Miscellany Nearing the End of Our Time Alone

22 October 2008

Someone at church asked me on Sunday, “So, are you guys still goin’ bach’?” In other words, asking if Beth had come home yet.  The answer is no, of course.

Today is the last non-work day of her absence.  Tomorrow I go in to teach the high school, and on Friday she returns.

I’m also reaching a kind of halfway-to-mostly-done point with grad apps.  Much, although not all, of the tedious data entry phase is finished.  I am currently in a coffeeshop studying for the GRE Literature in English Subject Test.  Feel free to stop by; I’m here until 3:15.

I’m also feeling moved to record some observations, ideas, and “movements of the spirit” to borrow an idea from Old Iñaki.  Here are some of them.

God loves in an abiding love. The enfolding nature of that love is an unspeakable warmth unable to be truly understood.  I remember eating a cherry cordial in the Old Post Office in Washington, D. C. when I was 8 or 9; the pleasant chocolatey bittersweetness was followed by the liquor’s warm and somewhat unpleasant buzz.  I did not feel quite myself, but I grew to enjoy it in that moment, because I realized nothing was wrong, I hadn’t been poisoned, but was merely unfamiliar with what I was experiencing.  That discomfort followed by recognition of profound goodness—that is the love of God.

Because we rarely think we can or should be loved in that way.  And yet we are.  We always are.

*   *   *

I am startled, although not surprised, by how excited I am by the prospect of school next year.  While I am under no illusion that school will be a time of frolicking in the dewy garden meadows of academia, I am genuinely excited on all fronts.  Whether it’s a literature, creative writing, or theology program I’m thinking about, I get kind of giddy when I think about beginning it.

*   *   *

Reading the The Princeton’s Review book on the GRE Literature in English Test is making me laugh out loud.  I’ve come favor the Oedipus plays in my Freshman College lit class, and I’ve taught British Literature for three dreadful years in the high school.  The punchline?  The works I have taught again and again (including Gray’s “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”, which I used to teach just because it was the first poem in the Romantic section of the textbook) seem to be important on this exam.

*   *   *

This is my 600th post.

*   *   *

I took the GRE Literature in English Subject Test once before, at the end of graduate school.  Reading a test prep book now, five years and six months removed from grad school, I have learned more of what I needed to learn for this test since grad school than in all my years leading up to my first taking of the test.

Marvelous.

*   *   *

Okay.  My brain is full, yet empty.  Time to close the book and go home.

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