Confronting my weirdness… Again

I had an epiphany the other day. It was triggered by inexplicable feelings of melancholy and loneliness, made worse when I realised that no one reads these articles. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I think perhaps two people read each article, on average. But why is it that I’ll get so much more engagement if I post a photo of my children, compared with a carefully thought-out philosophical musing or poem? Why would I have more attention from an image, not even of myself, than from an exposition of my deepest self and thoughts?

Maybe I just have no friends.

But that’s a bit harsh. As my husband pointed out, most people go onto social media to be distracted, not to think; to be entertained, not to engage. It’s much easier to like an image than to wrestle with ideas, especially when the image is of cute kids doing cute things; especially when it doesn’t demand your attention or a change of heart or… well, anything; especially when you’ve had a long day at work and a longer day at home and just need to unwind and switch off.

And here’s me, spending my days off making things and thinking things and writing things. Those words make me think of dying little deaths. An unwinding of a bandage- its job done, time to throw it away. Switching off devices and appliances- no further need for them, they can be put down. No: I refuse. Even on my days of rest, I’m still alive, I’m still a part of this world, I will still engage with whatever is around me.

But come on, let’s face it. Engagement is a weird way to rest. After all, who spends their free time learning how to sew pants, in this age of cheap fashion? Who spends their time in cultural exegesis of parenting behaviour, or reading ancient Chinese historical novels? (I’m a fan of Cao Cao and think Liu Bei is soft. But that’s just me.) Who prefers reading stories over watching them? Who prefers thinking about why life is the way it is in their free time?

The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things. There’s no moral worth attached to how we rest. (Well, unless you rest by committing adultery or arson. That’s probably a morally wrong way to rest.) It’s just that I haven’t found anyone who enjoys and rests the way I do.

So we are back with this epiphany I have every few years: I’m weird. And no one I know really enjoys all the weird things I enjoy. And no one reads what I write. And that’s ok, because I was always doing all these things because I was interested in them, not because of others. So, let’s keep writing, and reading, and making, and thinking, even if it’s weird and no one else cares. Because things worth doing should be done, regardless of personal cost or external opinion (or lack of).

4 thoughts on “Confronting my weirdness… Again

  1. Hi Esther, just read this (yes someone else read it!) and wanted to write a few measly things that I thought may encourage you. As a chaplain at Sydney Uni explained to me, to those of us who think and have been given Christ’s wisdom much compassion is needed. It is easier to distract, and to consume and to do so that we may live an unexamined life. After all, without ideals there is neither heaven nor hell, joy nor despair. There is only okay mediocrity which helps one survive a gray existence in a black world. I find much of my life in Kierkegaard’s words and here one is timely:

    “Lord Jesus Christ, our foolish minds are weak; they are more than willing to be drawn—and there is so much that wants to draw us to itself. There is pleasure with its seductive power, the multiplicity with its bewildering distractions, the moment with its infatuating importance and the conceited laboriousness of busyness and the careless time-wasting of light-mindedness and the gloomy brooding of heavy-mindedness—all this will draw us away from ourselves to itself in order to deceive us. But you, who are truth, only you, our Savior and Redeemer, can truly draw a person to yourself, which you have promised to do—that you will draw all to yourself. Then may God grant that by repenting we may come to ourselves, so that you, according to your Word, can draw us to yourself—from on high, but through lowliness and abasement.”

    Beyond that, in our weirdness and alienation from others, we’re reminded God has made him for himself. He has known us and called us by name; a name that only he knows. And so like the lilies of the field we exist only for his pleasure which only he and we know even if no one sees. I wrote something with you in mind amongst that and it’ll be published tomorrow! I hope I can share it with you. Keep writing and living for his glory.

    Like

    1. Aw thank you Nathan. It’s glorious to see God’s continuing work in you and you know what, I do need that reminder that whatever meaning we derive, whether from trivial or profound, if not from Him then is meaningless and vanity. And that there are people out there in the world who don’t spend all their time watching television.

      One time I’m going to read something of Kierkegaard’s. He is going on The List.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Esther likewise. I think Kierkegaards great but that’s probably cos I see his tragic self in me haha. He’s not the most accessible but his sermons and discourses are a good place to start.

        Liked by 1 person

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