February 15, 2011

Diaristic Wanderings

...because blogs (and dogs) abhor a vacuum.
(Note: The pictures in this post bear little relation to the "story" within.)

A bright-lit Sunday only now (5:55pm) giving way to inevitability. Today's weather felt of a qualitative springish variety. Only six or seven weeks of cold weather remain. Tried to get in a lyrical mood with some of the Acquaintance of the Night book, and Donald Hall, but time feels fractured. I respond with a cold one or two - call it "induced lyricism". (Chesterton calls the virtue of temperance finding the limit to a given indulgence and adhering to it; I think I've found my sweet spot. GK also says that the difference between garden-variety virtues and the theological ones is one of perceived reasonableness. It's reasonable to be prudent or temperate while charity means to pardon the unpardonable, hope means the hoping when things are desperate and faith means believing the incredible. Sounds close to fideism but I digress...).

* * *
Speaking of fideism...
Global warming this I know
Because Al Gore tells me so.
Care not what the mercury says,
Shiverin' as I wear my Fez
.
How I savor those four golden days down at the beach, full of reading! How cool was it to have that time in the sweet spot of the day! I felt sharp as I read Hitchens and wanted to gallop-read his essays even as I was reading his memoir. In many ways he's really "other" to me: atheist, British prep-school educated, and not provincial (far more interested in the happenings around the globe than me).

Saturday morning woke up to the daily elixir of coffee and after a decent interval Saturday's McD's breakfast. I gloried in the bacon, egg & cheese, I swooned over the cinnamon melt, I gobbled the wild berry smoothie. Of course having eaten just over half of the day's calories in one early meal makes the rest of the day a bit restive. Lunch will have to be skimped on, lest I see gain lbs before dinner. So instead of lunch had an early dinner of Outback and later a fun pay-per-view flick: Tom Cruise in "Knight and Day". A good call, it turned out, since the other potential choice, Clooney's "The American" was dark and semi-pornographic.

Didn't feel the desire to read much, although a taste of the hope-besotted Chesterton is ever appreciated. Went to Confession and it came to mind the Chesterton quote about how we must ever start anew, a new creation, much as newborns. Somewhere there was a leftover lilting note of his that spoke of the miracle of existence at all, at base, at minimum. How oft I forget that!

* * *

There's nothing finer (besides being a 49'er) in the morning than having gone to bed at the princely hour of 9:30pm the night before, and thus having leisure to lard pre- and post- sleep with the tumbling froth of books. And so I did, with an interlude of interesting dreams. I woke up an hour early, a gift of time that I spent reading one of Larry McMurtry's half-dozen memoirs while drinking the pleasingly burnt-taste of Emerill's Extra Bold. My only regret was not having read any Chesterton poetry, which is a personal favorite of rare early awakenings.

I felt sufficiently lean (without scale-proof) to add a morning donut to the otherwise perfunctory breakfast. It shone like a gem, sitting there on my desk, for the short time it went unconsumed. I'd figured it was somebody's feast day although a subsequent check shows I'm a day late to Sts Cyril and Methodius, evangels of the East.

Reading McMurtry & Dylan made me want to write some fiction or at a bare minimum describe my surroundings. I work in an office humming with either the noise of the heating and air conditioning unit or, perhaps, white noise. Either way it's risibly insufficient towards blocking the hearing of conversations that abut my cubicle. The lights are all florescent, which are the lighting equivalent of fake breasts: all the illusion of allure with none of the charm. But the out of doors has turned a corner of sorts; spring, for the first time, is in the air. There's a quality of light that's different. A bit more Floridian. Even the architecture of the clouds differs.
* * *
Global warming this I know
Because Al Gore tells me so.
Frostbite, schmostbite - oh fu fa
Just wait till next year oh la la.
The day began on a splendid note: got that early fifteen minutes in the bookroom just post-sleep, coffee sending pleasing electricity to my brain while I imbibed a bit of Chesterton and Acquaintance of the Night. I was especially pleased that that night book looks so promising; it put me in a good mood, which only got better after my 9:30am meeting was over. Mass at lunch after a reading from the lit of the hours: "All of this was made by my hand / and all this is mine. It is the LORD that speaks. But my eyes are drawn to the man of humbled and contrite spirit, who trembles at my word." I thought how elusive it is to feel that way and yet, at the same time, how possible it is. I mean, God's not asking for great strength or sinless perfection but for someone who is contrite and trembles at his word. It gave me hope even though I have need of more contrition and trembling.

Did a hard, "burnt-leg" twenty minutes around the track followed by the sweet pain of weight-lifting. Been going through basketball spectator withdrawal. Football just doesn't do it for me, for reasons I'm not sure of. So I'll be hitting the Cavs if they play tonight, although admittedly the auto-loss feature makes all the games anti-climactic. Have been missing OSU bball games too lately.

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