Saturday, 7 May 2016

Coffee, My Downfall

Bother. Woke up at 5:15 AM and willed myself back to sleep until 6 AM. Got up, showered, cooked breakfast, brewed coffee, ate breakfast, checked timetable, skittered around trying to find book, put coffee cup (with lid) in knapsack, headed out the door, began sprinting for the train station and suddenly realized I was soaked through with coffee.

So that was that. Fortunately for my goal to go to Mass every day before the Chartres Pilgrimage, the 8 AM Extraordinary Form is not the only Mass in Edinburgh. I am very cross all the same. However, there's no point sulking that I have to catch the 7:13 train in order to get to a daily TLM. I could have had everything prepared before I went to bed, not to mention washed out my proper thermos.

It's funny: I had a conversation with a fellow pilgrim about how I think pain is highly overrated as a spiritual tool. This was not a very traddy thing to say, and I have been thinking about it ever since. For one thing, I have been doing all these practice hikes so as not to hurt too much during the pilgrimage, and they have acclimatized me to hiking when my feel hurt, hiking when I have blisters, and caring for my aching/wounded feet at night. So in a bizarre way, not only the exercise but the pain suffered from the exercise is helping me prepare.

Interestingly, it is more difficult to get to daily trad Mass than to walk 10 miles. Ten miles just takes a pair of good shoes and a handy trail. Daily Trad Mass in the morning means getting up at 6, getting washed, getting decently dressed, getting breakfast, finding the missal, getting a book for the train, getting to the station, remembering to buy the right ticket, transferring trains (if necessary) and then walking to the chapel. Daily Trad Mass at night means coping with rush hour traffic. How the elderly do all this is beyond me.*

The cheerful news is that I bought myself a new sleeping bag yesterday and although it is very snazzy--it should keep me cozy at 5 degrees Celsius and tolerably warm to zero--it cost less than it could because it is the CHILD'S version. Apparently I am the size of a large child, or the largest child, since the label warned that my height was the maximum it could accommodate.

I am absolutely delighted to have this snazzy space-age bag (in which I resemble a pale green caterpillar) because I can remember to this day how cold I was when I camped as a Girl Guide. It is quite cheering to compare my spartan sleeping kit of yore to my new rig-out. For example, as a child I slept on top of a groundsheet. Now I have a self-inflating air mattress. Maybe that's another gift of pain: the memory of it helps you to truly appreciate the comforts of today.

*If you do this yourself every day to get to work, my apologies for the world's smallest violin! For me the worst part is having to catch the 7:13 AM or there is no point in going.  At least with a job, the job is still there no matter how late you are!

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