Saturday, August 9, 2008

My recent adventures at the Boston Public Library

Despite its name, Ordinary Time tends to yield some of the most moving (and most familiar) readings in the lectionary. This weekend we read about Elijah’s ‘small whispering sound’ and later the calming of the storm. I am not sure that I had noticed this detail before: Jesus makes the disciples all get in a boat, and then goes somewhere else! And I thought that I would do anything to have private time…

Today I did my long run (I’m only a few weeks into training, so my long run still isn’t very long) by South Station and up to the Common, then home through Chinatown. Something about the Common always makes me feel like I am visiting the city for the first time. When I realize I am not, then I get all excited again about the fact that I actually live in a great city, with tall buildings, brownstones, and beautiful parks. Maybe it’s all those years of reading “Make Way for Ducklings”.

I paid for an August T-pass which has given me more incentive to go into other parts of the city since I have been back. Most days involve a trip to the Conservatory to practice and later a stop at the library. I can probably blame my mother for my love of cities, and I can definitely blame my mother for my love of libraries. I have been poking through the DVD collection recently looking for whatever opera I can find. Somewhere in the mess that is their AV department I found the Glyndebourne Figaro with Renée Fleming, which I will have to watch before the end of the week-long loan period.

Armed with my library card, I’m trying to read some novels that I wouldn’t normally read (I’m in the middle of one right now) but am also indulging my sociology-dork side. I find that when I am sick of music and theology, I end up taking refuge in policy or history books and magazines. For that reason, I just read E.J. Dionne Jr.’s Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right. I can’t take great credit for reading books by authors with whom I know I will agree. Dionne is a progressive Catholic from New England – sound like anyone we know?

One book that Dionne referenced in his book was Urban Exodus: Why the Jews left Boston and the Catholics Stayed. That tome is now on my nightstand, ready to be read next.

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