so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who
repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
We do not need to live lives stained with our own regrets. Nor do
we need to paper over our faults and errors, desperately trying to
convince ourselves and others that we don't have them. But there isn't
a single action that must remain unexamined for fear that it is
unforgivable. Nothing is unforgivable.
Our actions do have consequences, but the love of God will support us in the amends we must make.
We will be forgiven. Our question is not Will God forgive me? It is, rather, Will I humbly accept the grace God offers me to help me change this very moment?
As I wrote recently, Lucas Mix, a priest in our diocese here in Washington, is the speaker at my church's Lenten series on the subject of Science and Faith. He also has a book out - Life in Space Astrobiology for Everyone. He will be doing a book signing here in Seattle on April 8th.
Elliott Bay Book Company
7:30pm Wednesday 8 April
Lucas will read for a few minutes then take a few questions before signing away. If you haven't bought a copy, this would be a great opportunity. If you have a copy already you can get it signed.
Given a couple of days to reflect on the ballet, I figured I should offer my thoughts.
First, it is definitely a delightful evening, well worth attending this coming weekend if you have the chance. That said, it did fall short of spectacular in a couple of spots.
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue Music: From On Your Toes by Richard Rodgers Choreography: George Balanchine
This was the first piece of the night and, to be honest, probably the best. This is a 30's gangster period piece, lifted from the musical On Your Toes. The set and costumes were gorgeous, and the whole thing was very funny and brilliantly danced. With the gorgeous Carla Körbes as the striptease girl (not quite as racy as it sounds...) what's not to like.
Carousel (A Dance) Music: Richard Rodgers Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
This was probably the low-light of the night. It was OK, but nothing special. I remember a long pas de deux in the middle where nothing much happened. If you like flashy, there is a cool piece towards the end where six groups of dancers create a semblance of a whirling carousel ride to the signature tune of the musical. Very nice, but over all too soon.
TAKE FIVE … More or Less Music: Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond Choreography: Susan Stroman
A very well done piece - funny and inventive - but not at all Broadway. I saw this as part of the Encore performance at the end of last season, so it was pretty fresh in memory. The music is all fabulous, but the highlight for me was Blue Rondo a la Turk rather than Take Five. I'll freely admit that it's because it brings back memories of listening to Keith Emerson playing it when he was with The Nice and ELP. The choreography is quite brilliant, so even though this didn't fit the Broadway theme it was at least a lovely bonus (and managed to make me forget Carousel as we went into the second intermission.)
West Side Story Suite Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Choreography: Jerome Robbins
This was for many the highlight of the evening. I liked it, but as I'm not a huge West Side Story fan it didn't grab me the way it did others. For me it was hard not to compare it with Slaughter On 10th Avenue, and when I did, this always came up short. Good, very good even, but not quite as transcendent as I had hoped.
Still, it was yet another lovely night out, and I have Swan Lake to look forward to in four weeks. Yum.
It's been a busy week, what with returning to work full time last week. Very tiring too. And I got to lead youth group last week for the first time in six months or so. Then we've just had the third icy cold blast with snow and slush of the winter. At least I got to miss the first one when I was in England last year.
Meanwhile, the knee is doing fabulously. A bit stiff and sore now and then, especially after exercise, but I have full range of motion and will soon be cleared to start working my hamstring (which has been supposed to rest for a month as it was the donor site for the replacement ligament.)
I get to see my surgeon for the one month follow up tomorrow, so we'll see if he's as happy as my physical therapist (and me...)
My church always has a Lenten lecture series and this year is no different. What is different is that we will have the dynamic Rev. Lucas Mix speaking on the subject of Science and Faith. The series starts this Thursday at 7 pm (soup supper at 6 pm if that takes your fancy) and runs for four straight Thursdays.
Lucas has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from Harvard and is also an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, currently serving right here in the Diocese of Olympia. Courtesy of Tim Mathis, I discovered that Lucas has a book out called "Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone". A couple of snips from the review:
Astrobiology is the study of life on other planets. Since, as Mix says of life, "we have only one sample available," astrobiology has to outline itself along the edges of biology, ecology, chemistry, astronomy, planetology and physics.
Astrobiology thus remains the study of a set with no known members — but tantalizing still. Writes Mix, "The greatest motivation to find life elsewhere comes from a hope that such life would provide perspective. It would help us step outside of ourselves and discover something fundamental about how we see the world."
That is the philosopher talking. And also the scientist. "Life in Space" is a book where they meet.
There will certainly be some fascinating and different material to think about. It's also perhaps a last chance to hear Lucas speak in this area for a while, as he will be moving in April to Tucson, Arizona, where he will be a chaplain at the University of Arizona.
If you're in the greater Seattle area and feel like checking it out, by all means mosey on down to:
Being stuck at home the last three weeks mostly on my own has been a bit of a blessing and a curse. The rest has been nice, and a welcome change of pace from the mad whirl of the last 17 months. Looking back, it doesn't seem like I stopped to draw breath for much of the time since Sue died. Having this much time mostly to myself has also forced a lot more introspection than I'm accustomed to, which can be a bit difficult at times, hence the curse part.
The past week especially, add in the plane crash in Amsterdam and on a more personal level, the fact that I finally took a look at the photos copied from slides that an old college friend sent me this past Christmas from 1977 - particularly shots of Sue and I before we were married, it's been a lot to deal with. Many of the photos are intimately familiar, as we used to have slide shows and reminisce every time we got together for much of the 80s and 90s. Having these reminders permanently on my hard drive has been wonderful, albeit a bit tear-jerking.
Here's a lovely perky one of Sue from the year before we were married:
This one is somewhat unusual, as Sue hated to have her picture taken, and 99% of the time would hide. On this particular occasion she decided to pull the most fake smile she could manage, but it just turned out sort of cute.
My friend was very much into natural light shots, and this next one was sort of the definitive romantic shot of Sue and I from that era:
The warm, out of focus feel to it just made it all the more special, I think. Then there was the classic beach silhouette shot at Blackpool:
The wide flared trousers show up particularly well on Sue, and the handbag...
Meantime, for a picture that reminds me of what it used to be like to be 147 lbs...
The weight loss program is going pretty well, but I'm not quite half way to getting back to that weight...
One last shot, from a mystery train trip that ended up in Bognor Regis - a scene of relatively domestic tranquility - Sue and I reading and chatting on the train:
The crash of a Turkish Airlines 737 in Amsterdam this week hit home hard here in Seattle, as four of the passengers were Boeing employees traveling back to this area from Turkey on company business. Three of the four were among the nine killed in the crash and the fourth is in critical condition. It appears that the fatalities were all people in the front of the airplane - flight crew and business class passengers. I didn't know any of the employees on the trip, but one of my best friends does. My prayers go out to all the families who have suffered this sudden, tragic loss.