Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Editing, among other things

Yes, contrary to popular belief, I do edit this stuff. Not very well, and often very late, but quite a lot actually. It's usually only grammar and syntax that gets attended to. Occasionally, the passage of time will reveal some bit of acerbicity to be too uncharitable even for me and it gets amended or removed. This time the "What I did Yesterday" post below got a new picture as the old one was falling off the right side of the monitor. Which occasioned something of a re-write.

And that reminded me that "what I did yesterday" is not a particularly good title for a post as the "yesterday" of yesterday is now the day before yesterday and today was tomorrow yesterday and the day after tomorrow on the original yesterday. And that would make the chronology very hard to follow. But I couldn't think of a better title so I left it as it was.

Which brings us to today's yesterday. So there will be no temporal confusion, we are discussing Monday 29 May 2006, Memorial Day. Mary and I went to a Memorial Day ceremony put on by the local Veterans Affairs Committee, the City of Long Beach, and Forest Lawn Cemeteries. Yes, Forest Lawn, my occasional employer. (I am what is called a "staff musician" which sounds somewhat grander than it is. That means when someone wants a piper, they find me on their rollodex and refer me to the family. No office. No practice room. And most assuredly no regular salary.) I got the impetus to go as a few friends of mine play in a local pipe band which was performing for the ceremony. I hadn't heard them in a while and thought I would go down and hear how they sound these days. (If you're interested, coming together nicely. Noticeable improvement in the drum corps.) The band played, speeches were given: the mayor spoke, the sheriff spoke, local congresswoman spoke; tributes were made. A nice bbq was held afterward.

And why am I telling you all this? Because of where it was held. It was a very patriotic, but very civic and secular sort of ceremony. But it was held on the lawn in front of the main outside wall of the Sunnyside/Forest Lawn building. The wall contains a large -- huge! three stories high! -- frescoe of Raffaelo's "Dispute about the Blessed Sacrament". Vide:

This surmounted the whole ceremony. It was wonderful. Without a word, Catholicism was impressed upon the whole thing:

The focal point of the composition is the Eucharist Bread which is placed on an axis that joins the Host to the Trinity. At the top of the lunette, between two choirs of angels, is the Eternal Father. Immediately below is His Incarnate Son flanked by the Madonna and St. John the Baptist. Below them is the Holy Spirit pictured between the four Gospels it inspired. Seated on clouds on both sides of the central group are the Blessed of the Old and New Testament— the Church Triumphant. On the lower semi-circle are pictured the Fathers of the Church and several theologicians—the Church militant. [Description from this site.]

There's a nicer (and larger) image here. If you happen to be at Sunnyside in Long Beach you'll find a plaque identifying the various saints and prophets. The Catholic cemetery is across the street and has nothing like this.