Measured Extravagance

29 March 2004 - 1:13 a.m.

Well, with both Vanderbilt teams out of the post-season, I find that I no longer care what happens in the women's bracket, and that I'm rooting for Georgia Tech in the men's Final Four. (Less out of SEC loyalty and more [Mostly] because I hate Eddie Sutton, hence I really want Oklahoma State to lose. Though, now that I think about it, hating Eddie Sutton is a form of SEC loyalty.)

[Edited 3/29 after remembering that Tech is ACC, not SEC. Clearly not at the top of my game...]

Still feeling unreasonably sad and not yet physically well, but some friends made a point of checking in on me after yesterday's meltdown, which was very sweet and for which I am grateful. And today was a fine day, even though it started without enough sleep (stayed up past 2 a.m. working - and then was roused by the doorbell ringing at 5 a.m. Oy!). At church this morning, last year's baritone soloist sang Vaughan Williams's settings of George Herbert's "Love" and "The Call." Lovely stuff:

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Then there was MK's sermon. I wish I could claim I fell for her April Fool's gambit because I was half-asleep, but I fear that sometimes I really am this guillible: she spun a long yarn about an announcement that Bill Sinkford had admitted to second thoughts about his calls for UUs to develop a "language of reverence" (to which my initial reaction was, "Hm, that didn't show up on any of the lists I follow..."), and that he was going to push for a different approach to mindfulness by setting aside language entirely and remaining silent for an entire month (which should have sent my credibility sensors screeching, but I confess that my reaction to that was in fact, "Hey, cool, I wish more people would try that. Maybe I should go on hiatus for a month...").

Had a really good chat after the service with a friend, got home in time for "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!", pounced on the Beautiful Young Man (and was subsequently woken up by the infernal doorbell again), read a pile of children's books (Adrienne Adams's The Littlest Witch my favorite of the lot) and culled what I needed from the Van Loon, and then headed out again for my second circuit around town.

The session with the sofer was cool. While waiting for my turn, I ended up chatting with one of the organizers about cooking and meal planning (she had a notebook with her that included recipes for apple-maple syrup and other treats - all well and good, except that she had explicitly asked the compiler to choose recipes that required minimal preparation. Seeing that the last time I fussed with French toast was for a brunch at least five years ago, I totally understand what she'd been hoping for...).

Then, after a brief conversation with the rabbi-scribe, I washed my hands and sat down next to him. The parchment looked so clean and bright ("white fire," indeed)! The page was two-thirds inked in; the bottom third was ruled up and partially filled with the outlines of the letters. The scribe dipped his quill in the ink, set it on the next letter of the word in progress, and instructed me to clasp the feather. As we filled in the outline of the letter and its crown (ayin), I repeated the blessing after him.

And that was that. I thanked the rabbi and obeyed the photographer's command to remain seated, then exchanged thanks and farewells with the organizers, and then went back out into the world.

What the web-surf also brought in: "Dancing" Hebrew letters.

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