Monday, December 31, 2012

Misery and Compassion

I saw Les Miserables today. I knew very little of the novel or the musical, so I approached the music, story, and cinematography with fresh eyes and an open mind.
Photo from L.A. Times
It's one of those stories that changes you. I suppose you could name several different themes for it - the devastation of poverty, revolution and the power of freedom, the folly of justice without mercy. But for me, it resonated with a single message: compassion. That single act of forgiveness and love - a priest, robbed after showing kindness to a forlorn stranger, not only forgiving the deed but covering it up and giving more than was taken from him - changed not only a life, but a whole city.

In gratitude and confusion, the story's protagonist, Jean Valjean, (portrayed movingly by Hugh Jackman) pours out the hatred and resentment he's harbored for 20 years in prison, and allows himself to be filled instead by mercy. He grows into a compassionate businessman, leader, father and hero, and changes lives wherever he goes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A feline friend

Lily, my first cat.
I haven't told you about my cat yet, have I? About two months ago, I decided I wanted  a new cat. I was  unhappy and lonely and I remembered how much joy and comfort my first cat Lily brought. Lily was a beautiful, blue-eyed Siamese mix I took home from the animal shelter the year we moved here. She lived with us for 12 happy years and then one day simply disappeared. I thought she'd come back since she disappeared once before, so I wasn't really worried for the first month or so, then I began to be concerned and started searching for her, but there was no trace. Eventually I just assumed her dead. Cats go off to die sometimes. It's been over a year now and a catless home is...well, sad.

At first my mother did not want another cat in the home...
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