A World of Speculation

It’s a light day for readers, so I’ll sneak in a story that may scandalize some people.

We had a great retreat at Cannon Beach this past weekend. Friday afternoon, the seven of us walked to a nearby restaurant for margaritas. We had a grand time and laughed enough to chase away the gloom that’s been clouding my own mind for a while. We had one margarita or equivalent each, but were two-margaritas giggly. “That just shows we’re a cheap date,” said one of the co-conspirators (notice the etymology of that word before moving on).

Anyway, after the margaritas, we walked over to a coffee shop called the Sleepy Monk to get Saturday morning’s coffee. We filled the tiny coffee shop, tasting the samples, passing the cups back and forth, comparing Ethiopian, Guatamalen, Costa Rican and Monastery blends. The friendly couple who owned the place asked how we all knew each other, and we replied that we were church ladies. From there we went on to how appropriate it was to buy coffee at the Sleepy Monk coffee shop and then we somehow got invited to share the Paschal Troparion, which we did–in English, Russian, Greek, Arabic and English again. We also sang “Many Years” to the couple in English, Russian and Romanian. A Japanese couple and their translator sat at a table in a corner and beamed an isn’t-it-great-to-travel-and-explore-strange-and-wonderful-customs smile. Someone popped in from the sidewalk outside and asked what all the singing was about.

On our way out with our coffee purchase, the owner took our picture on the front porch, and upon learning that he was Irish, we taught him the Gaelic “Christ is Risen!” “Indeed He is Risen!”–“Christos Eirgim!” “Eirgim!” (Please excuse if I’ve got the spelling wrong. I’m writing this on the fly and not stopping to check.)

We left the proprietor and his wife with an invitation to visit our parish sometime when they’re in Portland.

The truth is that if we had gone into the shop without stopping for margaritas, we’d have bought our coffee and gone staidly about our business. So why does it take a margarita to share the joy of the Resurrection? I can name some reasons–discouraging past experiences–but they’re just as true after the margarita as before. The reason, of course, is fear–the same fear of impropriety and disapproval and judgment and of paying the price for exuberance that makes me want to post this on a day when only close friends are reading my blog.

UPDATE: May 4: It looked like I’d had one too many margaritas when I wrote this: “just show’s we’re a cheap date.” Yikes. Fixed now.