Monday, March 17, 2008

Time and Transitions - the Rev Gal Friday Five Really Really Late

To help you adjust--and enjoy the process--here's a Friday Five about time and transitions....
  1. If you could travel to any historical time period, which would it be, and why?
    Victorian. I’m fascinated by the Victorians. The popular image is of a very repressive era, but it was a very exciting and interesting time for artists, writers, and women. The suffragists were getting started, and more women were finding their voices. Industry and science were making huge strides (not without some bad consequences, of course). This was the last grand overflow of optimism before World War I. I would like to meet Dickens, Trollope, George Eliot, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Impressionists. As you can see, my interests are primarily for the arts and writing of the time. I find it difficult to imagine wearing corsets and multiple undergarments, or having to watch children eking out a “living” as street sweepers and chimney sweeps, or dealing with high infant mortality, or the dangers for women in childbirth.
  2. What futuristic/science fiction development would you most like to see?
    Hmm. From a practical standpoint, I would like to see a cure for cancer. It’s odd, because I’m not sure the future I would like to see has that much to do with technology, which I always associate with science fiction. I would like a less frantic pace of life, neighborhoods where children can roam outdoors and play, more green spaces, an educational system that doesn’t focus on test scores, evangelism without intolerance masked as “standing firm on the Scriptures,” universal health care, enough food for everyone.
  3. Which do you enjoy more: remembering the past, or dreaming for the future?
    Definitely dreaming for the future, unless I’m reminiscing with old friends. That’s fun. But day to day, I am much more future oriented. There’s much about my past that I don’t like. I don’t want to forget it, exactly, but I don’t want to spend much time wandering around it. The pleasant memories are, well, pleasant, but now I have today, and it’s heading in one direction only.
  4. What do you find most memorable about this year's Lent?
    That I actually thought, “Hey, it’s Lent. Maybe I should do something special.” I have hardly ever given thought to Lent. I grew up in a tradition that ignored anything that smacked of high church or Catholic ritual, so Lent simply didn’t appear on my radar. This year I’ve been reading some scripture with the girls and talking about the days leading up to Easter. I can’t say that I’ve necessarily been more reflective, but I’ve been more intentional.
  5. How will you spend your time during this upcoming Holy Week? What part do you look forward to most?
    I hope to do a prayer walk at my church. That’s something new this year, I think, sort of like Stations of the Cross. I will continue to talk with the girls about the meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection. And, you know what? I’d really like to watch Jesus Christ Superstar again. I have fond memories of seeing it as a child, and although I usually have an aversion to that particular writer and lyricist (why can’t I remember their names?), I love the songs in Jesus Christ Superstar. I watched it last year with the girls. DramaQueen was a bit annoyed—“Why did it stop there when he died? Where’s the part where he wakes up again?” Very perceptive of her, because I didn’t think about it—I automatically fill in that blank.

    And then, on the crass materialistic level, I have Easter basket supplies to buy and Easter baskets to assemble. I don’t know when Easter became a second Christmas in terms of gift giving. During the years I wasn’t watching, I guess. But, I sheepishly admit, despite the fact that fatuous consumerism dimays me, I like Easter baskets. I like roaming the aisles filled with bubbles and activity books, jellybeans, outdoor play equipment, plastic eggs, sidewalk chalk, chocolate bunnies and all that. There’s an exuberance to it—misdirected and misplaced, but exuberance nonetheless. My compromise with my conscience is to include in the basket a couple things that will encourage exercise and play. I don’t see the point of all the bunny and egg-themed stickers, coloring books, do-dads, and such, since no one wants to see all that the day after. I find Jesus tchotchkes really annoying. We don’t need another 12-piece puzzle of the cross or “real meaning of Easter” gegaws. Appreciate the message—dislike the self-satisfied smugness of countering secular consumerism with Christian consumerism. And jellybeans. I love jellybeans.


  1. Me too, on the Victorians - actually, I also liked the Romantic period in English lit too, which immediately preceded it, so basically anything 19th century England - uh... as long as I had the funding... Would not have wanted to do factory work at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution...

  2. 1. The period in Palestine from the beginning of the 20th century till the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. The Arabs' plight has always interested me. I wouldn't say I'm anti-Zionist, but I certainly don't agree with what happened there so many years ago.

    2. The cure for cancer, a less frantic pace of life, neighborhoods where children can roam outdoors and play, more green spaces, an educational system that doesn’t focus on test scores, evangelism without intolerance masked as “standing firm on the Scriptures,” universal health care, enough food for everyone--well, that's good enough for me, too.

    3. Both. I love history and I love dreaming of my own personal future.

    4 & 5. N/A

    Jellybeans = Love. Especially the yellow ones.