Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the unending search...

...goes on, for a daily routine that will get the work done and accommodate the odd gratifying moments and minor self-indulgences and still allow for sufficient sleep and a modicum of hygiene!

I cannot watch Hoarders on A & E -- too doggone close to the bone, that one. Shades of the Collyer brothers. I have been threatened with their fate since I was yay-high...

Was informed this afternoon that Fabulous Honorary Assistant has been seconded by the Lady in the Pointed Hat to attend to rural parish, three Sundays out of four. I wish merely to observe, in the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson, that "bishops is all swabs." Do not attempt to exegete that remark unless you have recently read or re-read Treasure Island!

Fabulous Assistant Curate, our very own "herring of God" (thank you, Kathryn), is away to his ordination retreat this afternoon...bless his heart.

And what, oh what, am I going to do for a Children's Focus with that dog's breakfast of readings next Sunday? (Speak up, don't be shy...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

and away we go...

David Adams Richards

A radical change in the weather, and I can't even tell you how cold it was this morning because the wind yesterday blew the thermometer off the side of the house -- no lie!

We lost a few substantial branches and a lot of twiggery from the eight or nine full-sized poplars at the Rambler's Rest aka Tether's End...but none of the dendrology came into our house or anyone else's house, TBTG.

I sometimes say I don't actually have a "yard" as such -- I have a vase full of poplars...and I love them, rather more than my neighbours do, alas, even when I encourage them to enjoy all the lovely FREE oxygen pouring over the fences all night long.

Good things happening today at MH & U -- Knit Wits in the Upper Hall, sorting donated yarn and winding it into manageable balls...Husband Units cruising about with younger helpers, unplugging plumbing, and joshing each other non-stop; IT Guy working up a diocesan-wide approach to computer service; and so we mark St. Michael and All the Manifest Flyin' What-nots.

Went downtown to "The Big'Un" under the impression that -- fifth Tuesday and all -- I was on duty for the noon Eucharist. No noon Eucharist -- "not even on a Holy Day?" I allowed myself that much querulousness. So I had a lovely chat with a young friend and then betook myself to downtown lunch (having put eight bucks into the parking machine) which turned out to be delicious and so copious it's going to be supper too.

And tonight is our last session of Thought of Rowan Williams... "THE ISSUE" or as my kids say, "ISSSSSS-sue"...meantime I've received Tokens of Trust and Wrestling with Angels in the mail -- so could start over with another course immediately!

Also finished reading God Is by David Adams Richards. A quirky, deeply felt, ineloquent but compelling, not-at-all-edited polemic against the New Atheism. Man has listened to a lot of cheap'n'cheesy guff in faculty lounges on campuses hither and yon, I can tell you. And he's ALSO a reader of Dostoevsky.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the status quo

At this point in the Rambler's world...

...the new Sanctuary Lamp has battled through new-candle colic and is burning brightly and cleanly and redly above the altar. Happiness all around.

...visiting music student is moving into her fifth consecutive hour of intensive piano practice just next door in the nave. I don't recognize most of what she's working on, but I think Scarlatti went by a little while ago.

...survived a gathering of the ordained earlier this week without getting myself arrested. Thank goodness for knitting. And for a perception that not all the worst of the nonsense was going by altogether unchallenged -- huzza!

,,,weather has been unseasonably warm for the last week and we are still in sandals sans panty-hose, oh double huzza!!! week will wrap up double-ended short course on the theology of +++Rowan -- we've looked at his theology of peace, of childhood and adulthood, his engagement with Russian Orthodox theologians and Dostoevsky, and next Tuesday/Wednesday -- "The Issue" (ominous chords, offstage). The +++ABC website has been a treasure. And, having heedlessly given away my copy of Charles Hefling's anthology Ourselves, Our Souls and Bodies, I was luckily able to find a website with a good printable text of the essay "The Body's Grace." This course is a shared project with a young ordained woman serving as chaplain at Colourful U -- and holding the fort in a badly disheveled but gallant parish on the edge of campus. We are having a good time with our project -- we do an evening session at Most Holy and Undivided, and repeat the session the next morning at St. Theophrastus.

...reflecting with friends that the civic myth of the self-evident truth, political or philosophical, may not be the very best foundation ever for theological debate... just sayin'.

...and our friend Lucy is out of ICU and about to begin very extensive rehab...thank you for all your kind prayers.

...went to an academic oversight group meeting this morning -- well, for all morning and the beginning of the afternoon. Despite years of conscientious therapy and Personal Work, the Rambler continues to exhibit a degree of Personal Rigidity and this group -- it meets quarterly -- is not a happy habitat for that...The kind of group characterized by Implacable Tolerance and Inclusivity, you know? So there is some tooth-grinding and interior mutters of "Here I am stuck on the floating island of Laputa, and where o where is Jonathan Swift when I really need him???"
But happily there were identifiable persons present who weren't thrilled with the Amiable Fluff either. One of whom, a new acquaintance, fetched his tuna-fish sandwich and couscous salad over to the Rambler's corner of the table at lunch time. And we found a comforting number of shared opinions.

...the problem of automotive drabness seems to be abating, or maybe I'm noticing more. But there seem to be a lot more genuine blue vehicles about -- and even a fair range of greens -- not all "Look-Mom-when-I-hold-my-breath-I'm-a-Jaguar" green. Anything to push back "il grigio."

...and the Daughter Unit, against whom no amount of "il grigio" has ever prevailed, has a birthday next week...she and her spouse are -- both!!! -- Michaelmas babies. Big-time festivity this weekend.

and that is all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm glad I was there.

Came in to Most Holy & Undivided this morning with some vague notions about clean-up of various sorts..found the parking lot reasonably full (not just the usual pattern),and came in to a great buzz of voices in the chancel...

WHERE...the parishioner who has been Joe Donor Layman In Chief for the last few years was holding forth in a gentle, clear, and encouraging manner, to a rapt circle of Brass-Polishing Ladies, all focussed on the new hanging/chancel/sanctuary/presence lamp. Which he donated. Whose installation he supervised. And now he was giving them the information they needed for replacing and lighting the weekly candle. (We opted some time back NOT to have Electric Flickering...but actual flame).

And he was happy. And they were happy. And never was heard the discouraging word.

I thought..."Stand still for a minute, and watch this and listen to it. This is the kind of moment you keep hoping will happen. Now that it has...acknowledge it, and commit it to memory."

Tomorrow we dedicate the lamp and light it officially for the first time...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

remedially speaking

Well I have been working on a number of remedies for the Advanced Mully-grubs which have been afflicting me for the last week or ten days.

The sight of dapper, blue-blazered elderly gentlemen (with rows of gongs halfway to their elbows), coping with the ravages of arthritis and the like...helps. Especially when recollecting that they were very much present, though in less festal garb, on Juno Beach on the 6th of June, 1944. (Juno Beach is the one John Wayne DIDN'T liberate, in case you wondered.) The South Prairie Province Regiment Veterans were in our midst on Sunday morning, as part of their reunion weekend. They unveiled a plaque. They laid a wreath. They beamed at the preacher. It all helped.

The Rambler had said grace at the regimental dinner on Saturday night. This helped too.

What else...large unexpected donations from persons who are happy with the way their mom's memorial service was conducted. They help.

And it's no bad thing to have Baroque Trumpet as going-to-work music on the CD player in the morning, either.

Topped off with some very demanding teaching, well received, and a healthy chunk of chocolate cake at lunch time today.

Health is on the horizon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


A note from last Wednesday...kind of "how it's been going, or .. not"...

My dentist has taken on a new hygienist, and I thought, this morning, that she might well kill me -- and on our first acquaintance, at that. I am used to some genteel scritchings with the pick, and then some high-speed buzzing, and then some polishing, and we part friends. But no...this morning, hook the suction tube into the corner of my mouth, and then POW with the high-speed tool, just as if she were trimming a particularly insensitive hedge...cooing patronizingly the while.


The dentist (who has been All Doll for 35 years) continues to uphold "Crown Her with Many Crowns" as his all-time favourite hymn.

The Lady in the Pointed Hat is prepared to priestificate Wonder Curate on the 4th of October, being the Feast of Francis, all day long. TBTG!

And Wonder Curate continues just that...much joy. And he has a v. sweet wyf also, who comes in and practises during the day on the pipe organ, she being already an accomplished pianist and singer.

I have been playing with this evening as a way of braining out something interactive for the confirmation class to work on, come Sunday afternoon. I am thinking of getting them to amass God-vocabulary from service books and/or hymn book, and then transform their lists into word-clouds, courtesy of wordle. Might be fun, might be stimulating.

The throwers of tantrums are in fine form also. It is disheartening to look at them and think, "You were mean and crazy when I came here, and you are mean and crazy still; and I'm by no means sure you aren't the worse for my being in your midst."

HOWEVER! Knowing, as we do, that all discouragement is of the devil always...we press on.