Sunday, February 22, 2004

For the faithful readers (still tracking on one hand, which is good since I only have the other left), my harangues about "The Passion of the Christ" may come off as the OCD meanderings of an educated-by-the-nuns, poked-by-the-priests, banished-by-the-diocese Catholic miscreant. Well, one of the three is right and if you throw in the bon-bon that the nuns were in Jersey, you've got yourself a package of suppressed p.o-ed at the Catholic church sort of guy. Or, as Sister Mary Aloysious of the Palm Switches used to say, "Mister! You're Bold as brass and twice as Brazen". Kudos, indeed.
I swear that I thought my "Passion.." days were over. This morning, while nursing a fine cup of coffee, reading the Philly Inquirer (because you need the high school English of the Inq. to lead into the college level of the NYT, or as my son says, "Baby steps, Tata, baby steps"), and listening to the Esbjorn Svennson Trio's "Somewhere Else Before", this gloriously beautiful Sunday morning was shocked from its gentle ebb and flow of reading & conversation by the tsunami of the Arts & Entertainment headline. "Gibson's Gethsemane". Bummer! Out the window went the Sunday morn cuor contento, in came the spate of opinion obligations.
Off to the PC to figure out this "Getsemane" thing; my bible studies' memory chips were the 386 version, so no data was recoverable from the grey matter. Much of the Google "hits" thing. I latched on to two that seemed to do the explanation trick:
1) Long piece, Garden of Gethsemane
2) Short piece, It's about the Olive

(A short interlude here...clomping down the stairs, opening the closet, grabbing Monk's "Straight, No Chaser", reverse clomp up the stairs, replacing EST with Thelonius, pressing CD start....ahhhh, there's Mr. Rouse on tenor. NOW, all can start again, what with Monk's realigned jazz thing happening..)

As the Brothers of the Sacred Heart used to preach to the captive masses in high school, "Convert, Convert, Convert" (their spiritual take on the too-wordly location, location, location). And so, I shall convert! Well, convert meaning convert from the early AD days to the present AD times. Exercise some patience here. Don't bite your tongue, but rather place it firmly in your left cheek. Pad & pencil ready? Get it on! (thanks to the Captain of "Most Extreme Challenge" for reviving that phrase).

In the Greek lexicon, noted above, "Gethsemane", or in its original Aramaic spelling, "Geqshmania (with the wavy hand bidding you goodbye on the "a") means, "oil press". OK. In the spiel on The Garden of Getsemane, it was noted that Jesus left his apostles on the Mount of Olives while he went to the Garden of Gehesmane to think things over.

So he left the Olives and went to the Oil Press.

Hey, this sounds like my youth in New Jersey!

My teenage mind was in a muddle, addled by the nuns, the brothers (of the Catholic Order type), the friends, and the fam. The need for some alone time was great. So, I'd leave my friends at the Mount of Oil Warehouses and skedaddle over to the Garden of Esso (now the Botanical Emporium of Exxon/Mobil). Once there, I'd work on getting my act together, dealing with the betrayals, the ephemera of friendship, the confusion of requests/demands thrown my way. The humming, the pounding, and the shrilling of grating metal around the refinery is the white noise that cleared out the patternless spiderweb clogging my head. I'd be polishing off my synapses. Trying to get to the core of who I was.

I think I get this "Garden of Gethsemane" thing.
It's your own private Idaho, your sanctuary under your bed tent (don't forget the flashlight), your domain of secret thoughts.

And then I see that Philly Inq headline again.
"Gibson's Gethsemane"
Hold on there, Mr. Steven Rea (the Philly Inq reviewer writing the article) !! Isn't the whole Gethsemane thing supposed to be a private thing? So, how could "The Passion of the Christ" be Gibson's private thing...unless of course all of the publicity we've been hit with is just a huge joke; Mel Gibson will NOT be releasing this movie on Ash Wednesday. Since it is his own private visit to his Garden..

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