now i know why maureen dowd writes those crazy, dreadful, 'men don't want to date me because i'm a feminist' columns every so often.
trying to be all profound week after week can blow, especially when you have a real-life job that's important to you, your sister and brother in law are coming into town this weekend, you still haven't cleaned your room, you have to pay the housecleaner (with something), buy some beer, and you have NO idea how you're going to entertain houseguests for three days.
it's hard to muster the intellectual energy to think of something sharp or funny or snarky to say about the modern state of religion in our culture when you also have to figure out when you're going to return the phone calls of a friend with whom you may stay in new york next month during a trip with your father, the calls of an irate pseudo-ex who doesn't want to be an ex anymore, the calls from friends wondering where you are and when you all can hang out. (we can hang out when i can find some time on my calendar!)
it's also hard to get up any gumption when things in the middle east resemble a crusty pie imploding from the inside, when things over here sort of look like one of those pleasure cruises slowly taking in water, when things all over kind of make you feel like you want to say, 'dear jesus, just send that flaming meteorite anytime at all. really. stick a fork in us, we're done.'
i can't help writing what i'm about to write next, as churchy and 'devotional' as it sounds: i keep going back in my head to that moment in church on sunday, listening to that small group of ordinary men up in the choir loft sing the holst/mcdonald piece, watching their quiet pleasure in it, listening to their worship and feeling full of something. and whatever it was, it stayed with me all week - while i crossed the bridge at wacker and michigan, rumbling on the crowded rush hour bus, it was with me, giving me pause.
even now, while i watch the clock and know that i have to get up in 6 hours to run an early morning meeting and i'm so busy my head hurts to think about it, even now i'm taking just a little rest from all that to think about the hymn again:
'with my heart i'll ever worhip you; my voice will sing your praise for your everlasting mercy and grace for every day.'
i guess when international peace is elusive, we take what we can get.
The Joy of Translating
1 month ago