I haven't blogged on it because it was not necessary that I do so. My blog posts tend to write themselves, it seems.
The post you are about to read never forced my fingers to the keyboard.
Well, because the need to share such a wonderful series of monthly meetings never seemed to lend itself to anything but private enjoyment. As the calendar year is now turning, I sensed the freedom to move toward my laptop and begin writing - following suite with many of my other posts over the last 10 years.
I meet with men who are smart. Men who are much smarter than I even hope I am. We meet each month to discuss a topic of interest. The topics have ranged from Israel's current state of flux to lack of fathering, from the nature of homosexuality in human history to Chanakuh and Christmas (this month). Enjoyably complex issues that allow enjoyably complex men to wage war with words - while diplomatically discussing intent.
Had it been only my idea, a little over a year ago, it would STILL remain that: an idea. I wanted a group of men, Christians, Jews, non-followers of God and searching hearts for discussion and debate to be with me.
But how to get there?
I have lived a somewhat-cloistered life of cramped Christianity, of hovering homeschooling and of "self-evident" selfishness for many years. To say I had friends who were cut from a different cloth is to pretend to be telling the truth.
So "an acquittance", Allen Gorin, and I met at Starbucks to talk about some now-forgotten idea. In that meeting I began to weep and tell him of my deep sadness of the loss of my son, who had been dead but a year or so. It was embarrassing to me but did not appear to be so to him.
Not particularly friends - by both our admissions - Allen (and his wife Leslie) were however friendly and kind towards my family and me over the years, as I hope I was to them. Allen and I sat and talked at the coffee shop about hard times and the impact of those times on our character.
I also told Allen of my idea of bringing educated and thoughtful men together to discuss issues.
Of course, Allen, who is a magnificently smart man knew of The Inklings and of the power of JRR Tolkien's contribution to Lewis, et al. And the the thought of this group NOT being a christian Bible study appealed to him, as a Jew.
And invite. The cost of admission: interesting snacks and beverages of any kind.
December 7th, 2011 was scheduled as our first meeting. But where to have it?
I realized that there was no other place to host this event than at my own residence - a small area that Susan and I have leased for a while - which I creatively named The Love Bungalow, for reasons that shall remain unspoken (ha). And so it was determined that we would cram as many bodies as possible into our front room, allowing us to "discuss" an item per month.
Like The inklings who met at The Eagle and Child pub - otherwise known as the Bird & Baby? No, but yes. We do not meet for literary critique, though many of the men have read and commented about the lone professionally published author's work (me) - but rather for clarity-of-thought critique on many issues.
And so last evening, in commemoration of the two festive holidays before the world this month, we had three members, Allen Gorin, David Snyder and Terry Pape of The Discussion Group tackle Chanukah and Christmas - and it was marvelous.
So, expect not Lord of the Rings nor Chronicles of Narnia, nor Oxford deans (maybe a Stanford grad, a doctor or two and other marks of semi-distinction, tho...) nor stuffy British humor from us (unless it emanates from a Monty Python film memory...)
But you just might find yourself reading a post that wrote itself as a result of a meeting of really smart guys (and me) from The Love Bungalow.