So life is a little surreal. Nobody seems to appreciate what my illness is like and everyone says how well I look. When I tell people this illness is like being permanently drunk (with added nerve damage), they certainly don't seem to see it is a problem. It is a problem; being in charge of a class of children, driving, having responsibilities, all these are a problem if you are drunk.
When I return to school on Monday and go into the staffroom, I'll be faced with the inevitable question, "have you had a good weekend?". Does anyone else have a problem with this? There is one obvious problem, that the person that asks it isn't really interested. A second problem is that if you actually told them what makes a weekend good, they'd probably mark you down as a weirdo (and I am still debating with myself whether I should mind being a weirdo, would it make me a good ambassador for the faith). Here are some of the things I've wanted to say:
- Yes the weekend was lovely, I got to such and such a church for the feast of St So and so and the Mass was beautiful.
- Yes, I was able to say Lauds outside as the sun was rising
- Yes, the collect this week is really inspiring
- Yes, I've discovered the chaplet of St Michael and it has really produced a great strengthening of my resolve.
- Yes, I overcame some tricky stuff in my spiritual battles, thanks be to God.
- Yes, my main prayer intention is a shaping my life quite profoundly and I can't quite believe that God would deign to let me be involved with something so gently beautiful.
Then I wonder, it can't just be religious nutters like me that have problems telling the truth in answer to this question; and I suddenly feel some sympathy for sadomasochists.What would happen in the staffroom if someone turned round and said "yes, I had a great weekend, I found this marvellous woman to walk up and down my back in stilettos and chains whilst giving me some grief with a bullwhip". They too must remain silent about the truth of their lives....
I have no idea how this weekend will pan out. Today has been like most days; it has been hazy, hard work yet prayerful and I've been somewhat indifferent to its charms and inconveniences.
Yet something is there that is good...and the saints are smiling.