First the easy bit: How am I?
Well, I'm home a day or two before anybody expected, and it's snowing. Thick, soft gentle snow settling on the roadway outside my window and on the leaves and on the window itself. I am making good progress, though my body constantly reminds me it's taken a fair old hammering lately. In fact, I am still in the middle of a fairly serious and complicated medical procedure, which will end on Friday week when Mr. Samalia removes the last of the temporary plumbing. The smallest task exhausts me, including some, for example eating breakfast, or having a shower, that I never really regarded as tasks before. I have learned that, disappointingly, bionic bladders are not as much fun as they are cracked up to be. I seem to get a whole lot better every day, although I'll have to be careful of overextending myself. One step at a time. I've learned, with a vengeance, that I am mortal.
I've learned something else, too. Or at least relearned it. In 1983-4 at San Francisco Theological Seminary I was privileged to be taught by Prof. James Chuck, one of the wisest men I ever met. A trademark saying of his was "It's not that important." Sometimes he would expand it into: It's important but not that important." So whether it was the closing date for an essay, the filioque clause, the desirability of completing your degree, or the place of existentialism in 20th Century theology, he would smile sanguinely and say "It's not that important." It's a version of detachment, I suppose. Or Groundlessness. Or Matthew 10:37-38. Lying awake through the night I remembered Jim Chuck and how much was not really all that important. And quietly, gently, that thought made clear all that really was.