Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Said No No No You’re Wrong

When I was a boy, everything was right, everything was right…

So, after the aforementioned wedding, I had a blast at the reception that the bride’s parents held on their Illinois farm. The band included the electric fiddle, turning dance songs into hoedowns (while Katherine exchanged her high heels for dancing boots), and giving even the awkward an excuse to dance shame-free until it hurt (which it did, eventually, after I tried to get creative with an Irish jig. Um, please don’t visualize that.) Thanks to the Uchicago-heavy wedding party, I even ended up discussing the relative merits of War and Peace characters and philosophies while I was sitting out for a while. It was amazing.

So why did I leave relatively early? I mean, it was a reasonable time to head off, but a bunch of people including the bride and groom looked to be partying for another hour or two. I left on a sudden inscrutable impulse, completely happy, and I only thought again of it when I arrived at my hotel and had nothing left to do besides read, pray and journal. Not that I minded that at all, but the reception was a unique social experience, so I don’t know why I took off when I did. Does anybody else?

Darn it, when this happens to Pierre, he suddenly ends up defending a helpless maiden from French soldiers. All I end up with is befuddlement.

Oh, and that reminds me, I’m having a tough time of it with JPII’s Theology of the Body. It’s terribly dense, which of course I can forgive. The difficulty is that some of the things that John Paul the Great asserts about human experience after the Fall don’t strike me as true, unless one interprets them in a sense that attenuates to the point of meaninglessness (think of Rex Mottram’s “Perhaps it’s raining in a spiritual sense”). But then again, I opine rather than know about the points I have trouble with, and I do find that his speculative exegesis of the creation narratives is greatly illuminating, so I’m keeping patient.

I’m a bit more sure of my thoughts on my travel reading, Waugh’s Handful of Dust, which was going great until a sudden change in genre; both the main part of the novel and the denouement (which was developed out of a short story Waugh had written earlier) were great reads, but the composite had a jarring effect. Oh, and Mr. Thackeray, that was a disappointingly milquetoast ending to such an enjoyable book. You still get an A-, but do try harder next time.

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