A String of Consciousness

Let’s get real for a minute.

First, listen to the song “We Don’t Eat” by James Vincent McMorrow.

Now I’m actually just figuring this all out as I’m writing so we’re live.

Mostly every Sunday night I go to Mass at Gesu Parish here in Milwaukee, more so lately because some beautiful things have been happening. I guess I should touch on how aesthetically stunning Gesu is; it’s massive with high ceilings, stained glass windows, marble, all that jazz. I sit by this Mary statue because I like chilling out with the Virgin Mother. Last week the sun was setting through the stained glass windows and the priest referred to God as an author (somewhat validating my gear switch to writing world) so that was ironically beautiful. A few hours ago I went to Mass and sat next to this older couple that I’ve sat by before, and they’re just the cutest people. As I was coming back from Communion I noticed she had a copy of a book about Corrie ten Boom, and if you don’t know who Corrie ten Boom is, it’s completely fine because I went to the magnificent woman’s HOUSE and wasn’t familiar with her. Corrie was an amazing Christian woman who hid Jews during the Holocaust in her house in Haarlem, a city near Amsterdam. Her family was betrayed and imprisoned, but Corrie survived (she has since passed). Simply put, her story is truly awe-inspiring. I went to Haarlem not knowing her at all, but I toured her home (so Corrie if you’re reading this from above thanks for letting my ignorant self visit your crib). Back to today at Gesu, I noticed the Corrie ten Boom book on the pew and approached the older man after Mass. I told him I visited Corrie’s house this past summer and gushed about what an amazing woman she was. He took my hand and agreed, smiling. He told me that his wife would read her book, “The Hiding Place,” to their children 45 years ago. I can’t really remember the rest of what he said, either because my memory is crap or (more likely) because his words were overshadowed by his warm smile. I left church internally dancing.

Now back to James Vincent McMorrow. Did you listen to the song? I went to his concert the other night, which is a whole different fun story, but his voice is a like magical bubbling stream except instead of water it’s Grade-A honey. The first time I heard this song I loved it and gravitated toward it, thinking, “Oh that’s nice he used to wait for his dad before eating dinner.” However I took a listen a few minutes ago and the skies basically opened up raining strawberries and chocolate (can someone send me an Edible Arrangement?) with Seraphim and Cherubim playing harps. I got it. “We don’t eat until your father’s at the table/We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust.” You know that cool thing some families do before eating dinner called prayer?

What if Mr. McMorrow meant that we don’t eat until your Holy Father is at the table? I’m imagining God eating baked spaghetti and asparagus with the fam. Pretty cool right?

Well that neat burst of insight is fading now, but I guess those kind of moments don’t really happen that often. When they do, however, they have a way of knocking you square in the nose. I guess the bottom line is keeping the eyes open.*

*The fact that I just wrote that freaks me out because the Gospel reading tonight was about Jesus curing the blind man so if you’ll excuse me I’ll just be over here not knowing what the heck to do with myself.

I was waiting for a something good to close with to come to me but I’m being impatient and want to post this before Seraphim and Cherubim come at me with baseball bats for neglecting homework right now. I’ll leave ya with the last line of the song: “So if I were you my friend I’d learn to have just a little bit trust.” And now go ahead and listen to the rest of James Vincent McMorrow’s stuff because it’s great.


The Corrie ten Boom house in Haarlem, Netherlands.


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