When I came to the end of the final book in the Harry Potter series, I remember thinking, “Wow, how about that? After all the analysis, all the scholarship, all the speculation and debate… it’s just a children’s story after all.” With three little words – “All was well” – J.K, Rowling gave her legions of fans, both young and old, a parting gift of grace. She reminded us not to take her books, or our selves, too seriously.
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel. I suppose it really didn’t hit me that hard until I walked in one day and the pianos were gone. I never realized just how large — and how empty — that front room was without those two beautiful old grand pianos set just so.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. Book reading! Though I always manage to squeeze in magazines and newspapers (short-term commitments, right?), my quality time with books tends to wax and wane according to my schedule, energy level, and general mood. So I’m happy to say that, currently, I am on a roll.
Last issue, in celebration of Easter, I wrote about my recent return to the church – something I did for mostly practical reasons – and the unexpected spiritual awakening that’s ensued. As I anticipated, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from my church-going readers and virtual silence from everyone else. (Though my husband’s long-time friend out in San Francisco did call to offer Jeff her moral support after reading the column!) I’m touched by the wonderful response I’ve received from so many fellow travelers, and not terribly hurt by the others, who are, after all, just being polite in their silence. It’s not like I expected to inspire a mass conversion among the academics, artists, and assorted secular humanists about town, many of whom I count as my friends. As much as I value them, my growing awareness of God is genuine and profound, with or without their endorsement.
This spring, I wanted to write a column about Easter. Not just my usual, seasonal shtick about the chirping birds and the blooming blossoms, but a real, honest-to-goodness Easter column. I know it might be a bad idea, that some eyes will roll and my stock will plummet with the local intelligentsia, but I just can’t help myself. You see, after twenty years of wandering and wondering and fancying myself much smarter than my religious friends and neighbors, I’ve gone back to church. And though it’s not the church I grew up in, or even the same denomination, it’s been like coming home.
This is neither a factual chronology of Rudolph Giuliani’s accomplishments nor a list of his qualifications to be President of the United States. It will also proffer no judgments as to his “character”. There’s plenty of time for the political assassins from both the right and the left to go after all the candidates and make certain we know, so that we can be perfectly “holier than thou” (despite all of our own shortcomings) where and when they might have stumbled; who they may or may not have slept with; whose limo or yacht or jet may have offered a free ride and how they either didn’t do this or did do that when they should or shouldn’t have.