Monday, January 14, 2008

Beyond Words

The movie, Persuasion, was good. Not great. Not as good as the film with Ciaran Hinds starring as Captain Wentworth. I thought the character development in last night's adaptation was weak. I could not connect with this version of Captain Wentworth, and could not see what motivated him, really. The previous dark haired Ciaran Hinds with his blazing eyes and strong set of his chin said so much more than last night's version of Captain Wentworth.

Before the movie, we had a family birthday party for Alex. He is 18. My father, brother, two sisters, and one nephew came to celebrate with us and to enjoy one of the best apple pies I have made in a long time. I may have just gotten my old baking touch back again. I didn't burn it. It wasn't dry or tasteless.

One thing that is never dry at these family gatherings is our conversations. Last night's rowdy conversation around the dining room table covered the republicans and democrats running for president, the efficacy of drinking raw milk verses pasteurized, how Americans use too much anti-bacterial hand soap and we may need to get back to playing in the dirt more, and the recent trouble my Mom is having with depression, again.

"Mom has the parapatitas," my brother said as he and my Dad entered through the front door last night. That word meant something to our family even it made no sense to anyone else. We talked about some of the signs of her health, how to read them, and how to know if it's okay so far; how to tell if we're in a rough sea in a tippy boat or if we're just gliding quietly, very quietly, on our own course of needing to be left alone.

I asked Dad how we got the expression "parapatitas". There's a Spanish expression "patitas en al aire" meaning you're flat on your back with your feet up in the air. Mom, at one point in describing her version of that phrase Dad used, just added "para" to the one word she heard. Some where along the way, we adopted it as one of the expressions we use to describe when Mom is feeling the effects of age, ill health, emotional fatigue. Some of us feel these things more acutely. Some of us have bodies that shut down when weary. Some of us battle this onslaught less effectively than we'd like to.

So there we were enjoying a good family discussion, eating a remarkably good pie for someone who hasn't done well lately in the baking department, and missing the one person who always makes our times lively and sweet. We were celebrating the birthday of a young man who is on the launching pad, ready to take off towards his dreams. We were also celebrating being a family, through thick and thin.

I looked around at everyone at the table. You could see everybody's expression, hear their words, and hear a bit of what was going on inside them. But it's always just a bit. There's way more deep down inside. Some of us just don't express everything we're thinking. And some of us look like we are.

But it's just the tip of the iceberg.

5 comments:

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

What great family memories!
Blessings,
Angela

Mike said...

Thanks for sharing your table with us. I think I must be one of those who take the knocks a little too hard. The advantage is it can push you deeper into God. Thanks Lauren.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Angela-
You've got that right.

Mike-
My mother has a deep love for God, and the darkest nights of the soul at times. She is always nestled firmly in God's loving arms. We think she is a favorite of His- and we don't mind one bit that she is!(You may be one of His special tender ones that He pulls in even closer).

Angie said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, but recorded it. Waiting for just the right time. Happy Birthday to Alex and yes, thanks for sharing!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Angie-
I think you'll like the movie. (Did you see the original with Ciaran Hinds? There is no other Captain Wentworth, for me, but him!)