Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Saw a little bit of that TV movie about Pope John Paul II Sunday night—missed seeing Joe Buck in the role, but did see a bit of the preternaturally handsome and beatific Dread Pirate Roberts in the part of young Karol Wojtyla, mooning about Nazi-occupied Krakow. This is the second American TV biopic about the late Pontiff—Albert Finney played him last time. Anyway, it must have gone deep down and stuck somewhere (perhaps meeting up with my strangely vivid memories of the Marvel comic about the Pope that my mother kept around the house as a joke when I was a kid), because last night I dreamed I was Karol Wojytla, or the actor playing him, in a strangely coed seminary scene, about to take an exam on some book by Reinhold Niebuhr that I hadn't actually read. The other priests (and, er, priestesses) in training were kidding me about it, while a very Irish-looking James Cromwell admonished me sternly in his wavery Polish accent. I woke up with a weird sensation of empathy. Maybe it was my sense of the Pope as minor Polish poet (there's a scene in the TV movie I caught where young Wojtyla is scene reading Polish poetry to his fellow rock quarry workers, trying to inspire them with the greatness of the cultural heritage the Nazis are trying to destory), but in retrospect he seemed easier to identify with, at least as a young man, than most of the other people I see on television. Especially the ones who talk about God.

The cold has my body contracted and my mind adrift. I will try to warm both with my brand-new copy of Vanitas. Say, wasn't I writing a dissertation or something?

No comments:

Popular Posts