Through days of grey made achingly longer just trying to survive there came an increasing intuition about something. In fact, an audible voice (or, if not, something that makes for a better story) stated quite simply, “you’re on the wrong med.” I know, I also thought it a rather banal thing for God to say after all that much more grandiose fare we read in the Bible. Anyway, the growing sense that something was chemically askew had been a recurring thought for months, even years before, but was quickly squelched in favor of my ongoing survival. A truly shitty present had to be better than some unknown, possibly shittier future.
This time was different. The absolute clarity of the idea penetrated my consciousness with a keenness and confidence that demanded my attention. I quite simply, quit. Even the emotional anguish that followed quickly on the heels of this decision I was never once tempted to think that I had made a mistake.
Instead, my tumultuous and tortured mind drifted to cries of desperation. And, in some cases, well, most actually, they were aimed at God. If I had been tormented with “I don’t give a damn” attitude before, it now chimed in with “I don’t give a flying f**k. I don’t care that I don’t give a flying f**k. I don’t care that I don’t care that I don’t give a flying f**k. I don’t care that my readers are subjected to three f**ks, OK, four f**ks…five in a row.” I wondered, perhaps for the first time ever, whether I would ever feel “normal” again. I began to despair even of life. If this was the best it could offer, I wasn’t particularly interested.
It was in such a sorry state of mind that, on Thursday morning, April 29th, 2010 I determined that the best I would be able to manage for work that day would be to climb a 20-foot scaffold and fix the church speakers. For me, it was a day in infamy.
As luck would have it we blew out the horns in not one but both of our church speakers a few weeks earlier at our annual Celtic Praise service. Thank you. Thank you very much. I, too, am proud of this accomplishment. About three weeks later, replacement parts in hand, I climbed our hastily thrown together scaffolding. It was already Thursday, I was very tired and yearned for an uneventful Friday, my Sabbath. When it comes to the unsexy jobs of music ministry, this tops the list, unless you consider cleaning mouse excrement out of organ pipes. As a result, the line up of volunteers eager to assist was…non-existent.
I could add white-hot self-pity and anger to my already fragile emotional palette. I’d love to call it righteous indignation, but apparently God is standing right behind me. I unhappily engaged in the awkward and dangerous process of dismantling our scaffolding just to set it up from scratch a mere 4 steps higher from the sanctuary floor to the chancel; a process I was doing unsupervised over lunch hour…