I’ve been spending some significant time with St. Augustine lately. If you remember, he was the Bishop of Hippo during the fall of Rome, that great “Eternal City.” I like the bishop; he is profoundly relatable. He shares the inner dialogue of his heart and mind with astonishing transparency in Confessions, a sort of autobiographical retelling of his coming to Christ at age 34 (If you have not read Augustine yet, start here.)
But it is his political theory -and more so his theory of history and how we fit into history- in his dense work, The City of God, that has caught my attention during this insane election cycle.
It was a simple mistake. A grammatical error, to be exact. But it was on the internet, the modern-day public square, and (crucial to note) the error changed the meaning of the statement. When I received a mocking response (yes, from a stranger!) I was surprised at how it felt—like a hot iron, pulled from an angry fire, and pressed on my mistake. Exposing, embarrassing, and painful. My face flushed with shame; I was caught in a stupid blunder.
And just as quickly, the embarrassment was followed by shock at my reaction. Why had I responded that way?
It’s mid-week, late afternoon, sitting-in-the-porch-rocker time and I’m watching birds dive-bomb for treasures in the yard. My mason jar of iced coffee went down too fast and I want another one, mostly because it was delicious, but also because it is a humid 87 degrees out (and the coffee brings sweet relief).
I’ll spare you the “2020 amiright?” jokes because we all know this has already been one strange and difficult year so far. As I recently mentioned on the blog (after a month-long writing sabbatical), I’ve personally been in a season of quiet.
This is not an unusual pattern for me. When a Super Busy Life Season™ is happening (especially one with a major life change, like having a baby or building a house), I tend to focus on getting through the circumstance itself and leave the emotional processing for later, after the action phase is completed. Does anyone else do that?
The Great Quarantine of 2020 didn’t actually change much about our daily life, but one thing that did change was my skincare/makeup and wardrobe habits. Mascara became completely unnecessary and kind of annoying, filling in my brows became the new mascara, and exploring the world of face masks became my new frontier. Getting dressed was a challenge because honestly, who wants to get cute when there was no where to go?
Like many of you, I’ve found myself leaning toward a daily style that is easy and comfortable but dang it y’all…I miss getting ready!
So, I decided to have a little fun while (mostly) staying at home. Here are three things that have helped in that pursuit.
Oh dear reader, my wish is that you and I could sit down together over a slow and nourishing meal and unpack our hearts and minds as we savor each bite. I would ask you about the state of your soul in this historically tenuous moment…are you carrying the weight of social unrest? Are you fighting an internal battle? Are you trying to make your way through a haze of confusion? Trying to find clarity of vision for the way forward?
If this describes even a little bit of your current experience, you are not alone. Read that again: you are not alone.