What do you think of the new look?

Isn’t interesting how going from somber, grey, and black to all white, bright, and happy almost changes the feel of the posts?

It’s only a little bit of an exaggeration to say that the medium is the message.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

6 thoughts on “What do you think of the new look?”

  1. Perhaps this is the real you, but it detracts from the impact of the blog name “Jeff’s deep thoughts,” and seems almost effeminate or at least metrosexual.

    If you and your other blog visitors like it, great.
    But it hurts my eyes.

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  2. Interesting, about the disconnect between blog name and appearance. Not the first time, in honesty, that words like effeminate or metrosexual have been applied to me. 😉

    It takes about 2 seconds on WordPress to change appearance. I think I’ll try a different look each day until I get bored… Which probably won’t take long.

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  3. This look that you’ve chosen today, on Bastille Day, isn’t bad. I kind of like it. It makes me think of a large, cozy, overstuffed loveseat in wheat and gray-green variegated corduroy fabric, where I can lie with my bum in the bucket, hang my long legs over the pillow and cushions at one end, and resting my tired head on the other arm, read the Hebrew psalms out loud to myself on a partly cloudy day (obviously the loveseat is right below some large windows).

    I know what effeminate means, but honestly I don’t really know what metrosexual means, unless it is the description of the kind of new Orthodox that have been joining my local church in the past year… childless, man/shaved head and goatee, woman/short straight hair where the back is shorter than the sides, otherwise almost exactly alike in appearance, wearing curiously artistic but shabby clothes, don’t talk to anyone except each other and people who look like them. Is that anything like metrosexual?

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  4. I think the term started off referring to a certain breed of late twenty-something to mid-thirty something who tends toward vanity and hipness. They are the sort who have a medicine cabinet full of “product”. Gautees, soul patches, carefully groomed hair are the order of the day.

    More recently and broadly, it’s come to refer to guys that are clueless about typically male interests such as sports and cars. Just for the record, that’s the sense in which it applies to me. I’m pretty casual and low key about my appearance.

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  5. I likewise know nothing about nor care to know much about sports and cars or other typical “masculine” things, and I am really not very hip, and my beard is white and longer than in my passport photo (which is the profile photo in the octagon on my blog, almost two years ago), so no one dares refer to me as a metrosexual, a metropolitan maybe (is that you, bishop Romanos?) or maybe a metrocasual, because I do wear shabby and worn clothes, though I iron them. To me, the proper masculine interests are (1) scripture study, with prayer (2) martial arts or other physical exercises, (3) training younger men in the two previous, and (4) protecting and providing for a wife and family, if married, or doing the same for orphans and widows, if single. You may think I am joking, playing at being pious, or just plain crazy. But I am serious. This is why I am not a person people know what to do with, and why no one ever asks me over, or at least not much, except berserk guys like me (I don’t accept invitations from women, except through their fathers or husbands; widows haven’t approached me yet).

    This has been fun, don’t you think? I almost feel like we’re in a romp. Now, back to my bowflex workout…

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