Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 05/16/17: Mom's Care Meeting, Costco Packed, John Sayles and Maggie Renzi and *Matewan*

1. Staff at Kindred held a care meeting with Mom and Christy and Carol to review the care Mom has received and to assess her condition. Christy and Carol were both impressed with how much knowledge each of the ten or so Kindred staff in the room had about Mom and how kind and positive the staff were in talking with Mom. I know Mom would have loved to have heard that she can go home, but, if and when she does, it will be a while -- and no one is saying it will be soon. From talking with Christy, I learned that Mom has reached some level of acceptance about staying at Kindred, which means she seems to be coming to grips with how compromised her health is. The staff encouraged Mom to go to the dining room for lunch and dinner and encouraged her to eat with Penny Benson because Penny really wants Mom's company.  She will continue with physical and occupational therapy and will work to regain some of the independence that comes with becoming more mobile and able to do some everyday tasks on her own.

2. I enjoyed shopping for food items we were out of at both MOM's and at Costco, with a quick trip to the Co-op for some salami, beer, and laundry detergent. Costco was packed on a Tuesday around noon and I marveled at how the shoppers represented so many different countries and enjoyed the sounds of English being spoken in so many different rhythms and with such a variety of musical sounds. I heard other languages, too, adding depth and breadth to the symphony of shoppers and Costco employees talking.

3. The Deke I went to the American Film Institute in Silver Spring to see a 30th anniversary screening of the Matewan, Mingo County, West Virginia coal mine labor war movie, Matewan. The movie screening was part of the 2017 DC LaborFest and featured the film's director, John Sayles and its producer, Maggie Renzi. Before the movie, the DC LaborFest presented Sayles with the Tony Mazzocchi Labor Arts Award. You can learn more about Tony Mazzocchi, here.

John Sayles has been one of my favorite movie directors since I first saw Return of the Secausus 7 in 1980. I also have loved Maggie Rezi's work in his movies and have admired all she's done as the producer of his movies.

Hearing John Sayles introduce Matewan tonight stirred up a lot of feeling in me. I admire Sayles for being, at once, an artist with vast creative talent as a writer of screenplays and novels, a director, and often the editor of his movies and, at the same time, unpretentious, emotionally involved in the subject matter of his work, deeply humane, and intellectually brilliant. Likewise, Maggie Renzi touched me with these very same qualities.

Their stories about the making of the movie and their commitment to the people and history of Matewan, West Virginia deepened my respect for Sayles and Renzi and helped to make this one of the most enjoyable evenings I've ever experienced. I had never even ever bothered to dream or imagine that one day I'd see John Sayles and Maggie Renzi in person, so this wasn't a dream come true. Instead it was one of the most satisfying surprises of my life and I am seriously thinking about driving to Matewan, West Virginia this fall when they will appear there to show and talk about this movie -- I just need to find the date and see if I will be in Maryland at that time.

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