Daily Archives: May 7, 2006

Sunday to Savannah

Dawn and I are up early to get to Dulles Airport. We’re off to Savannah.

I work at the American Society of Hematology, the professional society of doctors who work to treat and cure blood diseases. The software we use for our membership database, as well as committees, meeting and book products, exhibit products and all hosts of other things, is called TIMSS. That apparently stands for TMA Resources Inc. Integrated Membership Services Solution. TMA Resources Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “TMAR”) has an annual conference called TAUG, which itself stands for TIMSS Annual User Group. As in TAUG Meeting, I guess. It was in Tucson last year. It’s in Albuquerque next year. This year, obviously, Savannah.

Our flight is out of Dulles at 10:20. We leave the house at 7:20. We actually blast over empty roads, getting to IAD before eight. Then there’s the long bus trek from economy parking to the terminal itself, then a long walk to the B gates. Then the long walk to the end of the B terminal to where the economy flights are. There are only a couple of other sleepy people here. We get bagels and water from Starbucks, then settle in for the wait. I’m reading Lieutenant Hornblower, so I’m happy.

We get to Atlanta in short order, but then our connecting flight to Savannah is delayed. Dawn was already unhappy with the three-hour layover, already announcing that I am never to be left alone to book plane tickets again, so the delay doesn’t help me any. And I was cutting it short, as the TAUG welcome reception is from five to six-thirty, and we were due to land at SAV at 4:45. We have lunch at Sbarro, and the court area where we sit is crowded, so we join a young woman and her mother at a table. Said young woman is on her way to Carolina to get married to an enlisted man in the Army. She’s from upstate New York and has never especially travelled before. She’s in for some big changes.

We grab a beer after a while, still waiting.

We get to SAV at about 5:45, then have to wait for the shuttle to the Westin on which we’ve reserved seats. Eric drives mighty crazily. We’re riding with women slightly older than we are, having some sort of reunion. They’re from Indianapolis. They love the president.

I get to the reception at exactly 6:35, able to catch like the final beer. It’s a Budweiser, sadly. But I see Rob and Parag and Charlene and Suzi from TMAR and Dwight from ITAG and meet Mary and Rashida and Denise and Scott and Glenn from SHRM, all out at a gazebo overlooking the river.

Dawn and I then hop on the short ferry ride over to the south side of the river, to the historic district, and have dinner at Huey’s on River Street. I order filĂ© gumbo and pasta jambalaya, but our server forgets the gumbo and only brings the jambalaya. Dawn has some sort of penne formaggio. We share a bottle of pinot grigio and lots of cornbread.

Our bed is huge, a king-size. We wave to each other from across it. We’re used to our double at home. We meet somewhere in the middle of this expanse of bed and snuggle and sleep.

Fourth Sunday of Easter

“The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.” This is a line from Psalm 118, which is used as today’s responsorial psalm. We sang a variation of another line from Psalm 118 a couple of weeks ago, which line for some reason has been running through my head at various times since then: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love is everlasting.”

The cornerstone motif is repeated by St. Peter in Acts, which we hear in our first reading. I like this first reading for two reasons. First, it’s again Peter, former complete fuckup, now really in stride. “Filled with the Holy Spirit,” it says. And, I always like stuff in the New Testament that reflects or recalls or otherwise makes reference to the Old Testament. I especially love when Jesus preaches from the Old Testament, but St. Peter is cool, too.

So of course the Gospel reading must be from St. Matthew, where Jesus says, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” But it’s not from St. Matthew. The Gospel reading is from St. John, where Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.”

Why suddenly the good shepherd, instead of the cornerstone? We had the cornerstone motif from St. Matthew’s Gospel back in March, back in Lent, when the first reading was Joseph’s brothers selling him to the Ishmaelites. And Joseph was a shepherd, maybe even a good shepherd. Oh, I don’t understand! Why good shepherd today?

And good shepherd always confuses me anyway, because Christ is also the Paschal lamb. In the sanctuary of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the mosaic that’s above the main mosaic of St. Matthew depicts angels arrayed below and around an altar, upon which sits a lamb. We’ve got Christ as sacrifice as a pretty major element of our church, so I’m always reminded of Christ as Paschal lamb. But then, okay, Jesus does today immediately say that the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. And of course God is all-powerful and can be lamb and shepherd all at the same time. (Not a tough thing to do for the creator of the universe, I suppose.)

I’m just easily confused, apparently.