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Sabbath Day

June 1, 2012

Sabbath Day: My weekly accounting of general cessation from paid employment and a commitment to self-care, personal growth, family time, dissertation advancement and gratitude.

Today was a cool day for our family, at the beginning and the end. We all walked to school today, which not only meant we had that 15 minutes together, all three holding hands, but Noelle and I had the 15 minute return trip together, to hold hands and talk. Doesn’t seem like much, but we are craving that time.

I spent most of my own day watering the garden and cleaning the house. Took two hours to finalize the worship bulletin for Sunday (I am on vacation for the next three days) and to confirm our preacher for next Sunday (with whom I will share the pulpit). More on that next week.

I also found time to read a short biography of Neal Cassady while listening to  GD 5.25.72.

The highlight of our day was taking August Xavier to his first public art exhibition. August’s goldfish drawing was honored by being selected for the White Plains City-wide School District Art Exhibit. The Exhibit runs all week and opened tonight with a reception for the artists and their families downtown at One Broadway.

In the next picture, the artist himself narrates the story behind the painting (goldfish fleeing a jellyfish), the multiple mediums and techniques (paper, cutting, pasting, coloring) and how to achieve the effect of scales

After the exhibition, we celebrated with a pie at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. We are very proud of this artistic, dramatic and imaginative boy. Please leave him a comment of encouragement on this blog.

After bedtime, I found a quiet spot beside  a fountain to enjoy a glass of merlot and a book of theology and poetry. Hours of reflection could have been spent honoring both Neal Cassady and theological mentor Dorothee Soelle, who ask of each individual that they honor themsleves while seeking  Further/Transcendance. Instead, I went to see the Joss Whedon production of The Avengers.

The Avengers: pure gratification/satisfication of the desire for heroes in a hopelessly compromised world. The film is full of great irony, complexity and subversion. Whedon delivers enough vicarious violence to tempt one to the simplicities of the dark side, while offering an ambiguous – potentially threatening, ultimately unsatisfying though visually stunning heroic team as an alternative to imperial power.

Is it really an alternative? Everything that seems to satisfy fails to satisfy in this film. Absent are the themes of forgiveness, love/transformation and alternatives to violence that I associate with Whedon – though it is not entirely lost that the choices face by the avengers are those created by the complete absence of a citizenry opposed to the violent endgames (including the good soldier, the man of rage, the scientist/philantropist, the spy and the demi-God). Instead we are offered diverse individual interests and loyalties willing to cooperate against evil.

But hey, I’m too tired to blog insightfully (It’s almost 3:00 AM). I need to see the film again. And the point of my sabbath day posts is not creativity or productivity, but accountability (to myelf and to you) for my sabbath rest.

Goodnight. / Good morning.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. hudrivprescrosscultural permalink
    June 1, 2012 9:57 am

    For the artist: That is a beautiful and very realistic portrayal of 2 goldfish. We would be afraid to hang it in our home because Roman the Cat might want to eat it. Congratulations and we can’t wait to see more! -Sarah and Will

  2. Grandma Leslie permalink
    June 1, 2012 2:04 pm

    August: I love your painting. I’m in awe of your skills…drawing and painting. Most grownups can’t do what you did. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    Pastor Jeff: did you have to raise so many questions about The Avengers that I may have to go see it on the big screen rather than waiting for cable? I was excited by your first characterization of the “heroic team.” Matched my memory of the comics I spent hoarded allowance pennies to buy. Then you raised the “adult” questions about the whether they are a desirable alternative. And I just wanted to have fun 🙂

    • June 1, 2012 2:54 pm

      Sarah and Will have not seen it yet, and as I said, I need to see it again. Perhaps we have the makings of a movie night! Discuss amongst yourselves.

  3. Mike and Christian K. permalink
    June 1, 2012 9:51 pm

    Mike and I are completely impressed by August’s artistic rendering. Neither he nor I are artists, and we appreciate another’s skill and ability to fully engage and enliven varieties of mediums into one lovely piece. A bright future for August, indeed!

  4. SteveS permalink
    June 2, 2012 4:26 pm

    It’s beautiful…colorful, balanced and the flora and fauna appear scientifically accurate! The artist has always shown ability with verbal and visual expression. I believe this work could result in a lengthy narrative from the artist that would hold anyone spellbound (more interesting than I found The Avengers to be!). Thank you for sharing August’s beautiful work!

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