I’m going to try to write this without sounding like a self-righteous fuck. Here goes.
My brother and I spent much time together during my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Both of us felt awkward there and being together, talking about experiences and values that we share, helped us to cope. We are both introverts, which doesn’t help. What really brought out that feeling of awkwardness was the separation we felt from other groups of people; the chasm. I don’t know if the idea of the chasm is a real “thing” that has been described in psychology publications, but I have willed it into existence if it wasn’t there before. Booyah. Ever had that experience where you are with a group of people and feel that you don’t belong? Your life experiences, values, sexual preferences, cultural expectations (used in the micro-culture or even tribal sense), and especially your beliefs can create in you a strong sense of being that you recognize to be incompatible with others.
Both my brother and I value conscious living and healthy lifestyle. He is much more strict about it, but the value is shared. We both value personal and spiritual growth, depth in communication, personal connections, and we have belief systems that are incongruent with Christianity. We also have done psychedelic drugs in ceremonies. And we don’t really drink. It’s not our thing.
So here we are at this Christian wedding. Fairly well-to-do society around us. We are talking about peyote and ayahuasca. They are talking about their retirement or business. We are talking about spiritual teachers and authors that resonate with us, they are making the rounds saying very casual and shallow greetings to the guests. We repeatedly have folks come up to us and leave very quickly. They ask where we are from but don’t want to know more than a point on a map. That answer was enough.
They certainly can drink, too. At the rehearsal dinner and at the reception the line for booze was the place to be. When in Rome, we got in line.
So what’s the deal with this chasm. It obviously isn’t real. We put it there. To give ourselves perspective? To protect our beliefs? To judge ourselves better? Does it go both ways?
And I can tell you with utmost certainty this one truth: after six whiskeys we are all the same. Salud!