|Adaptations (adaptations) wrote,|
@ 2008-09-24 05:26:00
|Entry tags:||diane lane, pb|
Examples for saralynnbradley Faith Alone (Bio)
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
*From John Masefield’s “Sea-Fever”
I guess it’s true what they say about being at sea. I feel as though I’ve been re-born. Evidently, I did need a big change in my life. Ever since I stepped onto this cruise line, I’ve felt free. Free to live my life on my own terms away from the people and the city that were tying me down. Free to be a whole person again, connected to others and the world, rather than broken and flailing. Traveling the world, seeing beautiful testaments to God in Austria and Hungary, and meeting new people has more of a healing effect than any therapist or medication could provide. I feel like I’m part of something larger than myself again. I suppose I lost my faith back in Chicago for awhile there, not in my religion, but in myself. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve become unencumbered, unimpeded, and transcendent. My experiences on the Serendipity have lifted me to new levels of understanding that can only be called transcendental.
I mean just a few days ago, I walked into an abbey in Durnstein, Austria, and it was so overpowering, so spiritual that I couldn’t even speak. I was so stunned that I ended up dropping all the papers I’d been holding in my hands and ran into another cruise member. Talk about serendipitous, or was it more? Was it predetermined, or predestined, even? Either way, fate or chance, free will or determinism, it was a priceless instant. Not unlike the feeling I had while walking along the streets of Pest, not the shopping district on Vaci ut at Vorosmorty Ter, but I took the yellow line down to the other end and came out on Andrassy where the trees lined the long street and Hiros Square appeared at the end of the long stretch. I hailed a cab back and stopped at Central Café at the end of Ferenciek Tere and just soaked in the bustle and aromas. Budapest is the perfect blend of the old world and contemporary society. There’s something powerful in the grit, the lame-ass graffiti, and the Gothic architecture all combined. The feel of the forint instead of dollars, and the willingness of the Hungarians to put up with English even though only about 23% of the country is bilingual, and that includes the baby boomers who speak Russian and Hungarian. I learned so much in the day I spent walking the streets of Pest, and then I returned home to the ship. To the wildness and the waves and another day in a new place just as magical as the last. Who needs a husband in all of this fervor?
II. Under the Venetian Sun
"I saw something only I could see, because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules, of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them, and was repaired. Nothing's lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we've left behind, and dreaming ahead."
* From Tony Kushner's Angels in America
Italy. I don't think I even have words that could convey how powerful it was to see Venice yesterday. Coming on this ship has been one amazing experience after another. It's more than I could have anticipated. Surrounded by all the opulence, angels, and saints of Roman Catholicism reminded me of Angels in America for some reason while I walked along the canal. I was thinking about progress, motion, movement forward, unspeakable beauty, and how we can come upon it just by reading something that moves us or seeing something that will bring us back to life.
There was a time when I didn't think I would ever smile again after my marriage ended. Of course, everyone back in Evanston would say it was my own fault, and they're right. I know I only have myself to blame for the way things ended between us. That doesn't mean the pain I feel is any less real. It doesn't make the loss of my husband any less significant. We were married for thirteen years. I still expect to wake up in the morning and feel his body next to mine. When I hear a really funny joke or see all these wonderful people going about their lives in Venice, or eat those amazing chocolate croissants, my first instinct is to share it with him. He would appreciate it. His laugh would be enough to make me feel happiness. It's too late for another apology, or too soon. Too much damage has been done. The wounds are still open and bloody. The anger is still strong and growling.
The other thought that occurred to me while roaming around the streets was that it would be a stroke of genius for Madonna's "Like A Virgin" to play right then and there, in Venice, looking at all the Virgin Mary's painted on the sides of buildings. The only thing missing would be a lion. And me in a wedding dress rolling around on the ground. Still it seemed prophetic. "Like A Virgin" and Angels in America are two references that might seem dissonant for a minister to be discussing, but they're so brilliant and fascinating. I can't help it. Lots of wisdom can be found in Kushner, less so in Madonna, but the themes of renewal and painful, gut-wrenching change couldn't be more relevant.
III. A Rant
"places do not change
as what we seek in them
and faith will serve
along the way
to somewhere else
where work begins."
*From Audre Lorde's "To Martha: A New Year"
"Rather than struggling over whether or not to label Scientology as a religion, I find it far more helpful to view it as a multifaceted transnational corporation, only one element of which is religious."
*Sociologist, Stephen A. Kent
I try to keep an open mind, and I think I'm very successful most of the time. I'm not evangelical in the sense that I don't believe there's only one way to get to Heaven, and that way is through Jesus Christ. I truly believe that there are a lot of ways to get to Heaven. Even though I believe strongly with every fiber of my being in the Lord, Jesus Christ, I don't hold it against other people if they do not. Bertrand Russell makes a lot of good points in his essay, "Why I Am Not a Christian," which I find compelling. Like his argument that he would only believe in Christ if he was the greatest and wisest of men, but because a good deal of men (and I would also assume a liberal man like old Bertie Russell meant that to include a good deal of women too), among them Siddhartha Gautama, followed the same principles and did even greater things, Christ is not worthy of that title. I would say that even Derrida and the deconstructionists hold that there is nothing new under the sun, and the best we can really hope for is to come up with our own perspective or view of something. Just because Jesus wasn't the first to come up with ethics, or compassion, or human dignity, doesn't negate his principles, nor take away any of the good he did for people while he was alive. And that's all without saying that he's the son of God.
I struggled a lot with my religion and beliefs when I was younger. I tried to learn at least the basic tenets of other religions too because I'm genuinely interested in religion as a topic of study. I'm actually truly interested in studies in general, which brings me to the real reason I'm writing at the moment. Yesterday afternoon, while enjoying myself on the Sun Terrace, a man came over and struck up a conversation with me. First of all, I was minding my own business and was not seeking an in depth conversation. Second of all, he happened to be a scientologist. Now, as I said, I try to be open-minded, and I love the quest for knowledge. If I had been in Eve's position, I really think I would have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge myself, but I just cannot respect a cult like Scientology. I fully admit I'm passing judgment by referring to it as a cult, but I just cannot take it seriously. I mean, it was started by a science fiction writer for crying out loud, emphasis on fiction. I'm aware that the same word has been bandied around regarding the Bible, so don't jump down my throat just yet. I am also aware that some of the stories in the Bible seem just as implausible as alien forces living inside of each of us until they are exorcised out of our bodies. I don't know if Jesus really walked on water or could turn water into wine, but I also don't believe those parables are what is truly important about the Lord's teachings. I don't mean to get all preachy on your asses, but I just can't wrap my mind around Hubbard and Scientology, especially when one of its pseudo-psychologist, brainwashed participants comes along uninvited and ruins a perfectly good afternoon.
Scenes for Sara Lynn
Writing Example 1, with caleb_parker
Writing Example 2, with skyecooper
Writing Example 3, with danitoriano
This character was dropped on 01/01/2009.
Faith Alone (Bio)