March 14, 2012

This & That Thursday

Got my own "Florida room" today and tomorrow only, at least until June. Yes it's pert near 70 degrees and sunny and I'm out on the back patio with the whisperin' breeze. I just can't even believe I didn't plan ahead and ask off for a day this week, which could've been a mini-Florida, sans beach but cum beer. Two scheduled meetings would appear to thwart any ideas of playing hooky -- which really isn't playing hooky nowadays given that all our vacation and sick days are lump together like a tasty stew. I feel no guilt over calling in sick when I'm not really sick seeing how the company's not losing anything by it. Providing I don't have meetings.

And oh yes did I run like a zephyr down High, and it does feel like forever since my last vacation, that lil' 4-day'r back in January. I ran in shorts and a t-shirt as if I were in Florida again. Decidedly un-Lenten weather is a bad influence on me. Hard to be a saint in the sun, with the beers & laziness calling.

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Am "lit-hungry" even though I read a goodly amount of "Slumberland" while sitting out on the patio. It's now dealing with the Berlin Wall falling and I've suddenly became ravenously hungry for web articles about how German reunification really went. Not so great, it would seem - something like 50% of Eastern Germans don't feel a part of Germany, referring to reunification as an "Anschluss", an annexation by West Germany -- despite the fact that West Germans have paid and continue to pay tons of deutsche marks towards the East German pensions/retirements/welfare safety nets. Money can't buy you love. One East German politician suggested that West Germany was not careful about giving East Germany a few symbolic gestures at the time of reunification, not enough respect. I wonder sometimes if symbolic gestures and respect are a bottomless pit, but perhaps not.

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Also been reading "Coming Apart" by Charles Murray, who forecasts a coming class-based, rich-poor society in the U.S.. Interestingly, he doesn't predict American decline, militarily or economically, but a loss of what makes America America, the sense of togetherness in the nation.

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My tendency is to write off all spiritual malaise, including my own, as caused by insufficient discipline. (Although certainly not true of the dark nighter's like Mother Teresa.) Certainly a great modern problem is the seeing of discipline as a negative thing, not as evidence of God loving us. But if it all comes down to discipline then it all comes down to us, which can't be given that we can make progress only through grace. (Though if grace is abundant, then the only thing stopping it is us, but then I'm touching on mysteries beyond me.) This view of things isn't too far afield from the conservative mindset on matters financial - I see a lot of financial angst and malaise most of it is simply failure to live within a budget, or actually a deliberate flouting thereof and fiscal insanity (like buying a $1,000 couch while on the verge of bankruptcy, as was recently witnessed by yours truly). We are our own worst enemies, no doubt, as Whitney Houston intuited.

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Momentarily flux'd by having the garage door come down on my not-fully-in-the-garage car, taking a jot of paint off the back end. Rather surprised since I thought the garage door wouldn't come down if any part of the car was blocking its path. Apparently I found that sweet spot where it's not sticking out enough to trip the sensor but far enough out to physically stop the garage door from coming down. Ah well it's got 40K miles on it and I'm not in the "must keep it pristine" mode anymore. It's funny how if this happened in week two of my ownership I'd be wringing my hands and moaning a river. The things we find important are so unimportant!

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The second reading at Mass the other day was about how Paul said that Jews want signs and Gentiles want wisdom and that Christ thwarted both. In the next sentence or two St. Paul mentions the Jews wanting to see power, and so I take it that a lust for signs is a lust for God's power. Certainly that's what many Jews wanted - a God who would whip ass and take Roman names. And the Gentiles seemed interested in the pursuit of wisdom for wisdom's sake. And Christ crucified, as Paul says, is neither strength nor wisdom of a human kind.

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A friend laments his lost love. Perhaps it may be of some relief to recall that someday all that which thwarts us, all that prevents us from unions with others, will be thwarted itself, i.e. that in Heaven we'll not only see our dogs, but will be with (though not carnally, of course, but in a way seven times more powerfully) all those who eluded our grasp*, so to speak, on earth. To borrow from the Irish band Barleyjuice:
My love's been drinkin'
She does not know me
We courted years ago
She bore my child
Tonight she's telling me
I'm not the man she cares for
My love's been drinkin'
She's in denial

But we'll all lay together
Beneath the bloomin' heather
For worse or for better, friend or foe,
So then while the sun's still shinin'
Let's raise a cup o' kindness
And sing our songs for sinners here below
* - "grasp" is perhaps the wrong word, suggestive as it is of eros rather than agape. To quote Fr. Charles, "God wants to give us every good thing. Not for the grasping of sin, but so that we might share his joy in giving away."

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