Sunday, August 31, 2014


I read a review of "Calvary" in the New York Times a couple weeks ago and thought it was a movie I might like to see--but also that it might be the kind of movie that never makes it out to the suburbs. But it's playing at the neighborhood theatre this week, and on this bright summer afternoon, on the spur of the moment, I texted a friend and off we went.

And now--so much to think about. "Calvary" is a dark movie, about religion, death, the church, guilt and forgiveness. And about living for others.

Is religion about being afraid of death? The priest in "Calvary" says this is the case for many people.  We lean on our faith at funerals, sing in the face of death, quote Paul about death having no power over us.

But faith also evaporates when facing death. Where is God when death comes too soon or too suddenly? When death comes violently? And where is God in all the daily little deaths of misspent lives, of disappointment, of moral failure?

A cynic could leave this movie saying God is absent. A religious person could leave this movie saying God is there in the climactic scene.

God suffers, God dies—what does that mean?

*Another review: Why Every Christian Should Watch Calvary

Friday, August 22, 2014

Too much

Sometimes it's like you just stop believing. Clicking the heels of the red shoes together does nothing. You can't write the puff piece, can't ignore the contradictions, can't bear how people go away hurt and silent and let the contradictions simmer till they're burnt to the bottom of the pan.

The New York Times article this morning said that people with autism may have too many connections, too many spines on the neurons in their brains. Makes sense to me. Living with too much of everything is paralyzing.

A long week with too much going on had me headed for a melt-down late this afternoon. Dinner at a restaurant with two interesting young adults (my son and his girlfriend) helped. A lot. No reason for them to be interested in my problems, therefore no reason to go back over them. Meanwhile they can think of lots of possibilities for their futures and think about them with wonder and a wish to learn more about the world.

Of course, they probably slept till noon.