1) Why do you feel that it is better to live without masks?
I wasn't at all sure when I started. It wasn't clear that it would work. Now, however, I'm almost convinced that it's better. In my case, it certainly is. I wrote about this before -- I can't keep track of the Douglas in SF fandom separately from the Mr Spencer at work, or the Douglas that my family sees separately from my various presences on-line.
So I stopped trying. Wherever you see me now, I hope, you're seeing me, and not some artificial construct that I'm hiding behind.
It works. Really, it does. For me. If someone else did it, it might be a disaster, but it works for me. I know that some people are good at keeping bits of their lives distinct -- I decided that I wouldn't. There's been some fallout, but nothing to outweigh the benefits.
2) If you could go back through your life and only save five memories, what would they be?
Good question. And I'm aware that the last four answers are really the same, and I'm not apologising.
- The first Christmas for which I'd picked out myself the presents which I was giving. The look on my brother's face when he opened one of them -- a Rubik's Cube with six plain green faces -- was priceless. He was delighted, and that delighted me in turn. This was the moment at which I first understood "it is more blessed to give than to receive". I must have been about ten.
- Alice was my first proper girlfriend. My first horizontal one, at least. It was all very light and bright and meaningless in retrospect but it was my first time, and I wouldn't want to forget it. She had the imagination and the experience that I didn't, and we had lots of fun.
- Chris was my second, and he wasn't light or bright at all. Quite the opposite, in fact -- dark and sinister. The relationship forced me to face some difficult questions, forced me into some serious introspection. It taught me a lot about kink, a lot about consent, a lot about prejudice, a lot about choice, and a lot about how to recognise the difference between play and abuse. Lessons I had to learn quickly, almost in self-defence. Mercifully, it only lasted three or four months. So why is this a memory worth saving? Precisely because it made me ask myself these questions. Because I couldn't discard this memory without discarding those lessons. And if I did that, I wouldn't be me.
- Anne. It seems like a cheat to wrap up something like twelve years of my life in a single memory. But I've written extensively about her both here and elsewhere, and I don't want to lose any of it. If anyone finds themself a partner as well-suited to them as Anne was to me, they can count themself very lucky.
- Fifthly, my rehabilitation after Anne died, facilitated in the early days by fandom in general, and more recently by scarlatti. My life at the moment, this last couple of months and the months to come, look like being well worth saving as memories.
3) If you could meet any still living person with whom you have never had any contact (this excludes S...), who would you choose? Why?
This was going to be an easy question until you put those brackets in. It would probably be a scientific writer, and I have a shortlist. Daniel C Dennet, Douglas R Hofstadter, Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Penrose. But the person with whom I'd agree with most -- and disagree with most deeply -- is probably Richard Dawkins.
4) If you could travel to any place on Earth, where would you go? Why?
Easy answer at the moment. I'd go and see scarlatti.
But are you excluding Washington DC from consideration to make the question interesting? If so, then I'd have to confess that I like it here. Easy access to London, the best city on the planet -- and the west coast of Scotland , the best scenery on the planet, isn't impossibly far away.
5) Do you believe in the physical resurrection of Christ? His physical ascension to heaven?
I do believe in the physical resurrection of Christ. I believe in the resurrection of the body, for all who overcome -- and that's nonsense without the bodily resurrection of Christ. But read what Paul writes, I think it's in his letters to Rome, about the nature of the resurrected body -- this body, the current one, isn't a patch on the one we get next time round. And I think the story of the transfiguration is intended to reinforce that.
The physical ascension is a harder question. I believe this too -- but perhaps a little less firmly. It's not an uncertainty that I'd break my heart over.
But neither of these questions are fundamental to my faith. The fundamentals, which I've talked about at length here on LJ and subsequently repeated in "Convers[at]ions 1", remain solid and aren't dependent on my answers to this question.
Quoting previous players in this meme:
If you want me to interview you, post a comment that simply says, "Interview me." I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn-- in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.