Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pillow Talk

One of the characters in the play our church is doing for its 150th anniversary celebrations is called Hopestill Pillow.  Yup.  And she was a real person and that was her real name.  Extraordinary.   Which set me to thinking about pillows as a topic, so I trolled through my clippings on Evernote to see what came up.  

First there's a tweet from the witty writer who goes by the name of Kim Kierkegaardashian.  He or she mixes the serious spirituality of Kierkegaard with the vacuousness Kardashain philosophy of life.  

Weary of people, weary of myself, so weary that I need an eternity to rest. That's why I always carry a pillow when I'm travelling.
And talking about neck pillows, another favourite tweeter, Alan Jacobs, wrote: I salute you, dude who walks around the airport with your inflatable neck pillow tied around your collar.   There's something daft about this sentence. 
On another tack entirely, Joan Acocella wrote an article on the grimness of the Grimms Brothers' fairy tales. There's a reference to pillows in this one: In “The Twelve Brothers,” a king who has twelve sons decides that, if his next child is a girl, he will have all his sons killed. That way, his daughter will inherit more money. So he has twelve coffins built, each with a little pillow. Little pillows! For boys whom he is willing to murder!

A super-preganancy pillow!
And in another article related to the after-effects of abortions, we read about Emily, who, after having had an abortion, began to have flashbacks in relation to live babies: Emily’s first flashback hit her violently when she had her first ultrasound while pregnant with a “wanted” child. As time went on, she would get frequent intrusive thoughts concerning her abortion when looking at the faces of her babies. After a time, she began to also experience habitual, obsessive, and scary thoughts about hurting her children. She imagined stabbing her children with a knife one by one, suffocating them with pillows, and strangling them.
In a piece by Lois Swagerty about churches sometimes forgetting what they exist for, we read:
One way the church may have its comfort zone stretched is when new elements of the community are welcomed inside.
“A young lady from the neighbourhood came in when she was high on drugs,” recalls Cindy Milbry, director of community outreach for Redeemer Lutheran Church in Toledo. “Pastor was doing the sermon and the girl  disrupted the whole process. Someone said, ‘Let’s call the police,’ but I told them, ‘This is what the church is for.’ Instead I took her downstairs and fixed her a plate of food. The next time she came in, she wasn’t as high, but she was still disruptive. One of the girls sat down with her and she fell asleep, so we got her a pillow and covered her up. People didn’t say as much.  Next time she came, she went up front for prayer and gave her testimony. She said the only peace she has is when she comes to the church. She’s learning that the church is a safe place to come and sit. And the congregation is learning that Jesus came for the unsaved, not the saved.”

And finally, a joke which touches on the friendly rivalry between Australians and New Zealanders:
An Australian rugby fan, a South African rugby fan and a New Zealand rugby fan are all in Saudi Arabia, sharing a smuggled crate of booze when Saudi police rush in and arrest them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offence in Saudi Arabia, so for consuming the booze they are all sentenced to death. However, after many months and with the help of good lawyers, they are able successfully to appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment. By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the benevolent sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the sheikh announced, "It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping."
The South African was first. He thought for a while, then said, "Please tie a pillow to my back."
This was done, but the pillow lasted only 10 lashes before the whip went through. When the punishment was done, the South African had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain.
The Australian was next up. After watching the South African's horror, he said smugly, "Please fix two pillows to my back." But even two pillows could take only 15 lashes before the whip went through and the Australian was soon led away whimpering loudly (as they do).
The New Zealander was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the sheikh turned to him and said, "You are from a most beautiful part of the world and your culture is one of the finest. For this, you may have two wishes!"
"Thank you, your most royal and merciful highness," the Kiwi replied. "In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20 lashes but 100 lashes."
"Not only are you an honourable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave," the sheikh said with an admiring look on his face. "If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish"?
"Tie the Australian to my back."


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