I call it no-rush because this post is a week late, get it?? Happy November! Mild apologies for skipping October’s monthly update; we went on vacation and made incredible memories (and some new friends!) that I’ll cherish for the rest of my years, but I still haven’t finished doing the laundry from that trip and we returned mid-October, so that tells you everything you need to know about how the rest of the month went. Happy belated Halloween/apple crisp macchiato weather/peak leaf season; I’ve missed you.
Since returning from vacation, I’ve been significantly cutting back on the socials; I deleted Facebook and have almost scaled back my time on the ‘gram to nil. We had terrible reception where we were, and I found an inverse proportion of peace and contentment directly related to the time I didn’t spend taking hot takes from a few hundred people on a device that’s glued to my hands for far too much of the day. Yes, it also probably had something to do with the company I was with and being able to read C.S. Lewis in the middle of a lagoon, but in general, I wouldn’t be able to stand in a room full of people shouting on 37 different topics in rapid fire succession without feeling overwhelmed; why do I do this on the internets? I know social media is a necessity for anyone who wants to write, but reader, I hope to see the day that it isn’t. In a failure of successive logic, I did pick up Twitter instead (I know) because I do want the hot takes of (the not-related) Beth and Russell Moore. We’ll see how that works out.
My first course of the fall semester, Life + Worship in the Early Church, has recently drawn to a close. I finished even more enamored with the early church than I already had been, which has left me a combination of grateful/mildly insufferable for the pining it induced. We read through the Didache and I tried unsuccessfully to get everyone I know to fast twice a week and bring back weekly communion. I got to visit a lovely nearby Orthodox church a few times for Vespers, and I once again enjoyed connecting more dots between the fourth-century Donatists and the perfectionism behind so much of my ecclesial wrestling. I get those people, man, I really do. They cared so much about the purity and holiness of the church and desired so strongly to get it right. But it ended in heretical schism, as is wont to happen when you draw concentrically smaller circles around your tribe until no one else is devoted enough to be the “real” Church and you are the holiest person you know. I just know there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
As this month is gearing up to include bi-weekly papers, hosting Thanksgiving, my son’s birthday, and our family’s performance in the Nutcracker, the series tackling the Donatists will likely need to wait until December. In the meantime though, Doctor Who had its season premiere, so it feels appropriate to begin the Who watch-through this month. Look out for “Pilot” next week. Finally, and sincerely, how are you? How has your re-entry into fall been? For whatever niche-itch this blog scratches, how is that pocket of your life going? How can I pray for you? Drop me a line at [email protected]; I’d genuinely love to hear from you.
What I’m Reading This Month:
– Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis – When I tell you that I “knew” Lewis wrote sci-fi, I am telling you I had no idea. When I get to heaven, I want to sit at his hearth and listen to him talk for years on end. He so intimately and accurately communicates the human condition, even when the setting is on literal Mars. As I usually do when I read his works, I thank God for making Lewis. I’m only halfway through, but it’s brilliant so far.
– The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris – This was recommended by a best friend who was hesitant to lend it, lest I become an oblate. She was right to be concerned. Fortunately for everyone I love, there aren’t many convents nearby, but it’s a really beautiful journey, and I can’t wait to see where the book lands.
What I’m watching:
Star Trek Deep Space 9 reruns. I don’t know why Autumn is the DS9 season in our home, but there it is. We fall in love with the characters all over again, lament that Q has so few appearances, watch horrified at Dukat’s guile, cheer on Sisko at Bajor’s fire caves, etc. The kids love to watch it before bed (we cover their eyes when needed), we love to watch it before bed, we should probably be embarrassed but 🤷🏻♀️
What I’m loving to eat:
This is the tastiest version of Italian wedding soup I’ve ever had. We’ve used broccoli rabe as the green, but I’m sure you could use escarole like a normal person and it would be just as good. Because Ditalini is indisputably the best soup pasta shape, feel free to sub that in for the orzo.
This was the first beef stew I’ve made in a long time and it’s been in high demand around here since. It comes together on a weeknight, isn’t super labor intensive or expensive, and should definitely be served over buttered biscuits. Enjoy!!
Until next time,