I have so enjoyed meeting other writers face to face!
John Beckett and I were actually able to meet in person — serendipity arranged for John to be driving by the little Texas town where I was visiting family early in February. We met at a groovy little sandwich shop, where we expressed mutual surprise that neither of us was quite what the other had expected (John said I was taller, and I hadn’t imagined his Tennessee accent). We talked about our work (paid and otherwise), our religious traditions, Unitarian Universalism, and Texas. I was particularly struck by John’s remark that he really values his “straight” job, because it removes any incentive to compromise his spiritual work — a temptation that could arise if he made his living by it. The fact that John listens so well makes him a particularly delightful tea time companion!
I had a somewhat short conversation with Julian Betkowski, but it’s spawned lots of juicy private correspondence, so I consider it a roaring success. More than anyone else I chatted with, Julian and I skipped the small talk and grappled with big issues: the question of whether a devotional Polytheist split from the Pagan movement would be a healthy thing, the effects of trying to do theology in a blog medium (which, unfortunately, is a medium readers are conditioned to skim at top speed), the way subcultural communities reproduce the hierarchical politics of the overculture they’re embedded in, and more. My brain was nicely exercised and fed.
David Dashifen Kees (also known as Dash) lives in my area and was able to come to my house and drink tea with me while I bounced the baby. Dash has had his fingers in *so* many important Pagan and interfaith projects as a tech person and/or volunteer — I found myself making a mental list of awesome things he could help make happen. I really enjoyed hearing about Dash’s partner, a veterinarian, and their many, many animals. We also geeked out about tattoos. It was a good time!
I also got to catch up with Henry Buchy, who’s already a friend, but from whom I always learn something new — and not always what I expected. This time I got away with a book recommendation and the urge to learn more about the stock market. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that witches have narrow interests.
The official month of Pagan Tea Times is coming to an end, but I hope the live conversations will go on! Keep an eye on Agora for when I do a round-up of Tea Time posts.