I seldom feel depressed, but I did yesterday. Not sure why?
Possibly, its because I'm likely going to graduate next year and I feel somewhat lost. The goal I've had for the last 8 years to improve my understanding of the China-Asia nexus, will have been accomplished. It's not, of course, as learning never ends, but it will continue in different circumstances.
But this story is not about my studies, but about my first experiences as a JW.
Anyway, with that feeling of sadness hanging over me, I decided to go for a long walk. And, I wanted a different venue to all my local walks which are usually along Cooks River (for any other Sydneysiders). I finally decided to start at the northern end of Leichhardt and walk along the shores of Iron cove, simply because it was along a waterfront.
A big mistake!
I got off the tram, walked toward Leichhardt Park Oval and crossed Lilyfield Rd, looked back and saw the house Lil Thompson had lived in. Lil was a elderly stalwart sister in the congregation, who'd changed her calling from being one of the anointed to being an O.S. She often encouraged the young newbie that was me, with stories about how wonderful the paradise would be. Long dead now of course, and still no paradise earth. (grimace), and the realisation that there will never be a paradise.
50 metres further and two houses became visible. On belonged to Sis Vi Webster, a sister with a sharp tongue. Her husband, Harry had been the accountant for 2HD, the Newcastle radio station that the WTS owned. Plenty of stories about 2HD in Newcastle, where I later pioneered. The WTS (or, was it the IBSA, I forget) sold advertising to pay for the costs. So some brothers became salesmen. And like a lot of sales people, they entertained their clients on the weekend. The local brother's told stories of everyone being drunk at these parties. Whatever else Harry saw, I never heard, but he no longer wanted much to do with the JWs.
They had a daughter, Narelle, who I found attracted and went out with her a few times. But Narelle had more exciting guys than a boring young JW, and was disfellowshipped a little later for committing adultery with her art teacher.
My mood was not improving.
In the next door house, Arthur once lived. Disfellowshipped eventually for being an SP bookies (illegal then) clerk, he married Hilda, niece of previously mentioned Lil T. They took a young Chinese student as a boarder. Arthur was a bit violent toward Hilda, and eventually she was disfellowshipped for committing adultery with the student.
Not good memories of YHWH's spiritual paradise.
Around the corner I passed the house where one of my bible studies had lived. He was about my own age. His mother had became insane and he gradually slipped into erratic ways also.
A 30 minute walk brought me to Rozelle, and the street and house where a group study I conducted was held. The house was owned by a German migrant brother, who also become morose and paranoid and turned very violent ending his life in a confrontation with the police.
So I caught a bus home, my mood worse than when I started.
Why had I been so stupid as to waste 40 years of my life.