Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Same Lame Same

This past week filled up quickly with unusual and unexpected activity, but my brain was full of things to tell you. I hope to get it all out over the next few posts. First item on the list: my suburbia rant. I felt very strongly about it when I left California nearly nine months ago. I wrote about it here and promised a more detailed post to follow, which is just now happening. Still, at the mere mention of moving back to the suburbs, a warrior inside me wakes up, puts on his armor and starts marching toward whoever spoke the idea.

"Why is it such a big deal??" you ask. When I'm completely honest with myself, it's not entirely superficial. In fact, most of it is an effort to save the creative part of life and to preserve our design as humans to reflect and live beauty.

Pastor Matt this Sunday spoke on eight elements of worship, and I think he's been spying on my thoughts. It resonated so much with what I felt deep in my heart. I'll share this quote on 'creativity as worship' with you: "We believe our creativity is to be a fundamental part of our life of worship -- as individuals but also as a community. Therefore, we yearn to celebrate God's creativity -- and ours -- as a worshipping community by being creative and taking risks while refusing to seek security in suffocating predictability."

Suffocating predictability? Precisely. I've met people who pull into the wrong driveway...because they can't tell their own house from their neighbors'! And because existing in a place where everything is the same lulls our souls into a deep sleep. We stop thinking. I stopped thinking for about a year and just followed the crowd. Living in Valencia, I observed life closely. Valencians are uncomfortable painting their nails a different color than the lady next to them. They're uncomfortable having a normal, natural body or a naturally beautiful face that tells the stories of their lives. They wanted to hide who they really were in order to be like everyone else. They drove the same cars, decorated the same way, dressed the same, talked the same, ate the same, smelled the same, had the same interests. Same. Same. Same.

When you think about the reason suburbs were created in the first place, it sounds like a good idea. A great idea, even. They were created with family in mind, as a place children could be raised in a community. Community was the reason. If you live in a suburb today, odds are you don't know your neighbor's name, or maybe even what they look like. What does it look like from the outside? Doors and windows closed. 7am: garage door opens, car backs out, garage door closes. 6pm: garage door opens, car pulls in, garage door closes. Doors and windows closed, light from television flickering. 11pm: lights out. Are you twitching yet?

Doesn't it make you want to paint your front door purple? To gut the insides and rebuild a haven that is your family's expression? To throw the television into the street and invite friends over to discuss ideas and actually know them? Please tell me I'm not crazy.

It's not about living in the suburbs. It's about keeping the creative core of who we are alive. And that, Emily and Dawn, is why I won't move to North Carefree and Powers. I rest my case. :)


1 comment:

  1. amen sister! i feel ill when i have to go into that part of town, really any part of town east of union or north of garden of the gods. . . anyway, great all-around post; brave and articulate, and--have you read walking on water by madeleine l'engle? because i think you would really love it.

    p.s. wonderful to meet you in person this weekend ;)