cries and whispers

You are currently browsing articles tagged cries and whispers.

Catching Up

I keep neglecting this blog! A lot has been happening since September 6.

For one thing, Phyllis and I went to “The Birches” on Moosehead Lake on the 16th and came back on the 18th. We actually climbed Mt. Kineo which was a short launch ride across the lake from the Rockwood landing, about a 15 minute drive from The Birches. We took the Bridle Trail which was recommended to those who want to avoid the shorter but steeper Indian Trail. But what a challenge the Bridle Trail was! We made it to a nice plateau near the summit and had our lunches.

For another thing, I’ve been on a Bergman kick and have watched Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers, The Seventh Seal, and Persona. Also, Tony gave me his DVD copy of The Magic Flute by Mozart as directed by Bergman. I’m in the process of watching that in stages. I also watched several Bruñuel movies and have a Godard on my Netflix queue. But I’ll be getting Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage next.

What about books? Well, I’m reading two books by Joan Halifax on Buddhism which are very interesting, Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, and with Stanislav Grof, The Human Encounter with Death. The latter describes the use of psychedelic therapy. But I’m also reading two other books at the moment, one by Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Quite a title! Also, Tony lent me his book on interviews of Ingmar Bergman by students and faculty at SMU. Bergman speaks in English and you get a feeling for his childlike imagination and creativity, I think.

The last novel I read was “The Sea, The Sea” by Iris Murdoch, a fascinating read.

My Lymphocytic Colitis has been in remission for at least a couple months now, but I still take the Cholestyramine and Asacol two times daily. However, my sleeping is still ragged. I’ve been trying to use meditation by focusing on my breath, or counting breaths, and I think this may work sometimes.

I still enjoy maintaining the Norway UU church website which I created. I wish more church people would use it. I had to skip choir last week because of the trip to Moosehead, but tomorrow the Rev. Fayre Stephenson is giving her first service, so I’ll be there, in the choir.

Have I forgotten anything? Probably. It’s still unreal that Cynthia has died.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This movie directed by Ingmar Bergman is not what you’d call upbeat. It’s a sad tale of repression of human emotions in the presence of a terminal illness of one of three sisters. Only the maid servant freely expresses her love for the dying sister. Reconciliation of the two living sisters seems to occur at one point only to disappear again at the end. Bergman clearly doesn’t think much of well healed self-satisfied people who he believes often live inauthentic lives of hypocrisy and repressed self-hatred.

There is an interesting interview of Bergman and his friend, Erland Josephson, done in 1999, on the DVD. I enjoyed this discussion very much between the two wise old artists (Bergman was 82 at the time and Josephson was 77), and the interviewer, Malou von Sivers, was very good. She asked them probing questions about their lives, loves, and views on death. Ingmar was not so concerned about his own death whereas his friend Erland was not at all looking forward to it. Bergman died in 2007 and Josephson in February of this year, 2012.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview that says a lot to me:

von Sivers: I think of Strindberg, whom you both love, of his play Thunder in the Air. There are in the accounts of ageing a feeling of reconciliation, together with the pain. I get the same feeling when listening to you. I don’t know if this is just my impression. Is it wishful thinking on my part, that ageing brings reconciliation?

Bergman: (To Josephson) Do you want to start, or shall I?

Josephson: You start. I can carry on.

Bergman: We should talk in chorus, as we both feel the same way about growing old. We were never told it would be so hard. It’s hard work. It’s very hard work. Especially when you feel yourself waning, and your ailments begin to take over. Ridiculous, slightly humiliating ailments begin to take over. Before you get used to this, and they become part of your life, you have a hard time. Ageing is strenuous work. It isn’t something often talked about. We should talk more about it. Ageing in itself is a full-time job. Making yourself function in a reasonably dignified manner. We’ve talked about this.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,