i made you a mix tape of all my favorites from this week!
Monday was a vacation day and I spent it with my beloved friends, The Books...
- A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
This was a spontaneous I'm-on-vacation-and-I-want-to-read-something-just-for-the-fun-of-it-goshdarnit
read. I had actually given this to my mom for Christmas and saw it on her shelf on Easter afternoon. Just totally fun and I finished it in about two sittings. Still, and all, I wouldn't mind writing a book like this someday. Something about those small-town quirky communities that connects to the inner bumpkin in me. I think, perhaps, its in my genes. (and why I adore Garrison Keillor)
I would certainly start the list of characters with the delightful story of my mom taking my sister and me back to her hometown a year or so ago. We met Freida and she was a hoot! I'd totally put her character -- and the pack of cigs tucked into her bosom, just underneath her whiskery chin -- into my book. Whaddya say, Mom? Want to co-author?
- The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
It was just one of those days. I was exhausted beyond health and needed desperately to get my mind to a sound place. Reading is, without compare, the best way for my head to relax. Of course, it matters what I'm reading for rest to kick in. So, I chose my books carefully. I needed to be able to escape to places away from here, but also places that would recover some of the hopeful energy depleted through sheer physical exertion of work and ministry the past couple of weeks. This book nearly leapt off the shelf into my hands.
First of all, it had come up in a couple of different places lately; that's always a good sign. Also, we'd picked up this beautiful Chronicles of Narnia set, published by Harper Trophy, for the kids in one of our NYC trips last year and I hadn't really looked through it yet. The books, themselves, are gorgeous -- glossy, thick white pages, sturdy bindings and lusciously detailed and colored illustrations by Pauline Baynes.
I ended up sitting with Brian on the sunny back patio (and later, in the front room under lamplight) reading the entire book aloud to him from 3pm - 9pm. It was just that kind of day, and it's that kind of book. Reading the last two chapters were the most difficult because I kept choking up at the images Lewis evokes of a new heaven and a new earth, where everything is more like the real thing -- yet somehow different, deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.
And, when Jewel, the Unicorn soliloquizes what all the characters had been trying to understand about this new -- but vaguely familiar -- land, I really could barely get the words spoken across the room to Brian:
"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"
Also, the part where Aslan and Lucy meet up:
"Then Aslan turned to them and said: 'You do not look so happy as I meant you to be.'"
"Lucy said, 'We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.'"
Yes, indeed, Lucy. I totally understand what you're saying.
As we finished the last page (and, by now, Alex had joined us in the living room), I declared that last paragraphs to be read at my funeral:
"The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."
"And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
- Don Miller's thoughtful and refreshing post on the importance of pastors: These words, from someone like Miller, blow a much-needed breeze of anti-irony into dry and arid cyber-lands. I was intrigued by the number of PK's leaving comments and had to leave one of my own. I included the link to a post I wrote a year or so ago about my own coming-to-healing as a bruised-up PK. Sadly, it does not quite hit the same non-irony eloquence that the Miller post does. Still, it is authentic. (I continue to daydream about writing a PK-tells-all memoir. Or, maybe a documentary? hmmmm.....)
- Holy Week Around the World: a global survey (in photographs) of processions, prayers, performances and protests at Salon.com. 38 photographs worth your time -- some are beautiful, some grotesque, all intriguing. This photo of an Easter service in the country of Georgia was one of my favorites.
- OK, so I'm not much of a viral-video kinda gal, but my mom introduced me to this on YouTube and I've fallen completely and totally in love with this kiddo. I want to be a fly on the wall in his studio and go to every one of his shows. He proves what all us Baptist kids were trying to tell our parents all those years ago: I'm listening to the music, not the lyrics!
That's all I've got for this week, folks. I'm working on the rest of my Laity Lodge posts and a recap of the Good Friday and Easter services at Union Center. Plus, there's that ten-page paper I still have to complete to get full course credits (whose idea was that, anyway?) When all I really want to do with this Spring Break is sit outside in the sun and read more books. Or, maybe sit and strum on a ukulele.
Have a happy first week of Easter!