Tag Archives: drawing

On the Threshing Floor

“Threshing Floor” – David Wilson-Burns © 2010

It had been a long day of winnowing barley.  I was well pleased with the harvest, well-fed, and had had my fill of wine from my vineyard.  I drifted to sleep with thoughts of the woman I’d met in the fields.   What a noble woman she was, and lovely.  She had done such a kindness, a hesed, for my kinswoman.  Rarely had I witnessed such faithfulness, and in a Moabite woman!  I couldn’t help to think that she would certainly make as faithful a wife.

Deep in the night, I was awoken.  During winnowing time, I sleep on the threshing room floor along with my servants.  But this was not one of my servants.   I was awoken by a sweet fragrance, something sweeter than the barley grain.  Sleeping at my feet was a woman wrapped in my cloak.  I sat up and touched her softly and whispered, “Who are you?”

My heart raced when the woman replied, “I am Ruth, your servant.”

Oh Ruth.  My dear, sweet woman.  She had come to me in my slumber to lay herself before my feet!

She continued on; her words as sweet as the honey I had supped on the evening before!

“Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”

Yes, yes.  I was a redeemer, being very closely related to her mother-in-law, Naomi, but I was not the closest.  So I spoke words to honor her and let her know how I felt about her, and made also a proposition that was good and proper.

“May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.”  Her eyes met mine for just a moment, but being a modest woman she bowed them quickly.  “And now, my daughter,” I continued, “do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.  And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I.   Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

And this sweet woman nodded her consent and lay back down at my feet.  And I, taken with love and compassion for her, could hardly sleep,  for she had redeemed our dear Naomi.  She, a Moabite, chose to live here in Bethlehem to care for an Israelite out of no legal obligation.  She must truly be a good woman, a woman of God.   And I prayed to the Lord until morning that my cousin, the closest possible redeemer, would pass her to me, if it be the Lord’s will.

Oh my sweet Ruth!  Let it be that I would redeem you and your husband’s line.  It is certain to be a noble one!


Some thoughts on the movie Carrie

“Carrie White” – David Wilson-Burns © 2010

Ok, so I’m not gonna do an exhaustive review of this movie, I just have to share some thoughts.

This is, perhaps, one of my favorite films of all-time.  It’s something entirely unique.   Writer Stephen King, director Brian dePalma, composer Pino Donnagio, actresses Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie have created something here that keeps me coming back year after year.

1.) They give us a glimpse into high school life in the mid-seventies that feels very authentic.  So, it is powerfully nostalgic.

2.)  Sissy Spacek’s Carrie is at once lovable, pitiable, beautiful, and terrifying.  What other movie causes you to fall in love with it’s monster?  You just want to take her up in your arms and tell her it’s all going to be ok….just don’t FREAK OUT!!!!

3.)  Piper Laurie’s Margeret White, the monster behind the monster, creates one of the most striking characters in film….EVER!  Her performance is masterful.  Her mix of creepy religious fanaticism, southern drawl, powerful suppressed sexuality, psychopathic paranoia, and misguided maternity really set the stage for Spacek’s performance.

“I smelled the whiskey on his breath. Then he took me. He took me, with the stink of filthy roadhouse whiskey on his breath, and I liked it. I liked it!”

OH YEAH!  That’s Oscar-worthy stuff their!

4.)  Donnagio’s score along with contributions from pop singer Katie Irving.  “Carrie’s Theme” is one of those heart-breaking and sweet pop melodies that get you totally hooked.  You just want to hear it over and over again…and that’s exactly what Donnagio does!  He weaves it throughout the movie.  It has as much to do with the audience falling in love with Carrie as Spacek’s performance.  He uses it to woo you, to delight you, to relax you, and to STRIKE you! It’s also the melody to Katie Irvings single, “Born to have it all” which plays at the dance.   He creates tension with sustained chords, uncomfortably dissonant electronic tones, and driving low string patterns and punctuations, reminiscent of the score from Psycho.

5.) SCARY ST. SEBASTION!!! SCARY ST. SEBASTION!!!!  No beard, glowing eyes, and eerily similar to the mom!

6.)  It’s funny and goofy.  I love the prom tux shop montage, Margeret White’s opening scene evangelizing to Sue’s mom, the silly music during the after-school calisthenics detention, the effeminate poetry teacher who praises Tommy’s plagiarized poem.

7.) And of course, it’s scary.  It doesn’t numb you with a constant stream of slash scenes.  It slowly teases you and relaxes you, building up your hopes while building up the awful tension of the terrible possibilities of a cruel prank on an unstable, telekinetic, outcast.   And even after she has destroyed her entire senior class (save the would-be heroine, Sue), you still love her and feel for her as she purifies herself in the bath and as she faces her mother in a final showdown.  Because, in the end, it’s Carrie’s mother who is the most terrifying.  The woman who is supposed to love her and protect her, spends her last ounces of love in a misguided and violent act of murderous mercy.  And although, I no longer jump when Carrie’s dead hand reaches out to pull Sue down with her in the dream, I still remember how it felt the first time I saw it.