Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sluggish days

A rainy Sunday afternoon brings a weekend to a close.  I wish it could be described as a profitable one, or exciting, or even mildly interesting, but no, not really.

It was a dry time.  One of those times where you pull out your projects, be they written or whatever, and stare at them fruitlessly, occasionally blithering out something that you quickly delete in embarrassment.  Reading proved equally fruitless; it devolved quickly into staring blankly at a page with no recollection of having read the page before it.  Some paperwork I need to accomplish might as well have been in Sanskrit, for all the sense it made to me.

A bookshelf did get built, or put together to be more precise.  It now holds the two commentary sets I own, plus a heap of last year's textbook and a few other items.  Nothing particularly thrilling about it.  And I have listened to a great deal of radio-broadcast baseball online, which is not bad.

All in all, the time might be best summarized with the world "blah."

This is of course my time between classes.  And of course, a little more than a week ago I was diagnosed with rectal cancer.  Still, I don't want to think that I wasted my break, and it's far too early to start blaming down time on an illness I don't even really know that much about yet.  I finally have some further tests and consultations scheduled, after waiting several days.  A CT scan comes up on Tuesday; I get run through a doughnut hole and the doctor takes a peek at what's inside.  Consulting with oncologist and surgeon so far seems impossible to schedule without interfering with classes.  Grr.

I'm sure part of the funk was that until that colonoscopy and the accompanying news I had been looking forward to a brief return to Lawrence.  I was able to do my consultation with the presbytery CPM via Skype, all to the good.  I know I'll need to return to Kansas this spring to be considered for candidate status, probably in April when the PNK meets in Manhattan.  It will have to be a shorter trip, since I'll technically be in class at that point, but so far Skyping candidate consultations is beyond the pale, as it probably should be.  But I was looking forward to that trip.  Partly the change of scenery, partly the fact that I really enjoy Lawrence and would truly have liked to catch up with some of the folks back there.  All in all, a fairly severe bummer to miss out on it.

But the advent of a new term actually holds some hope of engagement.  Going forward I know that the more engaged I am intellectually, the better for me all around.  And if that engagement needs to be forced upon me for the time being, so be it.

I remember enough of my time in academia to know that dry spells happen, even in good days.  It's not permanent and in a few weeks I might well look back to the relative laziness of the last few days wistfully, longing for such leisure time.  But I look forward to finding some way to get the circuits re-engaged.  There are a couple of hymns half-complete, as if in suspended animiation; a goodly pile of books awaiting my engagement (note: this is a perpetual condition); a lot of things to see in this area, which fairly crawls with sites from almost every part of U.S. history; and more that isn't coming to mind at the moment.

So, in short, I need my wake-up.  I have no doubt it is about to come.  And I may be reminding myself, as I start wading through Old Testament, Preaching and Worship, Introduction to Pastoral Care, and Teaching Ministry of the Church, that I should be careful what I wish for, as the saying goes.

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