Clubbable…

I like this word- it was coined (I think) by one of our friends- to sum up that formal-collective thing that you will find in churches and all other places managed by committee. It is used as an adjective- as in “I am not clubbable.”

And in many ways, I am not. I am fine with ritual, but hate stuffy formality. I love a good conversation, but find making small talk very wearing. I love to meet with my friends and dream big dreams but once these things become filtered through bureaucracy I have no interest. I think we are at our very best in community, but often find communing hard- it can strip you bear.

I have found the churchy kind of clubs to be particularly challenging- as all of the above mixes in with a certain kind of external ‘righteousness’ and ‘correct doctrine’ and ‘spiritual maturity’. This kind of rather intense clubbability can suck you dry- it can become all consuming in its demands of time and energy. It becomes a vortex into which life hoovered up to the exclusion of anything outside its gravitational pull.

I had had enough of clubs. I wanted to freestyle for a while- to adventure in company, not just to retire to the bothy and sing songs of the adventure of others.

Strange then that I now find myself a member (or about the become a member) of two local clubs- cricket, and (as of tonight) bee keeping.

I am sure that both will have their challenges- relationships and internal tensions- but the interesting thing about both, is the richness that they bring into my life. Both seem to give me more than I give out- they facilitate, encourage and enable. Members of the clubs seem to delight in sharing knowledge and offering advice- not so we might be just like them, but rather so that something that they are passionate about might have a life beyond.

Both are about sharing an activity- having a praxis in common. They are much less concerned with theory and doctrine. But that is not to say that theory and doctrine are not there or thereabouts- rather that these things are downplayed, and absorbed through contact with wider example.

So it is soon obvious that playing cricket is all about a certain kind of sportsmanship- some things are simply just not done. If you are out, you are gracious in defeat. You look after the inexperienced players and when competition becomes too heated, someone has a quiet word.

And through beekeeping, it seems that we learn patience. This is no overnight process.

Hmmmm. Perhaps I am clubbable after all.

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