When Mother Erika suggested this assignment, it sounded both interesting and challenging. Interesting to talk to different people, including ones I didn’t know well. Challenging to try to give a sense of who they are. Perhaps the most challenging aspect was conveying in my words just how interesting the conversation turned out to be. I didn’t have an extensive list of questions. I figured they would come to mind. I did however have 2 basic questions in mind. One was suggested by one of my past French teachers. At a social gathering the French would not ask: “What is your occupation?” That was considered trying to categorize people. Rather, they would ask: What is your passion? So that was one of the questions. The other one was something that always intrigues me. Could you give me your philosophy of life in 25 words or less? And they did.
- Helen Lambin
“Strong faith is vital.” Talking with Stephen you have a strong sense of the role prayer, spirituality, and liturgy play in Stephen’s life. It is a fixed part of his daily life and a dominant interest. What lies at the basis of his source of comfort at this time: Morning Prayer (online) at Atonement. Stephen is a member of the St. Cecilia choir, but says he doesn’t often sing, because of other assignments from Brother Ron Fox. Br. Ron, as you know, is our gifted and gracious Liturgical Coordinator and regular Master of Ceremonies. Stephen is also a pianist, and particularly enjoys playing Bach.
Stephen is also able to work from home and like Anna from last week’s interview, and he feels fortunate to be able to do. But, like caring others, he has strong sympathy—or rather, empathy, for those who are less lucky. Stephen shares his home with his husband and a mutual friend. So he does not experience the loneliness that some experience in living alone at this time. But here, too, he has concerns for with those in different situation, those who find it difficult in living alone at this time.
And what is his passion? Stephen has a strong interest in theology and in philosophy, which made the interview somewhat more challenging, because I wanted to wander down those paths. In college I found philosophy tedious. I think that some of us should wait until we around age forty, when we have the questions but realize we don’t have all the answers.
The good news is that in a short time talking about with philosophy you can come across some really interesting pathways in philosophy. For example, this gem he quoted: “Experience our own lives as they are.” (Kierkegaard) The bad news is that I was tempted to interrupt the interview to go write things down in my journal/quote book.
And here is his answer to the philosophy of life question in twenty-five words or less:
“Live life fully and without regrets and pursue kindness as often as you can.”
Enough about the interviews I enjoyed doing and hope you will enjoy reading. Must go and find a pen and my quote book.