There is a song called Goatee produced by the off-beat alternative rock band They Might Be Giants wherein a sock puppet power-duo boasts of its synergistic charisma.
I love this video for several reasons:
1.) Sock puppets…who make jokes.
2.) Innocuous references to goats, the Indian island of Goa and the paper coffee cup.
3.)A bit of Blue Avatar and Green Avatar dwell in all of us.
According to this anthem of puppet partnership, Green Avatar has skills, Blue Avatar has a small piece of electrical tape grafted to his face-the goatee- and “together [they] are invisible.” Green can do math, and well, Blue can tell people about the piece of tape on his sock-face. Together they accomplish the sock puppet mission of couch surfing, eating snacks and borrowing stuff, but what good is the goatee on its own?
What’s your goatee? What’s your mask? What do you use to justify your actions when you feel inadequate or when you want to protect your pride? What gets in the way of self-care and emotional wellbeing?
When do you find yourself pointing to the piece of electrical tape grafted to your chin? I went through a phase after I graduated when I allowed my degrees to support liturgical choices that could have been a bit more pastoral. There was a time in my early twenties when I used “my vocation,” (as a lay person to music ministry) as an excuse to avoid developing stronger interpersonal relationships. I know many people who have done the same. Some of them were lay people who missed the opportunity for family time, and others used the life they chose to build a self-containing birdhouse in the soul. Sometimes, perhaps we might just be masked by “this is what we’re supposed to do,” “we are leaders,” or “people don’t appreciate my gifts.”
In any case, I recognize that there were times when I used my degree to compensate for other areas where I needed to grow. Instead of growing, I constantly directed my energy into my ego. Instead of boasting in the Cross, I was boasting in myself. It was not a fruitful time in my life, but as I surrounded myself with opportunities to diversify my set of strengths, I started to feel more comfortable in my own chin…er… skin. Over the course of several months, I was able to experience the paradoxical empowerment of humility. After many years, my heart felt free again. I could be me, and I was able to return to the place of joy that Christianity is supposed to be.