Monday, September 2, 2013

Disconnected pieces of news about my life

Well, it's been a while. This morning I'm typing at a card table by our kitchen window, overlooking a little playground at an unused elementary school. My computer is surrounded by squash and zucchini and Rousseau's Emile. I am drinking my second Labor Day cup of coffee and the fan in the window is sucking out the scent of burnt oatmeal. I have set off the smoke alarm at least three times in the first two weeks in this apartment. The stove is electric and I just can't get the hang of it.

We moved from slummy southwest Indianapolis to sweet, green Crawfordsville. We aren't teaching at the little Orthodox school any more. Someday I will write about that lesson. I work in a little public school not four blocks from this little apartment, and it's horrible because everything is built on assumptions that I completely disagree with or at least question seriously (except for "It is good to help children",) but it's wonderful because the teachers and aides are so kind and devoted, and the children are raggedy, raw things who give me adoring hugs and high fives whenever they see me at Wal*Mart.

Matt is piecing together several little jobs, like substitute teaching, tutoring, teaching a homeschool Latin class, working on a farm stand and occasionally picking tomatoes, possibly building a fence for one of the priests, cleaning a bank, etc. Once he gets it all oscillating harmonically I think he will like his rhythms. He is working hard at applying to Ph.D programs in philosophy, so he walks over to Wabash college almost every day to take advantage of a scholarly, air-conditioned library.

We walked to Vespers this weekend. It's 1.4 miles according to Google. A nice walk if you're not bringing something to coffee hour or portaging your raw milk home. We do so much wheeling and dealing with our crunchy church family that we usually need the car on Sunday.

I don't have to prep at all for school because I'm an aide. I get home at 2:45 and I have the rest of my life to do what I want. I am working on sketches for an icon of Christ, which is inspired by Manuel Panselinos' Christ Enthroned:

and the Hilandar Christ:

 It's for my grandmother, who is old and failing. I hope it will be a comfort to her. She is Baptist but I know that she loves Christ and if I paint him truly, she will love the icon. She is an artist herself and has painted so many beautiful things for me. I've repaid her in scribbled thank you notes and brief phone calls. It's time for a real gift.

I have much more time to read now too. I devoured The Master of Hestviken, by Sigrid Undset. After a YEAR, I'm almost done with Emile.

 Here is a great essay about writing. I am fully aware that I am not a writer and I like to hear that practically nobody else is a writer either.


  1. You may not be a writer but I like reading what you write.

    Best of luck with your new jobs/town.

  2. Thank you! You are a kind reader. We are plotting a visit to Chicago soon and look forward to meeting up with you! Matt is looking at DePaul.

    I try to read Orthogals sometimes during my little breaks at school and it's blocked as a dating website! Of course the forbiddenness makes it all the more interesting. Oddly enough, Seraphic Singles comes right up.

    1. Ha! I don't know what to make of that.

      I would be delighted to find you guys back in Chicago. Hopefully in a more stable situation this time! And yes, meeting up should happen.

  3. What did you think of Master of Hestviken? The only thing by Undset I've read is Kristin Lavransdatter, but I have The Faithful Wife on my shelf now...
    I will have to read that article more slowly, but I can see by a brief scan that it has lots of good quotes to chew on. Thanks!

    1. It was marvelous. Just as good if not better than KL. I highly recommend it!