I shouldn’t have a lot of free time. In fact, I’m writing this as an extremely effective avoidance technique. Eventually, I’ll have to read the rest of the article for the graduate class I begin Thursday night. I managed to take care of the other pre-class assignment this afternoon. The task? Create a metaphor for the All-American Public Schools community complete with depiction of internal and external forces that affect it. Except the professor used some really fancy words for “internal and external” that I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say I had to google the terms to figure them out.
Besides blogging, my chosen method of procrastination involves reading novels. I’ve been on a roll lately, storing up for the time I knew was coming. The time when I’d turn to textbooks rather than pulp fiction. And, I try waste that time wisely. Which is why I was so disappointed with my latest read, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. I really enjoyed her earlier novel, The Birth of Venus, so I popped Sacred Hearts into my library queue when I spotted it as a recommendation from Amazon.
Yes, I’m trying to cut down on Amazon use, but it’s still one of the best sources for textbooks I’ve found. So, I visit, and occasionally I still buy. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have not wasted any money on this particular read. Against my usual practice, I skimmed at least the last third of the book. I kept telling myself that I should just quit reading it, but I wanted to know what happened in the end. Then I got to the end, and what happened was exactly what I’d predicted about a quarter in to the book.
Typically, I try to tie my reviews into my own experiences, to place the book in the context of my life. The story of a 16th-century nun, placed in a convent against her will, though, just didn’t do anything for me. The plot lacked the intrigue often found in historical fiction, and I guess I enjoy the conniving and twisting storylines more than I knew.
So, I can’t recommend this particular novel. But, never fear, I have figured out a way to tie it in to my own life. Yes, it’s an update on the church skit saga. Which, fortunately, has turned out to be very low on the drama scale.
Early Monday, I received a response to the email I sent on Sunday night. The youth minister wrote that, while she hadn’t seen the presentation in the same light I did while they were working on the script and the performance preparation, she did see it in retrospect once I pointed out my concerns. She thanked me for contacting her directly and said she’d be more aware of the messages sent regarding women’s roles in the future.
I feel good both about taking time to share my concerns rather than dwelling on them and about the sincerity of the reply. The willingness to hear my point of view and discuss our varying perceptions of the performance reinforces what I’ve always liked about my church–the nonjudgmental nature and open-mindedness. And, it let me take a deep breath and move on. I’m looking forward to next Sunday, and I’m awfully glad that, unlike the protagonist in Sacred Hearts, I am in absolute control of where I worship.