Friday, November 9, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Friday, November 9, 2012


I'm hoping to be a bit more upbeat this week than last, the floor project is finally done and all that remains is to move the furniture back on the weekend. It seems like it's been a long haul and very unsettling in the process, I'll be very happy to try to begin to resume normal life.

I guess the level of disruption I've felt is an indication of my hermit soul, and certainly points to my Benedictine inclination. Monastics base their lives on the idea of stability, the idea that constancy is an important element of a well grounded spiritual life. I can easily imagine monks, especially those who've been in the monastery a long time, being even more upset than we've been when some major disruption in their routine comes upon them. The monks of Blue Cloud Abbey in South Dakota voted to close their monastery due to a lack of vocations and I can only imagine how difficult that decision must have been for all of them.

The thing that keeps me sane, or leaning toward the sane end of the scale anyway, is seeing events like Hurricane Sandy, and experiencing events like the Waldo Canyon fire here last summer, and knowing that I am very lucky to have a home still standing, even if in some disarray, many people don't. At least I know that with time and a little elbow grease, things will return to normal, and be even better and more manageable with the new wood floors.


There was a business trip taken this week out to San Diego, to a beautiful hotel overlooking the marina, a great place for a business meeting. Our company puts a great deal of time and thought and work into providing a positive experience for both our customers and our employees, and I think it's appreciated by both groups. On, the other hand, I always amazed that the airline industry can, with relative impunity, abuse it's customers on a regular basis. Now that I have an artificial shoulder, it is no longer possible to board an airliner without a "pat down." I'm sorry to go on a rant, but I think it's symptomatic of our time that we allow, in the name of government regulation, something that would be absolutely illegal on any street corner to occur on a day to day basis in an airport. If I can help it, this will be the last trip I make by commercial airline. [No it won't, that's clearly just rant talk.]

Despite the wonderful surroundings in San Diego, the trip was extremely busy, hectic, I'll have to say. We did take one break on Wednesday to take a walk along the trail/pathway that goes along the beach. That was a welcome break. That said, I'm still very happy to be home.


There will be no comment on the recent election. I think it's time to put all that behind us and try to muddle on with the victor. I'm reminded that the motto for the Moffat family (clan?) is spero meliora -- we hope for better things. I'm proud to be a scion of a family that somehow, at some time in history, was important enough, or self-promoting enough, to have such a motto. I can't help but think it's of recent vintage and the product of, perhaps, the Scottish tourist industry, but still it's mine and I accept it. It has, however, always made me think that it ties nicely with a sort of quiet desperation that has seemed prevalent in my family, a kind of fatal expectation that things will be bad, probably get worse, but still we'll somehow manage to hope, against all odds, that things will be better. That particular trait will be well tested over the coming months and years.


I continue to look forward to the possibility of retirement. I read in a book recently that the two most common reasons people give for wanting to retire are the desire to live according to their own schedule and the hope for time to do what is important in life. I share both of those desires and this represents something of a turning point for me; this outlook on life is of recent vintage and something I would never have dreamed of even 5 years ago. I wonder if, after say 6 months of retirement, I'll feel the same way? I think I will because, tied to it's advent, is my wish to live more in accord with by Camaldolese oblate vocation.


The work on the floor project is complete, all that remains is to replace furniture and begin cleaning the house. That could be, when all is said and done, a two or three month task. It seems like there's sawdust everywhere, in every nook and cranny. We need to be patient about this process and I remain grateful that we still have a house, after the Waldo fire this year, that wasn't something I was completely sure I'd be saying today. Also, the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and it's beginning to appear, another failure in government response and responsibility, are not so fortunate, even now. Please keep the victims of both catastrophes in your prayers.


This is number 6, only one more to go.


I wonder what is so magic about the number 7? It seems primordial in man, after all, God created the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Really now, why did he choose to wrap things up in 7 days? Why not 11? or 9? But he didn't and now the blasted number keeps cropping up everywhere, in popular culture it shows up in mystery fiction, The 7% Solution, in classic westerns, The Magnificent Seven. Why couldn't it have been The Magnificent Eleven. After all, wouldn't their odds have been much better by making it a more even fight? I want to rebel, fight the inevitable, watch The Dirty Dozen, a fine movie, but I dare not. After all, Jennifer knows.

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