In the church sanctuary. Some adults wear shorts, t-shirts, running shoes or flip-flops to worship. Others bring in coffee and food for a Sunday School class held there. Still others chew gum during service. A member of the youth group, entering as part of a group to be recognized and blessed for an upcoming mission trip, brings Bojangles take-out, food in a paper bag and a drink with the straw already inserted. Youth in the balcony chat among themselves and play with electronic devices during the service. At Easter service, during communion, children, hyper-active on Eastern Bunny candy, ran noisily in the aisles and around the altar. I enter to worship in formal dress and decorum from another time.
“The Lone Ranger.” It’s a fun movie. There are the predictable ambushes, attacks, train robbery, saloon with prostitutes, righteous townspeople and church groups, rangers with badges, spectacular Western scenery, violence, good guys versus bad guys. The bad guys, though, are not bandits, desperados, or Indians; they are those who love money and power and exploit other people to get them. It’s an idea that goes along well with my reading The Grapes of Wrath. The last action scene, with the William Tell Overture in the background, is one of the best.
Nonfiction, 27 View of Hillsborough, Eno Press, 2010. I was moved by Hal Crowther’s “The Cedars of Lebanon,” expressing sorrow for the loss of trees. I learned about the town’s evolution in Bob Burtman’s “Identity Crisis” and Tom Magunson’s “The Name Game.” I was impressed by the writing style and structure of John Valentine’s “Going Up the Country.” Several of the essays emphasized the writers themselves, the town being merely a backdrop. A friend of mine told me about a famous writer’s eulogy at a memorial service. Instead of celebrating the life of the deceased, she talked about herself, the grief he had recently experienced at the deaths of several friends. Some of that approach is evident here. Perhaps that is why I don’t like Hillsborough. With its plethora of historic markers and historic architecture, it declares itself important. It is a place that is about itself.
At the Health Care Facility. The Alzheimer’s victim, the roommate of a friend, caught my eye. His look was animated, interested. I said, “Hi,” and raised my hand in salute. He did not respond except to keep his animated stare. When I moved, he continued to stare with the same expression. When I stood in front of the television set in front of his bed, I turned my back to him, and when I turned back, I saw that he had continued to focus on me. When I left the room for a walk and returned, before he saw me, his head was dropped, his eyes dulled. When he saw me, his countenance once again became animated, registering, I felt, amazement. The week before he was not responsive to either me or his daughter. Who, or what, did he perceive me to be?
A Walk on the Night of the Buck Moon. About eight o’clock in the evening, the air is drier than during the day and the temperature cooler, in the low 80’s. There was a good breeze from the south. I wonder why there are not more people outside. After ten minutes, I encounter a man mowing. On the next block a young couple is sitting in the yard, under dogwood trees, talking quietly. Down the street a man is mowing with a riding mower. I meet two joggers, young men, both covered with sweat, neither responding to my greeting. There are several cars parked downtown, but there is only a single man at a biker bar, outside on the sidewalk for a smoke. “Hey, there,” he says in response to my greeting. Three men at the country and western bar are on the outside on the patio, talking about their days. As I turn down the street to go to my neighborhood, I notice no children are outside playing. At home, I notice the full moon in the eastern sky, casting light over the quiet town.
Thank you for reading. I welcome comments. I hope your week will be good.