Authenticity and Bananas
After we had the kids tucked in last night (and under the watchful eye of Grandma...) Kelsey and I snuck out to Chocolate Morel for a late desert with friends. Chocolate Morel is a hoity-toity new resturant located in luxurious downtown Mason, Ohio (as a local would say, 'directly across from where they tore down the body shop'.). Without too much coaxing, I ordered a high octane coffee and the Havana Banana. I highly recomend it, unless you're diabetic, in which case it may be the last thing you'll ever eat, but you'll die with a ridiculous grin on your face.
We arrived about 8:15 PM and sat and talked for three hours. We may still be there except the resturant closed. Our cue was when the muzak went away and the room we were in got very, very dark. Thinking back, the three hours passed in what seemed like a thirty minute swirrel of laughter, java, serious talk and, of course, the notorious Havana Banana. I came home thinking about authenticity.
The boomers who remain alive as of this writing tell us that authenticity was all about accountability...that if you got into a small group, gave them permission to 'speak into your life' (boomereze for 'tell you you're being a moron'), then you were in an authentic relationship. Acountability was the holy grail of Christian community. While I sure won't speak ill of accountability, I think the emphasis was probably a pendelum swing for boomers - most of them lived in anonymity, so to allow people to mess with their business was a radical thought. Maybe I'm in a strange place, but I've got a fair amount of people who have permission to tell me when I've doofed something. I would guess at least 15 people know me well enough to be able to tell me the hard stuff. Some days it feels like a hundred.
For me, the mark of authenticity...when I'm really being authentic...bubbled up last night. It wasn't merely the right to speak truth in love - although that exists within that relationship - but rather it was the trust to dream together. I'm pretty hard shelled. I can take the truth. What I can't take is having my dreams laughed at. We all spoke things around that table that were deep within...at times, even though we were the only ones in the resturant, we found ourselves leaning forward and speaking in whispers, as if the walls had ears.
It felt so good to dream audibly...to let the oracles within breath a little. There were times I found myself wondering 'did I say that out loud?'...yet to have said it out loud was incredibly liberating. To be honest, most of what we dream about seems pretty proposterous to others...but it's in there, and if it's ever going to happen, we have to speak it somewhere, somehow, to someone. To me, an authentic relationship is one that I feel confident enough in to dream out loud...and for me, anyway, those relationships are far and few in between. When I find them, I want to spend as much time as I can in the presence of those people.
One last thing...last night, watching my wife by the candlelight and listening to her dream out loud was an amazing experience. When she says things like "The prophet Isaiah says..." I sit up and take notice. There were times last night when her dreams would have stood my hair on end, if I had any. She is the most revolutionary person I know. If you're single and searching - don't marry below your dream level. Your mate's dreams ought not just augment your dreams, they ought to challenge them. At times, it's probably even healthy if they don't run in the same vein. Who wants to spend their life with a parasitic dreamer? Kelsey Bohlender hears from God on her own, and she makes me a better person when she challenges me with it.