Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chariots of Fire

This being the Saturday of the fifteenth week in ordinary time in the Church's liturgy, the first reading for the day was about the prophet Elijah's being taken up into heaven. The assumption of Elijah is in fact the title given to the event, thus making the hoary old nemesis of Ahab and Jezebel the precursor of the Assumption of the Virgin. That feast, of course, we will be celebrating in a month, a week before the big family clambake in the Royal Hotel and elsewhere, and the date by which both my recent batches of beer will be in utterly prime condition. And as if that weren't enough jollification, precisely half-an-hour from now - it is 6:30 a.m. as I write - three of the older grandchildren will be, like Santa's elves, running about our basement and kitchen following my directions as they begin their apprenticeship in Grandpa's brauhaus with current batch #3.
Phew! Finally I get to my own answer for Marianne's cousin, Massachusetts Jack Tremblay, who from a recent reading of the blog seemed to think I thought there was no beer in heaven! Good Lord! Does he not know what Saint Benedict's initial band of followers did to their own revered founder when he suggested there was to be no wine at Monte Cassino? "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" also runs the other way, in the best circles.Yes, there is most certainly beer in heaven, and even though my brew is always praised to the skies, we all know it's nothing on the stuff we'll get to drink up there. With, bless us one and all, no closing time. Rest assured: all the best theologians understand the term inebriation as a positive thing.
But I digress. Film is the big item for the moment. Film and the music system, and a new generation.
And I think this must be hard news, as the journalists say, and not just optimistic speculation, because the Muse last night yarded me right out of all artistic and natural science situations and plunked me down where I am most content, because most secure, in the the literature of John of the Cross. Honey, I'm home. Folded in the arms of passive prayer, of the dark night, the soul is incapable of mistakes and the only stress comes from keeping the will facing into the headwind, which, when you know what's good for you, would be no stress at all if it weren't for the devil, who is so often trying to knock you off the puck, as we say in Canada.
There is a natural element or two in all this relaxation, which is often the case. Not only am I, finally, at rest in the eight modes, and therefore know the boundaries and the general divisions of the real foundations of music, but in some relatively new arrivals in Nelson I have the ears to hear about, and help me do something with, the most efficient processes for sharing this information.
And, just as it used to be in the glory days of Nelson theatre, there is something to advertise.
In other words, I have run into a real film maker, internationally known, who lives in dear old Nelson. His movie, Camille, has done well at the Seattle film festival and is also much appreciated in Russia. As I said to Greg Mackenzie, at our recent and first meeting in Nelson's Oso Negro coffee shop extraordinaire, Russia owes me a bundle, and it seems it has started to pay off.
Russia is watching his film, Greg has an open ear on my music theories, and I was also able to say to Greg and his wife well placed in the midst of Nelson's run for the brass ring, that I have an African ear on the wisdom of my music research.
My my my my my. Just imagine the power of the film industry yoked to the power of Africa.
Remember Paul Simon's magnificent album: Graceland? I finished out Contemplatives to that disc, descending to my then basement studio as the music roared out on the kitchen speakers, as MT settled into the preparation of supper. Ladysmith Black Mombasso was such an integral part of the process, and wasn't little old Paul clever to include them? It reminds me of an expression I had for Nelson from the beginning in this very white town. Not enough blacks, not enough Jews.
Well, in recent years we've acquired quite a nice complement of the children of Abraham, who all take their part in most of the facets of civic responsibilities, not infrequently with outstanding success. But the black faction has been minimal until recent weeks, at which point it has come with that kind of impact that can be provided only by the Catholic Church as founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ in His unique function as Son of God and Redeemer of the world. Jesus is such a gentle fellow, slow to wrath and condemnation, but from time to time He really does kick butt.
The grand news of Pope Benedict appointing a Capuchin as bishop to the diocese of Nelson was only days in the works before I asked a long-established member of the diocesan clergy if our new bishop would be able to bring some of his fellow reformed Franciscans to our part of the world.
"Oh, no," said this cleric, with all the assurance of the complacency that has dominated this diocese for so long.
I knew immediately he had missed the boat, although it has taken a while to prove me right. It was only in the month now ending that we have had the benefit of a Capuchin from the Congo, not only a profoundly substantial priest in his own right, but a sign of better things to come. He's a doctoral student at San Lorenzo in Rome, out of class for the long summer and thus available to fill in over here for the local priests' well-earned vacations. We have him for the month of July, and not only do we go to daily mass, but he is available for supper once a week, and has taken a lesson in the music system, with another to come before he moves on to his next temporary post.
Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Capuchin. Aha, now will be a good time for a test of good coffee and fine ale!