Last night my husband and I went to see "Summertime," a David Lean movie, made in 1955 starring Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi (a favorite star of mine from childhood) and set in (be still my heart) Venice.
There were several moments in the course of the film where I felt compelled to whisper "I'm sorry" in my husband's ear: he hates "chick flicks" and this was one of the worst examples of the breed. Though the movie was beautifully filmed, the plot was thin and I found the characters neither likeable nor believable. Worst of all, the writing was weak and so was the ending.
"So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" All I can say is, thank God for Venice and Burano; they were the stars of the show -- and so, of course, I had to go back to my images of Italy for this morning's post. This one is not really my photograph: it's my photograph of a photo in a real estate office in Orvieto. I don't usually bother looking in real estate office windows -- I'm quite happy where I am -- but this particular property really pulled at me.
I think I like it because it says more about how I want to BE in life than it says about where I want to live. I did not want to be any of the characters in last night's movie, or even to be friends with them. But I would love to be the person who lives like this, who offers the sort of spiritual sustenance conveyed by the existence of this labyrinth; who offers the warm hospitality suggested by this simple Tuscan villa; who lives surrounded by green and by light, open and unguarded. Perhaps a little remote, but once they find this haven people are free to come and go, secure in the knowledge they will be welcomed and fed.
Maybe that's the function of this blog, to welcome and to feed; to say you are loved, you are not alone. And maybe that's the kind of church we long for as well.