Saturday, April 11, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 04/10/15: The Marcus Borg Room, Quiet Vacuuming, Snug and Philomena Lee

1.  The Deke is still in Nyack with Adrienne and Jack and she has our car.  Because the G12 bus runs on either a 30 or 60 minute schedule, depending on the time of day, being without a car takes some planning and patience -- and gives me stretches of time at the bus stop across the street from the Co-op to read.  I returned the DVDs that were due today at the library and did a bit of shopping at the Co-op and waited at the bus stop for about forty-five minutes and read a good chunk of Marcus Borg's Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time:  The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith. Starting twenty/twenty-five years ago, I began to experience a long and slow deepening of my experience as a Christian and an Episcopalian.  This long, slow deepening continues.  Marcus Borg contributed mightily to the deepening of the spiritual life I try to live, both when I heard him give lectures in Eugene and when I read some of his work.  He's a great scholar and has a most admirable talent for writing what he has learned through his many years of research and his personal experience in calm, readily accessible, direct prose -- much the same as his lectures.  I am reading Borg's work while in email conversation with long time fellow teacher and retiree, Dan, who was friends with Borg many years ago at Oregon State University, and we are having splendid conversations about our experiences reading Borg and what we've each experienced in the church over the course of our lives --- and what we are pondering and experiencing now in the later stages of our lives.  Jesus assures us in the gospel of John that in His Father's house there are many rooms.  I'm grateful to be joining Dan and spending time again in the Marcus Borg room.

2.  Our dogs hate the vacuum cleaner and our dogs' shedding gives us the primary reason why we should vacuum often.  Until the Deke returns from NY, the dogs are staying at Molly and Hiram's and I really enjoyed vacuuming the house without having to put the dogs behind a closed door and listening to them scream-bark their brains out while the vacuum runs.  Ha!

3.  I was trying to remember tonight, as I watched the moving and disturbing movie, Philomena, just when I first saw Judi Dench.  A quick look at reminded me that she was Titania in Peter Hall's 1968 movie, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Right.  Then I realized I'd seen her in A Room with a View and 84 Charing Cross Road, but I think she first deeply imprinted herself in my mind as Mistress Nell Quickly in the 1989 movie, Henry V, especially as she mourned the death of Sir John Falstaff.  Since then, I've enjoyed her in a number of movies and other videos (but not yet in James Bond!) and my history with her came rushing into my mind as I loved her playing the role of Philomena Lee, a woman in search of her son, a child born out of wedlock, a son sold to an American family by nuns while Philomena labored at a Magdalene laundry/asylum.  I didn't expect the movie to awaken my longings for my deceased dog, Snug, but that's exactly what it did and so tears rolled down my face, both for Philomena's loss of her son and my loss of Snug, tapping into feelings that are raw and complex.

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