March 14, 2011

Reveries and "Now-ities"

Sunday's gospel was rich. It was where Jesus was tempted in the desert. First the devil started with something innocent - "you are hungry?". But then we see where it would lead, to a direct attack: "worship me!" It was also telling that Satan wanted Jesus to depend on angels but Jesus said we are not to put the Lord our God to the test. But angels came anyway, which was sort of a telling message that if we seek first his Kingship over us, all else will be added anyway.

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Fine restorative walk after church at a local park, despite the dull location and the cloudy gray skies and monochrome landscape. I fell into the rhythm, my boots rendering the marsh-like ground harmless and despite the clouds there was a limn of sun that made the sunglasses at times a welcome accoutrement. I appreciated the mountain-like clouds in the sky, the sculptured trees and the now thawed ponds. On this day I had no need of the sea or primeval forests, though I have noticed that my walks have been "defined down" by surrendering the ten-minutes-farther pretty Darby park for the more prosaic. But what the latter has to offer is no crowds, at least now, in March. Come two months hence there will not be a private spot this side of Manhattan. I wandered along the empty baseball diamonds and my thoughts inevitably traveled back to Pittsburgh where I re-reveled in all the events: the excitement of seeing Washington, PAs toy-like houses spread over the distant hills; the sudden arrival of the matrix of rivers after a long, dark tunnel; the old warehouses and wharf-houses; the finding of the hotel and painless check-in; the walk to the Carnegie, the bathing in great art as the hours and my coldness melted. Then Sunday morning's wondrous walk to and about the city, private on a Sunday morning as the day is long, followed by Mass at the great cathedral and a quick visit to the Greek Orthodox church.

As I walked old songs came to mind, like "Yes, I Remember it Well" from Gigi. I built up a hunger to read, to drink a lone beer (given the liver-cringing Friday night). Out of a sense of civic responsibility watched the Buckeyes play in the pre-tournament tournament.

Despite periods of nodding off, managed to read a lot of a Willie Mays bio, more of Donald Hall's rhapsodic Fall prose, and some of the sweet words of "The Line", my latest novel (by an Olga Grushin I think). Then an impulse Lenten purchase (the author had me at "in Chapter Two I'll try to explain why God gives us free will"): a new Ignatius Press book called "Into Your Hands" by Fr. Stinissen.

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