When he wrote Oliver Twist in 1837, Charles Dickens had a cause: he was protesting the harsh and unjust treatment of children in England. His depiction of the situation was searing—more so than the best-known movie adaptations.
Great plays tend to make mediocre movies. The elements that make a play successful don’t always provide the plot and visuals that are the keys to memorable cinema. Complicating matters further is the fact that theater is, by design, dialogue-heavy. The screenwriter who plans to cram long monologues or extended dialogues into the script is doomed.
Place a stone in the palm of your hand; it lies there, inert, nothing but itself. It revels in its stoniness, its solidity. It gathers light, rises from the plains, a mountain in miniature, notches and ridges carved by weather, strata and stria, the pressure of time, the rough places, planed. A climber might try for the pinnacle, looking for toeholds in cracks and crevasses. The way up is never easy. The air thins. From the peak, the horizon falls away. Borders are meaningless. The stone rests in your hand. It sings its one long song. Something about eternity. Something about the sea.
Everything In Between Self-released, Christian rock Danny Oertli Balancing all-American rock with ballads, Danny Oertli is a Christian musician with a difference. When he sings "Thank You, Jesus, for keeping hope alive" on "Mommy Paints the Sky," he know what he's singing about—the song is inspired by the death of his high-school sweetheart, who had become his wife. In the same album, Oertli proves he can rock in "Fight for Me" (with its dirty Wurlitzer electric piano) and in the breathless, pulsing "Nothing."
You may sense it in the call of a Canada goose in flight a longing strong enough to carry an entire flock to their destination You may feel it in the grumble of a distant storm that dark dissatisfaction at what is in comparison with what will be The people who should never let us down let us down The cabin roof groans with the weight of so much snow The stairs in the old farmhouse complain with every footstep even with the memory of feet that move no longer The branches of an enormous oak moan in the high wind You many hear it in the spirituals nurtured in the cotton fields of the deep south a deep sorrow at temporal hopelessness distilled into hope for beyond Comin’ for to carry me home You may think you merely imagine it in the whistle of a train as it rumbles through a midnight crossing but the tracks through BC’s mountains were laid with the blood of Chinese navvies the sweat of abandoned dreams & the boxcars rolling through the prairies during the depression carried the last hope of the unemployed Don’t imagine that that wail has nothing to do with human grief Sometimes our wounds heal completely sometimes they leave a scar A woman learns of cancer in her breast a man finds his heart is failing We fall to our knees for a miracle & are startled when an answer seems to come a taste of what will be Hear the wind in the cavity where the siding is loose Hear it banging against the wall Sometimes our wounds don’t heal at all We fall to our knees but the sky grows grey featureless & silent We long for what we had what we almost had what will be You may sense it in the stillness of a beaver pond or in the rush over Niagara You may see it in the sunflower pushing through the soil reaching for the sky for the sun When we most identify with this world we are least content
My good neighbor of long standing said to me, You know, I think that old nursery rhyme, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, is the golden key To a successful life. Remember how it goes?
Oh yes, I said, but what about all those folks Whose boat is leaking, and their oars have Battered blades and split handles that pinch Their palms and splinter their fingers at every stroke, And as far as they can see downstream, There is crashing white water, great boulders And perhaps a fatal waterfall ahead?
Ah yes, he sighed. I pray for them every day. I pray earnestly that they can swim—that they Know how to swim, he said, pouting his lips Thoughtfully and nodding his white head. Yes, they must know how to swim.
Religion is often on display in professional athletics, with the exception of the National Hockey League. The few hockey players who are open about their faith buck a tradition of reticence or downright distrustfulness toward religion. Unlike professional football or basketball, many NHL players come from Canada or Europe, where the culture is much more secular and religious faith is closely guarded. There is also the suspicion in hockey that a person of faith might be too soft a player. Some hockey clubs make chapel services available, but far fewer than in professional basketball (Boston Globe, April 5).