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I’ve noticed that in certain regular email correspondence – most notably with my secretary and now with the parents of my softball team – I’ve gotten into the habit of peppering my text with exclamation points.  As in “Great!” or “Thanks!” or “See you soon!”

I despise this practice when other people engage in it and I feel a kind of hideous shame when I find myself following the same path.  Lord knows why I started it.  Moment of weakness, I suppose.  My only defense now is a fear that as I’m already in so deep, a return to a more restrained email style will be misinterpreted as coldness and will lead to complications with which I simply don’t have the energy to deal.

Gah.  Road to hell.  Slippery slope. Etc. Etc.  If exclamation points come can emoticons be far behind?

UPDATE: Of course, I am well aware of the Dark Lord behind this trend:

king-booThe first time I was introduced to King Boo by the gels, I knew that the Shadow had taken a new form and was once again beginning to grow….

papal-seal I can’t help remarking that yesterday was the first anniversary of my swimming the Tiber.   If nothing else, this means that I don’t have to sit in the Probationary Pew with a sign around my neck reading “heretical until proven otherwise” and I no longer have to carry around a “St. Peter’s rock”, producing it and reciting the Virtues and Sins on demand by any member of the clergy and guarding it against raids by the Legion of Mary.

I jest, of course.  Mostly.

Last year, a couple of days after being received into HMC, I had this to say:

So the million dollar question is…now what? At the moment, of course, I’m still getting used to the idea of being an RC and will probably take some time just to get into the swing of things. But I already sense that I didn’t finally chuck myself into the Tiber just to go to Mass once a week, get a couple coo-el Saints’ names and not eat meat on Fridays – there’s some higher purpose to all this (I hope) and once I’ve had a bit of a rest, I’ll need to sit down and start figuring it out.

I still believe this to be the case.  In fact, now that I’ve had my rest and have started to really dig down into my faith, I believe it more than ever.  If I’ve sensed nothing else this Lenten season, it’s that it is time to square up to this figuring out process, which is probably why I’ve found myself paying so much attention to the concept and workings of Charity.  Where we go from there I can’t say, but I’m looking forward to it.

All last night (seemingly) I had an immensely bizarre dream or series of dreams that somehow combined softball, religion and geology.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember many of the details.  At one point, I recall being appalled that I had forgotten to have the team formally blessed, but I was even more appalled that they and their disapproving parents were all standing around my bed (and me with nothing on but my jammies).   At another point,  we seemed to be playing on a field  that had a large building with an open ground floor built along the line from second to third (I believe it was my old high school, as a matter of fact).  I was explaining to the outfielders that because of the building they probably wouldn’t get any flies, but that they had to keep their eyes open for daisy-cutters coming through the gap underneath.

What I do recall was the seeming interconnectedness of everything in a kind of “examining Dionysus the Pseudo-Areopagite’s writings on the defense of the slap-bunt to discover the secret location of the fault line that is going to transform the basin and range area of Utah and Nevada into a major ocean” formula.  I also recall trying very hard to retain the pattern of that interconnectedness but getting side-tracked by the thought that it sounded like another Nick Cage movie and irretrievably losing the thread.

Needless to say, I’m beat.


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March 2009