american angel notes from amsterdam – 12

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september 22, 2006

at a restaurant now, great pate and the sun sets at the end of this canal. the wine is good and french. poor bernie. amsterdam is no place to be out of love. love heals every wound. in the meantime, love rips off the scar and pours salt like a mother fucker. love heals, i believe, even the wound of love.

with some pate in my stomach, i realize some good shit was discovered today. the distance from homer is a good thing. the guarding from behind. the giving of space. the strength of that. and we may have made a major major switch in costume for the angels. away from the homeless torn thing. the new idea is beautiful tailored suits. clean, elegant, classic.

this inspired by nick cave’s wild violinist. the perfection of God’s angels. the clean line. the attention to detail. what a glorious mystery, this struggle to give birth.

my heart belongs to sarita. the seeming deafening silence of God. the deafening silence of sarita.

tomorrow is our last day at the studio in bumfuck up the amstel. i will miss that bike ride. wondrous 3rd gear girl’s bike low seat bulging back pack wind and rain struggle bike ride. we move into the try-out theatre on monday. somewhere near rotterdam.

i have fallen in love with nick cave beyond his greatest hits here in amsterdam. thanks to loesje. his music is real good.

what an amazing adventure. keep me awake, o God.

bernie

p.s. meena, lina, paul, craig and anyone who would be so willing, please visit my dad in the hospital. he is at cedars sinai. he’s really struggling. i know you guys are busy, busy. i would be so grateful. it is an urgent time. thank you for your friendship.

love,

bernie

friday september 22, 2006

i have just finished weeping my way through Pope Benedict’s address at the university of regensburg.

weeping out of the deepest sense of appreciation. a child kind of weeping. so mixed with joy and sadness. weeping from the deep place. the topic is faith and reason. a most important topic of our times. it is an invitation to discussion. an invitation to reason. an invitation to faith. the fact that churches are being bombed and nuns killed and death threats issued proves the importance of the address.

it is a lonely cry in the wilderness against the kind of blind faith that preys on human weakness and convinces us to do bad in what we believe to be the service of the good.

it is a cry against the belief that the ends justify the means.

so it is as much a merciful and compassionate plea to the suicide bomber and the imam who instructs him as it is to the american soldier who tortures in order to get information that he thinks will save lives, as well as to the government and the president who instruct him.

“i got God on my side,
and i’m just trying to survive
what if what you do to survive
kills the things you love.
fear’s a powerful thing
it can turn your heart black you can trust.
it can take your God filled soul
and fill it with devils and dust.”
bruce springsteen “devils and dust”

springsteen says it so beautifully;

the Pope talks about the de-hellenization of religion. this is beautiful and complex thought. but simply put it is the movement in religion (that has been going on for a long while) to deny reason and man’s intellect in matters of faith. this is the movement that visited my own Catholic Church in it’s silencing of galileo with the dark history of the inquisition. the fear born of superstition. what a great invitation to welcome reason, keep reason as part of the faith conversation. so it is a cry against all the narrow minded immature fundamentalism that is sweeping the world.

the address he gives is so loving. his respect for Islam is undeniable. this is not a man following the shallow fashion of liberal or conservative thought. he is clearly a man seeking the truth. he is a believer, first off, that there is such a thing as the truth. and he is no supporter of anything that manipulates the truth to get to the truth. including religion. he is not trying to win people to Catholicism at gun point. he has such a deep belief in the dignity of man. he is clearly pro-choice. (the emptiness of our language in these political signatures, “pro-choice”, “pro-life”. o how we use words to hide.) so many of us don’t know that we have a choice. his speech is a beautiful reaction to post modern relativism. it is so loving. so important. so brave.

i was not a fan of joseph ratzinger before he became Pope. i believed what i heard about him. i have now read two of his writings. his first encyclical on “love” and this address on faith and reason. he is an intellectual. ain’t nothing wrong with an intellectual.

it is what is so beautiful in Judaism. the invitation to debate. to the exploration of ideas. without picking up a gun to get someone in line with what you think. i have faith in this Pope’s goodness. faith and reason.

a big thing he talks about is the description of God as “logos”. “the word”. it means both reason and word. “In the beginning was the “logos”. moses hearing God’s name, finding out who God is at the burning bush. God’s name is “I AM”. who is God? God is “I AM”. God is reasonable. a mystery. a reasonable mystery. God is good. God is Love. there is reason in Love. it is about healing and wholeness and the true greatest good. it’s not all good. but through the Grace of God it works toward the good. such big and important things to talk about.

and the angel’s task according to our play; “remain alone. let it all happen. remain earnest. we can only be wild in so far as we remain ever earnest. do nothing more than look, assemble, testify, commemorate, observe. remain spirit. remain in the distance. remain word.”

time to get my stinkin’ ass in the shower and to rehearsal. i’m late right on time.

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