Tuesday, February 04, 2014

I. In faith formation last night, we focused on the Sign of the Cross. We read about its significance, studied the painting "Christ on the Cross" by Barthelemy d'Eyck (15th Century) and made these stained glass (actually plastic) suncatchers.
I was pleased to see this week and last (when we looked at "Four Corners of the World" by Pablo Picasso (1952-54) and read about St. Sebastian), they have learned something unexpected from being in class with us for 1.5 years. The minute they get a handout with graphics on it, even when the image is simply decoration and not part of the formal lesson, they immediately start analyzing the artwork with reactions about what they notice, how they feel, speculation about what the artist meant, and questions.

II. I've read a lot of Mark Twain's writing. I really mean a lot. Currently I am reading Volume 2 of his autobiography. It's such a treat when I stumble across an entry I haven't encountered before! But something is bothering me. Ever since I started to read a lot of his work, I've noticed that the "scholars," those folks who write the introductions and "make their bread"* from being experts, invariably assert that Susy was his favorite daughter. I always found this surprising. True, some people have favorites (although shouldn't) but most people do not, or if they did, they would certainly hide it.

 I had a hard time believing it could be true, but what did I know? At least that was my thinking. Now that I am into Volume 2, and encountering previously unpublished writings, I call BS. They have no clue what they are talking about. Unquestionably he was fond of his eldest daughter, why wouldn't he be? And of course she died as a young woman, which was a terrible blow. But I see not a shred of evidence to support the ridiculous claim of "favorite."

* thanks to Mr. Twain, he loved this phrase

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