Monday, March 12 2018

Before ‘talkies’, there were the silent movies of the early 1920’s. The stars of that silver screen era told the story through their actions, their facial expressions and body movements.  It is true there were often elaborate sets, elegant costumes and limited subtitles, with live music as background, but the story rested on the talent, the work and the artistry of the players.

What if your life was filmed, without soundtrack? Not with the same intent as the secret footage of the You’re on Candid Camera fame of a generation ago, but as a record.  A day in the life of…A year in the life of… What about a silent YouTube video (minus the never-ending loop of cute puppies or kittens) which touched on all parts of your world, from your work day to times of intimacy. What would it reveal? Is that a scary thought?

Imagine scenes of you relating to your spouse, or talking with your teenager, or 2 year old, or co-worker, or the cashier at the craft store, after you’ve stood in a long line-up to buy one thing.  What does your face show and your body language say, for example, when you are caught in traffic trying to get home after a long day and there’s construction up ahead, and someone cut you off again.  What emotions can be ‘read’ in your face?  Are you smiling or scowling, most of the time? What if there was a shot of your bank statement, or statement of charitable givings, or calendar, or ‘to do’ list? Would you post them on Facebook, or if you are not inclined towards social media, would you want them printed in the newspaper?

Would any of these close-ups reveal that you are a Christian? What would you be doing? What would our congregation be doing, filmed in the same way?  What would others see and learn by our actions alone.

What would the closing credits be?

Recipe:  Polenta Simple comfort food, especially good replacing pasta topped with a spicy tomato sauce, as the stage for a rich beef stew or as a side to grilled pork chops.  Recipes abound!  Some replace some of the water with milk.  All add grated hard cheese, often parmesan.  For leftovers: Chill the polenta, cut into squares or rounds and fry in olive oil. This version can also be grilled but it can be a bit tricky, even using a grill tray.

water, medium-ground yellow cornmeal, salt,  2 Tablespoons butter(or olive oil), grated parmesan cheese

In a heavy, medium sized pot, heat 3 cups of cold water to boiling; in a bowl mix 1 cup of cornmeal with 1 cup of cold water; add to boiling water, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and stir constantly until thick.  Add butter and cheese and serve.  (If it gets a bit lumpy, a whisk will help.)