Monday, April 22, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/21/19: Charly the Resurrection Corgi, The Who and Shakespeare, Easter Family Dinner

1.  The sun greeted Kellogg on this Easter Sunday morning. It resurrected Charly. She's been inside a lot recently. The days have been gray and showery. She's spent quite a bit of time lying at my ankles, often sleeping. With the sun warming the back yard, I left the back door open and Charly wandered out and in and out again. She walked the circumference of the yard, barked at Bernie and Grizz in Jane's yard and Tucker and Riley in Christy and Everett's yard. She sniffed new life springing up from the ground. She rested a few times, stretching out on the grass and resting on the porch a couple of times.

If I had gone to CdA to worship, I would have had to bring Charly inside and close the back door. I couldn't do it. I was too happy to see Charly perking up. She was the happiest I've seen her in a while.

Back home after family dinner at Carol and Paul's, I once again opened the back door. It was still light outside and Charly trotted back outside. Bark, bark. Sniff, sniff.

I came out on the back porch to check on Charly. She saw me and, for the first time in weeks, she broke into a gallop -- not easy to do with her ailing hips and rear legs -- and didn't crawl up the back porch steps, but bounded up the stairs. My heart leaped up.

Easter Day celebrates new life. Charly felt renewed today. She was more fully alive. While I would have loved to have celebrated Easter at St. Luke's Church, within myself I meditated not only upon the  resurrection story of the gospels, but also on the resurrection that is shot through everything right now: tulips and daffodils popping out of the ground, the hours of daylight expanding, the grass of my lawns growing again and getting mowed for the first time today, the arrival of spring.

2. Back in the fall of 1974, I was a student in Prof. Dean Ebner's Shakespeare course at Whitworth College. It took me a week or two to acclimate my mind to reading Shakespeare's poetry, but once I got it, I existed in a week by week mind blowing experience. It grew into the most stimulating and important course I'd ever completed.

I was highly motivated to succeed in this course. When it came time to study for the course's final exam, I isolated myself in my dorm room, put on headphones, and reviewed my class notes and reread passages from the play with the Who's album, Who's Next roaring through headphones.

I linked certain cuts to individual plays, often irrationally. I mean the only connection between "Baba O'Reilly" and King Lear is the metaphor of the wasteland. King Lear roams and rants and come to grips with the past callousness of his reign and his soul on the wasteland of a barren heath; in the song "Baba O'Reilly, Pete Townsend laments wasted lives and wasted opportunities of his generation. But, for me that night, as Pete Townsend hammered one "Baba O'Reilly" power chord after another, the poetry and events of King Lear sank deeper and deeper into my mind and spirit.

Likewise, when Roger Daltry cuts loose with his primal scream in Won't Get Fooled Again, I remember connecting that scream to Othello, who got terribly fooled, and I imagined Othello wailing his deep sorrow and regret for having murdered his wife -- I wished that sometime earlier in the play he had realized he was being tricked by Iago and that he had resisted the villain, not getting fooled again. It would have wrecked the play, though....

This all came back to me this afternoon when I watched Classic Album's treatment of Who's Next, a fascinating examination of the album's music, Pete Townsend's vision as a songwriter, and the back stories informing what brought this album into being.

3. Carol and Paul hosted Easter dinner this afternoon at 4:00. Over an Italian spritzer cocktail, Paul updated us on the latest news about his father, Burt Roberts. It's possible that Burt will be released from the hospital soon, taken home by ambulance, and situated in a hospital bed in the living room so that he and his family can share in the very last stage of his life in his home.  I hope this works out, but as of Sunday afternoon, it was a tentative plan, depending on Burt's condition on Monday.

Carol prepared a superb Mediterranean dinner. In celebration of the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, Carol prepared a lamb dinner featuring a very tasty chickpea and cucumber and feta cheese salad, generous pieces of perfectly seasoned and prepared lamb, a garlic-y, blue cheese green bean side, and a terrific rice dish. Carol rounded out our meal with a light, refreshing, and very pleasing dessert: Keto Strawberry Trifle.

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