Optics

Wow, wow, wow.

What a time.

Like you, I have been immersed in national news and spending considerable time as a keyboard warrior.

I am fortunate to have the month of August off, and I took it OFF. I am taking it off. It is not over for another seven days and I am pulling myself back from rising panic. I needed this time to rest and heal, to reflect and get in touch with how I am doing body, mind and soul.
I found a local therapist after four years of searching.
I met twice with a nutritionist and started tracking my food a month ago, pulling out of a bad streak of compulsive overeating.
I have exercised daily and loved it.
I have read a lot and soaked that in like thirsty soul after a drought.
I have paid close attention to how much I can fairly accomplish in a day and how much mental and spiritual and emotional energy it takes to accomplish the things that ministry requires. I have been surprised by the results, but it’s necessary that I know those things.
I have spent a good amount of time outdoors and in the water. I am chlorine and salt water soaked and my hair is bleached out, brassy and grey.
I have worn almost no make-up for a month, and done only a few loads of laundry because I wear the same shorts and tops again and again.

I have been reading the news and watching images of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the alt-right and liberal protesters, including clergy. I am analyzing the optics, the uniforms, the symbology, the signs, the use of fonts and design, the use of memes. I am following clergy leaders’ Instagram and Facebook pages and reacting to their public persona.

I cringe when I see a clergyperson dressed like a slob with a stole slung over their shoulders at a protest. I’ll be writing about that.

I have thoughts about clergy wearing full vestments at protests, too. Mixed feelings.

I promise we’ll be back here thinking through some of this together, and I will not stop checking in about trends, answering your questions and urging you to be shiny and sharp as hell.

What a time.
Thinking of you all with love. We most certainly have our work cut out for us, dear Lord.

3 Replies to “Optics”

  1. I saw that photo of the person dressed like a slob, with a Starr King stole thrown over. First I was stunned and angry, and then I thought of you. Looking forward to that post.

  2. I am immensely grateful that you stayed on vacation. Interesting that people are now speaking up on behalf of clergy image – IN YOUR NAME. I look forward to your comments. I am also amazed how the same arguments go round and round: more important that they showed up, how dare we comment on image, don’t judge each other, people need to be comfortable and personally authentic, etc. I now wish I had been less diplomatic and just said I thought he RUINED the wonderful image of strength and polish and resolve otherwise created in that front line.

    About wearing full vestments. I did once because we were specifically asked to by the organizers. Part of the action was to create a religious ritual, for which vestments were appropriate. I decided at the last minute to ditch mine in the car and just wore clericals with black pants and a stole. So glad because it was a monsoon and the academic gown would have been soaked and globbed to my body. Now there’s a picture.

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