Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm sorry to be a few years late

You may have heard the plunk, plunk, plunk of my marbles answering the call of gravity. I’ve been losing my marbles ever since I was diagnosed with MSA, known to the public as Multiple System Atrophy and to insiders as Marbles Slipping Away.

Dr. Freud never found a treatment for downsizing, which requires hauling furniture, documents and collectibles out of basements, attics, crawl spaces, closets, garages and sheds, where they were stored decades ago. The person engaged in downsizing decides what to give away, what to throw away and, what to sell and what to keep.

I live and downsize with my daughter and son-in-law. As I sifted through thousands of papers I wondered whether they had reproduced themselves, like a copy machine powered by rabbits.

I recognized a copy of L’Osservatore Romano’s weekly English language edition of January 14, 1991. I had saved it because it included a two-page feature about its editor, Msgr. John Muthig, whose death during a holiday visit to his home in New Jersey was an unexpected shock.

John, a brother in Christ, was a layman when I signed him up for his first newspaper job. It was at The Catholic Review in Baltimore. He was a reporter at what was then called NC, the National Catholic News Service, serving with distinction in the Rome bureau while I was NC director and editor in chief in Washington.
He followed that with two years at the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. He flew to Chicago for the wedding of my loving landlords. Later he visited the family in Orlando. We didn’t know it, but it was a goodbye visit of a gifted friend/priest/journalist/diplomat.

A couple of days ago I emailed a long-time friend of John to offer my copy of the Vatican newspaper. She accepted and mentioned blog comments she had left for me in the past.

When I was a kid we all had bags of marbles, including agates, which were maybe twice the size of ordinary marbles. When I read about those comments it was like being sideswiped on the head with a bag of agates. I was humbled—or do I mean humiliated?—to discover scores of comments on my blog, some of them several years old, a couple of them subject to erasure because of vocabulary flaws.

I’ll order a copy of Blogs for Dummies. Meanwhile I offer apologies to you. I’m sorry about my oversight and my undersight. Right now I hear voices. They’re saying Get a move on.

© A. E. P. (Ed) Wall


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