iab-728x90

The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

iab-728x90

Books, TVs, Videos

B O O K S
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo is a daybook that fulfills the author's definition of it as "a spiritual sonnet of our age, a sturdy container for small doses of what matters." Here the reader will find touching vignettes and insightful meditations on tears, friendship, the broken heart, pain, patience and all the connections that link us together.


We were impressed with Nepo's ethical insights. For example, here is what he says about greed and narcissism: "The greedy one gathered all the cherries, while the simple one tasted all the cherries in one"; "I tried so hard to please that I never realized no one is watching." Let this daybook speak directly to your heart about the beauty, the bounty and the blessings of life (Conari Press).

T V
On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying is a four-part series in which Bill Moyers renders us an invaluable moral service by familiarizing us with the intimate end-of-life journeys of more than a dozen individuals. Through their stories, he brings to the fore some of the thorny issues involved in better care for the dying. Patients and health-care professionals must work together to make important decisions regarding medical intervention, a palliative approach to pain relief, the right to die and hospice options.

Religious teacher Anthony de Mello observed: "Awareness of death gives sweetness to life." In ancient times, mystics sometimes passed the night in coffins to get used to the idea of dying. This series offers a contemporary equivalent (PBS, Sept. 10-13, 9-10:30 pm ET).

In some TV markets, these programs will be supplemented with four 30-minute companions titled "With Eyes Open." Host Ray Suarez and the San Francisco Zen Center Hospice's Frank Ostaseski talk with patients and their families about grief and healing, difficult end-of-life questions and caregiving. The last program, "Beyond Life, Beyond Death," moderated by Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and author Rabbi David Wolpe, explores what people believe about where they go when they die (check local listings).

V I D E O S
My Dog Skip is based on a 1995 memoir by the late Willie Morris. It is set in the 1940s in Yazu, Miss. Eight-year-old Willie is a lonely and weak kid who doesn't have any friends. Then he gets Skip, an English fox terrier, for his 9th birthday. The dog opens up and expands Willie's constricted world. This pleasant drama fits right in with countless other stories and myths about animals as invaluable friends who, as Morris puts it in a voiceover, possess "the wisdom of nature as old as time" (Warner Bros., PG).

We were impressed with Nepo's ethical insights. For example, here is what he says about greed and narcissism: "The greedy one gathered all the cherries, while the simple one tasted all the cherries in one"; "I tried so hard to please that I never realized no one is watching." Let this daybook speak directly to your heart about the beauty, the bounty and the blessings of life (Conari Press).

(Warner Bros., PG).


Comments



Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

iab-728x90
October issue

OCTOBER issue:

Older adults: Assets to our church

More...