Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flowers and Haircut

At Mass, people will bring foodstuffs or flowers to offer to the priest as a thank you for remembering a loved one during the liturgy. At the end of Mass, a certain group of parishioners automatically collects the bounty and takes it home. How odd to take it without asking the pastor first. Well, two women came over to persistently ask me while I was shaking hands with parishioners as they were going out the door and they asked me what I  was going to do with them and did I want them. I said, "yes, of course I want them because the donor wants me to have them, but I will give you one bunch because you are making it very obvious you want them." They gave me the smaller bunch and I put them in my office. They have given me great joy because they are bright and beautiful and because I respected the donor's intentions. Now, I wish they wouldn't give me anything, but it is always good to reserve the right to take what the community gives so I can give it to people in the community. Each day I come across the flowers, I'm struck by their beauty and I'm glad I have them to gaze upon just for their own sake.

I started a new painting, a landscape that has a still river running through it. I think there is much to learn in landscape painting and I wanted to stick with a similar theme to what I created last time.

On Saturdays, a woman comes in to paint this huge canvas of two dancers. She is doing a marvelous job with it. Her two sons just come and stand by me and ask lots of questions. They like my painting and they are curious about the length of time it takes me to draw and to paint. The are inquisitive and precocious and they love that I am a priest. They want me to draw biblical scenes.

The play is demanding great quantities of time. We open in two weeks and I have a lot of Arabic songs to learn and I have to figure out when it is time for me to speak my few English phrases. Thank God I worked myself into a lesser role.

Communication. It doesn't exist between me and my barber. Most Jordanians have very short hair because I don't think barbers know how to cut regular hair. They only know crewcuts, which I now have, or a shaved head, which is close to what I have. I have decided today that I am going to make myself look very different from now on. I have no idea what hairstyle befits a balding man. I will rule out the comb-over, but I haven't given up the idea of a ponytail and a shaped beard. I'm not Jordanian and I don't need a hairstyle that is imposed upon me. I'll have to sculpt my face in a certain way that says, "I don't conform to the way you want me to look." I'll give this some thought. Any ideas?

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