laying low and resting up



I have been trying to lay low the last couple of days. I’m hoping that resting on these days will pay off in the upcoming marathon. We’ll see. I’m planning on trying to pace myself as well.  So I haven’t sat at an organ console for a while. Instead I have been practicing Beethoven and others at the piano at home. I did manage 45 minutes on the treadmill yesterday. This is my first treadmill session in quite a while. I like to think it’s not related to my check up scheduled for next week. I have gained weight and my Blood Pressure has not always been low in the interim between check ups. Bah. But that’s why I go. In my own perverse way, I try to take care of myself.

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Eileen finally mailed off her visa application yesterday. She will be going to Beijing for a couple of weeks this month. If it weren’t for all the fuss at work about the new organ and my own championing of choral excellence there, I would join her. Ironically, her absence may possibly impact the quality of the choir, since she is the only dependable alto, the other two having serious family stuff that keeps them on call to miss rehearsals and services.

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I have told Eileen it would be insane for her to not go on this trip because of her volunteer church choir commitment. I know she misses our family, especially the two new grandkids in England and China. She is excited and motivated about the trip. She has decided to take a train to Chicago, then a shuttle to O’hare. I think she has done this mostly to relieve me of driving her to Chicago. I do appreciate it. She will return the same way.

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I’m sitting here waiting for a call from the furniture store where we purchased a new recliner chair for my Mom (with her money of course). They are supposed to deliver it this morning sometime between 8:30 and noon. I have a meeting with Rev Jen at 10 AM. Eileen will be available by then to make sure this comes off smoothly. Until then, if they call, I plan to hop in the car and supervise the arrival of the chair. Mom has mentioned everyday that she will be glad when her new chair arrives. Right now she is sitting in a comfy chair provided by the nursing home with a stool to prop up her feet. But she has been complaining of back aches. I’m hoping the new recliner will help alleviate this.

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So now I’m writing around noon. Mom’s chair is in place. They called and Eileen and I jumped in the car and met them at Mom’s. Mom was still in bed. But now she has her chair. Excellent.


It interests me that at this time in my life my Mother and Father are so present to me. I see my Mom almost everyday (sometimes Eileen will drop by without me). My Father is around in a more insubstantial way, present in dreams and in poems I read.

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This morning both Derek Walcott and Stephen Dunn were pondering their father in the poems I read. In Omeros XII, Walcott seems to suddenly turn the narrative of his long poem autobiographical and writes a section about returning as an adult to his childhood home which has been converted into a print shop.  He imagines talking with his dad who apparently also wrote poetry, but refers to it as “verse.”

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Stephen Dunn’s “For Some a Mountain” centers on remembering his father. It’s an imaginary conversation with the dead dad. I like the lines:

“My father is dead; he only has the words I remember
and choose to give him.”


“It’s impossible to win arguments with the dead.”

I would link in the whole poem but I can’t find it online.

In Syria and Nigeria, Trump Faces the Limits of American Power – The New York Times

This article is helpful in that it reviews both present and past involvements of the USA in the world.

I highlighted this for future reference:

“Since the early 1990s, when the United States took on the mantle of global leadership, it has acted in Somalia, in Afghanistan, in two different parts of Sudan, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Liberia and Sierra Leone’s overlapping conflicts, in East Timor and twice in the former Yugoslavia.”

I suspect this is not a complete list. bit it is helpful to keep in mind.

In Ancient Guano, a Record of Penguin Disaster – The New York Times

Penguin poop in the news.

Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth – The New York Times

I love this kind of detective work.

Mystery of why shoelaces come undone unravelled by science – BBC News

Silly I know. But I had to click on it and read it since my shoe laces unravel so much.

Yochai Benkler: The Right-Wing Media Ecosystem – Shorenstein Center

Some brilliant analysis. Here’s a link to the podcast.

I have been noticing this story online. This is a good explanation

Will London Fall? – The New York Times

I read this article on my tablet app. This link takes you to a much more elaborate article complete with embedded gifs and photographs. This explains a little of the clunkiness of the one I read.

I love London.  I was inspired to pick up Peter Ackroyd’s London: A Biography and read another chapter in it. It’s one of many books I am slowly reading from time to time.


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