Monday, January 17, 2011

On finding familiarity and role playing

Time has a way of fooling you, and fooling you often. The days are short and you feel like they rush past you, leaving you out of breath and frayed with loose ends. The weeks seem to be next to nothing in that context. Each day moves on until suddenly it's Wednesday. Hump day. And then Thursday, the day before the ever wonderful Friday. And then you have your weekend and it's back to the grind.

So why does it feel like I have been here for a month?

Things have become familiar already. Routine. The drive to and from work. Passing the same stores, learning the lights and the turn lanes. Sadie in, Sadie out. Breakfast at the same time every morning. Nightly ritual. Where the strongest internet signal is at my house.

What I first do when I get into work is the same every day too. Checking all e-mail accounts (I have 4 now) and all other forms of social media. Then outlining who needs to be e-mailed and called.

Lunch at noon.

I've taken to listening to WBACH-Main's classical station-when I am in the car.

There are sheets of notebook paper littered all around my car. Directions to the many places I have had to get to. Church, Waterville, Augusta, Belfast, Sister Sisco's house, etc.

I keep my car keys in my coat pocket. All the time. That way I know they will always be there.

I've started wearing my drumline necklace every day again. I don't know why, for sure.

I listen to my "soundtrack" station on Pandora every day also.

While I eat breakfast, and right before I leave, I read. I just finished "The Five People You Meet in Heaven". I am now on "The Screwtape Letters".

I still find myself crunching ice every morning and evening.

In some other news that might be a little more interesting, I got to be a character in a role playing game yesterday.

It's not what you think. I was not a wizard, or a minion, or even an elf.

This was a historic role play. There is this after school organization called The Game Loft and they encourage learning history through role playing. So there I was, dumped in the middle of this story I knew nothing about. Well, I knew a little about it.

The year was 1969. Henry Chandler is a young man, recently turned 18, who has a somewhat dysfunctional family. He has a brother who has been in prison, one who has fled to Canada to avoid the draft, and a father who was a member of the KKK. He registered for the draft, got his physical, and at the last minute refused to go to war. He is now on trial for this unlawful act.

I played Mary Helen Folsom, daughter of the man who was head of the draft board who selected Henry. Dr. Folsom is apparently always the bad guy. I'm friends with Henry and so am sympathetic to his plight. The performance was done in front of a walk in audience.

It was really interesting to hear both sides. On one hand, Henry was simply being irresponsible. On the other, how fair is the draft really? We ended up having a discussion circle and there were some very interesting opinions.

Many agree with draft, but an equal one. One that no one can get out of. Even more said that war is not ideal and neither is a draft, but there are times when it's needed to swell the ranks in the fight for a good cause.

The best was this musician who preformed earlier in the day. He is a Vietnam veteran. He was drafted. He has PTSD. And he is a wonderful performer. His songs were powerful. He had some good thoughts towards the draft and war and the like. This was such an amazing learning experience for me! And I hope that the kids as much out of it was I did!

I am so glad that I signed up.

Even better was that since this was a RPG club, all the kids were super nerdy. I ALMOST felt right at home. ALMOST. I could follow the Star Wars conversations, but I was never a RPG person and so they were still a little too nerdy for me to identify with them completely.

That was my Monday. A different day in the midst of many days that are the same. Like today.

Familiarity is good. It makes things sure. Comfortable. Easier.

Stagnation is what I fear.

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