Monday, March 08, 2010

Amusing Myself


That's the way the Pugs look when you ask them questions. Dearest one was asking them if they'd had supper. It's a wonder they didn't look at each other and ask, "Have we?" even though it was before noon.

On a totally different note, I've been busy the last few weekends being with a group of women readying ourselves for a retreat at the end of the month. Sharing my story this time around has left me feeling exhausted and vulnerable. I've long believed that the worst of our lives gets redeemed when we share the reality of it with others. That has motivated me to be as honest as possible when I give one of these talks. As I wrote my story I kept in my line of sight this quote attributed to Ernest Hemingway

"All you have to do is write one true sentence.
Write the truest sentence you know."

I don't know how well I did that because one of my friends came up to me on Saturday to talk to me about my story. From what she said she had me on a bit of a spiritual pedestal. That does not enthuse me at all. True, through some really shitty life circumstances, especially this past year, I have learned to hide myself in the shelter of God's wings. That does not negate my humanity though so I looked at her and said,

"Well, there are days when I say to God, You have got to be fucking kidding me."

She laughed and said, "I gave up that word for Lent. My husband told me yesterday that I wasn't doing so well." I told her I had been so tempted to have that line in my talk but we agreed that it probably would have got critiqued out of it had I done so. And then her face relaxed, and we had the most wonderful conversation about life and God and persevering on our faith journeys.

Later, I thought of this litany of my friend's Lenten word fast (plus some) from the movie In Bruges. If really crude swear words (you mean some aren't crude)offend you, please don't watch it. There's some in that first link that I never use but the movie itself, I love it.

Between that and the Pugs, some days it takes so little to amuse me.

11 comments:

Cat said...

The pugs are adorable! the look on their faces is so perfect!

Love the wuote from Hemingway, I am going to borrow it and stick it on my monitor.

As for In Bruges, Loved it!

Garnet said...

Thanks for brightening my day! I love those pugly faces. Adorable!

Mary LA said...

Oh that pug expression!

And I'm with you on persevering on our faith journeys.

Jim said...

We've got a Shih Tzu and I often wondered how much he really grasped with what we say to him. He will come to us and whimper, or maybe bark, and if we then respond by asking "Do you want to go out?", he goes into this antsy dance like either his plumbing is about to burst or he is just so tickled because we have connected. One night I experimented and asked "Do you want a banana?" and got the same manifestations....

Pru said...

Thanks Mom! That litany took a load of stress off me for some reason - must be cathartic. :)

Black Pete said...

I always thought that the dog perplexity head-tilt was a movie cliche until one day, our dog saw something she couldn't make head nor tail or, and there it was.

Pugs must not be Labradors, obviously: the mere mention of food does not bring a head-tilt, but an ears-erect full-alert "bring it on!" expression in our dog.

Daisy said...

That movie looks f'in good. Guess I wasn't offended, eh?

Mich

PS. Cute little puglets.

idelette said...

I loved that Hemingway line. Thanks for the reminder. I recently had to give a talk on "Permission Granted." I chose: Permission Granted to be totally honest about where you're at. There's no other way to start out with God, right. I loved your honesty. Thanks for making me LOL.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Love that movie, and the pic is absolutely great...I will ask my pugs questions, they look back and forth and back and forth...

thanks for the smile...

Steve F. said...

I love this: both the pugs, and what you say to God. I have those days all the time....

This Sunday, I'm speaking on the perceived difference between "spiritual" and "religious." My clearest memory is when a guy was caught off-guard at a 2nd-step meeting, didn't know quite what to say, and so said the first thing that came up: "I don't know much, but I DO know that without God, I'm fucked."

At the AA meeting, the reaction was pretty much, "Well...sure...no kidding." Some people laughed and a bunch more smiled, hearing such a simple truth put in such a blunt way. Such is the way of the Spirit, I think, that we recognize truth wherever it lands. That was Thursday night.

However, when I went to my Friday morning 6:30 AM men's-bible-study with guys from several churches, and shared the same story, the reaction was a wee bit different... the person next to me said, "STEEEEVE...come on now, clean it up, buddy..."

I dared him to tell me that what my Thursday-night friend said wasn't true. It sounded vaguely Old Testament, to me. "Yeah, but come ON..."

I suggested that the person spoke his truth in the only way he knew. There are, I said, a lot of folks who didn't grow up in the church - and even more who have been actively shunned by it. They use the language they have to express spiritual truths.

He said, "I dunno...you and your 'friends' [he never could mention AA out loud...] are the only people I know who could use the word 'God' and the F-word in the same sentence and find it even remotely acceptable..."

So I'm thinking that "spirituality" is where a person can say "Without God, I'm fucked" and people say, "Well, sure..." and religion is where the same person saying the same line has their mouth washed out, and the message gets missed entirely.

And the clip from "In Bruges" was classic. I've had days that sounded exactly like that clip, too. (Except for the word "Bruges." I've never used THAT word in conversation in my life.)

Steve F. said...

By the way, the expression on the pugs' faces is exactly Eddie Izzard's expression when he says, "Quoi?" ("What?" in French). Or the part when he has the squirrel thinking, "Did I leave the gas on?...." It's classic.