Starting up again, gender, guidance, and voice.

The semester is off at a great clip. I, of course, celebrated by going to New York for the weekend. And by having a lock-up over how behind I am, you know, in my life. I’ll get over it. Next action, check. Next action, check… and before I know it, I’ll have yet another degree and an imposing job hunt.

Merlin went off on a Pixies and Breeders kick today on his personal site… music that is just inside me, and has been since I was a kid. I think about this a lot: that for a male musician, all the music that I have written or just “heard in my head” had the voice of this under appreciated generation of women in rock and roll from the 80’s and 90’s. The Deals, Kim from Jawbox, Aimee Mann, etc.

While reading through a book about young adults and identity, I came across a whole bunch about the distinctive male-ness and female-ness of various identity development narratives. (Men: Journey/Independence, Women:Integration/Connectedness). It just didn’t ring true for me. Listening to “Gigantic” again, I remembered a teenage feeling that Kim Deal wasn’t a bad role-model at all, and that I wanted to make music like she did, much more than Frank Black.

I remember a professor in college saying something about how she loved a group of poems I had finished because it was like hearing someone figure out how to be a man using poetry. Maybe in my head alone the tone suggested: “it’s like hearing a squirrel invent jam using a graphing calculator.” Nonetheless, I found an authentic voice for myself, one that may please or not on any particular day… but one that was mine for the writing.

As I get to the end of school, I’m asked to again figure out a voice for myself, this time in ministry. Again, the role models are all these tough women who have found their way in the church, sometimes with resistance… just like the women of rock and roll I pay attention to. Again, my integrative task is find my voice in ministry that honors the guidance that they have given me, and that isn’t a clich├ęd version of what people expect of a “male minister,” (whatever that means.) I don’t know if this has been a process I’ve been highly attentive to, but today I just pondered on it as I smiled and was thankful for women that rock.

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