I was discussing my gothicky Plainness with a good friend last night. He’s sympathetic and supportive, with his own sense of Plain. He also has a flare for dramatic dress that could easily take him into living performance art, without too much of a detour.
The conversation centered on why I am so…different. The rest of my family is pretty staid and mainstream. You wouldn’t look up and notice them in a crowd. I blend in only in places where there are a lot of Anabaptists, and then they notice the differences.
But why? I said this: Ever since I was a child, I was surprised if someone remembered me or said they had thought about me when I wasn’t there.
His analysis was that I never took to the status quo, that I can’t see anything in it.
Of course my reaction was that this CAN’T be normal. And maybe it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it is wrong. Or that it needs to be cured or fixed or therapized.
I’m not here to live out life as performance art, either, as many goths do. Art for art’s sake, a living daily performance of street theatre, quotidian dance.
Except, perhaps, in the way that Elijah, Jeremiah and John the Baptist did. Not that I am much of a prophet. I am just a minor figure in the 500 year old Plain movement, adapting it to modern times. I can’t help but incorporate some of that strangeness I have acquired – or worn from birth – into that Plain. It is my own quotidian dance, but it is Shaker dance rather than a dark version of Stravinsky’s wild Firebird. I don’t intend to burn to ashes.
Instead, I am called to carry the Light. As are all Christians.