Thursday, November 03, 2011


"What do you do with the mad that you feel?" asked Mr. Rogers. I'm sure he had some good suggestions for the preschoolers (and parents) who watched his show.

I think a lot of the mad in people around me lately has been coming out as snark--snide remarks. Perhaps it's because I'm around clever people, and most of us do sarcasm pretty well. In fact, we do sarcasm better than we do honest dealing with fear and anger.

That's true of me. On days when I've got a full head of steam going, I power through the hours high on snark and righteous outrage. It's a cover for other stuff--the sense that the world is all in a mess, that the mess rolls downhill, that I can't do much to change any of it. But complaining and ranting I'm good at.

What was non-snarky about my day?

This morning we ended our Bible study group's discussion of Jonah by looking at Jonah in art. Kathryn put together a slide show on her computer and we saw Jonah in the catacombs, Jonah in the Sistine Chapel, Jonah in Giotto, Jonah in Lutheran artists from Minneapolis. Some were interested in the texture on that big fish, some in Jonah's physique, some in the belly of the whale which was very much like a tomb. The one I liked best--or maybe it's the one with the emotion that matched mine--was a woodcut of Jonah under the gourd, the hot sun pounding down. Jonah is propping up the vine even as he withers angrily in the hot sun.

He was probably uttering snarky remarks about Nineveh and maybe even about the God who chose to save Ninevah.

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