We read from a daily devotional, ask for prayers for those who are sick or wayward. A couple of times a year we take on something different; to stimulate our fellowship. Once we were asked to talk about our childhood. Did we get along with our father, our mother, our siblings? These men turned from plastic flowers to earthen bleeding stems, sharp thorns, soft petals and vibrant colors. Many struggled with their parental relationships, with their siblings. But they all—most all— ended up as engineers or process managers with big companies and stayed for big pensions. I didn’t.
I was raised in a happy family. Two brothers. My dad was a doctor, my mother was a well known concert pianist—a child prodigy who studied with Arthur Rubenstein. She was amazingly creative. Dad was quiet and philosophical with a delightful sense of humor. I never heard them argue. One of my brothers became an orthopedic surgeon. The other a carpenter. I drew cartoons and beat on mom’s piano. It was clear that I was infected with the disease creativitus stupidus.
I was guided by a demon that led me down into a valley of clever ideas, word plays, original music, hot dances and lyrical text. This valley smelled of flowers so sweet I embraced every detail of it. I foraged in it, flew over it and watched it from a mountain top. This was heaven to me. . .a dangerous place to reside.
I was the different one early on and the different one in our prayer group. But at 60 we were like a group facing a firing squad. . .equal as can be, all crapping in our pants, all waiting for the word, “fire.”
I am the easiest to shoot. I am the different one.