It’s a Day Off.  Now that grad school applications are 98% done, which means all I have to do is wait for letters of recommendation & write one more personal statement & mail them to Virginia Commonwealth University, which is the sixth and last, I can take a day in hand.  I can just take a day in hand, wring its sorry neck of all holiday stress, deadline stress, relational stress, and put on my coat, two scarves, boots, and walk.  With my journal in my pocket, since I’m beginning to write again, and the last cup of coffee in my hand.  I read about the consolation of Christ this morning, and it really meant something to me, ridiculous me who’s been practically running from this consolation for maybe two weeks … or more.  It’s yes, shoveling some coals into my hearth, stirring me, smoothing me, to remember how hopelessly lost I am unless my context is Christ’s universe.  Which it will be, today.

So!  I walked, in the snow, the snow that fell yesterday in not the usual formation but (I found out when I got in my car, last night) in long, sharp crystals, little single eighth-inch long spears of ice.  I went up to Old Gray Cemetery, the only place nearby where the rush and noise of city life is dampened, and wandered.  I made the first footprints on the small walkway up to the McClure spire, the first footprints around the Tyson pinnacle, saw squirrel tracks darting across the road in gathered groups of four — that’s how I knew they were squirrels, they bound like rabbits — and heard the rasping of squirrel teeth on hard nuts, up in the trees.  One of the big stone angels caught sun from a gap in the clouds and shone.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendships, how they change, how they come and go.  Another thing I want so much to learn, as I’m learning things and becoming a different (better, please God) person, is how to relax my grip on my friends.  You are unbelievably blind to think that your friend is a solid pillar of your thoughts and feelings about him / her.  What I can know about another person is not only dependent on my own constantly shifting ideas, but based on a belief that a person is printed in words in their DNA.  When in fact, a person is not in fact.  Vaporous, mystical beings, living in mostly separate and uncommunicable worlds.  Changing relationships are because changing people are, and not being able to let that happen is almost unrelievable sadness.  Irritating that this is something it’s taken me twenty years to begin to learn, but it makes me wholer, to let people be themselves, and hang onto God about the rest.  Mm.  Well, this is stuff I’ve been thinking about, anyway.  I sure don’t know much about much.

But I do know that hot drinks are for days like this, which is why I’m having the hardest time drinking all this milk that Joseph brought me.  I think I’ll make some hot chocolate in a couple hours and read.  That’ll take care of four cups of milk … and lunch!

Side note: yes I am reading Harry Potter, and liking it immensely, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to The Lord of the Rings, in my opinion.  But I’m only two and a half books in; anything could happen.  (!!!)

Second side note: Mom has been queued up for Cranford at the library for what feels like two months.  Katie Gray’s been asking me every couple of weeks if I’ve seen it, and I have to keep saying, “well, uh” over and over which is annoying, so I’m pretty excited & I MEAN!! pretty excited that Mom and Rosa and Liesl and I (hope Carla, too) will be watching it blissfully Sun afternoon, with tea and things.  Anyone who’s interested is invited…