Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Spitting in a wishing well"

The Breeders song Cannonball, while not, at least in my book, the quintessential Breeders (a band with an ever-changing lineup apart from the Deal sisters) song, it is still cool and probably their biggest hit. Why The Breeders, why today? Well, I read an interview in Spin today with Kim Deal, who is back living in her native Dayton, taking care of her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's, along with her sister, Kelley. In her wonderfully frank, dismissive and yet kind way, she discusses her sobriety. In answering the question

"Did you fear that sobriety would affect your ability to make good music?", she answers:

"Oh yeah. Not doing drugs had such a bad connotation for me: If you didn't do drugs, you were boring. But now I find it way more fraught with danger- in a good way. Every time I go up and talk to somebody, it's like, 'Hello, this is going to be awkward and weird in a few seconds because I am f******g part of it.' Which is way more interesting than it was before. It's strange and I really like it. And it's ugly- it's so awful and ugly everyday."

I can relate. It may seem weird to people who know me, but I am not really a people person. It is a constant battle not be a phony in my pastoral ministry. I'll be honest, I fail because I need to "finish the task". What is the task? Or, more fundamentally, is there a task? Blogging is therapeutic for me and, at times, when I use it improperly (i.e., using it to gain approval, to get an ego boost, or as a confessional), a bit passive-aggressive , which is why I maintain accountability with what I write. That being written, some of the best meetings I have had with people, especially those in recovery who have asked me to help them spiritually, have consisted of maybe twenty words over an hour. The silence is awkward at first, with some people this awkwardness remains, which is not helpful, but being with someone and feeling comfortable enough to be quiet is something that is healing. It is a gateway to prayer, a way to communicate. Kim Deal's insight really challenged my modus operandi. I have to quit feeling like I always have to meet expectations and have an opinion. Even if I have a word, an opinion, a correction, some information, I do not feel like sharing it, which is okay. My week away was so very badly needed.

So, the questions are all wrong- the question is Why not Pixies? This is our late traditio.

Oh, and because of accountability and the nature of this blog, I feel the need to disclaim that the kissing is a person (i.e., Kim Deal) kissing herself in the mirror. While I am disclaiming and, on a bit of a passive-aggressive note, it bears pointing out that my blog was first called Scott Dodge for Nobody, riffing off an old KRCL Sunday night program that I miss terribly, Tom Waits for Nobody. Maybe I am just feeling inferior because no dedicated reader has come up with a cool Καθολικός διάκονος banner.Mon Dieu! That is so passive-aggressive that even if somebody offered a banner I'd reject it. See how weird and circular such reasoning is? It is not healthy.


  1. Welcome back. I understand the need for silence and what it does. :)

    Fr. Tom has my prayers.


  2. I can so relate to what you write about the awkwardness, in person, on-line. My reactions, as if to compensate, can be more violent than something supportive of reality. Some things Giussani wrote to the first kids who went to Brazil have really helped me, just to understand that this is all useful, this not-being-able. Because it's about the need for Christ and making room for him.