Monday, October 30, 2006

Why yes, those are life-sized Tetris™ pieces.

Friday was Bellarmine's Second Annual Haunted House Party -- so my housemates and I put away sacred texts and midterms to pick up fake cobwebs, black plastic, strobe lights and those Spooky Sounds CDs that live up to their names. Borrowing a page from a Haunted Porch my teaching comrades and I put together on the Tohono O'odham Nation in '97, I was a creepy face straining through a basement window. We also had falling corpses, moaning ghouls, creaky staircases, slamming doors, flying rats, surprise ghosties, scraping shovels (seriously scary!) and -- because this is a Div School party after all -- a Pope threatening excommunication and a jack-in-the-box Mormon missionary.

Scores and scores of people showed up in costume (Mary Catherine Gallagher, Superman, King Tut, "Smartee™ pants," a cowgirl sheriff, McDreamy from that TV show everyone watches but me, Steven Colbert complete with left ear sticking way out, and a whole troop of mousketeers leaving Tootsie Roll droppings all over the house) . . . but the party really got started when the martyrs showed up.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Outside in the crisp fall air and the bright afternoon sunlight is where a person likely should be right now, but I'm inside motivating myself to read and write. It's a slow process, as it sometimes is, made slower at the moment by the results of a quick conversation with a friend this morning about photography -- and about art and about God.

So here's one result -- a photo I took weeks ago stuck in traffic along the Charles River on my way home from teaching. (Downtown Boston is behind the trees and to the left a bit, the bench on the right was completely empty, and in the shots before and after this one you could see the amorphous blurs of passing cyclists, trotting joggers, and a crew team on the water getting barked at by a coach in a motorboat.)

The real joy of this photograph was taking it -- switching gears from frustration to appreciation (neither of which can usually last very long) and reveling a little bit in how beauty smiles that shy smile even when no one is looking. But it's no small joy to share the photo either. Enjoy the afternoon a little extra for me, OK?