19 September, 2008

swallowed up by life

I made Irish stew last night with Johnny for the guys, Alex and Shaun's priest. While I so much enjoy everyone who haunts that house, I really love the company of people older than me, and Father Wall certainly provided fabulous company last night. He drank an abundance of red wine and laughed and told us stories about crashing bar mitzvahs and seeing exorcisms and getting slapped in the face by a saint. He walked around their house, exclaiming, "You guys are too much! This is just too much!" And burst out with the same expression when we sat down to eat. There's something magnetic to me about a person who is 50 years my senior; sometimes I get a little tired of hanging out with people who are all the same age. (That's one of my many homeschool inheritances: I often am more at ease around adults and sometimes even prefer their company to my peers'.) I love hearing people who have lived twice as long as I have tell stories. They just have so much more to tell.

"For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life" (2 Corinthians 5:4). I think that's one of the most interesting (and possibly paradoxical) ways to say that: that death would be swallowed up by life. But it's true; here we are in the Kingdom of Paradoxes.

I might go for a run now. I might not.

Living with Emily is amazing; I love it. Something funny/cute she does: Something you must understand about Emily is that she is impeccably polite and eager to serve. So if I ever offer her something--like a handful of goldfish or a pillow or a cup of tea--she'll usually say, "No, I'm fine," and then offer to get ME something, but I've learned that, in Emilyspeak, this means she'd actually like some. So I just ignore her mannerly refusals and give it to her anyway. And she laughs and accepts it.

Something else I love about living with Emily: coming back to our room after class and finding her there. She sits in the egg chair draped in the yellow blanket and I sit on my bed and we talk forever, laughing, bragging, explaining, advising. She is my good therapy.

The weather is cooler now, desirable, pleasant. I look forward to walking to class because it gives me an excuse to be outside. The advent of fall stirs something electric in my veins.

When I'm not reading novels and poems for class, I am very slowly working through Joyce Carol Oates's Them. So far, I think I like it. It's a nice, tragic American family saga. I really love those. It's what Steinbeck does so well, you know. And I think Oates does it well, too. She may be a little heavy on The Point of This Book sometimes (Women vs. Men), but her style is usually skillful enough that the pecadillo is easily overlooked.

Two girls on our hall last night made a sandcastle. In their room. At 2 a.m.

Thanks to Guion, I am now in love with Bon Iver. You can add him to my list of crushes (which, I would like to point out, is considerably shorter than Guion's, which is currently topping off at about 16. I think I only have six: Andrew Bird, Sam Beam, Sufjan Stevens, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, and now Bon Iver.)


Ivy said...

It is funny you should say that about enjoying being with people older than you. I was just thinking today that I sometimes tire of always being surrounded by my peers. Then I saw the oddest sight: a long group of school children, elementary aged, being led across campus in a straggling, jumping, shouting line. I have no idea where they came from, but I realized that I miss being around people younger than me. Teaching Tae Kwon Do I saw kids all the time. They are crazy and exhausting, but they are so much smarter than we give them credit for. I miss their energy and sweetness and the funny things they say...
(Not that I don't love being around people older than me, too. It probably is a homeschool thing.) I love those funny intersections of thought between two people, though.

Hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Abby, this is Ivy's Chicago Ant....and a bit curious if Father Wall is possibly Father Jack Wall from Chicago, because it sounds a bit like him and he is an absolutely wonderful guy and it would be just like him to be over for dinner with you all....again, this is just a cosmic wondering kind of thing along with the fact that I just read Ivy's post to boot!

Chicago Ant - in chicago of course. - and who found your blog via Ivy and love reading it.