Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting back in the groove

These are some photos from our recent vacation in Maine.

It's been difficult getting back in the groove now that vacation is over. No doubt it will take several days to just get caught up with work and family and soccer, let alone the Lambeth chronicles. I realize now more than ever how I relied on Fr. Jake to collect and grasp the essential news. Also, I found it a great help to get away from it all -- Anglicana news, legal news, U.S. politics, etc. (although take a peek occasionally online on the day of the General Synod vote on women bishops, the ulitimate significance of which still eludes me).

For Lambeth news, I now find myself relying on Jim Naughton at The Lead, Allie, our favorite Lambeth steward (who seems to keep running into ++Rowan Williams), and last, but not least, +Clumber's reports on the canine and feline bishops (who seem to have taken a few side trips to the local pubs, which is a wonderful way to visit with folks in the U.K., but I worry if +Pittsburgh may end up with more than occasional headache if he keeps reading SFIF news feeds on his Google Reader). While I know there is much more to read, it's about all I can manage right now.

I hope to soon jump in at The Friends of Jake, where IT, David, Ann, Eileen, and Padre Mickey are doing a fine job of posting ideas and news of interest to all those going through Jake withdrawal. But for now, I'm still buried in work (try scanning over 300 new court opinions that piled up while I was away) and ongoing concerns and difficulties about my mother, who has been back and forth between the hospital and the rehab wing of a nursing home (since last night back in the hospital) since mid-May with various ailments (congestive heart condition, diabetes, arthritis) and possibly a new series of strokes. We (my brother in Seattle and I here in New York) have traveled back and forth to the Chicago area, where she lives, several times already and still are working on getting her moved to where we can see that she gets better care and has an appropriate place to live full-time. In my spare time, I manage my daughter's soccer playing (never easy with politics changing the make-up of teams, club-affiliations, etc. while we just try to hang on somewhere), and occasionally get to see my son, who is slaving away at a fast-food restaurant as his summer job while home from college. Thanks to vacation, I even got to see my husband for days on end, though our time together has been scarce since we've been back.

And so it goes.....

It will take awhile before I can get into blogging again. For the first time in many years I did not finish a single book (though I brought two bags of them along) during vacation. I read good chunks of Judge Wood's An Unmarked Trail and, thanks to a recommendation from Franiam, Nicholas Christopher's A Trip to the Stars. I also read bits of Whose Justice? Which Rationality (by Alasdair MacIntyre, whose ideas were addressed by ++ Rowan Willliams in his lecture on "Religious Faith and Human Rights") but did not get back to Charles Taylor's A Secular Age and Mark Lilla's The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West as I had hoped. I'm afraid the ocean, the harbor, the ships, and wind had greater allure. But somewhere in the back of my mind some things were churning, in part by contrasting Judge Wood's commonsense, practical approach to human rights and dignity and conflict resolution with those of philosophers and theologians. Some other day.......

For now, hello to anyone who still stops by, and my apologies to anyone who left posts or emails while I was on vacation with limited computer access and time. I hope to respond and get back in the groove someday soon.


FranIAm said...

Glad you had a good trip. And I am glad you tried that book, even if you did not finish it.

Oh Maine, it is tonic for the soul if you ask me.

klady said...

Just could have used a larger dose of that tonic!

And I will finish the book -- I'm somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 done. I really liked it but wanted to break a bit and savor how it was going to play out in the end rather than race through to the conclusion.

I'm just used to reading through a book from start to finish over a short period of time (generally blocking out everyone and everything in the process), only stopping for bathroom breaks. That worked well for vacations where we mostly sat all day near a lake or the ocean, but this time we mixed things up with walks and driving tours, and, especially given our hectic schedules the past year or two, it was nice to sometimes mindlessly bask in each other's presence now and then without the engrossing distraction of a book (which for me, at least, takes me 100% away).

Anyway, I'm really glad I found your recommendation on FaceBook. It was the kind of book I needed most to read this vacation -- something about grace and wonder despite the fact that the machinations of the universe sometimes appear to be working against us. It reminded me a bit of Ann Patchett's The Magician's Assistant.

Lindy said...

Welcome Home Klady! I am glad you had a good trip.

Lindy and bishop rowan

FranIAm said...

It is truly one of my favorite books ever. I have read it many times.

Let us just say that Facebook has been a good thing for us, to that I say Amen!

Pax to you Klady.

(and if you are interested I am reading another great book right now, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.)