I took a mental/spiritual health day off from work today to go down to a church in the state capitol for a meditation day on poetry of TS Eliot and Rowan Williams. It also turned out to include a discourse on St Augustine and on Russian icons (ah, something I KNOW something about). It was blissful. The lecturer was deeply versed in the work of Eliot, and drew some beautiful parallels between Eliot's work, how Augustinian theology informed it, and how we can hear echoes of it in Williams' poetry. Wonderful to be able to stretch one's brain in this manner.
A brief moment of grace on the two hour drive down - the air was like a gray scrim, more sleep-inducing than depressing on a 7 a.m. late October morning. Then, out of my peripheral vision, I saw two little deer grazing by the side of the highway. Delicate, graceful, looking rather like slightly gawky thirteen year old girls as they searched for something tasty. I'm still more used to large and muscular New England deer. These creatures were quite small and lovely. The trip back home at evening rush hour, which more resembled NASCAR, was a different matter, but I'm grateful for the early morning moments when I can snatch them.
Tomorrow is the church Christmas Bazaar. I've made two Dutch apple pies, six carrot babycakes, six chocolate-raspberry babycakes, and the major work on the matzoh ball soup is done. I'll get up early to actually make and simmer the matzo balls themselves - we serve a variety of soups for lunch - and then try to transport it all to church without any internal or external accidents. The amount of work we put into this thing in relation to what we raise is ridiculous, but we all have such fun doing it, it's worth it. The challenge will be: 1) don't eat too many sweets, and 2) don't buy too many used books. Ah, a good problem to have!