I’m not done with my master’s degree, but I’m also not in school right now. The reason is a long story, or maybe several short stories all wound up together in succession. Either way, my life is in a pretty odd place. I miss a lot about being in school. I like being in school in general, and I really enjoyed being at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in particular. What I miss most is absolutely the conversations that were so easy to come by in grad school. In class, after class, in discussion groups, just hanging out with other students… it was so common for things to evolve into conversations of deep things. It was good for my brain, and good for my soul.
Being in a place where the goal is to become more than we are, individually and collectively, is such a beautiful thing. The Seattle School is one of those places people go because they dream of making the world a better, more beautiful place. I come to realize more all the time that I am diminished by no longer being a part of that community.
This diminishment is my own fault. Leaving school there was always inevitable. Even if I had never decided to slow down, and then taken a leave of absence, eventually I would have graduated, so either way I was going to walk away eventually. I needed to maintain a connection with a community of people who desired stepping into deeper conversations of ultimate things. I didn’t do that, but now I desperately need it back.
I had already been thinking along these lines, and then I got together with my friend Naomi and our conversation ended up running the gamut of all sorts of awesome things. We talked about politics, art, race, her music (she’s a brilliant singer/songwriter), 30 Rock. It was good.
My brain has been sleeping. Something has changed in me, has turned off. Even with my close friends I’m less likely to share my opinion and thoughts, which is really weird. My friends are safe, they might tell me I’m fucking nuts if I say something they don’t like, but they’ll still love me afterward… at least I think they will.
I need more outlets and contexts for conversation and engagement. Once I get going, it’s what I’m best at. Does anyone have some they are already a part of? Or want to start some with me? Think tanks? Writing groups? Discussion groups? Book clubs? Movie watching clubs? Anything?!? I’m already a part of a context that is trying to do this, and I don’t mean to diminish that, but I need more.
Maybe you live in Seattle and are interested. Maybe you live somewhere else and we would need to get creative. I just know I need to exercise my brain, to be me again, to awaken my soul from its painful and distressing slumber.
Any takers? Anyone? Anyone?