Save Snafu!; and a Friday Five

23 March 2007

  Well, my snafu yesterday was not email related; it was save related!  Apparently I worked on my audit syllabus only to fail to save it, or to save it in such a way that I could not fine it on my computer at school.  I spent most of Thursday’s computer lab time reconstructing my work from the day before.  I got just a little farther than before, which is good, but I wonder if I’d be done now if I had only been more careful.  No big deal, though; I still have most of it done.

For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.

  1. My wife and son.  They are rivers in the desert.  Spending time with my wife, our son, or both of them can be very, very refreshing.
  2. The Eucharist.  It could be a smells-and-bells, High-Church, Anglo-Catholic or quasi-Orthodox liturgy so intensely traditional it scares even me, or it could be a quiet, spoken, informal Eucharist with only a handful of people.  Word, Meal, Prayer: it does me good.
  3. The Divine Office in Community.  Again, it can be a really traditional hour of the Divine Office in a monastic community or it can be two people doing a brief selections of Morning Prayer.  Any instance of communal prayer in the tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours is a river in the desert for me.
  4. Baseball.  Any game, anywhere.  It could be Cubs/Sox or Cubs/Cardinals at Wrigley on a beautiful late June afternoon or the boys at the Yeshiva playing an impromptu three inning affair during a break in classes.  I can play or just watch.  It can even be softball, but only if it’s a rag-tag, Chicago-style 16-inch mush game or a we’d-play-baseball-if-we-could-but-all-we-got-is-this-softball type game.  Baseball: it’s like the Divine Office, only sweatier.
  5. Good Literature/Good Teaching.  Even when my job gets me down, even when I’m not writing much, a good poem, story, play, or book or a class that goes particularly well and that leaves my students with something meaningul: I feel like a millon bucks after that.

An interesting thread that runs through all of this is that my “rivers in the desert” are all things that are simply types of activities.  It can range from really fancy to really modest, as long as it is essentially one of these activities.  Maybe that’s a quality of a “river in the desert.”


5 Responses to “Save Snafu!; and a Friday Five”

  1. sally Says:

    excellent play- I like that thought that the rivers can be full flood and fancy, or a tiny stream- modest yet full of meaning- and yet they feed our souls- thanks for the thought!

  2. Songbird Says:

    That’s one of the wonderful things about the Eucharist, isn’t it? There is no one way.

  3. Kievas Fargo Says:

    Baseball–yes! Being at the park is so much better than simply watching on TV.

  4. Really interesting post. I’m a lapsed Catholic, and my religious beliefs are rather unorthodox at this point. I suppose the best way to describe myself is a “Deist” and leave it at that. But on the other hand I still do love the old “smells and bells” thing, and I regret that the Catholic church has so gotten away from that. Must have something to do with my love for the old Renaissance sacred music.

    I totally agree with you about baseball! Red Sox vs. Yankees is the perfect allegory for Good vs. Evil. Did I also mention that I belive in Manichaeism?


  5. While I’m not a Manichaeist and I don’t think too much of Augustine, I still like you, Smith.

    One thing that the American Catholic Church —and a lot of mainstream churches— has forgotten is that people want churches to be Church. For some and in some traditions, the smells and bells is a major part of it all.

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