Sunday Mass, how grateful I am to be there after another week in this old world of trouble. The Gospel reading is the story of Jesus walking on the water. Father Holeda likens the fearful disciples in their storm-tossed boat to ourselves in these uncertain times, when the news only seems to go from bad to worse, and we have so many worries about our work, our families, and what the future holds. "Be not afraid", Jesus says. Pope John Paul II often repeated this. "Be not afraid, I am with you."
It is my turn to serve as a eucharistic minister today. As I present the cup, Y. approaches. "The Blood of Christ", I say, and she takes the cup, a glance between us acknowledging the grace offered, and received.
Y. used to run the library's Apalachee Parkway Branch, when it was nothing but an old bookmobile up on blocks in the corner of a shopping center parking lot. She left us for the State Library in the early '90's, but the collection she had assembled on that bookmobile was for a long time the last resort for anything obscure, literary, or in translation. I didn't see her for many years. I had heard she had retired. Then, one morning a few weeks ago, I turned at Mass to pass the peace, and there she was. She had come home.
We had planned to see a movie, Beginners, at the Miracle, but when we got there we found that it had already started. The time in the paper had been wrong. So we went home. R. made a lasagne, I washed a load of whites.
R. tried calling her Aunt Pat and Uncle Ray, but got no answer. A few minutes later, Ray called back. He was doing well, with no pain, only some tiredness when he over-exerted himself. He had started two new paintings.
We sat in our reading/radio-listening chairs, reading the Sunday New York Times. Our cat, Claudius, sat nearby on the fireplace. A jazz program was on the radio. And joy broke in. I kissed R., and said I was not sorry we had missed the movie. Nothing could be better than this: to be reading the Times together on a Sunday afternoon with our cat, and jazz on the radio. I felt like crying, so sweet was my release from care and sorrow.