Thursday, May 27, 2004

Two extreme experiences..? probably not...

Please these are words of personal observation of myself and not in any shape or form a criticism but I identified an odd similarity in very dissimilar situations...

I went to Covenant Day at The Salvation Army Training College this week. A day where those training for ministry in TSA have a meaningful day of reflection and soul searching to see if they are really going to go through with it and be sent out into a life of mission as salvation army officers. An important day significant moments….

We strange people called Salvationists dress up in our uniforms as a supposed witness to all those for who their eyes fall upon us. The high walls around the college seem to preclude any such eye falling, however two squirrels in the grounds seemed to be impressed.

Sat there in our finery – a portrait of modernity, institution - I looked around and felt strange, uncomfortable. My world seems to be so different…

I went to BLAH! Last night. I have to say it was a positive experience. Creative. Fluid. Edgy. Emerging. Tallskinnykiwi (a really nice guy) tried to engage our thinking – largely successfully with video loops and imaginative artistic dialogue.

Sat there with half eaten bowls of olives kalamata and big fat Spanish ones, wine, OJ, tortilla, dips and fruit - a portrayal of post-modernity, freedom, choice and emergence - I looked around and felt strange, uncomfortable. My world seems to be so different…

Travelling home– I look around. There’s a city gent dressed in his cricket whites returning home after a session in the nets. There’s an African talking on a mobile in Lingala. Two Bengali girls giggling about the attention they are getting from a group of urban wear clad geezers! An older couple engaged in conversation. A mother with a push-chair and a sleeping child. A Chinese girl quietly texting. All different, unlike each other, dissimilar, variegated – waiting for a train.

That’s the world I’m in. I relax, I feel comfortable.

I think Zygmunt Bauman has something when he talks about ‘mixophobia’ which he says manifests itself in the drive towards islands of similarity and sameness admidst the sea of variety and difference.



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