04 May, 2006

not just a pretty face



















I almost forgot my best story of all. Last night Avery and I were watching one of my favorite movies ever, "Strong Poison" by Dorothy L. Sayers. Part of the plot involved a fake medium pretending to speak to those who have "crossed over," and those "waiting for the Great Change." "What Great Change is that?" Avery asked. "Well, some people believe that when die, you don't just die, but you pass over into another realm. Some of these people think it's Heaven, and some people think you move into another body," I explained. "Oh, right. Do you believe in heaven, Mommy?" I said, "I would certainly like to think that when you die, you don't just stop existing at all, but I'm not too sure what happens. What do you think?" Avery pondered a moment. "I think that you live a life of perpetual thought. Just thinking, endlessly." I objected, "But wouldn't you get awfully hungry, and then you wouldn't be able to concentrate?" "No, you wouldn't have any body needs, because I don't think you would keep your body."

"You know what," I mused, "Mamoo used to wonder what would happen when she got to heaven and had to choose between Grandpa, who died so long ago, and Lon, who she's been so happily married to for so long." Avery was unconcerned. "I am pretty sure that if there is a heaven, it's not nearly so strict about things like that. I don't think there's any rule about bigamy in heaven."

To try to keep up with my daughter's intellect, I have been trying to open my mind to some great British playwrights, so I started with a screenwriter for "Spooks" called Howard Brenton. His commentary on the DVDs was terribly erudite but also funny, and for such an intellectual powerhouse (with over 40 plays under his belt) I thought he didn't take himself too seriously. So I ordered "The Romans in Britain," in a collection of his early work, and boy am I out of practice as far as stretching my thoughts. Very dark, very intense, but worth a try. Pip says that I will enjoy it more if I read it aloud, but I think that might just mark my descent from the merely odd to the truly loony. Anyway, give it a try.

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