I stayed off the internet Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, checking only social media on my phone once an evening to see if there were messages from family and work. I read a bit of a Polish textbook and a couple of Agatha Christies I hadn’t read in some years. Benedict Ambrose and I went on a long walk in the countryside with friends. We ate hearty Easter foods, like roast lamb and chocolate cake studded with bright candy-coated chocolate eggs. We had gone to Easter Vigil and, to our amusement, our priest sent us emails asking us not to come to Easter morning Mass, too: the demand was outstripping the places on the reservation list.
The great thing about being off the internet was knowing, really knowing, that there wasn’t really anything I could do about World News or the Stock Market and that my only real responsibility, besides being nice to be around, was active resting. On Saturday I felt that if I didn’t report the profanation by police of a Polish Catholic Good Friday service in London, it would not be sufficiently well-known and I would have betrayed (1) fellow Catholics in Britain (2) Poles in general (3) my employers (4) their readers. When B.A. came into my office/our dining-room to tell me that CNA had just published something, I began to cry. Until that moment I had not been worried about being scooped by CNA or anyone. In fact, I was delighted when Spiked got something out first. But suddenly I felt that I Had FAILED. In fact, my brain was just being utterly overloaded.
One of my colleagues had assumed that I would easily understand the Polish priest’s address to his congregation, but hearing recordings has always been very hard for me. Thus, I listened to that recording over and over, and over and over the celebrant said, “Quickly leave the church” while his congregation looked and sounded reluctant to do so, and I longed for him to tell them to stay and risk paying the stupid £200 each/each child. (Not a small sum in pricey Britain, I admit.) But the way recordings work for me is that the more often I listen to them, the more often words pop out. (The interesting thing about listening to my Polish tutor is that he uses words that normally I never hear but only see written down. ) The sounds inspire printed words to appear before my mind’s eye. But it’s a long process and a gazillion times more difficult than reading. What an utter relief when I discovered wPolityce had a transcript and the priests’ actual names.