I had such high hopes for keeping up a monthly report of what I am into, but again the madness of the academic year has overtaken my best intentions, and I am doing a two month round up once again. As always, I’m inspired by the lovely Leigh Kramer and the linkup on her blog.
My “pleasure reading” book has been Infinite Jest. I am making very slow progress since I keep having to put it aside for other projects, but I am coming back to it often enough that I don’t lose the thread of the story. And I rarely read the footnotes.
I decided to dig deeper planning my Reformation unit this year, and used Diarmaid Macculloch’s The Reformation as one of my tools. This would be a hard book to read without some prior knowledge of the era, since he avoids the over-simplification of arranging everything by location and arranges the story by time and theme. It’s readable, thorough, and nicely balances the “greatest hits” mentality of history with an exploration of the lives of everyday people.
We decided to attempt a proper honeymoon and have bought tickets to visit Spain in December, so Rick Steves Spain 2016 has been on my reading list. With only a week there we are trying to limit ourseves to Madrid and Barcelona (with, of course, a side trip to a few Jesuit pilgrimage sites). Museums, churches, palaces and tapas will probably take up most of our itinerary, so let us know what else we shouldn’t miss!
I’ve made an effort to diversify my prayer resources I have picked up a few new prayer books lately. When I was at Notre Dame I purchased The Notre Dame Book of Prayer, I’ve been using Reimagining the Ignatian Examen: Fresh Ways to Pray from Your Day, and I finally purchased The Gift, the volume of Hafiz’s poetry that was my borrowed companion on a silent retreat a few years ago. Great resources all around.
When I’m not reading…
I’m still appearing regularly on An Engaging Faith on Bread Box Media. The last few months have given Elizabeth and I plenty to talk about it, with one whole episode devoted to the Pope’s visit, and the next to the Synod of Bishops. I join her every other Friday at 4:00 pm, and every time the hour flies by. Yesterday’s podcast.
A few weekends ago I took on the challenge of “Walk Write Run 5K” with the FB group 10 minute novelists. Though I’m not a novelist I like the fellowship and the writing inspiriation, and I was intrigued by the challenge to run or walk 5K AND write 5,000 words in 24 hours. It had been a long time since I wrote that much at a stretch, if I ever have. Even though a lot of what I wrote was dross, it was an amazing exercise to just sit down and write write write!
On the musical front, I sang a lot of music that was new to me the last few months. I was in the chorus of Le Cid with Odyssey Opera, and I loved every moment of this lush, if rarely performed, French grand opera. I worked with MetroWest Choral Artists on a concert of new music, and had the pleasure of performing work by my friends Thomas Oboe Lee and Dan Shore.
Possibly the most exciting few days of the last two months were those leading into Columbus Day weekend. I spent three days in NYC as part of a Jesuit Sponsorship Review team, visiting a school and hearing about all the ways they live out the mission of Jesuit education.
On the way back from the big city I stopped in my home city to run the Hartford Half-Marathon. The weather was beautiful and my race was, on the surface, unexceptional. But last year I had to scrap my plans to run because my health was so poor, and finishing the race this year felt like a triumph.
Next race will be on Thanksgiving with my brother and I can’t wait!
The weather here is turning cool and we are staring down the possibility of another snowy winter. When I lace up my sneakers for the Thanksgiving race I will most likely be layering on jackets and hats and gloves, and trying not to wish the time away. Hopefully this fall will continue to be a balance of ambition and rest, of exploration and comfort.
What have you been into lately?