Spring break (or as a classmate calls it, spring reading days) is here, and the weather has been kind enough to match itself to the occasion. Gorgeous so far, and even approaching the warm side of comfortable.
While I have some serious things to accomplish over the break, there is hopefully room for some activity more for pleasure than work. I can use the internet to procure some spring training baseball for myself, and even though it doesn't have the you-are-there quality of being, well, there, it does offer some small harbinger of hope. I actually opened a book to read for pleasure. I think the last time I did that was...actually, I can't remember the last time I did that. Frivolous Facebook postings and mucking about with fantasy baseball teams may get four or five minutes, as opposed to one or two or three.
I am even allowing myself a second reversion to musicologist behavior this weekend, taking myself down to Charlotte to hover on the fringes of the annual meeting of the Society for American Music. I shall have to remember, though, that my newfound freedom to express, shall we say, certain unpopular opinions on this composer or that musical style are probably best held in check for the duration of the meeting or my time there. Still, I hope to have fun and to catch up with some people I haven't seen in a year or more, knowing that the next time I see them may be far longer from now than that.
I can't necessarily say I'm any closer to resolution on how my musicological self will co-exist with my ministerial self. I can see intersections between the two, certainly. I continue to be curious about Samuel Barber and some of his works which exhibit something like a theological side or hint of one. How to explore that, and to what benefit other than my own pleasure, is less clear. Barber, wonderful and powerful as much of his music is, is not exactly a chart-topper these days. If I wanted to cross the musical and theological streams (yes, I just dropped a Ghostbusters-based metaphor) on the subject of, say, U2 or some similar band, I could get published more places than I can count. And I'd be bored out of my skull.
I like U2 fine. Their music never particularly provoked a musicological itch I needed to scratch, and there's no indication they will provoke that kind of theological itch. Plenty of other people have addressed both sides of U2 and I'm quite content to let them and their passion speak. Whether there's anybody out there who particularly cares about how Barber heightened and even "theologically" interpreted the inherent paradox in Kierkegaard's writing in Prayers of Kierkegaard I don't know, but I tend to doubt. So in short, where that "crossing the streams" will happen in my life is not yet clear. It may well be a simple matter of a part-time pastorate paired with some kind of adjunct teaching, which is o.k. if that's where the fool's errand leads.
In the meantime, here's to seeking financial aid, taking a little trip, and finding some moments for silliness, whether it be reading The Two Georges for the tenth time; managing to leave early enough on Friday to have just enough time to detour to a Biscuitville between here and Charlotte; finding all the green I have to wear between now and Saturday (which is, of course, St. Patrick's Day, which cannot be ignored by a native Dubliner even if the Dublin in question is in Georgia and not Ireland); catching some March Madness, of course (and being confused about whether to invest more hope in Kansas or FSU); or who knows what, but some level of frivolity is required before classes foist themselves upon me Monday.
Let the quest for silliness continue!