This weekend while I was visiting St. Athanasius' annual Pascha pic nic, I had fun playing a friend's guitar, while she played mandolin and alternately banjo, and another guy who, I assumed, was a friend of her's played banjo as well.
Well, they played, and I just followed along doing the chords-n-rhythm thing. Folk music. I had a blast.
It's been a while since I have regularly played my guitar and my finger tips are out of shape.(Note to self: Must remedy that situation.) I really wish I had a group of people to mess around with, musically, so that I can expand my knowledge and have such fun more often. Yes, I can pick up chords by ear, but all in all, I consider my musical abilities to be rather limited. Lackluster and untrained singing voice who hides in the back of choir and sings softly...you know the type. But I do SO enjoy it. I think me and music are a bit of a joke on God's part.
Well, today after liturgy I was introduced to this young man, and he asked me how long I'd been playing. I hemmed and hawed, unwilling to admit that I've not really improved much in the past 29 years or so, having reached my musical apex at the age of eleven after taking a year of guitar lessons to learn basic chords. A semester of jazz guitar in Seminary was utterly wasted on my limited sense of white girl rhythm.
Ben is his name, he seemed polite, and very young. Which is really to say that when I'm introduced to twenty-somethings, I feel old and uncool. Because I am.
Later, I was chatting with some other folks about a pipe dream of mine: Having a house for Orthodox adults on the autism spectrum or who might have other disabilities/health issues. This would be for (women, since I'm dreaming it up here...but who knows...it's just the germ of a dream. Could be couples, families, singles???) people who want to live a quiet, prayerful, communal life with somewhat of a prayer cycle, as part of a local parish, but who live and garden and share meals communally with each other. Enough private space to balance out the fellowship aspects.
So we are discussing these ideas, and also the limitations of monasticism, as regards people with disabilities.
Then it comes out in conversation that we (my husband and I and our kids) are not a members of St. Athanasius. He did not know that. "No, we moved to Louisville, we go to St. Michael's" "Oh, I'm good friends with the Craigs!" says this Ben person.
"Ah, you are BEN!" I say. "THE BEN who rode your bike to Alaska! I've heard STORIES about you."
It's a small world, a small, small Orthodox world here in this country.