Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What is so rare as a day in January?

I know, I know, it's supposed to be another J-month you say that about. But nothing like a week in the teens to make 44 seem balmy....

I was walking the dog on this rare warm day when I had a crack in my brain open and I fell into 1970!

I was thinking of my early days at Harvard Divinity School. I almost didn't get to go because I got drafted. The first piece of mail I got in Cambridge was of the "Greetings..." variety. Eventually, the bishop of WV got me classified 4-D (the only category besides 4-F that wasn't being drafted) divinity and disability were the only things to keep you out of Viet Nam in 1969!

But what I thought about mostly was G.E. Wright, and Old Testament professor (or 'Hebrew Scriptures' as they're know in a more PC time). I never had a class from him but he was bigger than life and you couldn't help but know him.

He used to tell his students there were two ways to study the Old Testament: "The 'von Rad' way and the 'Wright' way!" (Von Rad was a German scholar Wright didn't agree with). Wright was "Right" and nobody questioned it. He was that kind of man.

What I remembered about him (probably because today has so much talk about 'the Intelligence  community) was seeing this boisterous, supremely confident man sitting on the sidewalk of Divinity Avenue weeping--really weeping.

For reasons beyond all comprehension but Harvard's, the CIA had a small office in the Semitic Museum on Divinity Ave. The Semitic Museum had artifacts from all over the Mid-east and especially ancient Israel. Some SDSers had bombed the CIA office and destroyed some irreplaceable, unique works.

Wright had been called, of course, before the smoke cleared. He was sitting in his suit on the sidewalk, holding a broken bowl, crying his eyes out for the Past....

In spite of his sometimes hard to take personality, that made me a GE Wright fan for life....

Funny how stuff like that is in the cracks of your brain and can crawl out while you're walking your dog....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.