Wednesday, April 06, 2005
1) Saul Bellow died yesterday. I'm very sad about this. I've only read Henderson the Rain King and The Victim, but I pulled Humboldt's Gift off the shelf last night and will read it next. Our great Chicago icons trickle away one by one and it's not clear that there are any others waiting in the wings to fill their shoes. The era of powerful and affectionate voices speaking for a city is drawing to a close.
2) Pope John Paul II passed away this week. No particular feelings about this one way or another, other than the general sadness of a nice person dying. Global pomp and circumstance is interesting to watch, however. I want to know more about the behind-the-scenes logistics of these historic moments being carried out in modern times. For instance: Where do the cardinals get their red mourning robes? Is there a catalog? And, are the ballots for the new pope, and the printed program for the ceremonies, run off on laser printers? I like to think of a cloister full of monks diligently sewing and penning these items of sacred meaning, but somehow I don't think that's the case. Do monks use computers? I remember when my mom worked for a Lutheran church, I paged through a catalog of supplies and was amused by the selection of communion wafers, and the sales pitch that went with each one. A peek into the supply room of a church takes away from the mystique, doesn't it?
3) I had a dream the other night that really disturbed me. The beginning is vague but had something to do with the neighbors across the street, the 20-somethings in the grey house, tormenting me in horrible ways whenever I went outdoors. They were making my life miserable, and finally one told me why: that they (and the whole neighborhood) had grown tired of my rudeness in not speaking or smiling or waving when I see them. They were teaching me a lesson about community. So finally, I was in my house, and I peeked out the window and could see them standing on their porch watching me, and all the other neighbors watching out their windows or from their front yards. I slowly opened the door, feeling all those eyes on me, and headed down the steps. I stopped, looked at the people, smiled sheepishly and waved, and all the neighbors burst out in applause. The guy who had talked to me gave me a "See, that wasn't so hard, was it?" look, and all was forgiven.
All because I am a bit disturbed by my next door neighbor and don't want to talk to him? Dunno. But I suppose it wouldn't kill me to say hi when I see him.