(1) Greek or Latin?
Greek is way cooler, but also way harder. So… Latin. 🙂
(2) What drew you to the seminary, and where do you find that quality now that you’re out of the seminary?
I went to seminary because I was tired of working for Congress, and tired of trying to influence Congress while working for various grassroots efforts to persuaded 535 people to do something of value with their time in office. I thought that the priestly life might work for me, and that I’d get some satisfaction from helping people as an Episcopal priest.
What I discovered is that the (episcopal) Church kinda resembles Congress. There are smart and dumb people, conservatives and liberals, not enough women, too many blowhard white males (myself included, alas), a whole lot of sexual confusion (did I mention I was celibate for 5 years? 2 in seminary and 3 after), good people trying to influence the system, bad people trying to influence the system, and not a whole lot of clarity about anything.
On the other hand, daily worship was AMAZING. You’d think putting 200 different, politically opposed, socially-opposed, people in a room together and telling them, “pray now,” wouldn’t really work. But it does. The sermons, the hymns, the prayers were always about seeing other peoples’ point of view, high church or low church, conservative or liberal, liberation theology or no. And it WORKED.
Except for J.A.’s funeral. When the community lost first her, and then her daughter, so strangely and tragically, it broke us in so many ways, like watching the villain pull the pin out of the lock on the caboose. We were suddenly all aimed at various and uncertain ends, rather than pulling towards the same ideal as our goal.
So… now I just carry water.
(3) What do you do when you’re alone on a medium or long car trip? (i.e. No place else to go, nothing else to do, no one else to see.)
I talk to myself, make up songs, tell stories, recite poetry I know. Sometimes I’ll be able to hold a piece that I ‘write’ on the fly as I drive until I stop and get a chance to write it down. Advice to Erin’s Would-be Lover (See back a few entries) got written that way. I’ll stop and look at scenery; I’m a sucker for birds, rivers and bridges in particular. Sometimes I’ll listen to the radio, but I get bored after one or two songs on one station, and search for a better station. Eventually I turn the radio off.
I tend to use car time as thinking time. We don’t get enough silence in our lives these days, and even car time is a poor substitute. A student asked me the other day why I don’t use a CD player or an iPod, and the answer is — because I can’t hear myself when I use one.