So we decided not to watch Sideways, because of the language. Which is completely fine. It wouldn't be enjoyable for them or for me. So why bother?
I did watch Saved with my parents tonight, and with my sister and her husband earlier in the week. The latter enjoyed it, laughing a lot and generally saying it was fine, although they disagreed a bit with the conclusions (which most Christians do). Now I've seen it four times and I have a really different take on it - the first time it's too much at once and you don't know what to think, but after several viewings, I'm laughing less and thinking more as I watch it. I see echoes of Jesus' words to the religious leaders of his day. I see a lot of bad behavior from all sides, and a lot of moments of grace (which are fleeting and infrequent and easy to miss). I see solid faith from a few characters and an interesting journey to faith from others.
But really the only way I see all this is that I've seen it enough times to get past the cheap jokes and to be able to buy into the story, cheesy dialogue and all (hey, it's a teenage comedy!). Actually, that was my parents' one criticism, was that it was "stupid." Which is actually bothersome - I'd rather they were offended. Simply saying it's stupid is basically saying that a person who likes it likes something stupid which is questioning their taste in general (and their intelligence to a degree). What's funny is that probably half of what they watch I'd consider stupid (although I usually say something like "the critics all hated that", since it's unfair to judge it without seeing it). But they considered Saved stupid. So how bad must it be?? Wow. Well at any rate, from the way it makes me feel to have something I enjoy called stupid, I think I shall try to avoid judging others' taste in that way in the future.
Still, my husband points out to me that they may think the characters are unbelievable, but then, I have some pretty unbelievable characters and situations going on in my extended family! Which is amusingly true. We all know people (or are related to them, more likely) whose lives we wouldn't believe if we saw them on the big screen. Yet there they are, acting out in all their ridiculousness. It's a funny world.
Speaking of the big J, I miss him so terribly. I told him never again will I vacation without him and if we have to travel for business more than a couple days, we'll take the other person along. This is no good. I prayed God would provide us jobs near one another always. Yep, all my friends were right, this was too long. Not because of who I'm with, but because of who I'm without.
Wow...I never really thought I'd be homesick for LA. I used to cry when I got on the plane back to there. This time I cried leaving. This definitely isn't home anymore. Well it hasn't been for nearly a decade, and this house has really never been for me. When I dream about a home, it's always my childhood home, not here. And my folks may move again into another house that is foreign to me. That is how it goes.
Now I really should get to bed as it is late. One more story: Sunday we went to the Evangelical Free Church (that's a Protestant denomination, not Episcopal) and I was talking with a woman who was a friend of my mother's. She asked about life, and I told her I was in seminary, blah blah. And she asked what I'd do with that degree (that maddening question to which I have no answer!) and I said I could be ordained a priest, adding that I'd be a "priest" because I'm Episcopalian. And she said that was really interesting, because her niece, she's not E..E...(Episcopalian? I filled in) - yes that. Her niece isn't one, but she studies the Jewish religion at college.
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As that "other" great writer, T. Wolfe wrote "You can't go home again." Time continues its stride.
I have been truly blessed by "Feminary" these past several months. The conflicts that you live out before us are important...perhaps even vital to the place of Christ in the present age.
That God has graced us with so gifted and willing a participant(...antagonist?) and witness is wonderous and fulsome. I pray He will continue to use you, if only to remind this septugenarian how exciting it still can be to walk boldly with the Lord.
To the inevitable question, what are you going to do with that?, I used to reply "maybe I'll just have babies with it," a reply which suited my sense of irony, relieved my interrogators, and immensely annoyed my husband.
And I'll have to watch Saved a couple more times now.
Heart goes out to you on your leaving LA experience. Aren't those moments of discovery just the essence of being human?
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