Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

beautiful moments

I did not post anything here last week, despite all my good intentions, because it was one of those times in the semester when everything piled up and it was all I could do to get my readings done, my assignments completed, my funding application sent in, a tutorial planned, host several social events in our home (Dean kept inviting people over!!!), put together a talk for our Sunday gathering, and get some sleep.  In the midst of all the craziness, there were several beautiful moments.  Let me share a few of them here.

1. I was on the metro one day and it was standing room only.  I was a bit annoyed not to get a seat because I like to sit and read, especially in the seats at the end of the car.  I was just getting over my wee bitterness when an elderly Chinese man hobbled onto the car.  A young guy immediately got out of his seat and offered it to the man, however, the old man kept peering out the subway car doors which were still open, not paying any attention to the empty seat.  T…

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Thus begins the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  And thus began my week.  This is the time of year when many major funding applications are due for academic pursuits.  This is my third try for a federal award and the second time for a provincial one.  Last year I missed one of them by only two rankings (that means if two of the people had dropped out of the competition and gone to Morocco instead of pursuing their degrees, I would have received an award).  So, I have been writing and re-writing and editing my program of study to make it more appealing to those who dish out the money.  In essence, it has to be exciting, cutting-edge, unique, essential for life on the planet to continue, sexy, and of interest to everyone everywhere.  And it goes without saying that it has to be understandable and compelling, because the people who write the cheques are not theologians.  In other words, I am trying to write The Hunger Games of proposals.

This week, I had a meeting with so…

the stories we are part of...

I have been writing a play for the past month.  It is part of my studies that are focused on how we tell our stories.  You'd think that writing a play would be pretty simple.  Come up with two interesting characters.  Put them in a dramatic situation.  Slap down a few pages of dialogue as they work it out.  Reveal a few things about their past that makes the audience go "Ohhhhhhhh" and wrap it up nicely with the protagonist having an epiphany.  Pretty standard stuff.  Not so fast.

Characters are living things.  Even fictional ones.  And they resist one's attempts to box them in or predict where they will go.  The main character in my play is an older priest.  I am taking a bit of license with the role, but in general he is a faithful, well-respected, and honest man.  Or so I thought.  Before I had finished the first page he was exhibiting a tendency towards profanity, a lack of self-control, undercurrents of violence, and some obsessive compulsive behaviour.  Huh?  …