I’m experiencing a summer, as are many others, of unprecidentend ways of being. Church services are suspended. Worship services are being distributed electronically, either in print or using some current methods of live technology via the internet. Visits are on by telephone, email, or meeting apps. Church leadership is wrapping minds and creativity around ways of protecting our members once we resume gathering in one place at the same time.
Presently I am on holidays. Which feels weird and redundant in many ways, since I have only set foot in the church a couple times since the middle of March. The family is not travelling anywhere, or doing anything special. I am making an effort to read for pleasure, my first love.
Today I finished W.O.Mitchell’s The Vanishing Point. I have previously read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Who Has Seen the Wind, How I Spent my Summer Holidays, and Roses are Difficult Here.
Yet, lost in the written world, the real one intersects, drifting in and smudging the lines of reality. This is what I read this morning.
“… She reminded him a great deal of Aunt Pearl, which was the only person he saw in all the time he was getting over his diphtheria. She put on and took off a white smock whenever she come in to him; between times it hung on a wooden tree by the door, and he was fascinated by the way she put it on herself and took it off herself; she was meticulously aware of the outside of it and the inside of it. She explained to him that there was no excuse for anyone getting any disease at all, because germs moved only on surfaces, and if a person didn’t touch the surface of another person, say by shaking hands, then you must wash your hands right away. People were always unconsciously touching their faces — most likely their mouths and that gave the germs a chance to enter the orifice of the mouth. She said that people should be ashamed, really, of catching diseases.”The Vanishing Point – 1973
Seems there is no escape from the global pandemic. Reminders of covid-19 can be found in the most unexpected activities. Such touchstones are the mark of excellent literature. Real life weaves in and through the words of the author and resonates with experiences and events in our own lives. For me, it is easy to itentify with Mitchell’s work. I have lived most of my life on the edge of the Canadian prairies, his described sounds, sights and smells are part of my DNA.