i recently read through the account of the israelites and the infamous golden calf in Exodus 32. we’re quick to scoff at their building of an idol. obvious disobedience to God. but it struck me that they had given up on Moses because he was taking so long up on the mountain. the seven chapters that fall between his ascent and their venture into idol building are long enough of a read, let alone how long it must have taken for the conversation between God and Moses to occur.
all the extra time on my hands has led me to spend much time slumped on the couch, sprawled on the floor, and whining about how bored i am. nate tries to help by suggesting things i can do, which led me to think about whether filling my schedule would be a form of constructing a golden calf. what if i’m supposed to be learning how to be content at this time? or when does contentment become receiving my one talent and burying it in a hole? where is the line between squandering life, and realizing that we built a golden calf because we lost sight of what we are moving towards?
we spent this weekend on the north fork of long island with katherine. where wine flows like water, and nate dreams of canoeing out into the horizon with nothing but the clothes on his back. nate drove me down to the bus stop on friday, and we loitered conspicuously on a corner in north philly, bystanders to the early morning chaos: commuters and students crammed onto buses; a cigarette vendor pocketing dollar bills and flicking open a lighter in one swift motion. ten minutes after the scheduled departure, the bus finally pulled around the corner, slowed in front of us, and before i had time to walk the 3 feet to the edge of the curb, he pulled away. we waited for him to circle the block, but after a couple minutes we decided he wasn’t coming back and raced to the next stop where by some miracle we managed to catch him right as the doors were closing. in nyc, he proceeded to make several unscheduled stops before deciding in the middle of a road that it was the final stop, opened the doors, and spoke rapidly in chinese. i finally made it to long island, but only after getting lost in grand central and touring decrepit subway stations.
we spent some time by ourselves while katherine worked, sitting in our car at the beach for protection against the howling wind and watching dog-walkers, fishermen and japanese tourists. the rest of our trip was spent sitting around and in vital conversation, eating corned beef with potatoes and cabbage, piles of bacon, scrambled eggs and onions on a roll, sundried tomatoes atop pasta drenched in olive oil, roast potatoes and scallops, all washed down by glasses of reisling, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and rosé.
my latest endeavor has been homemade granola. it is easy to make, way more cost efficient and a great source of fiber. the sad part is that the recipe came from this couple we met. they subscribe to a local CSA and somehow granola made its way into the conversation and she suggested dropping by their apartment to get a sample. we exchanged contact information and they demonstrated the tricks their corgi can do, then left on a seemingly cheerful note suggesting we get together again in the near future. the following week nate runs into them on campus, where the husband is cordial and says hi, but the wife doesn’t say a word and avoids eye contact. then we wonder if she feels slighted by the fact that i haven’t emailed to ask for the recipe so i emailed, and drop hints that we should hang out again, to which she sends the recipe with no reference to getting together.
nate, on the other hand, has been getting along swimmingly at westmin. he is also a new employee of the great Starbucks corporation. hello, complimentary weekly pounds of coffee and tea.
new friend count | nate: +10; christal: – 2