I wrote a nice long essay about the Virgin Mary, and it was almost ready post. I wrote about how she's the biggest obstacle in our journey toward Catholicism, but also maybe part of what's drawing us in. I also talked about the rosary, and learning styles, parenting, and my lifelong obsession with epistemology. All that remained was to tie it all together, which, come to think of it, may or may not have been possible. But now I'll never know, because I forgot to save the file.
I've been doing that a lot, lately. It makes me very glad that Jesus is the one responsible for saving my soul, and that his memory is better than mine.
Anyway, having thoroughly demonstrated my inability to save my files, let alone my self, I'm back to my old method of writing my first draft directly into blogger. Automatic cloud storage ftw!
Of course, this approach has risks of its own... so if I say something stupid, just assume that the baby was messing with my phone, okay?
I am actually pretty paranoid that Amos will grab my phone and do something ridiculous, which is one reason why we held off for so long before jumping on the smart phone bandwagon.
But the cost of traditional phone service went up, the cost of cellular went down, so here we are, and on the whole, I'm glad. It's quite possible to be well organized without a cell phone, but I've never actually managed to do it, and I'm glad that we live in a time and place with so many useful tools. We stand on the shoulders of lots and lots of mostly ordinary people, all learning from one another and building on each other's work, together doing things that none of them could have done alone. Technology is a great blessing, both flowing out of and facilitating the greater blessing of human community.
Homescooling is much easier now that I can fit dozens of books in my pocket. I spend more time reading with the kids, and less time looking for books, which is good, and less time getting upset with the kids over lost books, which is even better. My electronic to-do list is the real game-changer, though, because it provides enough structure to let me flexibly respond to the kids' ever-changing needs.
I like these new rhythms. It's been a good back-to-school week, made all the better because I've been meditating on John Neumann, who dedicated his life to helping kids learn, founded about a kabillion schools, and wrote amazing prayers of repentance drenched in grace.
His feast day was on Monday, and even though I can't keep track of such things, the editors of the Magnifcat do. They've laid out a daily banquet of prayers, hymns, and Scripture readings, along with beautiful reflections by and about all sorts of saints. There are so many different ways of becoming like Jesus, and each one shows me a different aspect of holiness to aspire toward, a different beauty to pray to see in others. I don't know how time and consciousness operate in glory, but I do know that we're all in this together, around the world and across the ages, and I am glad.
On my own, I'm pretty bad at remembering all the things I need to know if I'm going to run this race well. I'm grateful to be surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.
Kenny: a sonnet from Ordinary Saints
23 hours ago