It is only because I was unable to spend the afternoon operating heavy machinery that I allowed myself the time to contemplate the tempestuous and sartorial life of Christina of Markyate.
When being informed about the ‘procedure’ scheduled for this morning, I had neglected to properly note the prohibition against operating heavy machinery. (Now what do I do about the wood chipper? The chain saw? The electric waffle-maker? How heavy is heavy?)
The nurse claimed that the anti-heavy machinery injunction was clearly started somewhere in the 144 pages of informational paperwork and liability waivers. Or maybe it was imbedded in the 25 minute video that the doctor’s office sent to my email and then ….then, they actually knew if I had actually watched it and they even knew if I had started it and then decided I’d had enough of animated pictures of curly colons being probed by paparazzi electric eels, in which case I received ‘gentle reminder’ emails to watch the whole damn video, and if I didn’t watch the whole thing they threatened to perform the colonoscopy without anesthesia, so I could feel and hear everything I missed.
Somewhere in there I was not focusing on the heavy machinery taboo.
And since I can’t be applying myself to heavy machinery, as would be my wont, I have spent some time with Christina of Markyate (1097 – 1160) who, even if she never had the fun of operating a wood splitter, was seriously ahead of her time in the matter of defying parental matchmaking, defying the bishop, and needlework. The mitres she embroidered with silken threads for Pope Adrian IV were the twelfth century’s high point in millinery. She also proved to be a formidable adversary to the toads (sent by the devil) who invaded her anchorite cell. But far more challenging than the toads were the visions of Roger, her favorite priest, naked. These visions were of course likewise sent by the devil to tempt her, and Christina resisted that temptation. Valiantly.
A wood chipper would have been a walk in the park for Saint Christina of Markyate.