Quick, quick, quick.
I know the theme of the thing was music (I guess), but it was still odd to see an article about visiting this city that doesn’t mention the Civil Rights Institute…
But anyway. Good things are happening here, and it’s fun to see people noticing.
My daughter is home for a bit, which means that there is a lot of old-movie watching going on. She & the boys have watched An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, and several Marx Brothers movies. My 9-year old is developing a great Harpo impression. Purely visual, of course.
Earlier this week, we headed to the Cahaba River Natural Preserve, where, for a couple of months a year, the Cahaba Lily blooms. It needs the rocks and flowing water to grow, and so they stand out there in the river, amidst snails and mussels. It was a little tricky getting out into the shoals, and thanks my banged knee is feeling much better now, two days later, but that was the only injury. I had no idea that there was a swimming area right there, so we weren’t prepared for that, except for having a couple of towels in the back and Michael had an extra pair of shorts. That didn’t stop anyone for long, though. We’ll return, and prepared this time.
The book club of which I am not the most faithful member met last night to discuss Heather King’s Redeemed. I’d read it years ago, along with her other memoirs, but coincidentally (because I had no idea they were reading Redeemed until I saw one of the members at Pepper Place on Saturday and she told me) was in the midst of her latest, Stripped. In a way, I find this latest, the most compelling of all of Heather’s books, perhaps because, although I don’t have cancer myself, I’ve known enough people who have taken enough different paths after diagnosis to have spent some time considering that question…what would I do?
A few of my favorite quotes from Stripped:
Mass was so non-spectacular, so non-cataclysmic, seemingly, so not geared toward having an “experience.” I wasn’t interested in having an “experience.” I was interested in connecting with the rest of the world, and I was convinced that participating with people I had not personally hand-picked – the people at church being one prime example, and the people with whom I stayed sober another – was the way.
Now I know that what matters is not whether I suffer, but that I offer my suffering to the world.
….in that sterile chapel, I experienced a moment of peacce such as I never had known before and never have quite known since: a feeling that I might be in for who knew how long a session of sheer, unadulterated hell but that somehow, in the end, things would be all right. I’d had moments of peace before, but this moment had a new dimension: this time I knew things would be all right even if I died.
Who can parse out which part of our wound is killing us and which part of our wound is keeping us alive?
I ran across this photograph in the recently published collection of newly-found photographs from World War I. It’s quite a powerful expression of the point of ad orientem, I think. This doesn’t say, “priest with his back to the people.” It says, “Everyone journeying in the same direction.”
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