Peaceful Sunday

Placido Domingo.  Quiet, tranquil Sunday.  Ah, me.

Last night, we saw our first Lyric Opera of Chicago performance of the season: Simon Boccanegra by Verdi.  An appropriate story for an election month, dramatic and political.  Two opera megastars were featured in the leading roles: Thomas Hampson and Ferruccio Furlanetto.  The story and the music are captivating.  (This performance was rather a disappointment, stiff and unimaginative.  I much prefer the La Scala production starring Placido Domingo in the title role, even if his voice is not as resonant as a baritone.) The point is that Simon Boccanegra is a man who spends his life and loses his life in the pursuit of peace.  The Italian political scene is characterized by vendetta, family feuds, curses, treason, and rebellion and peopled with villains.  The story shows, though, that everyone is a villain.  We all harm each other in one way or another.  Forgiveness and reconciliation is the only way to make a difference.  How many people must the Doge pardon by the end of Act III in order to die peacefully in his daughter’s arms?

                                                                                       

This morning, I logged on to the internet and began a conversation with my blogger friend, Helen, of 1500 Saturdays.  Her post was about brutal killings in Nigeria, titled “How did humanity get so lost?”.  How do we respond to suffering, to the villainy that surrounds each of us?  Which stories do we listen to; which do we tell?  How do we make a peaceful Sunday in our world?  Please click here to read her post, the links, the comments and spend some time considering your own response.  “May all beings be happy; may all beings be free from suffering.”

 

 

Another Sunday Stroll

Sunday morning, a sunny Spring day.  Oatmeal with honey and dried cranberries, orange juice, chai teaGrab my camera and take a walk.  Come along!  We got some rain the past two days.  Now the colors are so bright!

Steve and I got into another “relationship talk”.  The sun was shadowed by a passing cloud, and I saw this lone female duck, head tucked under her wing, standing on one leg.  At that moment, my soul was hiding and this seemed like the perfect illustration.

We passed a church where families with well-dressed children crossed from their cars into the open doors.  I remember getting myself and four children up and dressed tidily and bundled off to choir and Sunday school week after week.  I miss the expectation of meeting people, the habit of seeing and being seen.  I don’t miss the bickering between the kids, the passive teenaged resistance.  I do miss the bagels and lox and chocolate croissants.  I definitely miss the singing. 

Junctions.  Life paths, habits, structures, changing, evolving, maintained and unkempt. 

Useful and interesting, I suppose, but I really want to be graceful, too.

I suppose my biggest fear is that I am neither useful nor graceful.

There’s another way to think of myself, though.  Instead of the Western idea of being an artifact, something made by a Maker, I could adopt the Eastern way and imagine myself as something grown and growing.

Thinking, pondering, musing on my self, my vision, my viewpoint, my place in the vast universe.  Steve grabs the camera from me and shows me his vision.  It’s different from mine.  I think it’s kind of Zen, kind of quirky.  Very Steve.

I’m back home, sharing my thoughts with a congregation of bloggers.  Did anyone bring bagels?