This weekend, Leeman and I actually got to leave the house (!) together (!) without the baby (!). It was like a Lenten miracle. We embarked on our exciting excursion in order to attend our friends’ final concert as the geeky musical duo “Debs & Errol“.
We’ve been huge fans of Debs and Errol since their debut performance nearly four years ago. They were a regular part of the annual “Simian Showcase” put on by Leeman’s theatre partners “Monkeyman Poductions.” We use their music in every episode of the world’s best married Christian Geek podcast. (In fact, you can check out our interview with Errol–who leads music at the Anglican Church of the Resurrection–here). There is so much we have loved about D&E, from their affectionate banter, to their quirky lyrics, to their heart-warming tunes. But, perhaps most importantly, they were–like us–geeky at heart. Their songs touched on everything from Star Wars, to Battlestar Galactica, to board games, to narwhals. And they did it with the unashamed joy that being a geek is all about. Lets just say they’ve brought us a lot of happiness.
Hanging out with my fellow geeky kind at Debs and Errol’s concert–singing lyrics that would confound 90% of the population and cheering at fandom in-jokes–I was struck by two things. I love being a geek. And it is so much more fun to be a geek in a crowd of people than it is to be a geek alone.
As I have intimated, I don’t get out much any more. Having a kid will sort of do that to you. But that’s not to say I haven’t found time to indulge occasionally in my favourite geeky obsessions. I still blog about all the TV shows I watch, after all. Over the past year or so, however, I have noticed what at different experience it is to discover a new series on my own, or to follow a currently running show independent of the larger fan community. There was a time I would regularly get together with friends to watch the latest episodes of shows like Lost. And our time became as much about the shared experience of watching the show as it was about the show itself. It may sound strange, but I have very close friendships born out of binge watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. That connection added a level to the “fandom” that cannot be replicated when am sitting alone watching Netflix.
We are creatures who crave connection and community–whether that is through sports teams, or political ideologies, or “fandoms.” Perhaps we geeks feel that need for building communities more acutely because our interests tend to be a little bit more esoteric. So it becomes something special when we say “Farscape” and someone knows what we are talking about. And it is why I feel an instant sense of camaraderie with a room full of total strangers, all celebrating the end of a geeky duo who brought us a lot of happiness.
Lest this post become merely a meditation on my fangirlish inclinations. It is worth noting that there is an obvious parallel here with respect to our spiritual lives. If we are creatures who desire connection with respect to the various sub-cultures with which we identify — how much more fundamental must community be when it comes to our spiritual identities. There is great significance, for example, to this season of Lent where we fast *together* and prepare *together* for the celebration of Easter. It is far more meaningful to have the support of a community of faith as we take on spiritual disciplines, or abstain from certain foods or behaviours. Far more than if we are purely left to our own devices.
It is fair to say, our world is becoming increasingly individualized. But I think sometimes, it is fair to ask — what is the cost of living in such individual bubbles all the time. When I think of how much joy I experienced at a bizarre, geek music extravaganza Saturday evening, it reminds me that we need community. We need companions on every level of our life’s journey — to enrich us, to challenge us, and … just to have more fun.