MAVIS STAPLES & LEVON HELM: CARRY ME HOME
RS ROWEN'S: BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL

COVID ISOLATION... FROM FILLING THE BOREDOM TO INTENTIONAL RETREAT

Covid cave

I think the first few days of Covid isolation were about filling the boredom. What will I read? What will I listen to? Daughters, can I get Disney Plus on my lap top!

So I read very quickly David Park’s new novel Spies In Canaan which I will no doubt review soon. The man gets better and better with every novel. The thought rooms that he opened up in this tale set in Vietnam and the Mexican/American border with a quick drop into to Northern Ireland. Oh my!

I have been wanting to catch up on record reviews. Mary Gauthier’s new record dropped on my second day in captivity. Brilliant as expected. Quick review done!

The Mavis Staples & Levon Helm record has been waiting my surmise for a while. Done… and on Pentecost Sunday - perfect!

Another review, this time R S Rowen's Battery and Electrical will be posted very soon.

Then, thought I, The Beatles Get Back film. That’s why I need Disney Plus! There was no way in my life that I would get time to watch all seven and a half hours of that. BUT here was the time. I am now two episodes in and waiting patiently to watch the Rooftop concert! Review soon!

There was some resting done too. Boy, I needed the rest. 

So, I was filling my time. 

Then I started asking if I was using the time profitably. Oh I never read or listen or watch without spiritual critique that gets used in sermons and in my own personal soul feeding but could I be more intentional.

I always looked on Lockdown in 2020 as an invitation for retreat. A time to put away schedules. To stop all the mad hurry. I have indeed come out of Lockdown holding some things learned on the overfilled diary front. A full diary might salve my Protestant work ethic conscience but did it mean that the important things in my week were done as well as they could be.

Maybe this Covid Cave Intensive Retreat was an opportunity to reassess lessons learned in Lockdown. I often say that we just never learn what we had learned! 

This retreat though cannot be confined to that. The Stockies have come through a heavy few months, the suicide of a friend; my dad’s passing; now this. I have actually come to see these Coronavirus years as a kind of grief. It works like grief. Invisible but heavy to carry. We are weary and wonder why. Maybe this is my God given time to make some sense.

I have decided for these next days to still watch The Beatles and listen to some good tunes. 

BUT… I am shifting up my pile Charles R Ringma’s new book A Fragile Hope. Charles was my main man when I did my sabbatical in Regent College Vancouver in 2005. I went to his three hour, two weeks of every weekday morning class on Mission. WOW! I also visited his study and he handed me James Cone’s Spirituals and The Blues that became the linchpin for my Masters Dissertation. 

A Fragile Hope is about Charles coming out of a number of months in a friend’s hermitage. Coming back to the real world Charles asks if it possible to build a hermitage of the heart in the everyday. Very applicable for these strange two years either forced upon us or gifted!

So, a few precious days… thankfully precious because I got a very mild dose of Covid. I am every remembering friends who died or other friends who have been in hospitals on ventilators. 

Mine is so ordinary in comparison. It has been like all the colds I have ever had. Not much worse except it is not only an unwanted guest this time, it is that unwanted guest that doesn’t know when to go home! Thank you again to vaccine makers and the God who gives science their ideas! 

And thank you to all of you who have sent messages and prayers and wishes and care. I have appreciated all the advice and love.

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