Sometimes I read or watch things that I want to share, but don’t feel like they’re worthy of an entire blog post. So, instead I’m going to experiment with posting a semi-regular summary of bits and pieces that have taken my fancy or caught my eye. Probably on a Sunday. Starting with these:
There is no God [book] by Meg Rosser
Hilarious, farcical story about God, written as though he were a teenage boy, which apparently explains why the world is in such a mess. A quick, easy, well written, laugh out loud read. Serendipitously, I discovered this quote around the same time from G.K. Chesterton – “The test of a good religion is whether or not it can laugh at itself.” This book is that test. (From the back cover) In the beginning there was Bob. And Bob created the heavens and earth, and the beasts of the field, and the creatures of the sea, and twenty-five million other species, including lots and lots of gorgeous girls. And all of this he created in just six days. Six days! Congratulations, Bob. No wonder Earth is such a mess. Imagine that God in typical teenage boy. He is lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad – and about to meet Lucy, the most beautiful girl on earth. Unfortunately, whenever Bob falls in love, disaster follows. Let us pray that Bob does not fall in love with Lucy.
Manvotional : Be Faithful
“Steadfastness is the indispensable quality of every man who one day does not wish to be obliged to say: “I have wasted my life.” (From Courage, 1894, by Charles Wagner via the artofmanliness.com) I read this around the same time as I was reading opinion pieces about Mark Driscoll’s views of masculinity but what others consider to be “hyper-masculinity” or “macho-ness”. To my mind, Wagner’s piece defines masculinity and/or “manliness” very well. It reminds me of Atticus Finch’s character in To Kill a Mockingbird. A man of quiet confidence, dignity, and integrity, who didn’t feel the need to prove himself, even though he was well-known as the best shot in the county.
Have been dipping into this quite a bit lately, following links from Twitter. In general, the articles are topical, thoughtful, and timely. Like this one: When you don’t know what God is up to. And this one: 10 Tips to Curing Busyness. Thinking about subscribing to the print copy …
Highway to Happiness
“The good life is a flawed life, writes Sarah Berry. Happiness is not about being shiny and sparkly and new 100 per cent of the time. Although, you’d be forgiven for thinking it is.” When did the “happiness bandwagon” start up? It seems to be everywhere. Not that I mind. I think striving to be content – is that an oxymoron? – and to notice and enjoy the small, beautiful, mundane moments is a good thing. Life is made up of small, beautiful, mundane moments.
The Quiet Achievers
“They might not shout about it, but introverts have a lot to offer, writes Megan Johnston.” One of a few articles I’ve noticed recently on the value of introverts. This one is OK, except for the very last sentence – “And they can form a type of personality agreement, whereby they act out of character some of the time in exchange for being themselves the rest of the time.” What the??? Excuse me while I go and prepare a draft of my personality agreement …
My Afternoons with Margueritte [film]
The IMDB summary, “An illiterate and lonely man bonds with an older and well-read woman.” doesn’t really sum it up satisfactorily. A two-tissue joyful weepie, and unashamedly sentimental, this is a sweet story about friendship, family, and how we can underestimate the people around us. Germain Chazes leads a simple, uncomplicated life, but he has depth, passion, intelligence, and understands love, devotion, and responsibility, despite his own lack of self-worth. Margueritte is a charming, bird-like foil to his “manliness”. It’s fitting that they meet in a park where Chazes cares for a flock of pigeons. French with English subtitles. Trailer and review from ABC – At The Movies.
The Hedgehog [film]
More French film goodness. “A moving story about love, life, and the beauty of unexpected friendships.” The Hedgehog is all that and more. The story explores the hidden value of people, the masks we wear, the fight to be authentic and to be who we are, the courage to be vulnerable, and just fitting in when you feel like you don’t. All three main characters are lovely, but the character Renee and the actor who portrays her are particularly wonderful. Like the young Paloma, I want to be a concierge too. Note: You will need tissues at the end. Lots of them. French with English subtitles. Trailer and review from ABC – At the Movies.
Mysterious Paper Sculptures
The whole concept is delightfully whimsical, not to mention the anonymous artist’s incredible vision for the design concept, and their talent and capacity to execute it so brilliantly. I really like paper-based artworks like this, and “No”, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that they have used books. I’m not advocating doing the same to rare illuminated manuscripts that are prized as artworks, or valuable first-editions. However, mass produced books are definitely up for grabs. Why not recycle and repurpose them? Stories and books are not the same thing. Books are merely the vessels containing the treasure.
Taize Prayer and Song, and meeting locations in Australia. “The exchange with God becomes real for us in prayer: by his Holy Spirit, God comes to dwell within us. By his word and by the sacraments, Christ gives himself to us. In return, we can surrender everything to him.” — Brother Alois, Letter from Cochabamba. I used to attend the Pymble gatherings irregularly a few years back. No great epiphanies, and the use of icons was strange to me, but sitting in the dark, the singing, and the Great Silence were quite peaceful. A different way of worshipping our God.