The Truth is not only strange; it’s mundane…

…unless you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Kirsten and I snuck out again this evening to see a movie. We watched "Stranger than Fiction," starring Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, etc. I am surprised and delighted to say that this was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Kirsten wouldl tell you that this is indeed high praise coming from me, as I am loathe to name favorites or even indicate a strong preference for anything. To do so would be, for me, to reveal far too much, as this puts me in a position of vulnerability and gives the other some power over me. There are some new-found critics in my life who would be quick to say that this is related to my upbringing and the kind of abuse I suffered at the lips of my mother, and this is, to be sure, quite true. Even so, what I am able to say about this, if I were to say anything at all, is simply that it is what it is. When it comes to the "little things" regarding what I like or don’t like, etc., I remain intentionally ambiguous. Having said all of that, I will say again that I really enjoyed the film, and- in a not unrelated note- I can reveal that Frederick Buechner is one of my favorite authors. This is no great admission as for anyone who knows me remotely well this is a well-establsihed fact, and I didn’t say above that I never revealed favorites, only that I was loathe to. In Buechner’s case, I don’t mind being known as one who appreciates his work, and were I still a child in my mother’s home, I’d like to think that I’d be willing to endure quite a bit on account of this fact. I mention Buechner because I would call "Stranger than Fiction" quite Buechner-esque. It’s clever, thoughtful, and understated, and there is a moment in the film-as I remember it- where the narrator refers to the main character’s difficulty with recognizing the significant moments of his life in the midst of all the mundane ones. However, the moment the narrator happens to speaking about is one in which the main character is aware that the mundane thing which has just occurred is truly significant, indeed. It is the awareness of such moments that I think is the focus of much of Buecner’s work, as he himself has alluded to in perhaps his most well known (and my favorite!) quote. It just may be, after all, that the truth is stranger than fiction, and that the greatest truth any of us will ever know is hidden in the simple joys of a freshly baked cookie or a lover’s sleepy embrace. For it is in such moments that the truly awake among us take note of the grace which imbues each moment with meaning, and I would suggest that it is these everyday moments that give us the strength perhaps to willingly face our own mortality, to lay down our life for another. More on this later…

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