Churching at Home

March 1st, 2009 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Quiet and discomforted in my bed last evening, I fully recalled those loud adult functions of my youth. Adults downstairs laughed and shouted at volumes that would have gotten us kids punished, while we were upstairs in the covers with our books and reading lamps.

church in a cottage

Church came to me and I was unable to meet it full on. I had overextended myself with the walker and crutches…plus, there were so many of them (16) and they were so loud.

In the new UU-style canvass dinner system some use, the pledging units do an elaborate potluck at a private house, get a tiny bit juiced, talk about what that church means to them, and leave with their pledge cards. Bonhomie brings beneficence (without the hard sell), the theory goes

I did put in a cameo, waiting until everyone arrived and successfully thumping down the 13 stairs on a crutch and the rail, knowing the crowd drowned the thuds. I chatted for awhile and didn’t have to detail the nastiness of the breaks or surgery — subjects that bore and irritate me from the repetition. I couldn’t join in the wine, because of medication, and would fallen behind the happier swillers as well.

The grouping included only a couple of men and was largely lesbian couples. I had known several of those sets from a previous UU church we shared in downtown Boston. No one was a stranger to me and in a little better health, I would have enjoyed the banter.

Several of my lesbian friends have remarked to me how loud they often are, particularly as a couple. In friendly environments as our house with peers, religious and political, around, they fairly burst with exclamation.


 Bonhomie brings beneficence

Taking my leave and upstairs in either my office or my bed, I could muse on nearly four hours of the happy noises. I have a vague recollection of a BBC Mystery series written by a woman who remarked on the high-pitched din in a women’s school dining hall. She compared them to strident birds (starlings or grackles as I recall) and wondered why women sounded so loud and unpleasant.

Here it was not nasty though. I am sure had it been many men, straight or gay, the sounds would have been deeper and more muted, but they likely would have also included competitive posturing. I’ll take the women talking all over each other in affirming cacophony.

I was so beaten up by pushing myself around the two floors that I did manage a half-hour nap. The bedroom door was open, yet I dozed. I looked at the black-on-lime clock display on waking and wondered how my brain could accommodate the noise. We humans may not be all that evolved, but in many ways we live our little miracles.

Surely if church was as enlivened as cottage dinners, this congregation would double. Such a prolonged happy exchange speaks well of the fellowship of those you know, but not all that well, yet are jolly enough with. Church coming to the house is not bad at all.


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