Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty… you didn’t think I would cruise into September without quoting Hopkins, did you? The days are getting shorter and the evenings cooler, and I’m linking up as always with Leigh Kramer sharing What I’m Into.
Stories From the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor was our all-school read this year. It is a series of vignettes by a doctor who, together with a medical staff, founded Boston Health Care for the Homeless. The stories are painful and dark at times, but his service to and compassion for the homeless are an inspiration. The book is arranged chronologically, recounting incidents that span over decades, and what struck me most was the amazing lack of judgment in the way he writes about his patients. It got me thinking that we can judge people or we can truly serve them, but I’m not convinced we can do both.
Another book I read for school was The Great Wide Sea, a family melodrama about three brothers whose father disappears while the family is living on a boat in far-off waters. At times the author’s love of sailing infected the prose with a few too many technical descriptions, but my eyes zipped right over those. This young adult novel is a quick read about a family you can’t help but root for.
I spent some of the last days of August at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, singing with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. We sang a prelude concert of challenging and lovely choral music, sans orchestra on a Friday, and two days later sang Beethoven’s Ninth with the BSO as part of the traditional end-of-the-season festivities in the Berkshires.
That weekend I spent a lot of time on the Tanglewood grounds, attending the showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark (performed with live musical accompaniment by the Boston Pops), and a BSO concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma on music of John Williams and concluding with Respighi’s The Pines of Rome. I have been to Tanglewood many times, but this was particularly special.
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I have a half-marathon next weekend and have been plugging away getting ready, with little success. This has been a pretty crummy training season, which has been a disappointment, but I am trying to think of my September race as just part of my training for the half-marathon I always do in October.
To complicate matters I literally fell on my face, scraping my knees, palms and chin on the way down. Blood was everywhere, and I had to wear a bandage on my face for a few days. Not hot.
However, a few days later I was right back at it and was rewarded with a glorious sunrise run.
I picked up Flight Behavior: A Novel out at Tanglewood because the book I had brought to relax with wasn’t doing it for me. I’m about a quarter of the way in, and like all Barbara Kingsolver’s work it is keeping me rapt.
I committed to spend more time in prayer this school year, and am using Loyola Press’s Daily Inspiration for Women for reflective moments during the day. With one short reflection each day it is perfect for quick inspiration, and has suggestions for further prayer actions as well. If you have other suggestions of favorite prayer books let me know. I can always use them for my classroom or my personal library!
What have you been into this month?
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