Tuesday, July 31, 2007

About Ingmar

I just stole this from my brother-in-law's blog; If Matt Drudge is allowed, so am I ... John wrote:

Ingmar Bergman died yesterday morning. He once said:

"People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral."
-from the introduction to Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What's the Deal with the Ark?

Pagans flock by the minivan up the mega church driveway. Year after year, the Vacation Bible School program sells the same smiling animals scampering up a plank.

Why does a story about God destroying the world make folk hungry for religion? I'm sure St. Noah is perplexed as well. He heard the screams as the water rose. The clawing on the outside of his ark. The collective gurgle as the world died the most painful death of inhaling water.

Then. He rode seasick in a damp, dark, fecal smelling ship for 40 days.

I doubt that felt like deliverance. I doubt that felt like a reward for being the only righteous man. I'm sure the dove and the rainbow's promise were a relief but I bet it still took months to dig the manure from under his nails.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Only Thing I Never Doubt

I "believe" in a lot of things. Just stand next to me in Mass on any given Sunday and you'll hear me recite the Creed. Just spend time with me and you'll be preached at with annoying self-assured security. Don't worry, I annoy myself too.

But there's one thing you all should know; the only thing I never doubt is the love I have for my babies. Everything else is fair game.

I sadly almost killed my blog today. Cause it can so often be a soapbox and the fact is: Who am I to talk? I lack faith constantly. I struggle with loving God, my husband and others all the time. And we all know, the web could use one less noisy, religious conservative.

But the fact is, I like this little corner in cyber-space and I'm not ready to say goodbye.

So I'll resolve to remain as honest as possible, love my babies and thank our Lord that all faith begins as a gift from Him in the first place. I know He said a mustard seed's worth is powerful. But sometimes it just doesn't feel like enough.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bedtime -- HAH!

(Note: The contrasting energy levels between father and son)

But then again, what is bedtime? Other than something Mommy longs for and babies avoid. At 9 pm, as Gussy crawls around my feet, I'm inspired to share photos of children who triumphed -- I mean TRIUMPHED over the bane that was their bedtime.

Here's Haven with hair perfectly coiled from the bath he took hours before. Note the expression of perfect glee -- not only did he make it out of bed but he made it outside to look at the moon! Way to go Haven!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Am Not Worthy to Receive You

Yesterday, as an untimely Autumn wind blew a July day cool and the sun peeked through the trees, I scooped up my baby.

I felt as though I was stealing a moment.

"I am not worthy to receive you," I said with tears streaming down my face.

I am so unworthy. Unworthy of this past year. Unworthy of the privilege of knowing, loving and serving the gift of August. Unworthy of having my sin and selfishness burned away by glowing eyes, the cutest smile and sweet smelling skin.

And when he cries in the night or demands that my own concerns are second to his (even though his concerns should be mine), I hope I always remember the honor that it is just to hold him (and hold all my children for that matter).

For those of you who don't know his story, his daddy wrote it down. For those of you who do, know he's healthy, happy and 1-year-old today. Happy Birthday, Augustine Ambrose. We adore you.