INT. KIDS THESE DAYS CAFÉ, HEAVEN – ETERNAL DAY
Small clusters of saints in white robes, vaguely glowing, chatter convivially around heavy wood tables in a cozy bistro. The bright robes contrast with the dark wood paneling, rough ceiling timbers, and flagstone floors. Though everyone is drinking, no one is drunk.
MARTIN LUTHER, JOHN WESLEY, and CHARLES WESLEY sit in leather-clad chairs around a table, drinking excellent beer.
Last Friday, when the Trump video hit the news like a meteorite, my spouse spent the day watching the reaction in the news media and Twitterverse and reporting back to me every hour. By evening, we were floating on waves of Schadenfreude, wickedly enjoying the pile-on. Eventually, standing there in my kitchen placing pepperoni on a pizza, I felt the ground under me shift a little, and I grew thoughtful. Was this… A Moment?
While Bérubé is concerned with questions of broad public good and the use of public funds in higher education, the Christian community, I would contend, has even better reasons to steward robust study of arts and humanities. Christians are plagued by economic anxiety and influenced by public discourse like anyone else, so if the data-driven, instrumental arguments can help, so be it. But Christians are called, as my college’s mission statement puts it “to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.” For that, as a body we need all the fields of human knowledge and the fullness of human creativity and imagination.
Blue Apron is a relatively new service (started in 2012) that supplies meal kits—pre-portioned ingredients and recipes—shipped in a box right to your door. Yesterday I came home to a box waiting for me on the front stoop. I opened it up to find, packed on ice packs and wrapped in an insulating bag, two meals for four: late summer beef Bolognese and roasted chicken with teriyaki vegetables. Every little thing we need to make these meals is provided, including spices and a dab of flour in the “knick knacks” bag. Now all we have to do is follow the instructions on the beautifully laminated, lavishly photo-illustrated recipe sheets, and voila: excellent cooking.
Then we realized, as we hiked deeper in, that caterpillars were everywhere. On the leaves, on the trail, even hanging over the trail from little silken threads. They were writhing in large moving groups on branches crossing the trail. They were congregating slimily on certain trees, heading from one place to another on a caterpillar parkway. And from up above they were… they were dropping on us! Gross! Could that be what that plopping noise is?! Caterpillars falling onto the forest floor? Eeeuuuw!
So your patient can either go to the big hospital, two hours from home, and slowly die there. Or he can die at home, with your help. Many of your colleagues are deeply opposed to PAD. But all you have to do is fill out the paperwork and order the prescription. Your patient—at least for now—can do the rest.
Would you say yes?
It would be easy to scoff. Her website says she’s a “Life-Cycle Celebrant®.” Note the registered trademark. She is ready to help you mark the significant passages of your life—wedding, funeral, coming of age, pet adoption—with a ritual that she will design specifically for you and whatever loved ones you care to have in attendance.
I definitely recommend brewing up a pot of strong coffee and reading through the piece yourself. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a dumbed-down version, with commentary, by your elbow as you read? An executive summary of sorts?
Ron and I happened upon a remarkable endeavor while visiting York last month, and I’m so glad we spotted the posters, plunked down our pounds sterling, and settled ourselves into tight seats on scaffolded risers for a three-and-a-half hour spectacle: the York Minster Mystery Plays.
Spring favors those in the springtime of life. Or does it? Today, guest columnist Pious Petunia features letters from younger correspondents and offers gentle wisdom to soothe the peculiar confusions of youth.