Yesterday’s Adventures

Last night, I indulged my newly-acquired affinity for Dutch crime dramas by watching the second component of the Department Q trilogy. Last evening’s treasure was entitled Department Q: The Absent Ones. Like the first in the series, the troubled and troublesome detective rips into cold cases with abandon. I enjoyed the film quite a lot; if one hasn’t seen the first one, though (Department Q: Keeper of Lost Causes), though, I would recommend watching that one first.  The next, and final (as far as I know) film in the series is entitled Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith. I suspect I will be equally enamored of that one as I have been with the first two.

I was unaware of Jussi Adler-Olsen, the author upon whose international bestselling books the series is based. Having found the two films based on his Department Q series so engrossing, though, I think I’ll have to explore his books. Others in his Department Q series include: The Purity of Vengeance; The Hanging Girl; The Marco Effect; Guilt; Mercy; and Buried: Book 5. I’m concerned that I might be engrossed in the films due to the characters’ acting abilities and the allure of reading subtitles while watching Danish language films; the stories, on reflection, are not particularly riveting. I suppose the flaws in the main character (whose name is Carl Mørck, played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas) appeal to me because they describe or are quite similar in many ways to a few characters I’ve written and others who reside fully developed in my head. And the appeal may rest, in part, in the fact that Mørck is assisted in his efforts by Asaad (Fares Fares), who is (either I assume or learned in The Keeper of Lost Causes, I’m not sure which) a Middle Eastern immigrant. For whatever reason, I’ve become enamored with the Danish film series. I know I’ll watch Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith; I have it on my ‘saved’ list on Netflix.

Aside from last night’s film fest, I experienced a full twenty-four hours. Yesterday started when my alarm ripped into my dreams at 5:15 a.m. (I had to set an alarm, just in case), alerting me to the fact that I needed to arise so I could take my neighbors to the airport in Little Rock. Following the drop off, my wife and I had breakfast at a place I believe is called Dan’s 1-30 Cafe.

Then, on our return, I left my wife at home while I went to the church I sometimes attend to listen to discussions about the possibility of engaging a new part-time minister. I succeeded in keeping my opinions largely to myself (I am not a member, therefore do not feel it is within my ‘rights’ to object to anything the organization does). But I did ask a question: how different have the ‘worship’ services been under a minister (the developmental guy they hired last summer) compared to the services organized by the church leadership? It did not surprise me to learn that several members support the idea of a minister because it reduces the work load on volunteers; but there were other reasons, as well, all legitimate, I think…just not convincing to the biased guy living inside my head. Were I a member of the group, I might have expressed my opinion that neither worship services nor a minister have any appeal. But probably not; that discussion took place before I started attending with any frequency. I suppose I’ll just sit back and continue to enjoy the ‘insight’ services and appreciate that the organization allows atheists to participate.

Upon my return from the congregational conversation as they called it, I again attacked the encroaching forest behind my house. With hand trimmer in hand, I snipped vines and branches, hoping to smooth over an unruly landscape. My efforts, though valiant, were insufficient to make a dent in the appearance of the tiny strip of land upon which I invested my efforts. Clearly, I will need to devote an entire day, perhaps an entire summer, the the chore. After I successfully fight back the hideous plant life, I’ll need to hire someone to help me by bringing in Visqueen and gravel and rock and pine bark mulch, along with youthful energy, to beautify the landscape and limit the forest’s invasion. None of this will continue this morning, though, as I will return to said building to church building engage in fellowship with others who may or may not share my nonreligious perspectives on life.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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