dual personalities

Set me free

Yesterday I went to the dentist first thing to have a crown replaced which felt like two hours of torture. Then I went to work and got a flu shot. Then I had two meetings in the afternoon and a small event at church after work. Some days, right?

Boy, am I ready for the weekend!

Daughter #1 is coming home later today to celebrate her birthday (belatedly).

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The wee babes will help us party like it’s 1999.

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You know, maybe I’ll stay up ’til 10 o’clock and have a second glass of wine.

Meanwhile, the boy,

IMG_1428.jpgwho is a cancer survivor, is riding in Pedal for the Cause, which raises money to provide funding for cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital through their annual cycling challenge.

Yes, it will be a busy weekend and a hot one.

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But it’s all good. Have a great day and a fun weekend!

This and that

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Fall is officially here…but the temperature is soaring well into the nineties in flyover country! In fact, yesterday we broke a record–97-degrees! Typical. I mean, we had a lovely, lovely August–which is usually the worst–and now when it should be cooling off, it is hot, hot, hot.

Not that I’m complaining…

Tonight on TCM they are showing some “counter-culture classic” documentaries:

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If you are watching the PBS Vietnam series and want to hear more of this background-music-to-the-times, check it out. I will be setting the DVR (but definitely not for Woodstock: The Director’s Cut.)

I thought this was interesting, but sad. It is good to know there are still people out there fighting the good fight. BTW, Ravi Zacharias is a very interesting dude.

And this is good to remember:

Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put thou my tears in thy bottle! Are they not in thy book?
Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust without a fear. What can man do to me?

–Psalm 56:8-11

The weekend’s a-comin’ soon!

Not waving but drowning

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Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Today is the birthday of English poet and novelist Stevie Smith (1902–1971). I remember going to go see the movie Stevie (1978) based on the play about her by Hugh Whitemore. I went with my mother and she was deeply affected by it. She sometimes reacted very emotionally to sad things and this always deeply affected me. It made me worry that we (her children) had no idea how sad and lonely she really was. But I suppose that is true for most children.

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The movie is available on YouTube, so maybe I’ll check it out. Anyway, a toast to Stevie Smith seems in order.

The painting is “Beyond the Sea 6” by Paul Bennett

Be that as it may

Last week I went to a lecture about music in Hollywood war movies and the development of end credits. It was actually very interesting. I could certainly relate more to it than to the usual biochemistry and molecular biophysics talks I am forced to sit through. Long story short, it prompted me to watch the old HBO series Band of Brothers from 2001.

Band_of_Brothers_poster.jpgI watched three episodes and that was enough for me. It was good, but I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was suffering from PTSD.

Maybe I will go back to it and try again, but I need a break from the intensity. Now I am trying to watch Ken Burns’ Vietnam.

lvsCWEj.jpgI learned a lot in the first episode. And I was glad to see Karl Marlantes interviewed. We’ll see how far I get. (I am DVR-ing it.)

Meanwhile, this is supposed to arrive today.

9780399183737.jpegJust what I need.

P.S. The OM took Longmire #1 (The Cold Dish) along with him when he went to a conference last week. He is currently reading #3. I believe he is hooked.

“If we live, we live to the Lord”*

Well, we got our act together on Saturday morning and daughter #3 came over loaded down with gear and the wee babes. We walked the few blocks to the Greentree Parade and set up our camp chairs along the perimeter in our favorite spot for 20 years.

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IMG_1502.JPG.jpegThe active little bud actually sat on my lap for an hour and a half watching the parade. I refused to share. Lottie slept in the stroller

IMG_1503.JPG 2.jpegand then sat on a quilt with her mommy until the OM finally grew impatient and secured her on his lap.

IMG_1533.JPG.jpegShe was okay with that. A schmoozing RC priest on the sidelines asked if the OM was her great-grandfather. Zut alors! How to win friends, right?

At church on Sunday, the scripture lessons were all about forgiveness. Our “Rector Emeritus” gave the sermon and it was rather weak I thought. He never mentioned the great first lesson from Genesis, which tells the story of the wonderful Joseph forgiving his terrible brothers, and only touched on the gospel (Matthew 18:21-35–“seventy-seven times”!) Ministers never want to touch the end of this story with a ten-foot pole and it is frequently left out altogether.

“…Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother and sister from your heart.

Yikes, forgiveness is a hard thing! But Jesus makes it clear that it is important and necessary and not optional.

Our rector reminded us to read and then pray the Prayer for the Oppressed (#36 in Prayers and Thanksgivings, BCP) this week in view of the protests that are going on in our flyover city.

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Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this
land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as
their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to
eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those
who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law
and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of
us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I intend to do this. I was glad that he pointed to the Book of Common Prayer as a resource in times of trouble.

After church I bought a copy of the the Rector Emeritus’s new book–My Life Under the Big Top, Reflections of a Comic, Clown and Priest. I’ll add it to my stack of books at home.

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Meanwhile I am reading Call the Midwife, which has been kicking around at home since I brought it home from the giveaway basket at work. It is really good! It is the memoir of a young English women who moves into a convent (Anglican nuns) and trains to become a midwife in post-war London’s East End slums. I am learning a lot.

The boy was unable to attend the parade with us because he was working in his store. But we got a bonus visit from the boy and his wee family on Sunday night. It was good to see our hard-working son and feed him tacos! (Check out my instagram for a video of the bud’s latest talent discovery.)

Have a good week!

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*Romans 14:8

 

 

“This is the land of you’re on your own.”*

Now that son #1 is home, I have a willing movie-watching partner! Last week we went to see Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, and both of us give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. I should add that neither of us has seen Sheridan’s Hell or High Water, so I don’t know how this movie compares.

Set in the stark beauty of the Wind River valley in Wyoming, the film deals with a bleak subject — the rape and murder of young women on an Indian reservation — without wallowing in violence, getting too preachy, or forgetting its very human characters.

Jeremy Renner plays a Fish and Wildlife employee, who rids the Reservation of mountain lions,  wolves and other predators that threaten the inhabitants. A good man bearing a terrible burden of grief, he’s in the perfect position to help the FBI Agent, Elizabeth Olsen, track down the murderer(s). And he gets to wear a cowboy hat and plenty of Carhartt clothing while doing it.

I won’t go into the plot because I don’t want to give anything away —  after all, it is a mystery. However, I will comment on what I really liked about it. Aside from great performances, excellent direction, superb cinematography and editing, and fine music, Wind River’s greatest asset is its script.

It is a great relief to watch a movie that has a truly excellent script, one that invites the audience to draw conclusions, does not treat viewers like idiots, and actually has something to say.  The main characters come across as real, decent people just trying to deal with what life throws at them. Though I’m no expert, Mr. Sheridan seems to treat the situation on the Reservation with an even hand. There’s a strong sense of community and everyone knows everyone else. Upstanding working families exist right along with poverty and drug abuse —  just like they do in the rest of the country.

Amid the predominance of the BLM movement, it’s nice to see someone finally pay some attention to Native American problems. Wind River deals with the twin issues of crimes against Indian women and hopeless conditions on the Reservation, but instead of pointing fingers and politicizing, it humanizes them, and in doing so becomes vastly more effective. The film reminds us that human suffering is universal and that it’s up to us to alleviate the suffering of others.

Wind River is a violent, sad movie, but the director — also Mr. Sheridan — handles the most disturbing scenes so well that what could have been a relentless downer manages to include a little justice and a sliver of hope.  Skip the superhero flicks and the vulgar comedies and go see Wind River. You won’t regret it!

*”This isn’t the land of ‘call for back-up’. This is the land of ‘you’re on your own’,” said by the sheriff in Wind River

FRIYAY

This has been a busy week at work with a Big Event and a few smaller events.

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I m ready for a quiet weekend.

However, this weekend is our town’s annual Greentree Festival, complete with a parade on Saturday. In recent years I have been content to watch from the sidelines by myself, but I am hoping that the wee babes and their parents will be able to join me on the parade route. What do you think, bud?

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Speaking of parades, I read that on September 27 the city of Cincinnati will honor home town girl Doris Day at City Hall. Rumor has it that a street may be named in her honor, there will be a screening of “Pillow Talk” at the Esquire Theater, and a fundraiser for her Doris Day Animal Foundation.  Truly I can’t believe they haven’t named a street after her already. She is certainly one of the best things to come out of that town.

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Meanwhile I am still looking for something good to read after finishing all the Longmire books.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 3.00.29 PM.pngFor a change of pace, daughter #2 suggested I read Chapters From a Life by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (an early 19th century American writer) and I went online and checked it out from my flyover university library, but it takes a few days to get a book that way. So I must be patient.

After reading this article, I ordered The Stand by Stephen King, so we’ll see how that goes. I have read several SK novels–I liked The Green Mile. They do vary, but I have to admit he is a good writer. 

Well, anyway, I’ll find something…

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I got books…Have a terrific weekend!

A child of God

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There is no promise that everything will be rosy. The first thing is not to play savior of the world but to keep living in the world as a child of God. I see all these things happening, but I do not allow them to seduce me into the darkness. I live in the world but belong to God. If you live a life of watching and waiting, you will know what kind of call you have. You are not called to solve every problem in the world.

–Henri Nouwen

The woodcut is “Light Through the Trees” by Hajime Namiki

Freed and forgiven

Time for a little Wednesday gospel inspiration.

Turn it up and sing loud.

“I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate”*

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“Plain-spoken” Don Williams has died. Here’s his semi-condescending NYT obit.

More to the point,  Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young told Rolling Stone magazine that “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.”

Balm is the right word.

Here’s my favorite Don Williams song:

Those Williams boys, they still mean a lot to me–Hank and Tennessee…

Well, besides being a bonafide Country Music legend in the U.S., he was consistently an international ambassador of country music, earning a devoted following in Europe, especially in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as Australia. He was also huge in Africa. He was the real deal.

In addition to his recording career, Williams appeared in two Burt Reynolds films, in the 1970s including W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975).

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It is available on Youtube, so I think I will watch it. We’ll  miss you, Don.

Into paradise may the angels lead thee, Don. At your coming may the martyrs receive thee, and bring thee into the holy city Jerusalem.

*”I Believe in You” by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin