Thursday, May 11, 2006

Michael Stipe as a Vehicle for personal revelation

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed Sunday. I had considered foregoing church the day before, but decided to suck it up because something good might happen. But I slept late and we were running late because I made DH fix me breakfast even though it was fast Sunday. He can fast some other Sunday, when he can't make me breakfast because he has an early meeting, right?. So he was anxious and rushed, and I HATE being rushed, even though he wasn't rushing me.

I got to church in time to take the sacrament in the foyer. I went into the chapel during the first testimony. The second testimoney was from a person who moved here after the storm. The first few sentences out of this person's mouth were how much better his other ward was. Not in those exact words, of course, but I was in a bad mood, remember? That's how I heard it, so I looked at DH and said, "Well, I think I'm going to go." It was probably the shortest amount of time I've actually attended a church meeting. I think I was in and out of the building in under ten minutes.

After I got home, I put on some streaming audio and started to clean the kitchen. The kitchen was a mess. I worked on it in fits and starts, stopping on occasion to sit and browse the internet. I thought off and on about the annoying testimony, and the person who had borne it. This was not the first time this person had annoyed me, and it wasn't even the most annoying. Why did this bother me so much? Why was I giving this person so much power over me?

During one of my sitting down times, REM came on. I like REM. I cranked up the song very loud, and sang along.

A couple of minutes into the song, I thought about this person again. It was during a chorus...
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

...and I remembered driving into the City on Lundi Gras, and the indescribable devastation I saw there. This person is from an area that has been almost entirely wiped out, and has probably lost everything.

This person is probably not going to be less annoying to me in the future; he just has that kind of personality. But I am not him, and do not live his life, and do not have his struggles, and actually know almost nothing about them. But I do know one thing: he has lived through the end of the world as we know it.

Maybe I can cut him some slack.

6 comments:

Gunner said...

For people "in the middle" a lot of things can set us off. For me it was about two months ago when I was sitting in EQ and hearing the primary sing in the next section. They must have been practicing for something because they repeated this one phrase over and over.

"Follow the prophet
follow the prophet
follow the prophet
follow the prophet".

After 20 minutes of this "chanting" I got up, got my wife, and left. I've been back once to hear my wife sing, but for me that day was pretty much it.

annegb said...

I love it, Ann. This is exactly like my life. I was thinking today how terribly and humanly flawed I am. Maybe I'm normal.

Or you're a little crazy like me. . .I hope it's normal.

Ann said...

We're all broken and flawed, Anne.

I think being annoying is not the worst thing one can be. Why, it's even possible that one or two people find me annoying.

Enochville said...

Another REM song comes to mind for me: "Losing My Religion". Actually, I've already lost.

Enochville said...

Oops. Should have said "lost it".

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