Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This sunny Sabbath day tied a 75-year-old record for the most consecutive 90-degree days in any August here in Louisville as the heat wave shimmers on. I finished the first draft of my Camelot Journal entry for the Mackinac Island gathering days and then wrote the entry for yesterday before coming downstairs to awaken Mick and work on the Sunday puzzles.

It was good to be back at St. Luke’s after a Sunday away. The choir sweltered through singing John Rutter’s “Jesu My Joy”, a pretty, contemporary rendering of 15th-century words. We prayed for Jamaica, an island which seems to be in danger of being totally destroyed by the storm bearing directly towards it.

Truly, the weather is wicked right now, in so many places around the world. It feels to me as though nature were playing out the intense and hostile feelings of so many of its nation-states who are making wars small and large around the globe. I pray we may gentle our hearts. Then, mayhap the weather, too, will abate its fury.

Mick had cleaned the house and done errands when I got home from church and we sat down together for a good lunch and the first of our films for the day, SherryBaby. Although Maggie Gyllenhaal performed exquisitely, creating a central character that rang quite true, the film suffered fatally from that character’s lack of intelligence or depth.

Sherry is a user who just got out of prison for thievery, to which she resorted to support her habit. In her world, she must pay for everything by means of offering sexual favors. It seems even her Dad has casually and routinely molested her. She never climbs out of the morass of her habit. Danny Trejo was also excellent in his portrayal of a fellow former user who has successfully gone straight, but who enables Sherry in a kind of bewildered attempt to help her. I was glad when the film ended.

Our second feature, a kinky mystery titled Premonition, was a far better film, although it, too, had lacks. Or perhaps it was Jim and I who were lacking. We never quite caught up with the intricacies of the plot, any more than did the heroine, played with style by Sandra Bullock. No one would ever leave the theater whistling after seeing this film, but its ending, though confusing, was one which bespoke hope. The ensemble was uniformly excellent, the characterizations seamless and the production values soared.

Mick and I took some time before viewing the last film we'd rented, Mick practicing for his pole vaulting and I indulging in a luxurious round of solitaire, a game I love and cannot play often in normal working days, as it eats up the time which I need for writing. Mick suffered a strain in one ankle while practicing his run-up, which may have ended his chances of competing at the Senior Games trials in Ashland next month. I am crossing my fingers and hoping he recovers.

We sat down to our third and last film,The Stone Merchant,in late afternoon. This was a film that grabbed me around the neck and never let go. I intensely disliked the plot line, as it seemed to me to be straight propaganda from Home Security, wailing about the dangers of Arab terrorism. In a world scene where the terrorism of our side is massive and ongoing, I found its shrill “Danger Will Robinson” tone ridiculous and its aspersions against Muslims misleading and wrong-headed.

That said, aside from twitchy cinematography, the film was a blockbuster. F. Murray Abraham and Harvey Keitel headed a cast of otherwise unknown but quite excellent actors in this tense adventure story about love and espionage. I especially liked the yoking of Keitel with Jane March and Jordi Molta in a doomed love triangle. It was by far the most effective film of our movie-glut day.

We offered the Gaia Meditation, had supper and happily ended the day snuggling with the cats. A simple day it was – church, Jim watering and watering our poor, arid acre, good food, good company and lots of movies. It was a terrific day off.