Relishing my secret garden, Cain Park, within Evan’s Amphitheater, a bluegrass folk quartet proficient upon various instruments—guitar, standup bass, banjo, violin, mandolin, tambourine, harmonic, flute—a sultry alluring woman of red entertaining upon an Irish pennywhistle, the bandleader expounding upon her acquiring her musical skills in prison—a surprise since she appears innocent, anything but an ex-convict, musically at other times she is able to hypnotize with her husky voice, sound effusing, traditional music popping, the practiced perfection is appealing. Minimalist in attendance, the performance does not suffer. Spider Stompers and Sugar Pie. The Conversion of St Paul’s Shrine providing morning Sabbath mass, a sixth day amidst an Our Lady Undoer of Knots novena, Adoration–Sister Mary Thomas hovering near, Father’s day, a nice Saturday with family, my mother experiencing her first wedding anniversary alone, myself celebrating a yearly anniversary of private matters, today, this day, I enjoy a Sunday afternoon of reclining, comfortable in the Evans Amphitheater. Yesterday, I spent the early evening with my niece’s toddler Andre. My niece, vacationing in Mexico, will be away for a week or so. Interregnum, Andre stays with his great-grandmother. I spend the night entertaining the child. I found something spiritual within the endeavor. Walking just under a half mile to a local park, I wanted to see how he would do upon a small adventure, thinking I might have to carry him. He was fine, walking the whole way, holding my hand, calling out at various things he found interesting while walking. His father having abandoned him, a lack of adult male figures in his life, I am touched how much my attention and approval means to him. Once at the park, his shortness of years did not allow him to cover up how obvious of intent he was in impressing me. I smiled, chuckling, providing attention as he sought one courageous exercise after another. Sometimes, I would have to step in when bravado placed him in precarious positions—following older children to the highest slide, or other types of activity beyond his size and abilities. The boy is not afraid of anything as far as I can see. The trip home also proved quite enlightening regarding character. Playground activity behind him, departing the park, he suddenly determined it was no longer necessary to hold hands. I concluded no harm, grasping his hand, showing him he was not the boss, before letting go of his hand, granting his freedom. To my surprise, he responded with a scream ‘I run’ and like that he started running. I could maintain pace with a hurried walk so next to him I traveled. I will be darn if he did not make it almost the whole way home jogging. I could only laugh when we arrived at my mother’s with Andre soaked through his shirt with sweat. Even more delighted was I after a bathing from great-grandmother, Andre collapsed completely into sleep, utterly exhausted. Something spiritual within the endeavor, I imagined God Our Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Holy Mother witnessing our endeavors within life, the tiring, the exhausting of ourselves, and then the conclusion of eternal sleep. It must please everything Divine to the greatest degree to witness us expel ourselves in passion and the pursuit of perceived pleasures, fearing for our salvation, and the delight of us collapsing into salvation. The ruminations, send me to a Henry Suso exploration. Henry Suso’s writing is such a joy. There is something so endearing, wonderfully profound, amusing, a tinge of comedy, within his words. Confident, I am positive we would understand one another, enjoying one another’s company splendidly, two characters of the same making.
Another afflictive exercise…limit himself to an exceedingly small measure of drink…once before Christmas…the Servitor…utterly renounced and put from him all bodily comforts, and moreover had taken upon himself three penitential exercises…he remained after matins until daybreak standing on the bare stones before the high altar…he avoided going to any warm place…never warmed his hands…horribly swollen…the cold…exceeding great….slept upon his bench…stood before the altar on the bare stones till daybreak….abstain altogether from drinking during the day, however great his thirst might be…mouth as dry as that of a sick person in a distemper, and his tongue was so cracked that for more than a year afterwards it would not heal…he stood in choir at compline thus parched with thirst…when the holy water was sprinkled around…he would eagerly open his parched mouth, and gape wide…a little drop of water might fall upon his dried-up tongue and cool it a little…appearing…the gentle Mother of God in heaven…”it is I, the Mother, who gave thee to drink from the little goblet the other night; and, since thou art so exceeding thirsty, I will in pity give thee once more to drink….I will give thee to drink of that healthful drink which flows from my heart….not a corporeal drink which I will give thee, but a healthful, spiritual, and excellent drink of real and true purity”…the Servitor had become very ill, owing to the excessive burden of the afore-mentioned exercises…Our Lord went to the Servitor with the box…opened it…in the box there was fresh blood…Our Lord spread it over the Servitor’s heart…spread it over his hands and feet and all his limbs…”Lord! why dost Thou mark him thus?”…”I will lovingly mark his heart and all his frame with sufferings, and I will heal him, and restore him to health, and I will make of him a man after My whole heart”…from his eighteenth to his fortieth year, a life of exercises…described above—and when his whole frame was now so worn and wasted that nothing remained for him except to die or leave off these exercises, he left them off; and God showed him that all this austerity and all these practices were nothing more than a good beginning, and a breaking through of his uncrushed natural man; and he saw that he must press on still further in quite another way, if he wished to reach perfection. ‘The Life of Blessed Henry Suso’