Tag Archives: faith

Fairy Tale of the Sun or Spring’s Lament

DSCI0052

Untouchable faith in the center of the Sun-
Once upon a time I awoke and found,
in his heat, where my heart had run.
The day after that, a faulty map that he drew
left the moon and the stars unspun.
The final day, the saddest of all,
the Sun did not rise, he said- I’m done.
Well that can’t be, I blithely replied,
perhaps just the day is still young.
Yet, each forsaken hour I wait here alone
in vain expectation of Eos to be sung.
The roses wilt in a pointless dawn
where my incredulous faith is clung.

JA/2013

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Incredulity of Echo

DSCI0053Maybe it will all disappear today
doesn’t matter what I say
Fingers probed the hole
now out of sight, still it stays

Maybe it will all come back today
doesn’t matter what I say
Faith lost its soul
except at night, she’s acting brave

Maybe it will all change today
doesn’t matter what I say
Fortune’s on the dole
try my might, chance goes its way

Maybe it will free me today
doesn’t matter what I say
Fetters take their toll
another blight, each scar levies its pay

JA/2013

Faith and Madness

Apocalypse Now. This is the film I was least excited to see again in my film history class. War, Vietnam…and I saw it so long ago, I don’t remember loving it. I do remember however, really liking Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. And, since I first viewed the film I have read Heart of Darkness as well as the extraordinary Things Fall Apart, which was a native sort of response to Conrad’s book. So to come back to this film is interesting and not something I would have likely done on my own. I love school for this sort of opportunity.

 After all those qualifiers I will simply say – this is a remarkable film. First of all Coppola’s use of music is fantastic, I don’t even like The Doors but the opening sequence has got to be one of the best ever made. The music that overlays the beastly helicopters and chemical haze over the impossible natural beauty of Vietnam is melded together with such delicate contrary juxtaposition that the overall effect is highly artistic and  very moving.

“There is no way to tell his story without telling my own.”

Truer words were never spoken. Anytime we share a story or artistic interpretation we cannot help but insert ourselves into the very heart of it. We are discovering the journey of the renegade Kurtz while we are experiencing the journey of Captain Willard, at the same time that we are aware of the journey of Coppola, Joseph Conrad, perhaps even Chinua Achebe and the whole history of imperialism, colonization, wars, battles, oppressions- and, of course, it is our journey as well. What does a clash of civilizations look like, how do we force ourselves into other countries, into other people, into our own hearts?   Confronted with the brutalization of “lying morality” as Kurtz so beautifully writes to his son, how do we react?

The question is- how does one react to madness? It would seem that the only logical or at least predictable answer is- with madness.

And there is madness in our method. We simply – keep following the orders, keep moving. In one of the funniest sequences Coppola himself has a cameo as a news cameraman who is hysterically yelling to the soldiers, “Don’t look at the cameras, just go through- like you’re fighting!” That’s it.  Just go through. Go through the motions, even if you are pretending or pretending to be pretending, keep following the orders. And for God’s sake do not think. If you start to think of what you are doing, you end up like Kurtz. And he is scary.

But it’s hard not to. Coppola makes us feel the discomfort. His extreme close ups are wince inducing. The constant pearls of sweat, dark corners, and manic moments of facsimiles of joy all create an inner nervous condition. We’re not really crazy; we want to escape the madness. The feeling of creeping nausea tells us so. Maybe drugs will suppress the feeling, maybe we will just die inside, but the body knows. There is no real faking it.

“You have all my faith.” Possibly my favorite line ever uttered in a film. We all have faith, some give it to their God, some to the Earth, and some risk giving it to someone they love. There is no greater expression of love. Kurtz gives it to his son. After all that he has seen and knows he has nowhere else to lay down his core: he burdens his son with it, reversing the natural flow of a parent/child relationship. After his fellow man has so utterly failed, he is forced to turn to the innocence of his own child.

You have all my faith. It is everything.

And if faith is lost, what then? I hope you never know.

A Sticky Sort of Love

True love, for me, is a sticky bun. I love them with an unrestrained zeal. Even if they are so much trouble to make and carry the risk of coming to nothing.
My daughter is coming home from college and she has a correct passion for them, so I flung myself into the throes of a complex and time consuming project. I wish I could just look at the yeast and know. But you just don’t know, until it is too late, whether or not it is true.

It begins with a brioche dough. The first step is to “proof” the dough. This is, for me, the most unnerving part. I want to be sure, feel the ease of certainty, but this has always eluded me. It looked good up until this point, beautiful in fact. The flour had “cracked” as evidence of life. I let it rise for 3 hours. But when it was time for the next step – it was unmoved. How could this be? I could not believe it and instead reasoned to myself: it’s an enriched complicated dough which will retard some of the rising, it’s a little chilly, maybe I neglected to cover it properly, but I was fooling myself, in my heart…I knew.

The second rise is overnight, I blindly continued forward: hoping. I didn’t want to have wasted all of my effort.  A despondent inevitability slowly overtook me, but what could I do?  The yeast does not respond, but to start over… Maybe I should just give up on sticky buns for good.

Still, the next afternoon I waited another 2 hours for them to disappoint me again by not rising to the occasion. I had gone to the supermarket to get pecans, and came home with 17 different items having forgotten the pecans. At this point I made myself a wine spritzer, not because I like wine spritzers, more because I had accidentally bought a sweet wine (I got excited by the  idea of a “regionally local” table wine and neglected to notice the sweet/dry key clearly displayed on the side). I don’t like sweet wines, but I tried to make the best of it: with the wine and the few pecans I had in my freezer. I’m just absorbing the blows.
I baked them off. They probably didn’t deserve any more attention, but I was committed.

I took them out of the oven, of course they  smelled good, that’s easy, they even looked okay, but  they had the consistency of rugelach, certainly not what I was going for. The disappointment complete, should I try again? Do I have the will? I hate to disappoint my daughter.

It starts out promising, but I will withhold any faith. And yet, I still love only them.
It will prove itself or not.

 

 

Oh baby  you…got what I need:

Here they are. Finally – loving me back. Out of focus because my daughter literally pushed me out of the way to get to them.