Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why the strange land?

This is my second attempt at starting a blog (some of my older posts can be found at and hopefully will serve as a place where I can reflect on my vocation, my life trajectory, and my dog in as non-indulgent a fashion as possible. So, as a means of introducing this new blog I would like to explain why I titled it "The Strange Land".

When I was in the 9th grade I read the Robert Heinlein book Stranger In a Strange Land. Suddenly, my own sense of isolation ended, as I realized the universality of feeling like a stranger in a strange land. Some of my favorite quotes have to do with this sense of "foreigness"--"not fish nor fowl nor good red herring" and "a wandering Aramean was my ancestor".

Currently, I work as a chaplain in a pediatric hospital and I find that as I wander about this secular institution I get double takes as people process the seeming incongruety of the black clerical shirt, band collar, and hospital badge on a skirt clad woman striding through the halls. These are similar to the looks I get at GLBT Pride when I march in the parade wearing my clericals and holding the hand of my beloved. They are also similar to the looks I get when I walk over to Little Italy during the work day to grab a slice of pizza. These are also kind of like the looks I get walking our Boxer/Pit/who knows before work while wearing my clericals because I don't have time to get dressed to walk the dog and then change clothes to go to work.

So, here's to the reality that it is a strange land--and the odds that each of us is making it a bit stranger by our presence...