Journal: October 29, 2021

Has it really been over a month since I posted a journal entry? My goodness… how time flies when you’re busy. A short bit of explanation and then a bit of catching up.

Hard at work at convention.

Explanation… things got a bit crazy around the church. We started back up with our regular “school year” programming, which has been good, but then our parish entered into a season of great sadness. We lost four members in five or six weeks. We’re not that large, so such a loss hit us all pretty hard. All four were very good men. Faithful in their lives and participation, so… yeah. I think we’re all trying to regroup ourselves and our souls. We’ll get there, but as many have said, “We’re done with funerals for a while… God willing!” We’ve also had Clergy Conference and Diocesan Convention and the annual Diocesan Council (I’m on that too) Retreat is next weekend. So, instead of journaling, I took the time to breathe a bit. Hope you all are still out there. Folks always say, “You’re so busy”, but the truth is, we all are! The way I see it, get done what you can and after that… well… it’ll be OK.

Only the greatest fiction ever written.

In the midst of all this, my reading has fallen to the side. I had planned to read The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (I actually got about 20 pages in), but then we (the friend I was reading it with) decided to watch the movie first and… it broke my damn heart. I’ll probably get back to it sometime, but my heart has been broken enough with the funerals this past month and I just can’t bring myself to continue. What am I reading instead (Lord, I can hear the eye rolls as I type!), The Stand by Stephen King. How many times is this… I don’t know. At least ten. It is just such an amazing story. Oh.. and I also just finished the new CBS series of the book… hmmm…. a bit disappointed. The casting wasn’t good at all. The “Walking Dude” needs to be… you know!… The Walking Dude! Instead, it was 2020 Dude with a well groomed beard. Maybe that was it: they made the movie, but brought everyone into the 2020s and they all just turned out to be… hmm… weak. It seems that no one is allowed to be strong these days. The Dark Man was brutal in the book, but here he’s just a bit greasy and skinny. Ok. Enough of that.

I did my first watercolor the other day. It is not good, but… I’ve seen worse. I found that I really enjoyed the time of just sitting and trying to create. Given that I haven’t had much time to write (other than the sermons, etc) this was an easier and creative outlet. I think I’m going to paint several of “The Yellow Tree” and work on the technique and see how I improve (“IF” I improve). It is a bit tricky and as “visual” of a person as I am, I would like to improve. It has been suggested that “The Yellow Tree” be the next label for my wines, but then… what about the sexy ladies!? Yes. The problems I have.

The Big Yellow Tree

Movies: eh.

Upcoming plans: looks as though the Camino will be off for another year. Spain is still in the category of not recommended for travel and it seems that folks are having a difficult time finding places to stay for the evening. I’m not sure completely, but will pull the trigger or put back on the safety in the next month or so. Rome is definitely still a go in ’22 and after visiting with the friend who is helping to organize, we will definitely be taking a church pilgrimage to the Holy Land in ’23.

What I’ve learned: there are days when being a priest is not all it is cracked up to be. There are days when you feel like you’re just the member of the family that drew the short straw and has to get up and lead the rest of the clan in prayer when you’d rather sit with them and cry. It is then that you realize what a privilege it is to be the one who drew the short straw and gets to lead the rest of the clan in prayer for the one you all love.

Thought for the day: go buy a balloon for someone who really only wants to let it go so that they can watch it gathered up in the varying winds and float off into the distance. It is good to have the freedom to roam.

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