Archive for July, 2005

More years ago than most of you have been alive, there was an ad for (I believe) General Motors cars, featuring a sleek, gorgeous machine, along with a sleek, gorgeous blonde, and the caption, “Body by Fisher.” Which body, was left to the imagination of the viewer (and the ad was clearly designed to capture the attention of people with very little imagination).

For the past three or so weeks, I have been working out at a local gym. Relax, never in anyone’s wildest dreams will I ever have anything remotely resembling a Body by Fisher, or anything else earthly. I’m of two minds about it: I deplore, absolutely deplore, the Cult of the Body that exists in modern America. I see some of these people working out, and the exercises they are doing…. One involves kneeling on the floor between two weight posts, grabbing a handle from each, and pulling on them while bowing down to the ground. Would any one of these people consent to doing any such thing in a church? Obviously, I don’t know; but they are happy to do it at the gym. And the question for me is, do I want to do such a thing at the gym? Well, no, it’s not a serious question, because there is only one place I would do any such thing. But it bothers me that such a clear act of worship should be possible anyplace but at church. Or maybe what bothers me is, it’s such a parody of worship.

So why am I there in the first place? Because I need to get this old bod moving somehow. I need, desperately, to strengthen leg muscles that have lost all tone since I fell down that flight of stairs three years ago, and on top of that, began experiencing such pains in my right foot that I was barely able to hobble around. (The two are unrelated, though there was a possibility at one point that a bone might have been broken in the fall, and had been overlooked in the face of more obvious injuries.) The pain in the foot, it turns out, was from — are you ready for this? — a badly fitting pair of athletic shoes! Good brand, very well known, and in fact the shoes I have now are the same brand — but it was just the way this one pair of shoes was designed, so that the lace tightened right on a nerve that disabled the whole foot. No, I didn’t get this diagnosis from my doctor. What, Dr. Dementa giving serious consideration to the ills of a fat person?! I went to a shoe store that specializes in hard-to-fit feet.

Anyway — there is a point to this, I think — it does seem to me that the body I have, “Body by God,” should be maintained in sufficient shape to allow me to handle the tasks proper to this point in my life. I should be able to wash windows, for instance, without feeling as if pushing up the window is the equivalent of an upper-body workout. I should be able to change the beds, including flipping the mattresses, without feeling as if that was a full-body workout. At some point, though at this point it’s a distant hope, I would love to be able to kneel down so I could scrub the tub. (When I fell, my knee was one of the injuries the ER people were most concerned about. Three years later, it still bothers me.)

At least, I’m hoping there’s a difference between caring for the body and worshipping the body.

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“Failure is one of the courses in the menu of life. And I’ve never been a gal to pass up any of the courses.” —Rosalind Russell, actress

No particular reason for posting this. I have just always liked and admired Rosalind Russell, who usually played roles that featured gutsy, classy “dames,” as they were called in the ’40s and ’50s — “Mame!” was one of her roles. In addition to being a very well-known actress, it was less well known that she was a faithful Catholic who never missed attending Mass — how many modern actors and actresses can say the same?! So when I came across this quote, I just had to post it, for who among us has not known failure?

Keeping quiet and laying low these past several weeks. It’s been hotter than hot (I nearly had heart failure when I read on my son’s blog that he now understands why there was a near 100% mortality rate among firemen on the Trans Siberian Express), and, as I posted last year, I never do well in the heat. My heart can only bleed for those who are pregnant and imminent. The absolute worst month for having a baby, in my opinion, is September — October is a close second — but July and August are equally cursed. I had my son in June, and that was bad enough.

April, on the other hand, is a *delightful* month, and so, I would assume is May. (I don’t have any experience with May.)

Cross stitching like mad on a gift for my sister, a piece done in “redwork” (all shades of red, actually shades of dusty pink) with five hearts in the center and a very elaborate border, and the words, under the hearts: “Love Grows in Our Home.” Anyone who knows my sister, knows how true that is. (Besides, her carpet is the same shade of old rose as the floss that came with the kit.)

My next project, after the Dormition fast — during fast periods, I try to work on the Golden Tikhvin Theotokos I posted some months ago — will be a gift for my son. Christmas or birthday, depends on how fast I get it done. (Hint: Your walls are too bare, Chris.)

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Sea Change

My, it’s been awhile since I posted. Obviously, we got back from Pennsylvania OK, though I never want to make that trip by car again — 9 1/2 hours of pushing to get there and back, focussed on the road and the other nuts on it, to say nothing of some very high places that had my heart in my mouth. Next time, I take the train.

On one hand, I wish our son lived closer. At times like this, it’s very comforting to feel as if someone cares about you, as in, you come home and there’s a hot meal on the table and clean clothes in your drawer. But we do see a big difference in him — he looks as if he is finding his own place in the world, with a job he loves and an area of the country totally unassociated with The Parents. This is what used to happen to young men when there was a military draft. They’d leave home still boys, and come home men, mostly with a sense of purpose and an awareness that they had something valuable to contribute to the world at large. I’m beginning to see that in Chris. And it’s very nice to see.

Meanwhile — just keep praying, I guess, that the really Right One comes along. I know she’s out there somewhere. I just hope we all recognize her when she does show up (it took my in-laws nearly 25 years to appreciate the fact that my presence in their son’s life was a good thing….) =:0

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