Sunday, March 30, 2008

Darkness, dreams, and controversy

Last night was the great "turn out your lights" night, sponsored I believe by the National Wildlife Refuge. I dutifully turned out the lights (but not the TV or computer) and got out a flashlight (my neighbor says I was as hard on the environment as if I'd left the lights on, but, hey, I was trying!). It was spooky wandering through my dark house, though more comforting than an electrical outage--I could see lights outside (the schoolyard lights were fully on) and I knew I could flip a switch any time. I felt sort of righteous, knowing that many people would tell themselves, "My one house doesn't make a difference." But I also felt sort of silly--I couldn't see anyone else around whose lights were out. I even thought my neighbors might call to ask if I was okay. Jay kept his light out until he wanted dinner and then turned on the kitchen light--he claims that's better than my flashlight. But it also gave me a good feeling to spend that hour in the dark, like I'd listened and done my bit.

I read something the other day, in another blog, about remembering your dreams and how can you bear to let go of them. They have such significance for our dailiy lives. Well, I had a weird one last night, and I can't think where it came from. My high school best friend was getting married (forget that she's been happily married for over 50 years) and she was a young girl again. I was hosting the wedding and reception, and I was the age I am now (oops, we mixed generations!) The wedding was lovely, but the groom wouldn't come to the reception--he didn't approve of drinking, and all my friends were there, drinking wine. I guess I mixed friends too, for I have a friend of some 40+ years whose husband of 15-20 years doesn't approve of drinking and therefore won't go to restaurants that he considers bars. In my dream all this got us into a discussion of "disapproval" of drinking. I once had a man working for me who was a true alcoholic--his every move was governed by when the next drink would come and he was never without some alcohol in his system. Now, yes, I "disapprove" of that. I object to it because it interfered with his work. But "disapproving" because someone takes one or two drinks seems taking an unacceptable moral leap. It's like abortion rights--people have a right to make a decision for themselves but not to make judgments for others! I've heard from both those old friends in recent days, so maybe that's where that all came from.

TCU has been embroiled in a controversy the last week or more. It began when Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermons or sound clips from them were made public. Yes, there were racist, ranting, all the things that oppose reasonable discourse. Rev. Wright was to be honored by Brite Divinity School on the TCU campus for the truly remarkable accomplishments of his ministry to African Americans on Chicago's South Side. TCU immediately distanced itself from the event, and it was moved off campus for security reasons--all the way to Dallas. Then Rev. Wright, citing security concerns for himself and his family, cancelled his trip to Texas. An editorial this morning in our paper criticized everyone involved--TCU for academic timidity and caution, when it should be an open forum to all points of view, and Rev. Wright for retreating. I do think Martin Luther King would have come to Texas. One of the points made over and over is that African American religion in America has to be taken in context--some of Dr. King's comments, pulled out of context, sound inciteful too and yet he is a national hero, with a day dedicated to his memory. I'm disturbed by the entire thing, but I know I would have liked to have Dr. Wright on campus. And after all this fuss, I'd have gone to hear him speak, something that wouldn't have occurred to me before. Another comment suggested that the Wright controversy and Obama's speech on race revealed the depth of racial problems in this country--and maybe indicated that he is ultimately unelectable. I certainly hope not.

On a much lighter note, I've discovered a new series of cozy mysteries, these set in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse and written by Cleo Cloyce. The one I read is Decaffinated Corpse, but there are apparently a number in the series before that. Check it out at

And thanks to Amanda for a tuna recipe comment on a post way back about using canned tuna. Amanda, I've made a similar tuna salad--with pecnas, not walnuts, probably because I'm in Texas--and it's delicious.

No comments: