By now I'm sure most of my former readers have all but given up on this blog. I have been going for weeks and months without posting anything. But the last year has been rough.
Some of my setbacks I cannot discuss in public. (Nothing to do with my health thus far, fortunately.) But it has been one disaster after another. My grandfather, aged 93, died right before Christmas. My friend, Gary Reedy, succumbed to cancer in January. Nine days later, and two days before his funeral, my mother died. I watched Gary fight his losing battle, and had time and opportunity to think about it and find the words to describe it, and what it meant. Not so for the loss of my mother, whose death came as a sudden shock. I still cannot trust myself to write about it.
And then there are the changes at work. In August the county rolled out a complicated new computer system, not all of whose features work as expected and which is playing havoc with my personal methods of coping with my caseload. This month, the Big Boss, who has headed my office since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, is stepping down in favor of his chief deputy. All the usual sorts of changes that can be expected when a new sheriff rides into town loom on the horizon.
And then there is the overall sense that the country is going to hell in a bucket, and the confusion within the Church. I feel the confusion too. When you belong to a society -- whether it is a family, a nation or the Catholic Church -- you have to take the bad with the good. That is part of the deal. Confusion is a suffering, and when a society suffers, all its members must partake of it. It is hard to know what to say about it, or when to say it, or whether you should say what you want to say. It would be nice to be able to pretend everything is okay.
I was thinking about all the trauma and turmoil the other day, and my failures, and how small and ineffectual and compromised I am in the face of it all; and then, in my mind's eye, I saw, as if in answer to the satanic fury, Christ hanging on the cross. That is the answer, which I am very apt to forget. The war has in fact already been won. There may be much yet to suffer, but there can be no doubt about the end.