musings on my little world

Today, I’m feeling centered—and that’s good because everything else in the world is spinning.

COVID cases continue to spike, shutdowns are looming, and I find myself in the familiar logical maze—tracing potential exposures, weighing the risks of a dinner with friends, apologetically declining invitations. 

Church is spinning too. I tried to think of an analogy since I can’t share details, and the first thing that popped into my head was that line from Blank Space—it sounds like “Starbucks lovers,” but actually it’s a long list of ex-lovers. At church we’re growing a list of ex-leaders along with some nasty scars. I know, I know—a cringe-worthy comparison.

Then there’s our country—gosh. I tend to roll my eyes at the president’s endless tantruming, but today I drove past a large group of protesters waving Trumpian flags outside the government complex near my house. I was listening to Elton John when I first noticed the crowd, but I rolled down my windows and blasted Derek Minor’s “I Have a Dream” as I cruised by. Petty? Maybe just a little.

All the craziness reminded me of a poem by Denise Levertov called Concurrence:

Each day’s terror, almost
a form of boredom—madmen
at the wheel and
stepping on the gas and
the breaks no good—
and each day one, 
sometimes two, morning-glories,
faultless, blue, blue sometimes
flecked with magenta, each
lit from within with
the first sunlight.

I don’t grow morning glories, but I am growing a collection of resilient house plants—I say resilient because these plants cling to life despite my inconsistent efforts at watering. It amazes me to watch them perk up in a matter of minutes after a good drink. Today, I added to my collection and purchased a mini potted spruce tree at the grocery store. I’ve tucked it into the corner of my living room and hung little nutcrackers on its branches.

Earlier this week, I baked a fabulous hazelnut chocolate pie—homemade crust and all—with two of my closest friends. After walking seven miles on the prairie today, I curled up on the couch to eat a piece of this delightful pie while watching the final episode of The Crown.

I also ordered Marilynne Robinson’s new novel Jack this evening. One of my primary indulgences this year has been to buy myself loads of books. My most recent acquisitions include Unsettling Truths, The Myth of the American Dream, and Reading While Black

In between walks this afternoon, I pulled out my Christmas shoebox from the top shelf of the linen closet. I know I’m way ahead of the liturgical calendar, but I wanted to arrange my nativity. It was a birthday gift from my parents—each figure hand-carved, just like the nativity in a favorite Christmas book from my childhood. Today, I arranged the holy family—sans Jesus—on my coffee table. I love the Anglican tradition of waiting for Jesus—the manger is empty during Advent so that Jesus can join us at Christmas. For now, we pray—come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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