Tuesday I worked from home. I got out of bed when my wife did and made coffee and watched CNN for half an hour. I cooked scrambled eggs and toast and ate it with some crabapple jelly a reader in New Albany made for me. I sat watching TV with my cats and trying to decide where to start working.
First I called St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in New Albany. Father Mario was out but his secretary told me that on The Day of the Dead the Hispanics were planning to celebrate a special Mass.
I called three other Catholic churches and asked if they were planning “algo especial por El Dia De Los Muertos.”
The lead story on Yahoo’s homepage was about the Crystal Cathedral in California. The mega-church had publicly admitted that it was broke and that it owed serious money to all sorts of people, huge debts for services ranging from building and maintenance to rented donkeys for the Christmas pageant.
I called Paul Stephens at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and talked to him for a while. Then I put on a flannel shirt, filled a Thermos with coffee and drove my pickup to the back of my property. I parked on the edge of the woods, a place where the oaks and pines close in from the east and form a barrier between my land and a soybean field.
I sat for a long time, staring out the windshield at the dry leaves moving in the breeze and drinking coffee from a plastic cup.
I clicked on Mississippi Public Broadcasting but then I got bored and clicked it off and just sat in silence.
I called my desk at the Daily Journal and listened to my voicemail. There was a message from Maj. Sue Dorman at The Salvation Army. I took a pen from my glove box, jotted down some notes then turned off the phone and sat in silence again.
Staring at the forest I remembered a story Errol Castens wrote about foliage a couple of weeks back. I’d meant to ask him if the dry weather affected the color of the leaves. I’d meant to tell him how much I liked his column about the Coffee Clutchers and the Ole Miss black bear.
Back inside the house I put on a CD of David Eldridge and Henry Shelton speaking at Calvary Baptist Church. They were discussing clerical celibacy and some other theological subjects for the benefit of their audience.
“Your observations are so astute it’s scary,” said Henry, who is Catholic, to David, who is Baptist.
By the time I sat down to work again Yahoo’s homepage had changed. “Heather Locklear’s daughter tries modeling,” it said, and the cable news kept repeating a story about the singers Taylor Swift and John Mayer breaking up.
I called a friend and talked about a Pew research poll, and about another story I’d seen from the Associated Press.
Then I folded the computer shut, turned off the overhead lamp and went outside to water my garden.
Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at (662) 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal