Shifting pillars

We had another very enjoyable Friday night dinner at a local Blackburn joint. This time, it was with Jason and Mel and we were at the Food Republic, just a stone’s throw from the station. We’ve done this numerous time now and it’s always a wonderful way to finish the working week.

On Saturday I got up earlier than usual and headed for the men’s breakfast talk at St Alf’s after which the little black jedi had a morning tea (a pooch party) down at the oval across the road. That oval had started up a facebook page some months ago and the pooch owners had gotten to know each other better over the years so they decided on an organised activity.

As our home is probably one of the closest to the oval (our neighbour wasn’t attending the event), we volunteered to do stuff like bringing a trestle table for the food etc. We brought only a store bought fruit cake but some members baked stuff so it was a pretty full on thing. I guess our local community is very much a dog loving one. All of the dogs are know to everyone and they’re very well loved.

After the party, Tress and I got cleaned up, had a quick lunch and went shopping. I’d wanted to do a simple dish to bring to Alex and Li Har’s for dinner that Saturday night. We went there a few minutes before 7 and we were pleasantly surprised to learn only 3 other couples would be there (including Jason and Mel). Everyone could sit at the same table and have proper conversations which was more enjoyable than the usual proceedings where many others showed up and it was several conversations all firing at the same time. I usually ended up switching off, taking no interests.

It hit me during the dinner and as we were enjoying the conversations, that we were the only ones with a married kid. The others’ children were all still at school and Jason and Mel’s are working now but no mention of weddings have been made by them so I guess they’re a bit off that track for now. I had to reframe my subconsciously held assumption that somehow people whom I considered my contemporaries should experience the same life events I did around the same time. That seemed to accord with being contemporaries.

I guess our world – especially here Down Under at this moment – is being reframed in so many fundamental and far reaching manners. Questions of life and death, well-being and pain are being raised and discussed in the context of the voluntary assisted dying laws.

Then there is the same-sex marriage and attendant religious freedom issues which are swarming around us. I’ve just read a short survey type of book by a William Loader on the attitudes towards sex in Jewish and Christian literature and have just started to look at Ryan T Anderson et al.’s work on religious freedom and discrimination. These issues – which will likely result in fundamental shifts in what we believe and how that belief plays out – have been causing me to despair somewhat. I am dismayed at what the future holds for kiddo and Mic and their plans for raising a family.

I had thought someone who has started to take strides towards the second half of life can safely assume he’d know what to expect in the days ahead. Against these shifting pillars however, I guess I can only be thankful that being in a different place from my contemporaries has in some ways, disarmed me from the comfort of that assumption. Having stepped onto a moving platform, the continuously changing scenes sort of becomes easier to deal with.

The non-constant theme felt like it had some momentum when St Alf on Sunday morning dialled up its un-Anglican side and became much less regimented. The service ran a full half hour over time – the first time it has done so since we became part of this congregation back in early 2013. Somehow, instead of feeling fidgety, I found myself embracing this new experience and took it all in stride. I suppose nothing can be taken for granted anymore and that isn’t entirely a bad thing.

Life did take on more normalcy yesterday arvo as Tress did some ironing and I did the week’s lunches for the freezer. And, United resumed it winning ways which made by Sunday morning 5am start a little easier to deal with. I guess changes are often easier to deal with when there are constants you can hang on to.