Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Wish You Were Here!


This picture is the fruit of a very fun day we had here during spring break, that I will no doubt tell you all about sometime. But not now. For now just look at the picture and wish you were here.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Rugby - A Story

One day, back when he and I lived in the same time zone, Eucharisto came up with the idea of the people of Mere Image writing a "progressive story" - that is, a story with the first part written by one person, the second by another and so on.

I had a lot of fun reading it recently when I ran across it in my brother's Word files. Though we never made it past two parts (Eucharisto and I being the only contributors), I though it still might be fun for you guys to read.

So here it is; in all of it's unedited glory (for added enjoyment, see if you can spot where Eucharisto's narration leaves off and where my own uh, unique storytelling come to play):


Leaves fell silently around a great oak tree. Figures could be seen running to and fro, running to be out of range of the liquid that keeps us alive. The wind was stirring, as if waking from a deep sleep. For that is what the wind does, when summer is over, and harvest comes. It is at that time when the leaves on the trees begin to shine a shade of amber, and the sun visits the south for a while, and the time we call autumn comes to enjoy his rest.

It was a good time for the people in the small town. The people who ran the shops and restaurants on the square, the good folks who sat out on their porches to watch the sky in its glory as the star that lights our sky faded away from view. The people of Rugby liked it that way. And that was the way it had always been. But for one, it would be long before he could experience that joy.

Our story sadly takes us many miles away, to a place not enthralled in idyllic happiness, or stopped on the face of a watch, measuring time. We travel over mountains, through pines, and over rivers, to a place where nature begins to blend with industry, and then fades out all together. Time again is set in motion, and the people running are not escaping from a barrage of rain, but from a barrage of appointments, traps set by themselves as a means of survival.

The light begins to focus on one solitary figure, sitting silently by the door of a building, a building that would engulf the entire town of Rugby in one mouthful. It is in this building, where the man works. His face is looking at the cold hard pavement, which in turn offers him no comfort. A siren far off begins to whine. He slowly rises to his feet, and shuffles toward the place where he least wants to go, but where his common sense tells him is vital. Home.

I’ve always been a fool, why should I change now? As a matter of fact, I’m quite good at being a fool. It seems that I accomplish a lot more as a fool than I ever did as a sensible person. I’ve accomplished nothing and I am a lot closer to my goal to accomplish nothing as a fool, because I’m always going to accomplish nothing. I guess it’s nice being good at doing something, even if it’s nothing.

I only wish that Bobbie were with me now. He thought back to his childhood. He and Bobbie were friends, best friends. Bobbie was his goldfish. He came from Balmier’s Fish emporium. These thoughts are depressing; they make me sad. Foolish me, poor Bobbie.

The author is unsure how long this cycle of morbidity would have continued were it not for the fascinating introduction of a new character in this dreadfully realistic novel.

The person of whom I speak was (and still is as far as I know) a tall man. Now tall men are not uncommon, in fact the author is acquainted with several men of above average height but this particular man of above average height gave the impression of being quite uncommon. He had a broad rimmed hat and a long coat, rain streamed down his hair, which was long, and his beard, which was longer, he sat on a bench, presumably to wait for the bus, which stopped in front of that bench once a day every day usually at three o’clock in the afternoon though sometimes it came at three fifteen and once, our hero remembered, it arrived a full twenty-seven minutes early.

Our hero, having little else to do at work, had taken to staring out his widow all day. When the office closed he would sit on the ground in front of the building all day and watch the passers by, but he was unused to strangers watching him, which is what this man of above average height seemed bent on doing.

He stopped walking and returned the tall man’s gaze.

The man appeared, as I say, to be waiting for something, though, our hero notices, it could not have been the bus, for, the bus had come and gone and all the while that tall man has been sitting there on the bench.

As our hero watched this most fascinating man he began to do something that he often did; he began to digress.

Its funny, I didn’t know that I had noticed that, it must have been in my sub-conscience. I wonder if really is such thing as a sub-conscience. Is it really possible to think of two things at once? I don’t think so. Poor Bobbie.

While our hero followed these various trains of thought to there various train stations of thought and satisfied himself with the thought he had explored all his thoughts on the subject of thought, something somewhat more important to this frighteningly slow-paced novel happened: the tall man disappeared. (Now, I don’t expect you to take me literally, a literal use of the word disappear would imply a certain tendency towards fantasy, a tendency which of course is completely alien to the author. The actual meaning intended by the author is one closer to a hasty and/or unnoticed departure.)

“I don’t believe it!” exclaimed our hero, after taking a step or two closer to the bench and squinting at it as though the man might be in the same place but only significantly decreased in size, “He’s disappeared!”

At this our hero broke into a hard sprint in the general direction of his nose.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Netflix (Redux)

We're subscribing to Netflix (again), so I thought I'd provide a quick look at what we've gotten so far (with the occasional capsule review thrown in here and there):

Winged Migration

I was stunned by this drop dead gorgeous film about migratory birds. (If a bit disillusioned by the "Making Of" featurette.)

Watership Down


2001: A Space Odyssey

I like Stanley Kubrick. I like him because he had respect for his audience; he let them (and seemed to they could) think; he let them figure things out for themselves. He seemed to believed that the average moviegoer has an attention span longer than five minutes.

He was wrong of course, but that doesn't detract from his brilliance as a poet. Yes the film is demanding and (at times) confounding, but when was the last time Truth was served up on a silver platter?

The Return

Jeffrey Overstreet's favorite film of 2004 (though a actually from 2003) has "parable" written all over it; with such elements as father-son relationships, hidden money, a strange journey and the like. But it's something of a head-scratcher; if the goal of Art is to pose questions and explore (as opposed to making a statement or preaching) then this film's a triumph, if not, then this is merely beautiful film with strong acting all round.

I, of course, fall on the side of Art As Meditation; so I heartily recommend this film for group viewing and discussion. I think it would well worth your time.


The Year of Living Dangerously

A Man Escaped

The Story of the Weeping Camel

The Mission


A Hard Day's Night


Four year old Victoire Thivisol gave a breathtaking performance as Ponette - a girl who has lost her mother to a car accident. And we, the audience are left to watch quietly as little Ponette grapples with this loss, as she brings her questions to her family, her friends and, in the end, God himself.

I don't quite know how to put into words how this film effected me; and maybe that's alright. I can say that this film broke my heart, and without the insulting manipulation that the filmmakers could easily could have used.

Oh dear, I'm doing a bad job at this: can I just link to Jeffrey Overstreet's review? Or would that be cheating?

Diary of a Country Priest

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Has Anyone In the Land of Old Seen My Coat?

I know this is kind of boring but my coat is missing. It's the green (surprise!) and black one with the high collar, I lost track of it during the move and am starting to worry that I (sniff) might never see it again. Can anyone help me?

Friday, April 01, 2005

It's National Poetry Month, People!

So let's get cultured!

Do you write poetry? Post some! Do you have a link to some great poetry? Post it!

Can't do any of those things? Then just get cozy with some great poetry and a nice comfy chair, do something poetic!

For my part I'm going to support a local (very local) poet; my brother Eriol. He's just posted a new poem and I think it happens to be one of his best.

Take a look.