Monday, April 29, 2013

25th of 26 Children, The Spelling of Ciopinno, and I Keep Forgetting I'm Not A Farmer

"God is closer to us than water is to a fish."
Saint Catherine of Siena
Today Roman Catholics observe the feast day and memorial of Catherine of Siena, a Third Order Dominican and Doctor of the Church. I chose her as my confirmation Saint in 2005 and have found increasing affection for her mother, who is said to have struggled with a  sharp tongue and impatient temperament (Ahem --- 26 pregnancies!)
Anthony and I were married in a parish named for her, and her Dialogue was one of the first books by a Saint that I read after converting. This morning, following a resolution to cut 'screen time' usage in our home, I hastily checked email and made a few notes on the calendar. Although I'm tired of being wired and plan to sever the cord for the summer, I have all the convenience and tools of modern life to replicate in a more rugged way (on paper) before disconnecting entirely. And my cute husband wanted to watch yesterday's episode of Game of Thrones. So, as the saga goes --- I needed to answer two Facebook messages about upcoming social gatherings, before logging out. Real quick like.

Then I noticed that Mindy had a nifty graphic with a bold quote by Catherine of Siena on her Facebook profile, and I thought perhaps a quick tribute was in order. So I trolled around the usual sites for that dose of sighing verve that only the Internet can offer to a bathrobe-clad lady who needs one more cup of coffee. "Yes! All for Jesus! We should have Italian for dinner, in her honor, yah? Truth, obedience, love personified! She was so brave. So, so brave. And her mother? What a soul. Hey. I wonder how Michelle is doing..."

After two phone calls regarding meals for a local pregnant friend, dusting off the toddlers' breakfast crumbs and sending them after a bucket of blocks, I returned with my calendar to finalize a few dinner invites over next month. And then I couldn't remember what goes in ciopinno, and became immersed in Italy's regional food etymology before remembering that Catherine of Siena was a Third Order Dominican. My husband appeared and refreshed my coffee mug just as I wandered into a few sites about their way of life, then visited my own Benedictine Oblate heart strings online for a bit, and found myself halfway to the phone to dial up a rural Texan monastery when I remembered it was time to switch the laundry loads.

Fly Lady. And her snippy tenet about "Don't allow yourself to get sidetracked by the computer." Ah, vice.

We've had so many recent conversations, some with friends, about the modern place of technology and the danger of replacing leisure and rejuvenation with solitude and oblivion.  Useless ingestion of news and gossip.

As the saying goes, "When looking for faults, use a mirror, not a microscope." I've benefitted greatly from hearing peoples' stories about their own overly-connected, hyper-informed habits. It's all terribly amusing. My husband recently acquiesced (he's going to be so annoyed that I used that word. Oh wait, he doesn't read the Internet, nevermind!) on a major scheduling thing which results in him //not// working 16 hour days. Pretty rad.  So our priority-shifting-talk , which has heretofore been largely safe and existential, is really coming to pass. And this, before the mania of Alaskan summer with 20 hours of daylight! It's a great time to plan.

My proclamations are in no way a sweeping condemnation of the webs. Lots of kids do it with impunity. This is just a thing.  It's just my box; as Auntie Leila describes artfully and practically, "Obviously you still have to de-clutter the box. The trap would be to put your clutter in the box and then add more clutter on the tables. The box is not a remedy for Original Sin. I know. Bummer."

When I emerged from the office to give my plain coffee that pinch of sugar which makes it "Brooklyn Black", my husband shrugged off my culinary queries with a hug: "I've got dinner goin' in the crock pot, honey --- chicken cacciatore"

Which obviously made me think of Madonna. (Louise Veronica Ciccone.) Who always makes me think of Detroit. And then Joe Koss.

Saints Catherine, Dominic, Benedict --- Ora pro nobis!

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