Sunday, October 05, 2008

Too much information..?

I feel like crap today. Had another broken sleep... broken by trapped wind. I can and do make light of it as I did last week... where I said something about being sick & in pain with trapped wind. how did it get trapped in me? I'm so free with my wind! but I still feel crap.

For some people this is too much information... and I've been wondering why?

Marriage is all about the good times AND the bad... in sickness and in health... for richer and for poorer etc etc. Even if you aren't married but are in a meaningful relationship... this level of intimacy happens. Its about sharing what means something to you... that affects your life in some way or other.

The co-presence that comes with social media means that you can take or leave the things that affect a friend's life in some way. If they are happy... you can share in their happiness. If they are sad... you can share in their sadness.

Personally, I tend to take the whole of someone... share their ups and try to support them with their downs. For me that is what true friendship is.

So then why isn't this kind of information... the downs... too much to share? I had trapped wind last night... my upper back and my chest hurt so much that it woke me from my sleep... and ensured I couldn't get back to sleep. The pain was so uncomfortable that I couldn't get a position in bed... or in the house, for that matter... that I could get some respite from it. I ended up going to ASDA at 5am to get some medication. Medication that helped, may I add. It took away the back pain almost immediately and has helped to relieve the chest pain. For me... this is something meaningful to share. I don't want to feel alone in this.

Don't get me wrong... I was not alone. Olly was a darling, as ever. She patiently suggested options to try and find some respite. She didn't moan about being interrupted or losing sleep... and she is concerned, as wives tend to be, that it is something more. She thinks I have gallstones (as an aside... years of reading Asterix meant that when I typed into google "gallstones" I typed in "Gaul stones"!!!)

Co-presence is all about feeling connected and "part of something". I remember my good friend JD over near Dallas saying that he and his fab wife Laurie knew more about Olly and I than they did their next door neighbours... and, in return, we know more about them than ours. Whilst some people might say thats a sad indictment of our individualistic times... I would agree and disagree. Yes in that I need to know more about my neighbours and no because we connect in new ways now. Face-to-face is no longer the only option.

There are a core group of "virtual" friends who I have a strong connection to. Sure we exchange pleasantries... jokes and links and a "good morning"... but we also share "too much information" and, in doing so, support each other... through physical help or spiritual. For me... throwing up a prayer in aid of a friend is obligatory for me to call them a friend. Prayer is direct action.

Co-presence is as much about being observant as it is about being there. Its also about reaching out... making the first move... without any intention of personal benefit... seeking a positive reciprocity that doesn't look for return but knows it will.

I think as well that "too much information" is where followers of God in the Way of Jesus can shine in the world. By being observant. By looking for more than the "I'm fine" response. By being open and honest about who we are at any given moment in time. By seeking to support... through physical or spiritual action... sometimes the very fact we've noticed is enough.

So yeah... the next time you think "too much information" ask yourself why you think this way... and what can you do to help??!!

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1 comment:

Angus Mathie said...

Again I agree with you.

I think the previous comment is our way of saying that we are getting into sensitive information some of which makes us a bit squeamish. I think also that in our Church families we have lost the real involving prayerful interest in one another. True loving involvement can be hard work and unpleasant at times but it is truly life affirming - who wants to wash smelly, dusty feet anyway! Is clearing up the sick, etc., only work for women and not part of polite conversation?


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