Flights of Faith

Friday, July 13, 2007

Australian Weather

I have my first interview today.

The woman I spoke with sounds like some of my allies. I think it'll be a good time. We had that awkward first interaction where we performed for each other. Not that we weren't authentic. But you have to straighten out your back and prove that you're not a tool doing an ethnography on a victimized and disappearing people because you saw a report on TV. And she had to appear professional, which she managed to do through chuckles and smalking (smiling while talking; listen for it). I think it's because she laughed at some of my jokes and outraged remarks. Wow. It sorta sounds like I'm describing the call for a first date. With an activist, of course.

I've definitely thought about that. Dating a random activist, not this woman. Well, I guess I've thought of both now. Anyway, I think it would be intense. You can sorta tell you're an activist when people become overwhelmed with your presence. And not necessarily in a good way. You just become...a lot. It's hard to recognize the difference and adjust because it feels like you're compromising what you believe in. I've found it helps to pull back and listen since that's the part usually missing from the equation. Listening without preparing what to say next.

However, I think it might be harder not to date an activist, especially in the areas I'm really passionate about. It's one thing to disobey Sheryl Crow and use more than one toliet paper square. It's quite another to contribute to the violent language and theory of gender and racial opression. Not sure if I could handle that.

*Stares back up at subject title*


I guess this entry was supposed to be about the weather from my subject title. Like the smile that fades away after I tell people I'm an EC for Pierson (meaning L-Dub housing), several people have caught on to the fact that it's winter in Australia. I act like I'll miss the summer for about a minute or two and then move along. I've never been one to fret about the weather except for when it hits the extremes. I guess that's why my favorite (if you asked me) seasons are Spring (birthday and Easter!) and Fall (um...colorful leaves!). But, as you might have guessed, winter here isn't snow or even cold rain. Every day it's either Spring or Fall. It's quite wonderful. Apart from the leaves, each day could range from late Feburary to early June or late August to late Novemeber. Today, I stepped outside to find a bit chilly late November air in the breeze. Yesterday, it was definitely a mid-May. I've found doesn't really do this place justice, so I just layer up and hope for the best. While I can't say I don't miss the occasional heat wave after a year of New Haven chill, I still think the nine month variety is pretty great.

Hopefully, it'll warm up for that interview. More on that later.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I've been writing a lot over at The North Star and sending my QT bible studies to friends instead of posting them on here. That leaves this empty for now, but I have some ideas for the future.

A bit of an update. Australia is great. Combine my two favorite seasons, Fall and Spring and that's what the weather's like. Transformative times.

A few days ago, I went to the Hillsong conference with a few friends to see TD Jakes speak. I wonder if my new Indonesian friend picked that day of the conference because Jakes is African-American. I hope not. Then again, this is the guy that tried to keep hooking me up with (white) Americans at church despite my refusals of "I'm good." And trust me, it's not that I reject them. I reject nationalism in settings like that one. I don't want to bond over the fact that Australia has more American franchises than their own, especially not in a Christian context. Indeed, the Americans were the ones who didn't get my research on Aborigines and thought I was crazy for wanting to help the oppressed and the "least of these."

Anyway, my crew is pretty progressive and at least compassionate towards what I feel is my calling to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Jakes...what can I say? It was theologically correct minstrelsy. He had some great things to say, but he did not have to bug his eyes, act like a chicken, and make Christ seem less real thanks to his performance. Of course, he ended with 'I Believe I Can Fly.' So frustrasting though since people had a sincere reaction to him. Doesn't mean it's right. But it complicates the manner.

We'll see if I get more insights later this morning.

Also, Venus just won Wimbledon.

Venus: 6 GS (4 W, 2 USO), Serena: 8 GS (3 A, 1 F, 2 W, 2 U). Best active players on the tour. Best in the game currently. And possibly, best of all time. Yes.