Friday, May 18, 2007

May 18 - Solid Day of Work

There comes a time in every enterprise when the quiet working phase begins. Teachers prepare their classes in their offices or rooms; accountants sit with their books and a calculator; bus drivers sit in the bus seat and drive; doctors make their rounds; politicians (hmmm .... well, you figure that one out). Today was one of those days for the Chapter. On the outside, you didn't see much public display of anything; just people walking from one place to the other, or milling about during a break. In the various rooms where groups or subgroups were meeting, however, all was brought to bear on the theme group's focus area. The Brothers got to work. (Not that they haven't been working, of course. But today was well and truly a full work day.)

With the candle project still in mind, Freddy and I took the 46 down to Trastevere and walked to the same place where Roch and I had gone already. There, we picked out a number of wicks that could be used in whatever containers we might find. The proprietor also gave us some hints on how to make our candles. And we brought some red dye, since we were told that the mixed candle wax will likely be an ugly brown. With the red dye, I'm hoping for a "Sienna" look. On the way to the store, Freddy looked into a door and down the corridor noticed a "Hardware" sign above another door. When we walked in, it turned out to be an extensive electronics, hardware, and everything else store. You certainly couldn't tell it from the street, but here was a full, modern store that was accessed by a hallway that most people would simply have passed by without so much as a glance. Another one of those interesting Italian observations. On the street where the candle store was located, you could look up and see a beautiful Italian villa on the hill overlooking that section of Rome. I could just imagine what the view was from there.

By the time we were done at the candle place, it was time to return, since I had an 11 AM meeting with the Central Commission. Fortunately, a 916 bus showed up just as we got to the bus station, and we got back a little before 11 AM. A couple of Brothers were again sampling the fruit tree in front of the house (I was told that the fruit wasn't a Persimmon, but they strike me as something like a Persimmon). One Brother, whom I had seen here before, hid in the trees because, he said, otherwise I'll end up in your blog again and everyone will know. You can't tell who it is, can you?

I had thought that today I could do some catching up with various tasks related to upcoming liturgical events. But it was not to be. I was told after breakfast this morning that a recommendation had come (from very high sources, as they say) to have a couple of days in the coming weeks when we might have morning prayer and an evening Mass instead of just having the morning Mass, and to have morning meditation/prayer on the days of the elections that were coming up. This was fine with me, but it did mean that I had to redo the schedules for the next two weeks. So I put something together, worked on refining it during the meeting, ran out to make copies, and then discussed it with the commission toward the end of their meeting. Some further recommendations were made and back I went to do draft # 2 for the 3 PM meeting, when other commission matters were also being followed up. The 3 PM meeting having finished in about 40 minutes, I made some adjustments and returned for the 5 PM meeting at which the agenda for the 8:15 PM meeting with theme group leaders would be put together, along with the finalization of documents we would share with them (which included the liturgy revisions). Then dinner and back to the 8:15 meeting, which lasted until about 10 PM. For a day that I thought would be fairly open for me, it sure did fill up fast.

I did, however, find time to pop over to the Purim store nearby, and there I found the perfect glass containers for the candles - about 5 inches wide and as high, with a stopper sort of top that could remain even after we turned them into candles. So we'll see where all this goes next.

Roch and Paul went to Frascati for dinner. I had planned to go, but these meetings put an end to that thought. I did, however, ask Roch to bring back a bottle of Frascati wine, one of the nicest white wines that I know. Perhaps there will be another chance to visit there later. (Yeah, right.)
More pictures of today at