Monday, April 14, 2014

maybe there's a fairytale for you



Since it is so likely that [children] will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.
— C.S. Lewis, Of Other Worlds


I went to see the movie Noah, which is also an exercise in imagination upon an epic, magnificent story. A story whose scope is staggeringly large. But. I found, from the very first moment of the film, something was missing.
The film began, appropriately enough with the words: "In the Beginning..."
Familiar enough symbols for anyone who has ever read at least a small snippet of Biblical text.
But then, the words that followed were jarring: "...there was nothing."
Nothing?
Nothing. I couldn't even conceive what nothing would look like.
Things that are real are stable, permanent.
We say that a love that evaporates after several months “was not real.”
We think that the love’s ending has proved that it’s not authentic, not actually real.
We crave permanency so deeply, a reflection of our craving for reality.
If there is any sort of ultimate reality, then I think a necessary attribute of it must be its perpetual existence.
If being “there all the time” is the litmus test for reality, as Peter asserts at the beginning of the Narnia chronicles, then perhaps the only thing that has ever aced that test is Love itself.

~
 Best Friend and I teach CCD to third graders at a local parish.
I have learned a lot about how not to teach third graders this year.
I also have been reminded of what the world is like when you are nine.
It is rather frustrating, because the world of adults that you are supposed to live inside of is not made for you. Your daily life is ordered by rules that no one takes the time to explain to you and that you do not understand. And often they make about zero sense to you.

Also, I've learned that sometimes you can't teach third graders everything in one day, but you can repeat over and over again that all of us our sinners, and everyone has human dignity even murderers and Hitler, and that God is always with us, and knows all our most secret thoughts and desires, and slowly-but-surely the ideas may take root inside of them.
So that maybe they will begin to imagine the hour of death less as court summons and more as a final invitation from the Bridegroom.
Our imaginations power our desires.
If you can mold someone's imagination, you have sculpted the topography of their world.

As I plan the lesson for today, Fig Monday of Holy Week, I am distracted from my planning by all the many treasure trove of videos on the Youtube, detailing the accounts of the Passion.
The drama of the story that is embedded into this week is inescapable.
There is nothing ordinary about today, there is nothing regular about tomorrow, and there is nothing usual about the Friday that looms on the horizon
How can one focus on writing papers when Maundy Thursday is so close?
~
Right now, there is a storm hanging in the air.
For the past several days, the atmosphere has felt close and humid.
You can feel the weight of the air as the impending tempest is concocted in the clouds above our heads.
It's a suspended breath, it's a fermata of silence, the resolving chord is still hanging in the air, before it will land with a glorious crash.
My bones tingle as I walk outside, awakened by the knowledge that the storm is on its way. Each day smells like anticipation. The entire world is waiting for the storm to break.
Last night, a short burst of relief came in the form of sporadic rain, several ginormous clamorous claps of thunder and tantalizing flashes of lightning.
But it was too brief.
It was as though the sky, so pent up in preparation for its tantrum, could only release a small shudder.
It was a drum-roll with no flare; foreplay with no climax.
After that short respite, after that brief encounter with the prelude to the story, after the sweet sounds of the overture before the opera, the storm ended, and the heavy anticipation set in again.
The air closed around us once more, as the hushed thrill of the turning seasons sunk into our bones.
We are in suspense.

This is the irrational season 
When love blooms bright and wild. 
-Madeleine L'Engle

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