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Monday, August 02, 2010

Conform

Perhaps it started when she was dressing for church; trying to decide what to wear, what would look best on, what the people there would think she looked most attractive in. In the end she took off the skirt and zipped up jeans; it was too hard to look the part from what she had.
Then they drove there, so familiar the road to church now, the same trees, same houses, same car, same intent, same purpose.
Everything was the same, every week. The consistency and regularity of just going to church pressed on her mind; she felt vague feelings of frustration.

Driving into the church carpark increased her feelings of the rigidity of custom. It was like the car was driving into a slot in a machine; perfectly on time, driving into the same carpark, on the same side of the building. There could be no break in the seamless pattern.
She couldn't put into conscious thought what she felt, but her mind was unresisting to the pressure of her feeling, so she decided to take a walk - back behind the church before attending the prayer meeting.

And first she walked into the church, wondering that her body would take her, obey one part of her informed mind, while the other part of her mind resisted - and left the food they'd brought for the church lunch on the table.
She made a little, polite conversation with the people who, one part of her mind knew, deserved more than the other part of her mind wanted to give - then she walked out of the building.

The air was soft, no pinioning edges or sharp spear thrusts of resilient cold, but the wind was up and the rushing air chilled her. She wrapped her arms around her chest, fighting. The trees ahead of her, behind the silent school buildings, had branches that were clear black sillhoettes against the pale blue and white sky. They'd been cutting the trees down; unproductive and space-consuming. She'd mourned them Sundays ago, the soil plundered of roots; the skyline full of holes.
She started to think; only a little, because it was early still, and thinking is usually reserved for a mind that has passed through the action of daytime and has leisure to consider.

She understood only a little of why she felt this way about church. She loved church, with the greater part of her mind. She would have felt that she'd done badly to have missed going.
But conformity struck her as being not just unfashionable, but imprisoning.

- Lydie

p.s. the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect my own, [or] they reflect only a part of my views.

3 Comments:

Blogger Michele said...

Perhaps we all have fantacies of departing from the hum-drum of everyday life. It's worthwhile to think outside the square and sometimes to even go there to get some perspective on our lives. We're often not 'on task' just 'on rails', the rails of regularity and what's expected of us. So let's check our progress, that it's decisive and meaningful.

3:34 am  
Anonymous Lydie said...

thanks mum, that was really good. I'm glad you understood! And I agree - I didn't write it, but while I was walking I did feel like it was important to think outside the square, in order to evaluate what I'm doing, rather than unthinkingly accepting everything that I do regularly.

11:34 pm  
Blogger a bite of air said...

Sunday sometimes seems to go by, as if that block of hours in church is a square box that's cut down always to the exact same size. sometimes you're busying about on the surface and before you know it, the time's up for that sunday and people diperse...
it's tricky sometimes to get hold of someone you feel you need to talk to- as in really come out of shells and talk like family, like fellow children.
but sometimes it happens within the time, before the box closes in :)

11:51 pm  

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