Sábado de Gloria — Gringo Viejo
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Lauren Stewart — April 4 2015
It is not often that I rant in this here blog. But today I will make it an exception and do so.
It all began on Thursday when on CBC Radio On The Coast host Stephen Quinn had as a guest the redoubtably boring Grant Lawrence. Lawrence had one of his infamous podcasts of some Canadian alternative band (we want Art Bergmann or even that notoriously named The Wankers from yore) boring, and of no consequence. Lawrence told us that the song in question was going to put us in the right mood for the holiday weekend.
If you consider that the next day was Good Friday and that he (Lawrence) was on Holy Week you might wonder to what extent this weekend is a holiday. You might explore the meaning of that word by first separating it — holy day.
When is the last time you heard anybody say, “Happy Ramadan,” or “Happy Passover?”
While Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Protestants, Calvinists, etc do not have a storied and unblemished past free of massacres and assassinations, of late these Christians do not challenge your existence with death (perhaps hell after if you do not repent). So it is easy to make cartoons and to laugh at the expense of the Nazarenes and their ilk.
But the CBC might want to show some respect or is it that the new religion (my friend Bob Mercer might hooray me if he reads this) is that of consumerism, digital consumerism, Dickensian Capitalism and movies involving swords and magical rings?
Today in Spanish we call the day Sábado de Gloria. We prepare for the one pleasant and happy day (after a morose Holy Week) that is Easter Sunday. Believe it or not , the Roman Catholic church considers Easter to be the most important feast day. If the man who was God did not come back from the dead and rise then everything He said was a lie and he was a charlatan. You can attempt to prove this or not. You can believe it or not. But you must at least respect those who believe in this. Their belief defies logic because it happens to be called faith.
Lauren, my 12 year-old granddaughter came early at two to help me clean the kitchen and vacuum around while Rosemary was carefully putting in pieces of sod we obtained from a nearby house being landscaped by men from Kosovo. They told me I could take all the pieces.
I prepared a nice fire and made my signature gnocchi in the over with my cream sauce and plenty of Parmesan cheese on top. After our meal (Lauren’s mother, Hilary, who is my daughter joined us as our Saturday evening family dinners are special) we watched the 1989 film Old Gringo with Gregory Peck, Jane Fonda and Jimmy Smits. The film is based on Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes’s Gringo Viejo in which Ambrose Bierce disappears into Mexico to die. That he joins the Pancho Villa army is all in the wonderful imagination of Fuentes. It is a beautiful film which we all enjoyed. Since I am a Bierce fan I could stop and tell my family where some of the stuff Peck was saying was coming from such as his story Parker Adderson Philosopher or An Ocurrence at Owl Creek.
Between meal and film I coaxed Lauren for one of my joint selfies in the guest bathroom. The giant bunny, her mother (who is 43) won at a Shopper’s contest when she was 8. The smaller bunny my aunt Fermina Miranda gave to Hilary in one of my trips to Mexico City in the late 80s.
I can only finish this rant with the most beautiful two-word expression in existence (my opinion) from the Latin Mass. It is sursum corda which translates to lift up your hearts.
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.