Translating: From Magazine to What I’d Want to Learn about Life

I do enjoy the occasional free magazine (unused miles about to expire means magazine subscriptions galore), and the recent June 2018 issue of Vogue talks about all sorts of things (as does Travel & Leisure and Real Simple magazine), and of course their twist is biased and sadly not very educated in too many issues concerning natural law as understood by Christians and most especially the Catholic tradition. If I got a chance to translate what I’m reading, I guess I’d put it on a blog…? Hehe well here’s just the first time I’m doing so…TBD if this becomes anything regular (main question: can I pull my thoughts together, get my research right too, or will this be confusing and messy to both myself and reader?)

A Table for One exerpt by Lena Dunham (2018):

“Even if some people like to be alone, nobody likes to be lonely. It’s been the subject of more art than can be consumed in a lifetime, the human aversion to loneliness and also the way we attune ourselves to it, become entrenched in a routine that isolates us. Too much has been said about the way technology allows us to experience the illusion of connection and retreat further into hermetic patterns, but it bears repeating that texts, emails, Facebook pokes, and Twitter faves do not a social life make. People are, it would seem, lonelier than ever and also less used to being alone.”

I must respond in a bit of praise to begin: Lena has a way of noticing sadness and problems in the world and writing about them succinctly.

Lena and I very, very, very rarely (if ever) agree on solutions to issues such as social media overuse/worth issues or many more pertinent issues (mainly concerning the rights of unborn women…and men). Yet, her writing style flows as she describes a commonly understood problem and here I find myself, agreeing with her words in that paragraph.

I know what it’s like to hate being alone, to love it, and to hate being lonely. I’ve never loved being lonely. Her writing fits that life experience.

Yet I pray that her life experience can fit the truth that we were not made to live a life that does not involve God. God created us to guide us to the most personal happiness that He created uniquely to satisfy the precise mix of desires that He can fulfill in His plans.

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New Souls // Nuove Anime


“Mary”: Met this elderly woman walking into the church in H’s neighborhood (photos above). We talked for half an hour before my brunch date with my amazing aunt. I made sure to give her my journal and pencil, but I felt disillusioned seeing how she did not take to writing anything down. I wrote down the Catholic Charities address and made sure she had a pamphlet for a medical organization to continue medications. This all may likely be routine for her. She spoke of her family and was very concerned about Mother’s Day coming so soon. She spoke of having no home. She smelled like no one had offered her a shower in a few weeks. She was worried about soda drinks and coffee intake due to her medications, and she wanted to know the best way to improve her calcium levels. I gave her holy water on her finger and taught her how to make the sign of the cross. I mentioned how the Virgin Mary is our mother so every Mother’s Day is ultimately in her honor no matter the circumstances. She wanted me to look at her wrist and feet after I let her know about my education (could not manage full wrist flexion). I left wondering how many people were nice to her; L.A. seemed to be the place of friendly, diverse people (a true melting pot in the best sense) and I felt like I was just sub-par compared to other Lyft passengers’ interest in the lives and courtesies for our shared driver. This is why I travel. I met Mary and I loved meeting Mary. She expressed interest in working, but had never worked her whole life (nor had her deceased husband). I thought I had entered that Catholic church to pray for a half hour, but I ended up leaving the church to head to brunch with an important intention for a rosary walk. Of course I looked weird with a rosary in hand to those I passed on Los Feliz amongst grand mansions, but here I was and after meeting Mary, how could I not be moved to pray for her? // “Mary”: ho incontrato questa donna anziana che camminava nella chiesa nel quartiere di H (foto sopra). Abbiamo parlato per mezz’ora prima che il mio brunch finisse con la mia stupenda zia. Mi sono assicurato di darle il mio diario e la matita, ma mi sentivo disilluso nel vedere come lei non si prendesse la briga di scrivere qualcosa. Ho trascritto l’indirizzo Catholic Charities e mi sono assicurato che avesse un opuscolo per un’organizzazione medica per continuare i farmaci. Tutto questo potrebbe probabilmente essere di routine per lei. Ha parlato della sua famiglia ed era molto preoccupata che la festa della mamma arrivasse così presto. Ha parlato di non avere una casa. Odorava come se nessuno le avesse offerto una doccia in poche settimane. Era preoccupata per le bevande gassate e l’assunzione di caffè a causa dei suoi farmaci, e voleva sapere il modo migliore per migliorare i suoi livelli di calcio. Le ho dato l’acqua santa al dito e le ho insegnato come fare il segno della croce. Ho menzionato come la Vergine Maria è nostra madre, quindi ogni festa della mamma è in definitiva in suo onore, non importa le circostanze. Voleva che guardassi i suoi polsi e i suoi piedi dopo averle informato della mia educazione (non riuscivo a gestire la flessione completa del polso). Ho lasciato a chiedermi quante persone fossero gentili con lei; L.A. sembrava essere il luogo di persone amichevoli e diverse (un vero melting pot nel senso migliore) e mi sentivo come se fossi un parente paragonato agli altri interessi dei Lyft nei confronti delle vite e delle cortesie per il nostro autista condiviso. Questo è il motivo per cui viaggio. Ho incontrato Maria e ho amato incontrare Maria. Ha espresso interesse per il lavoro, ma non ha mai lavorato per tutta la vita (né ha avuto il marito defunto). Pensavo di essere entrato in quella chiesa cattolica per pregare per mezz’ora, ma alla fine ho lasciato la chiesa per dirigermi al brunch con un’importante intenzione per una passeggiata al rosario. Certo, avevo un aspetto strano con un rosario in mano a quelli che ho passato a Los Feliz tra grandi palazzi, ma eccomi qui e dopo aver incontrato Maria, come potevo non essere mosso a pregare per lei?

Moments like this made me look into Catholic Charities and realize that when they speak of homelessness services being ‘counseling, education, job training and support’…that is an exact fit with (one of so many realms of) occupational therapy. I had been praying around with an idea to have an OTM (OT On-The-Move) Studio (fine/applied arts for vocational and rehabilitative purposes) by buying easels, etc. and keeping them in a small storage trailer to bring an OT artist space as needed…and as I read about local Iowa Catholic Charities prison outreach, my mind started rolling out possibilities. Let’s pray for this! Amen.