Last Thursday, I heard over the radio the story about two pygmy whales (a female and her calf) who had beached in New Zealand. A sandbar had confused them, and people worked for 1 1/2 hours to save them but they kept swimming back to shore. Just when they were about to give up, a bottlenosed dolphin appeared, communicated with the whales, and led them to the open sea. The dolphin is called Moko and is known to play with swimmers.
I thought this was a heart warming story.
That is until I heard the story about the toddler who was hit by a van. The toddler was with her mom and another brother. The mom was doing the laundry. Apparently the toddler tripped, then ran, and was swiped by a van.
That story sent me into a mild depression. I felt sorry for the child, for the mother, for the man who had accidentally killed her.
Feeling sober, I read (or tried to read) The New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. I enjoyed his Seven Storey Mountain, but I've been struggling with this one. I found a Thomas Merton site where people talked about what made them read Thomas Merton, and most entries lauded Merton, except for one that went on about Merton abandoning a woman and his out-of-wedlock child, and how he later had a liason with a young nurse. To those who don't know Merton was a Trappist monk and one of the great Christian thinkers.
I'd heard about the woman and child; this is mentioned in the Introduction of the Seven Storey Mountain. The business of the nurse is mentioned briefly in another Merton-related book. When I first learned about this second liason, I did feel disappointed but I do realize he was just a flawed man after all, one of God's broken vessels. Well ... like the rest of us.
Still in a somber mood, I rented Black Orpheus, the 1959 Brazilian film based on the Orpheus-Eurydice myth. I also have Into Great Silence, Philip Groning's documentary about the Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps. The latter is the perfect Holy Week movie - serene, quiet, spiritual, contemplative.
I found these movies, as I found The Last Wave, at Vidiot on Pico Blvd, Santa Monica. I forgot to report on The Last Wave - I enjoyed it more than the first time I had seen it. There were certain aspects of the film which I had missed the first time. For instance, the matter of the mask. I understood that the implication was that people who looked like the Richard Chamberlain character had been in Australia long ago, but that their kind had vanished. The prediction of the wall painting was that the second wave would happen, wiping out the second wave of white people.
And meantime, I've colored 60 eggs - yellow and red only, because those are the only food dyes I have.
P.S. I found several articles about dolphins including Petitions to Stop Their Slaughter - read below:
Dolphin Saves Man from Shark Attack
Dolphins Save Swimmer from Shark
Dolphin Saves Boy's Life
Dolphin Saves Stranded Whales
YouTube - The Superhero Dophin Who Helps Save Lives
Stop the Dolphin and Whale Killings in Taiji
End Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
HOLY WEEK UPDATE: MEDIA, MOVIES, etc.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of 9 books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, and Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose. She edited four books, co-edited six books, and co-authored a novel, Angelica's Daughters. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Cecilia has received many awards, including a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants from the USIS. She has lectured and performed at UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.