5 Quick Things #317 🐌
liturgically-oriented hammers, fine-enough housekeeping, good sex talk, & make haste slowly
Time has held very little meaning for me this week. I began with a flight home from Savannah, which always throws off a typical weekly routine when you begin with travel and move right into the rigamarole of life, but then I came down with a wildly weird flu, which was fever dream-like for about 48 hours yet left about as quickly as it came (I’m perfectly fine now as of Friday morning). To add the cherry onto the “What is life?” daze and dizziness I endured typical of a flu, in the midst of it I was already scheduled to teach existentialism and absurdism to my senior-level literature class. C’mon, kids, let’s unpack Camus’ The Stranger while I contemplate whether my hand in front of me is actually real! It’ll be fun.
All in all, I can laugh at the week because I’m fine now (well, except for the bajillion things on my plate, which I’m sure more than a few of you are nodding your heads in understanding, as tends to be the case this time of year). I’m glad to be home, I’m grateful for my own bed, and I can’t believe it’s already February. Usually January creeps by for me. Not this one.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. Earlier this week I shared with Commonplace subscribers some lessons learned from my recent writers’ weekend. The first bit is now free to the public, if you’d like to read a few takeaways. …No hard-hitting essay here, but I’m grateful nonetheless for the simple beauty of time away.
2. I love what’s been writing about lately regarding a renaissance coming upon us as a renewed desire for a healthy, hopeful theology of craft (spoiler alert: we’ll be talking about this with Nate in the coming months on Drink!). His recent follow-up piece gets practical, listing several burgeoning institutions with this same vision of a trade school with sacramental soul (my youngest is already eager to go to St. Joseph the Worker). As he says—with these schools, “taking up a hammer, let’s say, is an embodied act that demands the recruitment of the interior life such that what its face is applied to is ordered rightly: both to spec, making it technically good, and to Jesus, making it liturgically oriented.”
3. Festina Lente is one of my go-to maxims in my education philosophy (in my classroom, for my own children, and even in my own): it means to “make haste slowly.”does an excellent job unpacking this foundational principle, and it’s worth contemplating because it applies to so much more of life than just in the classroom: “Festina lente does not merely focus on avoiding waste; it focuses on doing things well from the start, it focuses on mastering what is important in proper sequence. Think of the soldier training in combat, or the carpenter looking over the blueprint, or Aldus carefully comparing Greek manuscripts before printing the first Greek edition of the dialogues of Plato. Each must proceed in prudent sequence echoing another sister maxim: First things first.”
4. I didn’t know I needed a think piece on the reasons why a good-enough approach to housekeeping might say something deeper about the modernization of our daily lives, but I’m here for it, andis up to the task: “In taking care of our homes, molding them by daily care into the perfectly sanitized bubbles of magazine-cover perfection that we would like them to be, we’re playing at a kind of creation care that is entirely false. We are as deceived as the spiders who desperately try to move into the our nooks and crannies, mistaking our homes for the environment in which they were originally meant to dwell.”
5. And finally, Christopher West answers ten questions about sex. It’s probably not what you think, although this would indeed be a great conversation to have your adolescents watch for their ongoing education—this is solid food for thought for us decades-married adults, too. Really good and necessary topics, in my opinion. (Here it is in audio form, if that’s easier for you.)
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📚
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“No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work’s sake, and what men call originality will come unsought.”
You need to get somewhere 1,000 miles away but you're in no hurry. What's your preferred method? 🚂
I obviously asked this during a trip (at an airport during a layover, to be exact), but I do enjoy thinking about the details of a good journey. While all transportation methods have their place, I am SUCH a fan of good train travel and feel like the U.S. is bereft of a well-connected train system that would make our country so much better structured. I first encountered real train travel in my early twenties (I think I was 20, in fact) when I went to Europe solo for the first time. Trains made it so easy to get around! And they’re so pleasant to take us from point A to point B (most of the time) — get a good seat, stare out the window, sip some tea, and get to journaling. I’d travel everywhere by train if I could.
Also, I’m sure all the current wild news in the airline industry isn’t helping us with our affection for flying right now…
Find this week’s poll here.
Quick Links 🔗
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What would make your 16-year-old self proud to know about your life right now? (Take a quick moment for gratitude over that.)
Have a good weekend,
p.s. I love this refrigerator.