Back To Church (For Some), Day 109

The pre-dawn morning was dank and gusty (though certainly warm enough); the air was misty, high pollen, and my knees were stiff from yesterday’s prolonged walk. I quickly discerned that I wasn’t going to be able to make an ambitious training run, so I skipped the step of timing my mile, and instead focused on keeping a very slow, steady pace that didn’t require heavy breathing. A peculiar morning mile, but at least I overcame my temptation not to run at all. Morning Office, hot breakfast, Mass at Most Holy Trinity, Ettingshall.

Perhaps I should explain: why would two theologians stay home on this first day of government-permitted eucharistic worship in actual churches? Answer: For reasons. One — we take very seriously the reports we’ve read about how awful surviving COVID-19 can be, and that’s assuming one does indeed survive. (Presumably, it’d even worse to experience COVID-19 and then to die.) We’re not hysterical about infection, but neither are we heedless. Two — the latest report we’ve seen from the WHO places an inflection point for concern at the age of 60. That’s us. We’re on the wrong side of the ‘maybe, maybe not’ option. Three — on the very first day of any given system, there are likely to be glitches. We can wait till the wrinkles are ironed out. Four — we appreciate Fr Damian’s Masses from Most Holy Trinity, Ettingshall, and having sat through a number of Sundays when the audio or streaming failed us; we wanted to spend one last Sunday morning with our friend before we resume in-person worship. Five — we ascribe some weight to our affective response to situations, possibilities, and people; we just weren’t satisfied that the right tim had come to take that step.

Most of the afternoon went to reading Count Zero (interrupted by intermittent distractions). On one hand, I ‘should’ be reading for research, and writing out my thoughts. On the other hand, the more time I spend on reading fiction, the more my capacity to read academic prose stretches. The demands of term-time fry my attention span. During leave time and the long vac, I can work toward healing the abrasions on my patience and focus.

Margaret constructed structurally impossible, delectable pizza this evening, and we finished Hanna.

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