the day grinning about his amazing unabated enthusiasm.

And a final anecdote I have to give in praise of other people - I was having one of those morbid moments the other day when I wondered how long it would take for people to notice if I went missing. I figured it could take up to a week, because of my hermit-like activities. Last night I stayed on campus working. Yes, all night, it's a student thing.

Got a text message at 9.30am. It was from 'Kate' my housemate. "Sorry to act like your mum, but you're not dead in a ditch, are you? I just noticed you didn't come home last night."

Time taken? Under 24 hours. :D

So yeah, hermiting hasn't been that profitable lately. On the other hand, my friends have been great (and I'll also mention Chrissie who's been available for phone conversations *hugs* miss you hun, and thanks also Matthew for putting up with my phone calls). I need people to keep me sane. So thank you everyone! You've been really great, please forgive me for not being as good a friend as I should be.

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