books, movie, music, pain

Places of Rest for the Heart Broken

I suppose I’m forming an informal series on intense personal pain. I’ve got three other posts here, here and here.

As I try to work out faith and life, I keep finding holes and flaws in American Christianity and so I attempt to fill the gaps or correct the theological warping. Some ways I change are through theological constructions and seeking out the conclusions (which is more often than not, other people). But there are also works outside of Christian theology where one can find rest.

Finding places of rest cannot be underestimated. Some places are between the hurting human and the divine, but there are also other places that deal with the situation of pain but are reflections by humans on these human experiences and sometimes may indirectly lead us back to the divine.

I have found some rather helpful, “current” works and figured I would mention a couple of them for the benefit of those who are searching who are likewise in pain. But by all means, anyone with a suggestion please leave a comment.

In the middle of this past August, Kenneth Branaugh’s Hamlet was finally released on dvd and I got myself a copy. I was already a huge fan of the play and this movie’s interpretation ever since high school, but now I find this work incredibly helpful, especially disc 1. Father murdered by the brother. Brother now becomes king and very quickly marries widowed queen. Son Hamlet is also rejected by Ophelia, while he reals from the parental problems and whether or not Hamlet will take revenge. And in all this, Branaugh does an excellent job.

Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier is nearly 600 pages of mourning, in all its fluctuating manic glory. You can pick it up and start reading almost anywhere and put it down whenever you want. There is no push to read an argument or finish a plot, but instead to see that the fellow anguished exist in highs and lows as well. This is Jewish grief expertly written. And all the heartache aside, Wieseltier tells some really good history stories within the text, as he searches his Jewish tradition.

And there is always some melancholic music. I suggest Brahms Cello Sonatas.

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2 thoughts on “Places of Rest for the Heart Broken

  1. I just finished Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much is True” a few days ago. It was a pretty roug journey of healing, and for a while I was thinking about giving up. But, it was well worth perservering until the end. If you have a good block of time, I’d recommend it. I’m not sure that I’d call is a “Place of Rest”, but it is definitely a worth while read…if you have time to tromp through all 900 pages.

  2. d. w. horstkoetter says:

    Thanks Patrick, I’ll look into it.

    Yeah, I’m not sure rest, when it comes to healing, is always “peaceful” in the sense that the roughness is gone. Sometimes it seems that it is restful to see others in similar mood swings. The commonality can strangely put part of one’s mind to rest (the part that will not let one sleep), despite the continuing turmoil and unchangeable circumstances. I suppose it is truly experiencing the phrase, instead of only hearing, “You’re alright even if you don’t see it, you’ll be okay because this is actually a sign of health and it won’t always be this way.”

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