Wig part 2: I locked up my bike, and a man came to admire it. He thought it classic, I just haven’t bought a new one since 1986. I knew it had dérailleur gears, but he knew the precise type, and told me what was the last lightest, strongest steel frame before graphite superseded it. So I got my wig out, took off my helmet, mopped my brow and put the wig on. He has exactly the same mud-guards, he said.
What is the done thing, to be policed by looks and comments? Putting on a wig is clearly OK.
Thence Olivers. I am privileged to have an Aspie friend, and we discussed spiritual experiences. A fairly standard one is feeling a sense of connection with all the World, feeling one with it and aware of it. I explained this with the analogy of a bird, its head on one side, with one eye looking for worm sign, the other aware of 360° around and every angle of elevation, to be aware of any threat. Humans normally are paying attention to our thoughts, or paying attention to one task, our eyes focused on that one object, like the worm-sign. So when we become aware of everything, our response is awe. He tells me that he is constantly aware of his surroundings, the conversations of the others in the coffee-shop, and near a 170° view (mine is closer to 100°).
Sitting outside in the sunshine, I met my new neighbour, Chris. Steph has left for the only slightly brighter lights of Zhuzhkov. He has a bantam look, appearing in a singlet, showing heavily tattooed arms, an ornate black cross on his right upper arm. The punch-bag and golf clubs are his, he does not have room for all his stuff.
-What’re you reading? A touch nervous, but not apologetic, I tell him of Paul and the Faithfulness of God by NT Wright, seeking to show the culture, Jewish Greek and Roman, in which Paul wrote and what his world-view and assumptions were. “Quite in depth, then,” he says. He is glad to move next to a Christian. He is a Pentecostalist. He works as a delivery driver, away from home about twelve hours a day, and notices the intervention of God everywhere. He did a delivery and the man gave him a torch advertising his business. He stuck it in his pocket. Later that day, he found another van stuck in mud, and helped the driver get it clear. This meant he was late, and had to do his last deliveries after dark- but he had the torch. He would have been struck by God’s blessing, on the other he helped and on him with the torch, “But now I just go, ‘Hmm. Yeah’.” He smiles. Another friend said, “Coincidence”. He gave up smoking ten months ago: in front of the congregation, he threw away his cigarettes. It was a blessing for them.
I say how Quakers are quiet, but we are both led by the Spirit.