Cloister Commentary, Day 212: Ankles in the Muck

Yesterday was a fairly good day, considering we knew we would be entering into today with some foreboding, since Nicole is returning to in-person instruction (also, we’re finalizing some estate paperwork, but that’s only symbolically foreboding). We were pleased to see that, on the evidence of the first episode, Showtime’s adaptation of James McBride’s epic novel The Good Lord Bird was spot-on across the board–especially regarding tone and nuance, not an easy trick with this story. We hope the series sustains that success.

However, I want to write about something else. Do any of you have patches of self-loathing? I do, especially when I don’t “do anything” for an extended period of time. This feeling, I think, is somewhat related to the fact that I’m down to one part-time job that isn’t causing me any strain; another aspect of it is just this damned pandemic, which makes me sometimes feel as if I’m up to my ankles in muck. The most important factor in this creeping feeling, though, is how much that’s currently urgent in my life is really out of my control. I’ve usually been pretty good at squaring myself with those forces, or entities, or phenomena, or whatever you want to call them, but the sheer number of them that are in play right now can make me feel like a mouse. I can be a bit of a fixer, a problem-solver, and I can feel as if, as Warren Zevon so eloquently wrote, my shits fucked up. Yesterday, though largely good, was…one of those days.

Streaming for Strivers:

Speaking of that devil, these may well be the times in which writers like Zevon are best appreciated.

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