Saturday, February 27, 2010


Watching "The Wire" At least it has been for Chuck and I.

A couple of weeks ago I suggested to him that we try watching this. It was a series that ran on HBO for 5 seasons which we can rent through Blockbuster. I had always heard that it was the best TV show ever.

The truth of our lives - for Chuck and I - is that we actually don't do enough together. Frequently in the evening, he will watch sports on one TV and I will watch junk on another. I am sure that is true of many couples. Anyway, I thought this would be good for us to do together.

And it has been. We started and we got hooked. Now - every season is 12 to 13 episodes and we are not in the 5th season after a couple of weeks. That will tell you something.

It is about the city of Baltimore and covers lots of ground. There are multiple plots and characters and it takes you from the drug culture, to the police, to the dock workers, to the mayor's office, to the schools and to the newspaper. Eventually. I am very curious how it is all going to wrap up - we have 2 episodes to watch today.

It is showing all the ways in which our country is broken as the schools, the police, the government are all affected by people caring more about personal power and money. I can hardly describe it in words - you have to see it. The characters in this are memorable and I would love to show clips of it in a sermon but the profanity is throughout and....oh well.

I find myself thinking about all of it....and am happy to recommend it to anyone.
But it is addictive - hard to stop watching -

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Presidents Day

Monday was my day off, Presidents day and a snow day. We got a lot of snow here in Columbus and as the day started I stopped by blockbuster and got movies to watch.

Chuck is still in Phoenix so I am on my own. Which is in some ways kind of nice. A day to myself. Too bad I also have to do the shoveling, but....

I watched 2 movies which are up for best movie of the year for the oscars - "A Serious Man" and "The Hurt Locker." They were both excellent and thought provoking movies. And with both of them I was happy to have rented so that I could watch the directors and actors commentaries afterward. I am still ruminating about them both.

What I realize this morning is that they were both about finding meaning in your life. In "A Serious Man" physics professor Larry Gopnich had his life fall apart - or maybe his illusions about his life stripped away. He went to the rabbis to help him in his confusion and they were no help to him. This is a Coen brothers movie so it is funny and quirky and has a lot of sub text. But as I reflected on the movies this morning I just thought about the essential mystery of all of our lives that we want to avoid through lives of "normalcy" or explain in some coherent way. And our lives are so complicated.

I have found meaning in my own life through my experience of God and through my faith which is both tied to the ancient stories and very personally tied to my own story. And the more I "know" both stories - the more able I am to live in the mystery of it all. And in Larry's case - he didn't even know his own story - let alone the stories of faith. Clearly I am still processing this.

"The Hurt Locker" was a war movie about an elite squad of soldiers who disarm bombs. This war in Iraq is notable for the roadside bombs and these men are so valuable. As I started to watch this movie, I thought about the war movies that have been so meaningful to me over the years - The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan. With all of them, at some point I want to stop watching - it is so hard to see what war does to people. It hurts my soul.

At the same time, we need to see these movies to understand what it means to put people in harm's way. What also struck me was how perilous life was at times in the movie and then what could they do with the emotions that came out of it? Life could change in a moment and they were sometimes responsible for that moment. How to live through it and to not be damaged forever by the experience. What a movie.

We all have experienced times in our lives when everything changes in a moment. We just don't realize it - like when someone is diagnosed with cancer or has a car accident or a loved one dies. Everything changes in a moment. And then you have to keep going. And make sense of it.

So, it is not for nothing that I call this blog Margot Ruminates. This is what I ruminate about. And am grateful to have a sense of something more behind what is going on in the present. It is mystery, of course - but it is also a loving presence. And I am talking about my experience of God who gives us comfort, strength and hope as we walk through some difficult times.

Life is hard - and very confusing at times - but God is good.
That much I know.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Not me - Chuck

I am home after dropping him at the airport this morning. He is going to Phoenix where he is going to be the nurse/companion/cook/handyman for Ken Felt for 10 days.
Ken is having eye surgery tomorrow and Chuck is going to help out with everything.
What a guy - and what a blessing it is. For them and for Chuck

Chuck has learned that his greatest joy is helping other people and that is what he does best. In his own inimitable style.

This year for the most part it is Chuck who is picking our granddaughter Addie up at the babysitter and taking her to kindergarten every day.

It is Chuck who is on call at church for all kinds of things - fixing toilets and cleaning carpets and of course shoveling the walks.

It is Chuck who has gone to many elementary schools to be the "cookie man" surprsing the classroom with homemade cookies and this crazy man who is delivering them.

It is Chuck goes to the doctor's office and brings cookies or to a golf course and brings home made cupcakes for the staffs who work there.

It is Chuck who will give children and grandchildren milk shakes and footmassages and home made french fries and onion rings on demand.

It is Chuck who is always bringing home surprises for me - food and dishes and all kinds of things trying to make me happy.

And he does. Life is never boring when you live with this man. So I pray for the Ken in the next few days of surgery and I know that he will be taken care of by Chuck.

And my life will probably be a little dull for a while.