jeudi, mai 07, 2009

Public and private

I was a little flip with the DQ's drama teacher. I had once had aspirations to going on the wicked stage as an adolescent, I said to her. But I became a minister and journalist instead.

"It's all about performance" I said smugly. Of course, acting isn't "all about performance" any more than journalism is -- and ordination is supposed to be a calling, isn't it? I think we all have a calling -- or maybe that they change as we transition from one place in our pilgrimage to another. Putting clergy in that artifically high place only means that when we/they fall, we/they fall from a higher place. And sometimes a call has nothing to do with work -- it might be a vocation to being a parent, or a niece, or one who serves.

But sometimes it IS all about performance, Fr. Cutie in Florida being a case in point. As with many clergy who end up compromised, his public persona was one thing -- and his private behavior another. It's probably no accident he got caught. Rare the man or woman who can juggle two personalities for a long time without the stress becoming too much.

mardi, mai 05, 2009

Bus stop

I didn't intend to be at the bus stop at all this morning. I had told Mr. C that if I was still showering, he should walk up himself. I don't think he heard me say that his lunch was in front of the door. He actually had to walk over it to get out.

When I realized he had not taken his cheese and grapes, I dashed out in my car, with roughly 3 minutes to spare. Watching him run for the bus with the other local kids, I had a moment of envy -- for their gossip, their homework assignments, their boundaried concerns.

So much is still possible for a ten year old or a 13 year old. Decades older, we know how much we can't control. But I didn't ponder myself into a blue funk. I turned around the car in the street and went home -- to find that somehow one of our cats had seemingly pushed the lock on our screen door -- and now smugly slept on my son's bed or the couch, while I pulled and poked and finally snuck in through the back door. Fooled him, I thought -- sometimes I can still beat the cats at their own game. But not all the time. Particularly when I don't know how to play.

dimanche, mai 03, 2009

Scrambled eggs?

When I told my ex that I thought I came from a pretty eccentric family, he laughed. That's a revelation?, he asked.

Actually, it's not. But sometimes the facts stare me in the face.

Take my aunt. Aunt Marilyn moved to Los Angeles about three years ago to be near her kids. She'd lived in Brooklyn all of her life, so leaving her old house, relatives and friends was very brave. But she didn't seem scared. She's got a sense of adventure that makes her very flexible -- and a penchant, like my mother, for attracting peculiar situations.

And she's adjusted very well. A former high school drama teacher, she still recruits people for amateur productions -- in Brooklyn, she held them in her living room or a local church. Somehow she's run into a traveling veterinarian who is a friend of a famous dog trainer and "whisperer", Cesar Millan. Apparently this veterinarian has gotten Cesar interested in filming Aunt Marilyn and her aged mutt, who has recently broken a leg. "I'm going to be the wicked owner" she tells me, unsure of whether she wants this kind of fame at 81.

But that doesn't explain the chickens. You see, my aunt's dog broke his leg chasing a chicken. Now, one wouldn't expect to see chickens who live and reproduce right off Ventura Boulevard. In fact, no one knows how they get there. And Marilyn's not pleased when the folks who stop and want to pose with the poultry talk about "her chickens." But she knows she can't get Animal Control to come get them -- some of her neighbors would be distressed.

I don't wonder how they got there. Anyone who knows my aunt, or knew my mom, wouldn't wonder, either.