The coming days

In the grim days, when I was an overpaid prisoner in a newspaper chain, writing daily columns on matters of no importance as member of the chain gang, there were breaks. One was granted annual leave, of five weeks in my case. One was even allowed to choose which weeks, subject to negotiation with one’s editorial keepers. Invariably I chose Easter: partly because that would be spring after the long Canadian winter, and partly because it would be Easter. I would write my dangerously orthodox Easter blunderbuss (in my role as “the token Christian”), then make off. Through Lent, I would be counting down the days to my coming furlough. For I have always hated writing, but hated writing for newspapers most of all.

Five weeks is a long, an excessive time in modern life. There could be five Super Tuesdays in that period. Governments might rise or fall, with the pundit nowhere to be heard. His readers might be at a loss what to think, for the duration. In my other role, as “the token conservative,” I had several readers, who would pepper me with emails saying, “Hurry back!” This was kind, but I would smile, because I was in no hurry. Other members of the chain gang could carry on the brutal heavy work of removing the foundations of Western Civ, to build with this stone the grand prison maze of our Dictatorship of Relativism. I would be out in the park, feeding sparrows.

As I will be, soon again, for I intend to take not five weeks (that would be excessive) but Holy Week to start, then Easter Week, too, for a kind of vacation. This takes us, I believe, to April 4th. Let gentle reader be assured that I need it. I shall try to catch up with correspondence in this time (I keep falling badly behind), but give no guarantees for that, either.

I am blessed with, I think, more readers than I had as a chain-gang hack — more widely spread, and on balance, more discerning. I am indebted to a few of them for keeping me in food. I ought to be grateful, and in fact, I am, and wish them all a hard Fast and then a blesséd Feast, as we silently approach the Crucifixion of Our Lord, and His unimaginable Resurrection.