Friday, December 26, 2014


Jake Wilson reviews The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and while I might rather read Roger Ebert, Wilson is right. Anyway, Ebert is dead. I also found the movies overstretched and disappointing such that I’m skipping this one and sticking to my love for the real Tolkien. Peter Jackson’s film trilogy Lord of the Rings was so excellent that I used it (first and third movies) along with Tolkien’s books as the basis for a year of Religion & Ethics classes on agape’ at Holy Nativity middle school a decade ago. But I didn’t see Tolkien in Jackson’s movie follow-ons to The Hobbit, so I’m done.

Remembering Ebert’s title Life Itself: A Memoir, several chapters stirred memories of my own life, some overwhelming, some known only to me, some sheer imagination. Most of my books are bagged up and gone but I can still retrieve Ebert’s because I read it on Kindle, and it’s still there should I want to go there again. 

Not just a Day, Christmas is a Season for remembering, which means putting back together in the mind, so I’ve been peering through the dust and dirt-encrusted windows of that old garage out back where the doors are no longer ajar and some of the old cars are missing. But I can see the blank space where they were parked for decades. If ‘twas the night before Christmas, ‘tis the season for memories, putting things back together.
Ebert’s book title reminded me of Georges Perec’s Life A User’s Manual, a long and complexly interwoven tale of an eccentric who set out basically to conclude like the Preacher of Ecclesiastes that when all is said and done life meant nothing. This isn’t a review, but for fabric-weaving, Perec is no Rushdie and La Vie no Midnight’s Children. MC is gripping that cannot be put down, in a dozen years I’ve still not quite finished Perec. Anon: it’s going to 718.

As the house is filled with sleeping beloveds, I slipped on a light jacket and knit cap to walk down Calhoun for Linda’s PCNH only to be confronted by the green light across the Bay. Daisy? In spite of the city's best efforts the street still has potholes and bumps; but after my latest fall, no more walking with hands in pockets, ready this time.

Day of putting things back together for others as well. A decade ago this moment, the Boxing Day tsunami, for loss of life, greatest natural disaster in human history, many times Krakatoa or Vesuvius. Next? Yellowstone has been the subject or object of imaginative stories of a supereruption, which the media surely will get back to once they wring all the blood, juice and gore out of the Sony debacle even though scientists say no worries.

Or a meteorite plunging from heaven despite Genesis 8:21. Who will remember that ten thousand years hence and write a chapter?


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