Monday, May 14, 2007

Seven Secrets

I’ve been tagged by Denise to write seven things no one knows about me. It's blog tag. And I'm IT. And Denise is a wonderful writer (who is really worth visiting for her evocative writing)who has no problem with spilling the beans... Okay, little known facts about me…

One: I wish I was 10 kg lighter. I weigh 90kg, and used to weigh 80kg. That was when I was running 100km per week. But right now I am not running at all. I pretend that I am a runner by reading running magazines. But I am over my running weight and after more than 100 marathons the knees are sore and the spirit is not as disciplined as it used to be.
Two: I love writing. I feel free when words are being shaped, prodded and pushed through then ends of my fingers. I wish that I could take a year off and just write. But the responsibilities of a family, and of putting a roof over our heads and getting bread on the table are ever present. So I snatch at moments in between other things.
Three: I take great delight in initiating my daughters into the ways of men. Because they have no brothers, they need to discover that men burp loudly, that we swagger with style, that we turn up the sound when rugby/cricket/golf/tennis (in fact any sport) in on the television and we turn down the sound when Days of our Lives or Generations comes on. I take great delight in the collective groan when I begin my “manly” act.
Four: There are songs that make me cry: like when Katie Melua sings The Closest Thing to Crazy, and when Eva Cassidy sings Songbird. I cry when Ralph McTell sings Streets of London, and Johnny Cash sings Orphan of the Road.
Five: I sing to myself when I am driving. Often I sing along with the song playing on the CD or the radio. I also curse other drivers. And plead with God to open a space in the traffic for me.
Six: I have bookshelves filled with many, many biographies. I am inspired by reading the lives of other people. My favourites are the lives of Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu: Mr Mandela has autographed his book. Archbishop Tutu has inscribed his book to me and signed it. These are my heroes in life. I absolutely admire their integrity. And their unswerving commitment to justice. And their capacity for forgiveness and grace-filled living.
Seven. I hate it when someone says to me “I support your position” and then they are not willing to be with me when I act on my beliefs. This last weekend I was asked to leave my church’s Synod because of my support for blessing same-sex unions. Some of my friends and colleagues joined me in a public declaration of faith. But then some who kept quiet said privately that “they were with me”. No – you were not with me. I was in the water, and you were on the river bank. (as you can see I am just a bit raw at the moment).

So who to tag? I have some wonderful people who visit this site from time to time. And would love to discover more about you. Dion is a wonderful scholar and Vesper addict; Wessel has a beautiful wife and family; David lives in the north of Scotland, inspires my dreams of an emergent church – and of birds; Murray writes from England and plays an amazing new guitar; Gus reads books, plays guitar, and loves his wife/dogs; Steve runs a wonderful blogsite to challenge Stupid Church People; and suddenly I realise that this is very male… Becky the master’s English scholar, had better come to the party.


Wessel Bentley said...

Hi Pete

You are deeply loved and I treasure your friendship. Thank you for complimenting my family. They are truly special.

Thank you for standing up at Synod and answering the way you did. I think it was necessary and has moved the church into a new direction. I do support you in your stance.

I did not stand up at synod and give a conditional yes to the questions. First I need to ask whether you include me, and others who engage with this issue differently (while still passionate about inclusivity of gay and lesbian brothers and sisters) among those who you believe to be standing cowardly on the banks. I hope not. Please clarify this for me.

I know that this debate is highly emotive, and I think that if your bishop handled the issue differently, we would not even be having this discussion.

My fear is that the events following last week's drama has caused a couple of us-them situations. There are those who stand in the same way we do, and those who are no, those who answered in a certain way and those who did not. This has been evident in some feedback in the gay-friendly forum, which I find unfortunate. I also get the sense that some engage with this issue in a win-lose manner - equally unfortunate.

What is your view, is this true or am I imagining things?

Love to all, and yes, I look up to you as a son does a father.

Denise said...

Someday I hope to see the autographed copies of Tutu and Mandela's biographies. I've heard Tutu speak, and he was just as warm and challenging as I expected.

Thanks for playing, Pete, and for the plug for my writing!