(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in FIND of FAITH this daily leavened [Just Jesus WAIT and SEE!] bread.”)
You had faith but then it became a lie.
You had faith but then it became a past.
Is it possible it’s misplaced as “try?”
You can’t try to have faith as “at long last.”
I had faith but then it became a tale.
I had faith but then it became a wrong.
Is it possible it’s misplaced as “frail?”
My faith can’t be frail. It has to be strong.
“Hang on a short while longer. Faith in ME,”
says Jesus. “Before you know it, Faith FREE!
Faith not lost nor misplaced. Your Faith can BE
just PRAY, just HOPE, just LOVE, just WAIT and SEE!”
People can argue that I talk MUCH wraith.
Know I MUST talk of lost or misplaced faith?
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in “HELP?!?!” this daily leavened bread.”)
“HELP?!?!” You need not say any more than THAT.
“HELP?!?!” THAT will do for any need of yours.
When God hears, “HELP?!?!,” you are brought “welcome mat.”
When God hears, “HELP?!?!,” you are brought inside doors.
“HELP?!?!” I need not say any more than THIS.
“HELP?!?!” THIS will do for any need of mine.
When God hears, “HELP?!?!,” I am brought into bliss.
When God hears, “HELP?!?!,” I am brought His Hotline.
“HELP?!?!” ALL you need to say when said to ME,”
says Jesus. “Waste NOT a word, only ONE.
No need to lament. You’re too tired to plea.
“HELP?!?!” ONE word that will bring ME everyONE.”
No worries of no word to rhyme with “help.”
No worries whatsoever when God hears, “HELP?!?!”
picture: please visit https://www.hatsalive.org/donate/ to make a donation to “HELP?!?!” God’s nonhuman animals 🐾
(a “why can’t YOU be ME?” film review by Timothy J. Verret)
What happens in a marriage (or any meaningful relationship) when one person can’t be the other person? Resentment happens! Aggression happens! Rage happens! And yet what a fatalistic set-up, huh? Because the one person in a marriage (or any meaningful relationship) can NEVER be the other person. And how boring would it be if this could indeed happen? All of this gave Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman, much to work with in his six-part miniseries for Swedish television, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, later widely released and condensed down to a nearly-three-hour motion picture. And if you are familiar with my HUGE adoration of Ingmar Bergman’s films and my previous film reviews I’ve written from this master filmmaker, you know, like Bergman himself, I will not hold back from “deep calls to deep” and make this review a “surface surgery.” No, indeed NOT, and speaking of “widely,” this film review will be a wide-excision biopsy!
Johan (Erland Josephson) and Marianne (Liv Ullmann) have been married for 20 years. He’s some kind of psychological researcher and she’s, ironically, a divorce lawyer. They’re BOTH amicable and pleasant and if they have flaws (hint, hint….they do), they wear them well. That is until, as mentioned, a wide-excision biopsy for BOTH of them is necessary to drain the pus of these flaws they can no longer hide. The pus of their flaws contain what most pus of flaws in a marriage (or any meaningful relationship) contain: Resentment, loneliness, rage, even perverseness, all stemming from “why can’t YOU be ME?” Once again, BOTH amicable and pleasant are Johan and Marianne, but amicability and pleasantries are hardly the stuff meaningful marriages and relationships are made of. If these kinds of marriages and relationships are to survive the trials, temptations and terrors that are absolutely inevitable for a greater meaning, yes, a wide-excision biopsy will be mandatory. And it has to be a wide-excision biopsy because, oh, how WIDE has the malignancy of resentment, loneliness, rage, even perverseness, spread in the relationship of Johan and Marianne! It’s eaten away tissues, bones, ligaments, and “settled the score” right dab in BOTH of their enraged and inflamed hearts. Even the widest-excision biopsy possible still might not cure their malignancy. In the case of Johan and Marianne from the beginning to the end of this film, I think it all came pretty close to a cure.
I admit it: For the most part, I’m “chicken” when it comes to meaningful relationships. I’m so afraid of the rejection possible and the hurt probable. Don’t get we wrong. I MOST DESPERATELY want meaningful relationships. In fact, I might even consider dying for them! I want the fights and the fury and the final flirt, the slamming of doors and the chasing after me when I end up in a closet, the playing and the pouting and the praying. I want it ALL! But I am just not that brave. But, oh, how brave is Bergman! In fact, there is not one single film director, living or dead, who is as brave as Bergman is! What makes Bergman so brave, I think, is he’s not afraid to be humiliated. From what I know about Bergman’s life, it’s probably because he was humiliated enough in his childhood to not fear humiliation all that much in his adult artistry. That, Bergman and I DO share! And Bergman is not afraid to have his film characters experience humiliation, as well. In fact, it’s their humiliation that leads to their emotional healing! It’s their vulnerability in the face of humiliation that leads to their souls’ healing. And when the wide-excision biopsy has been completed, it IS our souls’ healing that IS the only healing that matters from such a surgery. Bergman has BOTH Johan and Marianne humiliated enough to go right for the jugular! I know I’ve written this before in another review, but that scene when Johan and Marianne get into an actual physical altercation before signing the divorce papers is a film moment I won’t EVER forget! And who am I kidding? That wasn’t an altercation….that was a knock-down-drag-out fight! But how necessary was this because married couples or any couple in a meaningful relationship do this most of the time, even if they don’t actually physically do this most of the time. Depending on the level of sensitivity, and I can speak with authority on this one, even one hurtful word delivered to another in a meaningful relationship can feel just like a knock-down-drag-out fight! Maybe some even more sensitive than myself might feel just like a knock-down-drag-out fight because someone in the relationship forgot to set the alarm clock!
“Why can’t YOU be ME, Johan?” “Why can’t YOU be ME, Marianne?” This lies at the heart (or lack thereof) of all relationships that are fueled with resentment, fear, and aggression. I wonder if a wide-excision biopsy would be required and mandatory if, in all marriages and meaningful relationships, the running dialogue was, “I’ll let YOU be YOU; YOU let ME be ME.” It’s undoubtedly true that a whole lot of “mirroring” takes place in meaningful relationships, i.e., one sees him- or herself in the other person, but the understanding needs to be that it is JUST a mirror. Now, when one’s mirror is cracked and the one asks the other person to pick up the pieces of that broken mirror, that is MAJOR trouble! The broken-mirrored one can say all he or she wants to the other person, “YOU cracked MY mirror,” but that’s a lie! The other person didn’t crack the mirror; the one cracked the mirror him- or herself. No one has the power to crack another person’s mirror unless they let them crack it. And I know Bergman would love that I’m talking about mirrors, because mirrors are a constant representation in Bergman’s films. If there’s not a mirror hanging around on the set, you can bet Bergman is behind that camera and making that camera a mirror! And Bergman is so sly in how he does this! Bergman holds up a mirror to us all in his films and when he shows us something about ourselves we don’t like (and he’s done it to me countless times!), we can’t blame Bergman. Why? Because we can hear Bergman saying behind the camera, “Don’t blame me! I’m ONLY a mirror!”
I want to end this film review by mentioning something so endearing that happened today. After I watched this film, I turned on the TV to see what was on the Olympics. There was synchronized swimming, and I became mesmerized by this Russian female couple. If you don’t know much about synchronized swimming, the two must “mirror” each other’s movements above and under the water. This Russian couple was exceptional in this, and then I thought to myself, “That’s it! That’s what Johan and Marianne needed to do to save their marriage. Take a synchronized swimming class! If they had learned to ‘mirror’ their movements, that would have kept them in ‘sync!'” I just couldn’t pass up mentioning this.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in coming out of my shell [quarantine] very soon but, for now, my every ‘cried’ wiped away by Father God this daily leavened bread.”)
Why hide that you are barely holding on?
Why hide that you are scarcely a breath left?
It’s your hiding that keeps God from your “gone.”
It’s your hiding that leaves God left bereft.
Why hide that I am “fately” uncertain?
Why hide that I am heavily downcast?
It’s my hiding that keeps God ‘hind curtain.
It’s my hiding that leaves God my outcast.
“You’re right! Why hide? It only keeps ME hid,”
says Jesus. “It only leaves ME ‘outside.’
Keep ME in the loop, leave ME not forbid.
Keep ME Front and Center of your ‘inside.'”
Don’t we think God is worthy of our “cried?”
God wipes away every tear, so why hide?
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in being Part of the ‘us’ in JES’us’ this daily leavened [JES’us’ is ‘US!’] bread.”)
You are “us.” You can’t take you out of “Him.”
You are “us.” You can’t take you out of “hurt.”
You are hurting ’cause He’s Hurting for “them.”
You are Part of His “Pain” you can’t divert.
I am “us.” I can’t take me out of “Him.”
I am “us.” I can’t take me out of “hope.”
I am hoping ’cause He’s Hoping for “them.”
I am Part of His “Pray” I can’t “uncope.”
“Don’t take ‘us’ out of My Name. No! Please give!”
says Jes’us.’ “Give them ME! I give YOU, too.
You are ‘us.’ I AM ‘them.’ And, yes, FORgive.
If you take ‘us’ out of Jes’us,’ FORwho?”
Haven’t we all had enough of such fuss?
Have FAITH and don’t take “us” out of JES”us.”
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in NOT banished NOR vanished [NOT BOTH, NOT abandoned!] by Jesus Christ this daily leavened bread.”)
You are not banished but rather belong.
You are not vanished but rather vibrant.
“God is mad at me.” This is rather wrong.
“God forgets me.” This is rather violent.
I am not banished but rather behold.
I am not vanished but rather virtue.
“God is mad at me.” This is rather scold.
“God forgets me.” This is rather curfew.
“You are NOT banished NOR vanished by ME,”
says Jesus. “ALL you are to ME is LOVED!
Not a Height nor a Depth I won’t agree
to Scale it or ‘Deep’ it for you, BELOVED!”
The world wants us BOTH banished AND vanished.
Jesus NOT BOTH! NOT banished NOR vanished.
I adore Shakespeare’s plays and have acted in enough of them to know how brilliant a writer the Bard was (and is). But it never dawned on me that his play, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (which I never acted in, by the way), would become “much ado about” where I am right now in this 10-day quarantine from testing positive for COVID. And speaking of Shakespeare, the God Sonnets I write every morning have not changed their tune or timing, but everything else seems to be me at “much ado about nothing.” Let me try to explain what I mean by this and beg to question if “much ado about nothing” can actually mean “much ado about something?”
It’s not that before testing positive for COVID I was a super busy guy, because I wasn’t. I always have been a super (?) guy with more time on my hands than money in my jeans. But before testing positive for COVID, I did go to work at the hotel and, on my days off from work, went to recovery meetings and my appointment with my therapist, as well as run errands here and there, sometimes with my dog, Blue. But look at me now! In my home, quarantined, with my mentionable dog, Blue, as well my two cats who need surely be mentioned, Comrade Conrad and Groucho. And it’s only the second day in this 10-day quarantine and I’m already climbing the walls. I now have more free time on my hands than money in my jeans than I ever had before. So, I am seriously “much ado about nothing” or is this “nothing” actually “something?”
Truth be told, I was “much ado about nothing” these past couple of days because the symptoms of COVID were “much ado about something” awful! I had EXTREME fatigue and MAJOR aches and pain with fever and just “much ado about yuck!” I couldn’t even pray really, and that really scared me. It’s like in all of this, God has told me, “Look, Timothy, you have been doing ‘much ado’ about too much lately, and I just had to slow you down. This ‘much ado” is for your own good….and MINE!” And God’s right (of course)! I HAVE been doing “much ado” about too much, i.e., too much thriving, too much striving, too much seeking, too much needing, just too much of too much equating to just too much of not feeling I could do enough. God had to bring me to my knees with this COVID and slow me down. So, this “much ado about nothing” is actually “something,” and that “something” is it’s absolutely necessary to stop and rest, stop the “do, do, do,” and just slow down before me (and you) wear ourselves out! God wasn’t kidding when He said: “Be STILL, and know that I AM God” (Psalm 46:10).
I am experiencing much discomfort from this “much ado about nothing.” I feel like I need to be doing “something.” I feel like I just can’t sit here and do “nothing.” Why? Because I’ll be forgotten. Because I won’t earn my keep. And yet, God has an answer for my “I’ll be forgotten” and my “I won’t earn my keep” (BOTH): He said, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made Perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s Power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). And don’t think for a second that this verse is lost on me about that “weakness” part, because boy was I ever weak when I first started having COVID symptoms. It was an ideal time for me to be “much ado about” boasting all the more gladly that I was SO weak! This verse, of course, really does not “much ado about” COVID, but it definitely has “something ado about” admitting how weak we all are (or at least we can be) in mind, body and spirit and how gladly we can and must boast about it “so that Christ’s Power may rest on us.” Maybe, for me, this verse actually does have “something ado about” COVID?
And if there is “much ado about nothing” or “something” that I am most concerned about in all of this, it is the isolation. I already have an “isolation” disposition. If one couples that with my disposition for introversion, I think one gets the not-so-pretty picture. What am I really saying here? Am I gonna go nuts in this isolation? Too late, if anyone knows me at all. Am I gonna tear out all my hair? Too late, if anyone knows me at all. Am I gonna have to ask for help as they say in recovery we’re supposed to do? I think this one right here is “much ado about nothing” that will be “much ado about something,” because God has been working on me for a long now to reach out to others for help. Speaking of “if anyone knows me at all,” I have NEVER liked asking others for help. It just feels SO unnatural and can feel downright unmanageable for me to ask for help. I know many have offered me this very thing, but I just want to “close shop” with their offerings. Why? Am I now going to be obligated to them in some way I won’t be able to oblige? Are they going to become necessary in my life when I prefer not to have anyone become necessary in my life? When I have deemed someone meaningful to me in my life, I have found myself asking this same someone (even if they never heard these exact words): “What do you want from me????” If help be sought, what WOULD they want from ME? If help be sought, what WOULD I want from THEM? What if BOTH of us WOULD only want from each other the simple things for BOTH, like encouragement, support, friendship and, of course, love? What if it WOULD only be these simple things? Then, I WOULD have to ask myself, “Timothy, why are you making these simple things SO difficult?”
Let’s face it, friends (and I do hope I can call you friend?): Now, probably more than ever with what we are all facing, we will have to face in our lives the helplessness and even the hopelessness of “much ado about nothing.” I have been writing about “nothing” for most of my life. It came with the writing of my first play, INGENTING, which is the Swedish word for “nothing.” And “nothing” has continued to haunt my every waking and non-waking hour. I could never have foretold that in the “nothing,” there might be “something.” YES, GOD! I could never have foretold that in the “nothing,” there might be “everything.” YES, GOD! In my beginnings, “nothing” delivered to me the promise of such a word, i.e., “I AM NOTHING, NOTHING MATTERS, AND, YES, NOTHING MATTERS, LEAST OF ALL ME!” Once again, I could never have foretold that “much ado about nothing” could actually be “something” and “everything” and, YES, GOD!
I think in this 10-day quarantine (2 days down, 8 days to go), I’m gonna find out EXACTLY where I am (and will be) with “YES, GOD!” It’s gonna be “much ado about nothing”….or “something?”
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in NONE my or your or their fault (victim), ONLY VICTORY for JESUS CHRIST, I AM ‘HE,’ SET FREE, this daily leavened bread.”)
It is none your fault that you fear the worst.
It is none your fault that you slow the stride.
None it is God won’t take you cursed to Versed.
None it is God won’t take you died to Bride.
It is none my fault that I plunge the deep.
It is none my fault that I stretch the pain.
None it is God won’t take me sleep to Sheep.
None it is God won’t take me slain to Reign.
“It is NONE your fault that you trust in ME,”
says Jesus. “NONE It is I won’t SET FREE.
Fault, shame and blame are NONE of Who I BE,
ALL of the enemy. ME? I AM ‘HE.'”
Let It BE Lifted, let Him BE Exalt.
“I AM ‘HE,’ SET FREE” that is NONE our fault.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in God Good and Most [BOTH] when I am in a bad and a least [BOTH] way this daily leavened bread.”)
You are in a bad way when God is Good.
You are in a least way when God is Most.
If God can’t “way” you through these ways, who could?
If God couldn’t change everything, why boast?
I am in a bad way when God is Good.
I am in a least way when God is Most.
If God won’t “way” me better ways, who would?
If God wouldn’t shift everything, why toast?
“It’s when it’s bad and least, I’m Good and Most,”
says Jesus. “If you’re Good and Most, why ME?
It will be when you’re far and drift, I’m Close.
It will be when you’re blind and Braille, I’m See.”
We’re too tossed these ways from pillar to post.
We just stay put when God is Good and Most.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in ‘where’s my Faith?” not hopefully gone forever this daily [Jesus Holds my hand!] bread.”)
You’re going one way but, oops, another.
This “another” was not in what you planned.
Where’s your Faith? Where you’re hiding your Brother?
Your Brother Jesus is Holding your hand.
I’m coasting fine but, oops, not what I planned.
Did I think it was about what I planned?
Where’s my Faith? Where I’m hiding He Command?
My Commander Christ is Holding my hand.
“Not what you planned but I’m Holding your hand,”
says Jesus. “Let NOT this let you forget:
I AM for you, NOT against you. My Hand
in yours, My Heart in yours, My Peace, no threat.
Do we think at this point He’ll drop His Hand?
Not what we planned but He’s Holding our hand.