Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday lessons

This has been quite a day, filled with crash courses in plumbing and lessons in gratitude. It was not how I expected to fill my Sunday - the one day of the weekend for which I had no concrete plans other than trying to recover from the work week and the state of Iowa driving tour that was yesterday, as well as get ready for the week ahead. The universe, apparently, had other things in mind.

The first lesson was to be a plumbing lesson. Any lesson in plumbing is likely to be a new one for me - that's how little I know. The kitchen sink clogged today - one of those situations where you run the garbage disposal and the water comes up on the other side of the double sink. Plunging got me nowhere, an ill-advised load of laundry brought the water level to the cusp of overflowing (followed by the bailing of the sink a la a sinking boat) and other general stressfulness. I am just not a handy guy around the house - I can do a few rudimentary things, and with plumbing, I'm pretty much stumped if the plunger doesn't work.

So my dad came over, and through a lot of trial and error, yours truly ended up running a plumber's snake through a drain pipe in the basement to clean out some nasty old clog made of God-only-knows-what. Oddly enough, I felt very proud of myself, because the whole thing was ultimately like solving a mystery. Where was the most likely place for the clog based on the water flow? How far down the drain pipe was it likely to be? etc. We made a big mess in the basement (thankfully, no sewage was involved as that would have just been nasty) but the problem was solved and I learned something along the way.

The second was a lesson in gratitude. It occured in the midst of all the plumbing drama. I was bound and determined to make it to church this week as we'd missed the last couple and ever since we've become Unitarian Universalists, I have actually been looking forward to church - something I haven't done in ages. Admittedly, I was not in the best frame of mind when I arrived, still seething a bit from a lost battle with the sink and aggravating trips to both Target and K-Mart. Nonetheless, I let the zen of the place wash over me a bit and really let it go. The theme of the service today was (predictably) thankfulness and gratitude. It seemed a bit cliched for the weekend after Thanksgiving but I went with it. The best part though, was what is probably best referred to as an "open mike" session in which people shared their own stories.

This is the thing I love most about UUs. Trying something like this in a Lutheran church would get everyone very interested in looking at the floor and waiting for the awkward moment to pass. At a UU church, it got everybody talking - including me, former Lutheran, relatively quiet introvert. I loved listening to the stories that people shared, whether they were happy or sad or somewhere in between. That's the thing about sharing stories - you never know when something you say that you think is mundane and every day is going to connect with someone else in just the right way. And that, for me, is the most amazing thing about interacting with other people. It's why I love reading personal blogs - I love the music blogs as much as anyone, but I always love it when someone throws a bit of the personal in there. It's how we connect with each other, sometimes superficially, sometimes on a deoxyribonucleic level as Alec Baldwin once said in an interview.

Sometimes I think I might share too much here on this blog, but ultimately, I don't give a shit. I mean, I do - but really, I just don't care. As I just got done telling Heidi re: something that was going on with her, you always have to remember: I am who I am, I am my own special creation - give me the hook or the ovation.

So that's what I learned in Sunday school today.


genkiboy said...

quoting jerry herman -- nice touch. :)

xolondon said...

I hear ya on personal blogs. I do like them too. I just cannot bear to do it myself for some reason - I am way too self concious. Having said that, I tend to give people TMI in real life! Meet me over dinner and you'll get the full story complete with...