Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 20: Quiet Meditations, Madison, God's Love Numbers Thirty and Thirty-One, Fairy Tale Trip

There [Ives] sat, and as was his habit of old he began his quiet meditations.  Above the altar in that church, was a statue of Christ, set back in a kind of nook, and on either side of Him, representations of the Holy Mother and Saint John the Baptist, with their expressions of divine knowledge.  Looking at the altar he remembered another of his childhood thoughts:  in the same way that the baby Jesus, the promise of the world, lay resting in His crib, adored by the magi and the shepherds and basking in the warmth of angelic and familial love, so did the man Jesus, down from the Cross and awaiting His final resurrection, lay resting inside the altar, beneath the chrismoned cloth.  He laughed, remembering how the slightest breeze from the church's opened doors, rustling the altar's cloth, had made Ives' little heart jump:  at any moment, Jesus would be coming out of His resting place and the world would be filled with miracles.  He would be dressed in great flowing white robes, a beautiful light filling the church.

Ives feels at home in church.  At the end of his life, he sits in a pew and remembers his childhood, how he would imagine Jesus descending from the altar and walking down the church's center aisle, like a daVinci painting come to life.  And the world would be full of miracles.

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin.  I have traveled here with my family for a dance competition in which my daughter is participating.  Last year, at this same competition, my daughter placed in the top ten of her category.  She doesn't dance until Sunday evening this time, so we have almost two full days to relax, shop, swim, and eat.  Maybe even go to a movie.

It feels good to be out of the Upper Peninsula for a little while.  While I feel most at home there, I also needed a break.  Both school and work have been quite stressful recently.  Lots of upheaval and change.  I don't really deal well with upheaval and change.  I like constancy.  I think that's why Ives feels so at home in church.  His son is murdered.  His life falls apart.  Yet, stepping into church, Ives knows what to expect.  Knows what prayers are going to be said.  Knows when he needs to stand and kneel.  It's the one constant in his life.

There are very few constants in my life at the moment.  I sort of cling to a few things.  This blog.  It has been a part of my daily existence for five years now.  Almost 2,400 posts.  That has kept me sane through a lot of challenging times.  That's God's love number thirty.

My son is driving my daughter crazy.  He's loud and over-tired.  Tomorrow morning, he will probably get up too early and annoy her even more.  My daughter refuses to go to sleep because "it's the only night I can stay up as late as I want."  She has been very hormonal and cranky this evening.  My wife is getting annoyed with me and my typing because it's late, and she wants to go to sleep.  I'm getting annoyed with everybody because I want silence, but my daughter is sighing and my wife has decided to eat M&Ms.  So it's a symphony:  sigh-crunch-crunch-sigh-rattle-rattle-crunch-crunch-crunch.

God's love number thirty-one:  my son has finally gone to sleep.  There is a tenuous silence.  My daughter has settled down with the iPad, and my wife has finished her midnight snack.  The noise level has decreased by several decibels.  Finally, the room has settled into a state of calm.  Sort of.

Once upon a time, there was a man who took his family on a trip.  The man's son got on the man's daughter's nerves.  The son kept asking, "Can we go swimming now?"  The daughter kept saying, "Shut up."  The man's wife got on his nerves.  She chewed M&Ms all night long.  By the time they settled down for the night, they all wanted to kill each other.

But they didn't.  Because they were all too tired.  So the daughter promised to drown her brother in the pool the next day.  The brother promised to kick his sister in the throat if she tried to drown him.  The man promised to smother his wife with a pillow if she didn't stop stop eating, and his wife promised to strangle him with a a shoelace.

And they all went to bed.

Moral of the story:  pack alcohol when you go on a family trip.

And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.

Where did I pack the gin?

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