---1---Well did you see the live production of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood? What did you think? I loved the opening number by the nuns, and really just thought the whole thing was a very well-performed effort. Carrie Underwood is quite the yodeler!! :D
Also I noticed that, except for the part about it being in Austria at the outbreak of World War II and in the midst of nazi infiltration and the characters having to run to another country to save their lives...and except for the part about Maria being a nun and then governess of seven children and falling in love with their millionaire dad...except for all that...the story is completely like my life!! If you're reading this and confused and thinking, "Well, if it's like her life except for all those things...then how, exactly, is it at all like her life?" well, then... pfpfpft...I guess you just don't get it, do you?
No, but really. It is. See...Maria starts out as a nun...novitiate? postulant? (you know, not yet a for-real nun, but more than a mere "wannabe," and wearing the habit and all)...and happy and all in love with Jesus and ready to live a chaste, secluded life in the abbey. But somewhere along the way she realizes that, although she could continue with these plans and be reasonably okay, perhaps she was really made for something else....
I reserve the right to not explain it any more clearly than that. ;) (Except...I wonder what it says about me, exactly, that I can identify so well with a plight fairly heavily dependent on 1930s/40s-era societal culture? Hmmm. Like the whole deal between Liesl and Rolf - "I need someone older and wiser / to te-ELL me wha-AT to do." O.o Yeah right. Whatever. Probably wouldn't listen anyway. Darn kids and their music.)
See?! Except for a FEW, MINOR details...Completely. Like. My. Life. (I knew you'd agree.)
"somethin'somethin'somethin' 'bout a lonely goatherd...."
Oh! [Clears throat] Sorry. Didn't realize you were still listening....
---2---I've always had some inner instinct telling me I would accomplish something great in life. While thinking about it this week, I realized I now have doubts about that... not to say I think my life and its accomplishments will be meaningless, just not as..." special"... as I had expected. Upon deeper reflection, I wonder if everyone senses that youthful potential that anything is possible and I will be the one who grasps the stars. I will be the hero of this story called "being".
But this realization makes me rethink what it means that no life is more or less important than another. I'm not sure why or how this is true, but I believe it is. How is the life of Mother Teresa no more valuable and precious than the life of Jack the Ripper? I don't know. If I had to choose between saving the five-year-old child of a philanthropist or the five-year-old child of a homeless person from drowning...how would I do it? I don't know how. But I do believe life is sacred.
So...why the urge to achieve greatness or do something meaningful for my fellow humanity? I'm not sure, unless it is rooted in our inability to accept our own death, or else our own feeling that somehow my life is more meaningful than yours.
But really, I don't think memorable accomplishments do add meaning to life. So what if a person remembers my name, if the person doesn't remember me? I think a greater sense of significance comes from really knowing and being known than from anything we do or anything we leave behind.
That being said...perhaps the best thing we can do for our fellow humans is get to know them.
---3---I have never had the ability to remember actors and actresses by name. My high school friends would all goo and gaa over the hottest new celeb, and I'd get horror-stricken looks in response to my innocent repetition of "Who's that?" So I visited a friend last night. She had picked up a couple movies from the Red Box - RIPD and All Is Bright. We watched the Christmas movie first, and kept trying to figure out who the actors were. I thought Paul Giamatti was Daniel Stern. I thought Paul Rudd was John Cusack. And I thought Amy Landecker was Amy Brenneman. I would say at least I got the "Amy" right, but no...I didn't call them by their names. It was more like "That's the guy who played in Martian Child, whose sister is an actress, too" and "that's the guy from Bushwacked and Home Alone" and "Oooh, it's Violet from Private Practice!" Yeah. I remember character names sometimes, and movie names...sure. But not actual people's actual names.
---4---I read The Old Man and the Sea this week for the first time. It was nice to get out a classic - I used to read so many of them! And yeah, I could write a review here and discuss all the deep insights I had from this brief work of fiction - and I did indeed have some - but I figure there are probably many reviews already out there, written by greater thinkers than I. So if you've never read it, go look up somebody's review, and then go read it. It's great! I think whenever I make a transition in life it would be a good book to reread (if I could remember to do so).
---5---Reading Hemingway...and having read through Harry Potter over the last couple months, and a few other books in between HP books...made me realize I've missed reading! I always have piles of books I really want to get to but never seem to do. So this coming year, that is one of my Life List items. Here's the Life List I have come up with so far for 2014:
1. Monster Truck Rally
2. Avett Brothers concert (they're coming to Springfield on February 14th!)
3. Summer in Budapest?
4. Move to MD and start at Hood (M.A. in Thanatology, pending my acceptance)
5. Visit Washington DC and Georgetown Library!
6. Read at least 1 book per 2 weeks (26 for the year)
7. Springfield Cardinals game
8. Hop a train!
9. See Handel's Messiah
10. Do a blog challenge
11. See a play
12. Arkansas diamond mines
13. Go geocaching
14. Refurbish a piece of furniture (desk or dresser)
15. Make something out of a wood pallet!
16. Volunteer at local homeless shelter
17. Get passport (if going to Budapest/overseas)
18. Go deep-sea fishing
19. Get another tattoo? (I have a couple of ideas for ones I want)
20. Willie Nelson concert (coming to the area on March 1!)
---6---I made my first Life List this past year (2013), and with it I accomplished the following (which includes a few extra things that weren't on my list, but happened anyway):
1. Got a tattoo
2. Finished my MDiv
3. Saw the ocean
4. Went to a rodeo (PBR)
5. Participated in 7 Quick Takes!
6. Blog challenge: April A-Z
7. Tried smoking a pipe
8. Tried smoking a cigar
9. Tried champagne
10. Lost and kept off 10 pounds (not as much as I had hoped, but still, an accomplishment!)
11. Bob Dylan concert!
12. Explored several art galleries in Springfield
13. Got a puppy
14. Attempted a container garden (and got 2 vegetables out of it! Talk about self-sufficient!)
15. "Painted" with oil pastels
16. Got my first normal-sized Christmas tree (I think I had a miniature one or two before)
17. Read through the Harry Potter books
18. Had an academic article published
19. There was one other "big thing" on my list that I had hoped would happen this year...and the opportunity did in fact present itself, but when it did I decided it was something I would wait for until another time.
There were a few things on the list I did not accomplish, but look at what all I did do! It was a great year!!
What are some things you want to do in 2014?
---7---My Christmas tree. :) Got many/most of my ornaments from various friends over the last several years, and decided I would go with a country-style theme. I love it.
For more Quick Takes visit Conversion Diary, and have a great weekend!!