The band saw effect.
Wow. What a great comment (on my last blog entry.) I have been thinking about it all morning. I think I did understand that, but had forgotten the whole concept. It made me think about my own personality too – and how much that does not resonate with me. What I mean is, when I first read that, my initial thought was: It’s going to cost so much more than $600 for that band saw! You are going to have to be this person’s friend now and they are going to ask you to their next barbecue and then when you go -- when you really don’t want to go --you will have the further frustration that this band saw-person thinks they did YOU a favor by inviting you to the BBQ! When you NEVER wanted to go in the first place. Now you are in a relationship with this person and you will have to hear about this and that and they are going to start sucking your blood and you will eventually be trying to avoid eye contact with this person when you go to church and then even what you got from church is now compromised by this crazy band saw person!
And then I thought, what a horrible person I am. And then it sent me down this rabbit hole of thinking – like what am I? Someone who doesn’t need anybody? I mean, that is really not true. I do need other people. But I think, for me – maybe because how I was raised, but maybe just because of my innate personality, I don’t know, but for me, people always wanted me to do things for them. I saw people, generally, as weak and me as strong (I don't know if that is really true, but it's my knee jerk reaction) and I was always worried about what they were going to expect from me. When I went to college, I wanted to go where I didn’t know anyone. I wanted to go to the biggest college I could. I wanted to walk around all day long and not know one single soul. And I did, and for a couple of years, I often had two or three days a week when I was on campus and didn’t talk to anyone. I felt like a I was in Rome or Paris, I could just watch people.
But then I became good friends with a group – because I wanted to, because I probably needed to. They were great, they are all still good friends. I joined the Seattle Film Society and worked with the organizers who all became close to me, in fact several of them were at my wedding a few weeks ago. And we do things for each other – read scripts, see shows and comment on them. Jim Emerson, one of these people and one of my closest friends, has often been such a person-with-a-band-saw for me – in terms of his opinion on work that I’m doing. When I think of the band saw analogy – I think what I mostly need in a pinch, that is very expensive because it’s so rare – is someone, someone who I respect’s -- opinion. Those people are few. They would not necessarily be found at a church, although they certainly could be.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, it’s really the group. It’s the church group. It’s those people I have a basic problem with. And yet that seems so arrogant to write. I feel that it sounds superior and that is embarrassing to me. And I’m sure that all those people at church have other groups of people too that they use to find band saws when needed and also enjoy because they have a common interest.
I guess that’s it. A common interest. I don’t think it’s enough for me, the random gathering of people at a church.
Often people ask my why I’m not a Unitarian – because you can be part of a church and not have to believe in God. But when they say that, I think, “I already have too much to do! I am not looking for another social group to be part of! I am trying to be in fewer social groups.”
I am such a curmudgeon! But I think for me, what I got out of Catholicism, what made it hard for me to leave, what added value to my life was… well to be honest, it was the art of it. It worked for me the way good art is supposed to work. It took me out of my little self and put me in context. The image I get is not of individuals, but of a whole community – the way, for example, Who Ville is portrayed in The Grinch. I liked the feeling of being in community where the faces were blurred but there was a sense of humanity, I liked the music (Bach masses still send me tears and throw me out of myself, it’s almost as if a crane shot is built into every Bach mass) I liked the ritual.
But now I get that from other places.
But, but, but… What about kids? Like that Catholic woman on the plane said, she didn’t join a church until she had kids. Why? She didn’t need a support group of families before then. She is attempting to make the world a smaller and more recognizable place for her children, and for her, being Catholic delivers that.
For me, well, I guess I must admit that I understand that. I have a group of parents that I am friends with. One family in particular that I can count on in an emergency. Other families too. We met because our children all attend the same school. We see each other like a church too – the science fair, the international fair, the winter concert, etc.
So I guess I’m thinking, why can’t that woman get what she needs from the school system? Or in her quilting group? Or her skydiving group? Or at the local art museum. Why does it have to be at a place where you are required to sit through a bunch of complete bullshit and inculcate hogwash into your children’s worldview, crippling them as critical thinkers for their whole life!
All right. I’ll calm down. Ha. Wow, I got so fired up there.
p.s. I re-spelled Kluge correctly in the last post. How embarrassing!