Saturday, February 23, 2008
Singing Owl at Revgals has developed an interesting Friday Five:
I am in Seattle assisting with family stuff and preparing to attend a memorial service (Saturday) for my sister who died of complications of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
I am not grieving much, since the shock and tears and goodbyes and losses have been many and have occurred for a long time now. I am mostly relieved that my wonderful sister and best friend is free from pain and confusion, and I am thinking of eternity. That sounds somber, but I don't mean it to be. I decided to have a little fun with the idea. So how about we share five "heavenly" things? These can me serious or funny or a combination of the two.
This seems to be quite timely. I have had 3 funerals in the past 2 weeks. I have had several deaths in the parish since I came there in September and I have lost someone close to me. I am constantly coming into contact with what is heaven. I have generally avoided talking about what heaven is like. No one that I know has been there, save Jesus. I have no idea what heaven is like so I seldom call something heavenly. So I will have to really think on this one.
Part of the reason I have difficulty with ‘heavenly’ as a construct is that I have been trying to rid myself of the idea of “perfect”. This is an Aristotelian concept. In Aristotle’s philosophy there is an idea or concept of everything in its perfected status to which we compare everything to. I believe I have tried to live up to ‘perfection’ and driven myself crazy trying to. ‘Perfection’ does not exist. And when I can strive for what is the best I can do, then I can realize my goals. Heaven is like ‘perfect.’ I spend little or no time wondering what ‘heaven’ is like because I really want to know what is the best I can do.
What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):
1. Family get-together:
There is no such thing as a heavenly family get-together! A good family get-together is when we have all had fun, no one has abused alcohol, people have been kind to one another, and everyone is there.
2. Song or musical piece:
I do have some perfect musical pieces, however. The Mozart Requiem, Brahm’s Deutches Requiem, Mahler’s First Symphony and Schostokovich’s Fourth Symphony.
The heavenly gift would be something I needed or wanted and it was a total surprise.
4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
I do have a ‘perfect’ house—it is because I don’t have a house of my own. But I would like a house on a small lake with a deck. It is a ranch without stairs or a split level with only a few stairs. It would have a large kitchen in which I could cook and entertain. It would have lots of light and lots of storage space. It would be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The deck or patio would have a place where I could sit in the shade or the sun. And most of all would have someone else to clean it!
5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like?
Since I don’t think about the next life much—I do want to know more of God—that will make me joyful. I hope I can go easily into the next life, but that is up to God.
What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"