Choosing

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Celibate or Chaste? I no longer consider my marriage that lacks a sexual dimension to be a “less than” or inferior bond. It is what it is. And the love between my wife and me is wholly satisfying. 

I believe our highly sexualized culture is a great deception. That happiness based on sexual fulfillment is an unattainable state and rests at the heart of this deception.  

So I’m choosing chastity until we have a sexually active aspect to this marriage.   As a Catholic marriage, we recognize God in all Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity as a partner in this bond.  Our marriage is our Vocation. I am saying good bye to the illusions of the erotic fantasy world.

Baseball. Why?

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I love this game, I hate this game. Sometimes, I just avoid watching a game, but I get sucked in. My wife reminds me, “It’s only a game.” I suppose. 

So the Yankees and Red Sox are going at it, Red Sox have the bases loaded in a tie game, top of the 10th inning, 1 out. The Yankee pitcher just gave up a single to score the runner on third, Red Sox 3-2.

It’s just not worth riding this emotional roller coaster. 

“It’s only a game.”

Day’s End.

What a day. No fireworks, no bells tolling joyous peals mark this day.  One doesn’t receive medals for tidying up, tossing out items that should been pitched months ago. I feel like I deserve such accolades. I recycled my empty Altoids tins, my John McCann’s Steel-Cut Oatmeal canisters. As functional as they are, steel, with a snug-fitting lid, they continue to be made, and are not at risk of obsolescence.  Yet why have I saved three, with nothing to put in them?

I have little piles of charitable solicitation letters complete with cheesy greeting cards, calendars, return address labels. Maybe folks, I will send you some dough, when I get some extra money.  Your causes have merit.

I replaced an anemic basket, holding my Red Delicious apples, Bartlett pears, yellow Cavendish bananas, Roma tomatoes, and a Vidalia onion, with a larger one capable of holding all of the produce.

These nagging little chores have a psychological reward greater than the tasks. I’m just a little bit less attached to my stuff.

Saturday Night.

Early this morning, 2 AM, I was up, cleaning the kitchen. I puttered around a bit, getting ready for Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament between, 4 and 5 AM. My time with Our Lord has become very special and important to me.  I have had the rather startling experience of Our Lord “speaking” to me, not some hallucination, but through  an insight I had not had beforehand.  

This morning I read Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s book The Three Conversions In The Spiritual Life, (Tan Books, Charlotte, 1977) while spending my time before The Sacrament.

 Father Garrigou-Lagrange raises the question “Is man able, without some help from on high, (his italics), to get beyond himself, and truly and efficaciously to love Truth and Goodness more than he loves himself?” (Page 7). A challenge, most certainly.   Somehow, at age 66, the Interior Life for me has become the Last Frontier.  I shall read on. But the emptiness of our secular and materialist culture becomes increasingly apparent to me. More stuff won’t make me any happier. And even that end called “Happiness” seems the most vain of aspirations.

The day grinds on. I do some serious catch-up sleeping, have breakfast with friends, then sleep some more, go swimming, have dinner and here I am. 

We have lost our pursuit of the Beautiful and the True.  We use Art to derive solely emotional responses, and ascribe to that emotional response, Truth.  Is Truth a mere feeling? 

“Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty. That is all you know on Earth and all you need to know.” Keats,  Ode To A Grecian Urn

I am tiring, making less and less sense, and feel frustrated pecking out the letters on my Smartphone. More later.

Texting With My Son

My elder son and I were texting tonight. He is 41 , with a successful career. He told me he would give everything he had for his mother and me to be together again. You see, we divorced when he was two. I remained in his life. He even lived with my current wife and me when he was a young adult recovering from some bad decisions that he made,

 Today is his mother’s birthday. I realize this terrible fracture to his emotional security haunts him still.  Her birthday brought his sense of loss to the surface.  

I have a good marriage today, emotional maturity, an eternal grounding for my life in the Roman Catholic Church, over two decades of sobriety. And yet, the scar remains. That decision to divorce (not my idea, for what that is worth) haunts him and me still. I can only imagine what his mother thinks.

I can fantasize about sexual escapades all I want. But that sacred bond of marriage I trampled on so long ago has more value than any erotic reverie I may ever entertain.

July

I finished the month with one final swim. 2500 meters. My time was 56:15. I never thought I would swim this distance in under an hour since I had my surgeries in 2015.  But I did. I felt strong and fast and powerful. A great feeling. 

Every day I hear some ad that says men my age (66) or even younger need some sort of Hormone Replacement Therapy to regain their youthful vigor and even virility.  My own experience reinforces my scepticism around this claim.  I guess my suggestion is to get active over a sustained period of time before deciding on HRT.  Then again, I am not a physician.

Life is good.

64.5Kilometers

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That is 40 miles. I set a goal to swim that distance over the month of July. I reached the goal with two days to spare. I swam twenty-five days out of twenty-nine days.

I’m tired. I did not accept the usual excuses for myself.  Great feeling. I will swim Monday. That means 26 days swimming out of the thirty one days in July.

61,750 Meters. 

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I last posted when my distance swum was 50 kilometers (50,000 meters). Four days later, my distance is 61, 750 meters. Tomorrow, I plan to swim 2750 meters. This will bring my total to 64500 meters, over 40 miles. This was the goal I set. 

About Wednesday of this week, I saw where I needed to up my daily distance if I wanted to finish the goal with any contingency allowed for weather, or plain exhaustion. So I did some calculating and decided that I needed to swim 2 x 3250 m, and 2 x 2750 m to finish with two days to spare. Sunday is a family birthday party, my sister’s 65th. It would be nice to not have that pressure to swim Sunday. 

I have swim the longer distances before. I would make a big deal out of the longer distances, as if an extra 750 meters was of enormous magnitude.  But doing 3250 on Wednesday, then again Friday, the real deciding factor is whether I want to spend the extra time in the pool, not that my constitution won’t tolerate the extra distance.

I finished the 2 x 3250 m workouts (2+miles). I felt enormous pride. And self-confidence.  The old saying goes, “To build self-esteem, do estimable things.” Like swim consistently and pursue an unprecedented goal.

50 Kilometers

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I got to the 31 mile mark (50Km) today. I did not want to swim. I was tired. But I went to the Y, got in the pool and began. I finished and was proud that I stuck to it. Nine miles to 40 miles. Seven days to finish.

At AA today, one of my gardener buddies was giving away squash and tomatoes. I thought a winter squash was a summer squash. Boy was that rind tough! But I managed to make a tasty dish.  I managed to clean up the kitchen after dinner while I still had the energy.

Feeling the sleep coming over me. 

Novus Ordo Sunday

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Usually, I go to Mass (or the two of us go) on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Then Sunday brunch, maybe a nap and a swim workout.  Today Mass came after the swim at 5:00 PM. Mrs CorC? doesn’t find anything wrong with the Novus Ordo Mass. On the other hand, I find the music banal, the lyrics reduce Jesus to some sort of cure for what ails me.  There is a marked lack of reverence; the congregation acts as if it is at a concert. Somebody needs to tell them they are not there to be entertained. And yet, despite this irreverent atmosphere, Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the consecrated Bread and Wine. That is why I am there. 
I contrast this week’s Mass with last week’s. Last week I went to the Tridentine Mass, what is now called the Extraordinary Form. This was, until about 50 years ago, the only form of the Mass. Central to it is the Sacrifice of Our Lord. The Mass is celebrated in Latin, the Chants go back to St Gregory The Great. The music is extraordinarily beautiful, truly sacred , drawing the worshippers toward The Lord.  Quite frankly, it isn’t all that hard to follow. Consider that we the Congregation are supposed to know what’s being said and what’s going on.

The takeaway today is that Mrs CorC? and I  were there together. That means the world to me. I’ll even put up with an annoying tambourine to be with her. 

After Mass, we went to Starbucks so Mrs CorC? could have a S’Mores Frappuccino. She is a huge fan of this concoction,  I had some iced tea drink, with passion fruit, I think. It was OK..

Then we had tacos. Tacos are like pizza. It’s hard to make them bad. Watching baseball now, Cardinals at Cubs. The Yankees won already. 

Hard to believe it is almost Eleven P.M. I made some decaf. I had a peach for dessert. We are having a thunderstorm outside. Summer. Moving toward August and then Autumn awaits.