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March 24th

Coronavirus Log 3/24/2020

Tuesday morning. It is chilly outside. We had a light snow yesterday and some of the snow is still on the ground. Even though I was working from home, it was incredibly busy and today looks like it will be very busy as well. I didn’t get a chance to go on my walk yesterday and I have to figure when I can fit it in for today. It is wearing me down a little.

Yesterday, I heard that the friend of a friend of mine has been hospitalized with difficulty breathing and a high fever. She has not been tested for the coronavirus, but everyone is pretty sure that is what it is and my friend is self-quarantining. She and her partner are very anxious. I also attended an online ordination last night. The priest went to the same discernment retreat as I did several years ago. It was a bittersweet service in many ways. It was supposed to be in Middletown on Wednesday for the feast of the Annunciation, but it was moved online because of the coronavirus. It was a wonderful and joyous ordination, but we could not hug the new priest or congratulate her face to face. There was also a touch of sadness as I continue to see people whose journeys have crossed with mine becoming priests and I am left with no clear path.

With all that is going on, my studies have not been as productive as I would like, but it is reading week, so I don’t have to fret too much about it.

Stay safe, everyone.

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March 23rd

Coronavirus Log 3/23/2020

This morning is the first time I am working from home on account of the coronavirus. I had the option last week, but many of my coworkers were working from home, so I could actually work from the office and maintain proper social distancing. As things close continue to close down, I have switched to working from home.

I’m trying to keep my new schedule as similar as possible to my old schedule. Some of this is for the sake of productivity. Some of it is for the sake of sanity. Some of this is because I’m interested in how Benedictine rules of life can help in times like these.

I did stay up a little later than usual last night as I dealt with church issues, so I slept a little later than usual this morning. Yet at around 6 AM, I updated the CDSP Virtual Daily Office. I’ve been doing this pretty regularly since the person who originally set it up graduated. I will plan on doing Morning Prayer at 7:30, as is normal, and then having a breakfast of oatmeal and raisins afterward.

This is also reading week for classes, so I don’t have quite the same schedule for my classes. I need to write up what I’m doing for Field Education and continue my research on the impact of American Buddhism on the Beat Generation.

For church yesterday, we had a small group at the church and livestreamed the service on Zoom and Facebook. I edited the video and posted it on Youtube: The Fourth Sunday of Lent - Refreshment Sunday – 2020. We had a few glitches and the video quality was subpar, but the service went well. I got additional ideas on how to improve the broadcast, and I’m looking forward to future broadcasts, assuming I can still get to church to make them.

Related to my research, I’ve been listening to an audiobook “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac as I drive and as I go for my walks. I drive to Hartford as I listen to Kerouac talking about hitch rides to Frisco. I walk around a town park as I listen to Kerouac talk about walking through Harrisburg, PA, trying to find a ride back to New York. It provides an interesting mental backdrop to our world struggling through the coronavirus.

I’m doing a good job of keeping my sleep and exercise regular, which also helps, and work is more than busy. Hopefully, this journal will help as well.

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March 21st

Coronavirus Pilgrimage 3/21

It has been a long time since I’ve written in my blog. I have so much writing for work and for school that I don’t have much energy left for other writing. But we are going into reading week at school. Because of the coronavirus, I will be working from home a lot, which frees up a bunch of commuting time. So, I’m setting out to write a little bit more, at least for the time being.

Today has been an odd day, the first day in a long time that I haven’t felt pressured by deadlines. Sure, I have papers to write for school and posts to write for work, but I don’t really have to work on any of them today. Also, church is canceled this evening.

My big paper for this semester is a research paper for Buddhism in the West. I’m looking at the relationship between Buddhism and the Beat movement. I’m looking at the writings of the ninth century Chinese poet, Han Shan, translated Cold Mountain. Maybe I’ll watch the movie Cold Mountain sometime during this time.

I’m balancing ninth century Chinese poetry, contemporary academic writing, and Kerouac’s On The Road.

It is a mild sunny early spring day. I went to the walking fields in town. The parking lot was full. Fortunately, the area is very spread out, so I walked a lot while managing to keep an appropriate distance from everyone. As I walked, I listened to “On The Road” on an audiobook loaded onto my cellphone as I played Pokemon.

I thought about pilgrimages, loosely defined, and here I could veer off into one of the academic discussion. The pilgrimage in Cold Mountain. The pilgrimage in On the Road. The pilgrimage we are all going through around the pandemic. My personal pilgrimage. We are all on pilgrimages every day. Sometimes, we even notice it.

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