Thursday, March 26, 2009
sweet smells of spring
I've been noticing how anxious everyone is. It may be the economy and our inability to get away from it--don't turn on a TV or radio or go on-line...it's 'all economy all the time'. And it makes us anxious.
I told someone today, "everyone who is 'edgy' already is over the edge; everyone who was leaning toward 'edgy' has arrived there and those who weren't 'edgy' at all are getting there."
Harriet said to me, after three passing weird calls and a couple of way beyond weird drop-ins, "it's not even a full moon but it feels like it."
If you have no opinion about the full moon affecting human behavior come hang out at St. John's--probably any urban church--for the days before and the days after. I don't follow such things, but I know--really KNOW--when it is a full moon. Things get dicey quick. Folks who are a little crazy get full blown, honkin' crazy. The really crazy get disturbing. Folks like you and me (unless you fit into one of those two categories, which you might...) get anxious, edgy and lose what little inhibitions we have.
Lately, though, is a different deal. Anxiety is running riot through the population and making even the sane a bit nuts. Scott, the Senior Warden, and I talked about it this morning and decided that it is so: something in the ether is freaking people out. In all my years of parish ministry I have never had so many experiences of people on the edge as in the last six months.
I'll tell you what I told both Scott and Harriet--our job is to be what psychologists call "a non-anxious presence" in the midst of this time of anxiety, stress and edgy-ness. I told a committee just a few days ago that they have to resist getting sucked into the craziness of one of our members. Craziness is seductive and energy eating. I think of those creatures in the Harry Potter books that suck life-force out of people. I'm not real adroit at recognizing craziness up front, but when I talk to a crazy person (which I do a lot, by the way) I find myself drifting off to sleep. All my energy gets sucked out and away and I am seduced into the un-conscious level of being.
Maybe spring--in spite of the Stock Market and the Economy and Global Warming and pestilence, plague and war--will bring the smells of the re-birthing earth to us in such a way that anxiety will be overcome. But I doubt it.
We have to keep our heads when all around us are losing theirs. We have to be calm in a time of frantic thinking, we have be be present in a non-anxious way when many are so anxious they're a little crazy.
Go outside. Smell the rain and the smells it calls forth. Spring is coming.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Something is about to be birthed.