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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Garrison Keillor


On the patio last Sunday after church a couple fairly new to the church approached me and said: "You're from Minnesota aren't you? Would you like these two tickets to hear Garrison Keillor on Tuesday night in Santa Barbara?" Speechless, I took the tickets and they walked off.
The tickets were fabulous, about six rows from the front of the huge Arlington theater on the right side facing the stage. I did not prepare myself to be swept into a place few in the audience could go to; childhood memories of Minnesota winters and the attitudes of those "dark and serious people called Lutherans" who populate the state. This gifted poet and singer, story-teller and theologian wove and uninterrupted tale for 90 minutes while I held Martha's hand and laughed and misted up.
What I most appreciated about Garrison (I must refer to him by his first name) is his ability to understand a region and tweak it. His language was not comic nor sarcastic, but gentle and tender. These funny folk he (and I) grew up around are both strange and dear. Garrison gets the reality that winter really does define those of us who grew up in Minnesota. There are some other seasons for certain, but the defining season is winter, beginning in October and morphing monstrously into January and February and then persistently lingering sometimes into May.
In Santa Barbara the people I know nuance winds and tides, different seasons of the ocean and the skies around us. I love sitting with friends on the beach just staring at the water, noticing the birds and spotting the dolphins and seals. But last night I had my first serious bout of homesickness for the region that shaped me. Walking through deep snows and blustery winds was fun. Hot coffee with friends in a Caribou on a cold day did create a suffering community. Cross country skiing in -10 degrees at night with Randy around the lake under the harsh light of the moon bonded a friendship. I'm glad I'm living where I am, and glad I came from where I did.

2 Comments:

At 3:50 PM , Blogger ed said...

You can never change your history no matter how hot, oceanic, beautiful and sometimes terrifying your current surroundings.

 
At 5:29 AM , Blogger James R Hawkinson said...

Good this morning to brouse through your blog, Don. Always thoughtful and stimulating. I especially liked the last line about being thankful for where you are and grateful for where you have come from.

I was stabbed awake by a similar experience. Paul, my son, forwarded a video of a Covenant Pastor in Detroit that really moved me--measuring our call not uinb terms of resource but the power of the gospel itself. You will find it on my blog at rootedwings.com.

Perhaps your reflections on membership classes is part and parcel of our challenge today--well catalogued in N.T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope," in which he ties our sonambulence in church life today to our lack of attention--or just plain unawareness--of the radical implications for life in Jesus' resurrection from the dead.

In our common reflections, both of joy and wonderment, perhaps what is most needed is the refueling opf our own spirits in the rich and eependable aned exciting loam of biblical faith. You will note that I ended up titling my own blog this morning, "What Am I Waiting For?"

Let us both be stirred by greater--and counter-cultural--attention paid to the things that remain.

God bless you this day!

 

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