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a day of ups and downs

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Today’s been a day of up’s and down’s.

1. I went into Harlem on a whim for lunch at IHOP. I swear the soda wasn’t diet or otherwise had too much syrup, and the meal was lackluster at best. But they had these red velvet pancakes with cream cheese syrup. Where has this been all my life?

2. I went to the closest thing we have to a mall around here to sort out a warranty replacement for my mattress. On a whim I go into JC Penny and get my hair cut. The stylist did a decent job and I like my hair. But she also talked me into some tea leaf shampoo that will maybe make me look beautemous, but made the salon trip seem like an overpriced indulgence to my mind.

3. I finally got the mattress replacement selected and ordered. It is a good mattress and will be good for my back. But it’s also frustrating, beyond frustrating, the little things and fees and stupid policies like the need to get the mattress cleaned professionally because there’s a surface stain . It probably cost me $150 between the cleaning and the replacement fee. Which I can afford but shouldn’t have to. On the plus side, new mattress is coming on Friday. I’m trying to be positive.

4. the pope is resigning. I spent the day dremaing up a pope on how Anselm would be a good candidate if not for the slight matter of him being dead. Now I am too worn out to do anything with it. It’s probably geek indulgence anyway.

Btw, for the interested, here’s a FB post I made reacting to the news:

It looks like the pope is stepping down. This makes me genuinely curious: who are the contenders of the papacy? Anyone from Africa or Latin America? Anyone from the progressive side of the church? I really should be more familiar with the major figures in the RCC, but I’m not.

I must admit, I never warmed up to Pope Benedict. There was an awful lot I liked about Pope John Paul II, and Benedict always struck me as slightly out of touch with the challenges facing the RCC today. He’s also just seemed physically scary to me. (Something about the sunken eyes and German accent.) But theologically, I think I’ve sometimes underrated him. The encyclical Caritas in Veritate, for instance, has provoked some very important conversations about social justice and the fact that economic inequality is a kind of sin, both individually and between different parts of the global economy. He’s also a big proponent of nuclear disarmament and just immigration standards. I won’t sugarcoat how much I disagree with his stances on sexuality and gender roles, but on some issues, he can seem almost progressive. And I think I’ve underrated some of that.

Regardless of my own feelings, I know some of my Catholic friends did like him as a pope. I hope for your sake that the College of Cardinals chooses someone you feel good about.

I am trying to eulogize him in my mind if nowhere else, to practice thinking good thoughts and loving my enemy even though I disagree with him on many issues. But I feel vaguely bad about it because I know many of my liberal friends are very upset with this. I’m not blaming them. It’s just that, in this day and age, nuance and morally complicated positions seems so much harder to live out than polemics. It gets old sometimes, never being able to be swept away.

5. NYC is simply breathtakingly beautiful, between the remnants of the snow and the mist and the rain. I had a romantic moment and knew how to finish a seriously overdue fanfic story. But then by the time I got home the mood had passed and I really just felt tired and hurt. By the beauty, yeah, but also by the snow, because snow driffs and broken feet really don’t mix.

6. In Aquinas class tonight, Fr. D made a reference to a brain tumor he successfully talk. We were discussing what it means to know someone has a tumor. Whether testimony from a doctor worked. And his point was that no one really understands what tumors are like, at least not in our classroom. I didn’t say anything but I know a fair bit of what a tumor actually is like, how you know it’s there – I could teach a course. And as happy as I am for Fr. D, I really didn’t need the reminder of just how much I know of this situation. And that’s damned depressing, if I wasn’t wavering already.

I think I’m going to go listen to my Finnick song and pray I dream about that dance rather than little boys with brain tumors. That’s really where my ead is stuck just now. :-S


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 12th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I could have worded that a bit better. Obviously it's not all German accents. But a particular one, common among older German men (but even then not all of it) sounds harsh to my Southern ear. Maybe I've just seen too many World War II movies. ;-)
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
But they had these red velvet pancakes with cream cheese syrup.

OK, thoughts of this absolutely kept me from concentrating on the rest of your post. That--that is just--wow!

(Perhaps I should quit checking my flist before breakfast.)
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
I have never tasted anything so delicious. Imagine red velvet cake toasted to the light crispiness of buttermilk pancakes. I'm sure it's awful for you, but... yummers, indeed!
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not fond of Pope Benedict, he is too conservative and too insular for my tastes. I'm not really sure if anything better currently exists in the College of Cardinals, though. As for whether or not candidates from other areas/nations will be acceptable, friends of mine from other nations are telling me that their candidates aren't such great choices either for a variety of reasons. All I can say for sure is that this will be interesting from an historical perspective and I look forward to having a conclave sitting while having a living Pope. It should bring a whole new dynamic to the experience.

- Erulisse (one L)
Feb. 12th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm no big fan of the current pope either. That post was more about me trying to think well of someone I don't approve of, to "love my enemy" as it were (though I don't necessarily go that far with the pope). For me at least, eulogizing is an important part of taking a rounded view of the person. I've criticized the pope in the past, and I'm not blind to the problems I have with him.

I hope my interest in hearing about possible popes from outside Europe doesn't come across as racist. I guess I am a little bothered that the fastest-growing areas of the Catholic church (and pretty much all Christian denominations, come to it) are poorly represented in the international leadership, and this seems like a good chance to perhaps change that. A fool's hope, perhaps but one I have nonetheless. :-) I agree, it will be a fascinating story to watch.
Feb. 12th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, I share your interest. I would like a much broader scope and base of operations for one of the larger organized religions of the world, one which controls wealth and political power to the extent that it does. But as a Pagan, the Church as a whole does tend to make me nervous. I do not and never will walk the tenants of belief as they espouse. I know their beliefs and history, I understand it and have studied it for much of my life, and I consciously turn my back on it.

I think that a church as widely active throughout the world as the Catholic Church, is behind the times and should elect a pontiff that actually represents its flock.

- Erulusse (one L)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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