On Stripping Wall Paper. Anne Marie Lee 9/12/01

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I was thinking about our last meeting. It was a little like an encounter group. Maybe it is necessary for us to off load some of our stuff about Church and religion and life, before we can write theology. It is possible our knowledge and relationship with God is inhibited by stuff like several layers of wall paper or coats of paint that have to be stripped off to make a new start. This is probably not the way we invisaged things happening.. There was a considerable amount of stuff loosened in me around naming that night. I was struck by what you said, Tom. Philip, you said you prefer your religious name to your family name. I wasn't comfortable with my name before I married. That is because I wasn't comfortable with myself and who I felt I was. My identity wasn't clear to me. My father never called me by my Christian name, he called me Magee. I don't know where he got that name for me. Given my feminist tendencies I surprised myself by being glad to change my name when I married David. There was never any question of keeping my maiden name. At the time I didn't understand why, but now I would say I was taking on an identity of my own which couldn't link me to my primary family. Marrying David freed me up hugely, it brought me into a safe space from which to examine things.

Our Experience Into Words Group is a safe environment and it is becoming safer. Each individual in it is valuable to the group, that is why it is so good to have you back Mairead. I think there will be a fine balance between stripping the old layers of paint to clarify things for ourselves and putting our experience into words of theology.

I have always been very sensitive to peoples names. Whatever people introduce themselves as, that is what I will always call them. When a young Vietnamese girl was dying, I went to her home to nurse her. She gave me her English name. It didn't sit right with me, I asked her what the family called her so that I could also call her by that name. It was difficult for me to pronounce but she appreciated it.

And so Raymond is what I will call you from now on. If I remember rightly it was John Harris OP who first introduced us. May I thank you, for the topic originally came from you and opened up in response to Rita's question. I thoroughly enjoyed that meeting. Anne Marie Lee. 9.Dec.01.

-- Anonymous, December 09, 2001

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