Well, Santa’s reindeer have made it back to the North Pole, and we’re rushing into 2021 just around the corner. But 2020’s not done with us yet, so we’ll give it a last goodbye, with more than a hint of irony, on a “Share Your World” note. After all, for most of this year, we were physically avoiding sharing each other’s world, six feet apart, masked and socially distanced, though Melanie kept us connected by asking us to lay bare what lay behind our closed doors. So here goes with 2020’s last inquiries from our charming hostess!
Melanie’s #SYW QUESTIONS
Pick three words to describe this past year. (please keep them PG. Thanks).
Dark. Devastating. Disillusioning.
What were the best books you read this year? Or the best movie you saw?
In fiction, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror anf the Light) simply carried me away! It’s a masterfully written journey into the world of sixteenth-century England and into the life of Oliver Cromwell. For me, it was an unforgettable ride, and Hilary Mantel is rightly hailed as having written as the literary masterpiece of our day. When I first began reading Wolf Hall, Covid-19 hit and it was disconcerting to be reading of how a far more dire plague affected people some five hundred years ago while undergoing one in our own time. Some thoughts on this trilogy in previous posts here: “Reflections on an Un-natural Decay.” and “Well Met, Jude: Mann & Mantel.”
A wonderful science fiction novel I re-read is The Understudy. It isn’t a Frankenstein’s monster story exactly but, dealing as it does with AI’s, it raises questions about what it means to be human, as I write about here.
In non-fiction, a Commentary on 1-3 John by Marianne Meye Thompson which I just finished, and Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves, which was an absolute joy to read.
Two movies that turned out to be unexpected treats: The Dead (1987) directed by John Huston and based on a James Joyce story from Dubliners and Greyhound (2020), a true story set in the winter of 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks.
And I have to give a shout out to Mitch Teemley’s Healing River (2020), which as far as inspirational movies go, especially this year, ranks among the best. As I say in my review, “Healing River socks it to you with its fluid cinematography, character psychology, acerbic, no-holds barred dialogue and – here’s where the inspiration comes from – brutal honesty about what it means to be a Christian.”
Because there was lots of time for looking inward, what is one big personal lesson you learned this past year?
Putting your faith in people, government officials or health professionals/scientists, to act responsibly, is fruitless for any semblance of confidence or peace in the middle of a (manufactured or non-manufactured) crisis. Placing your trust in God is the one unshakeable source of strength.
Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds?
What societal bonds we had before Covid-19 were strengthened, but those we lacked were weakened. Those who thrive off of division were able to use racial and political turmoil to their own advantage and gain more power over social and cultural institutions as well as in government. Individual rights have shrunk accordingly. But I think we’ve discovered collectively what really matters in life, bonds of love that transcend all discord. I hope we never forget.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Optional of course): What is a New Year’s Wish You’d Like To Share With the World?
I am so grateful for the creative blogging community I have discovered during this year. Y’all inspire me no end! Thank you for the thoughts and encouragement you’ve shared with me this past year. May 2021 be fruitful and bring each one of you the desires of your heart! And above all, may you find “the peace that passes understanding”! Sláinte!