Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thank you William Goldman.

Hi friends,

I heard the news this morning that the Germanwings plane was deliberately crashed by the co-pilot.
This kind of news makes me a bit paralyzed and honestly embarrassed to be blogging my happy, frivolous topics.

I am not clever enough or thick skinned enough to blog about important newsy things.

And I also don't know if we were created to take in all of the pain and suffering and insanity that goes on in the entire world.

My heart can't take it.  Can yours?

So as one famous person wrote ( I am too stupid to remember who wrote it and did not take the time to read it)
we are amusing ourselves to death.

I didn't really want to read it.  Cause who wants to read what a dolt you are?  Not me.

But it is too painful to pay attention to the whole complicated world.
(I can barely handle volleyball tournaments lately)

Life is pain, highness

That line is from William Goldman's The Princess Bride.

He wanted us to know that life is unfair.  It is a major theme in his book.

“Who says life is fair, where is that written?” 

But Goldman also wanted us to have hope....
most people miss it.
Most people have not read the book and the following line is not in the movie.
I guess most people aren't me and didn't need to read it.

But I needed this part.

“I suppose I was dying again, so I asked the Lord of Permanent Affection for the strength to live the day. Clearly, the answer came in the affirmative.""I didn't know there was such a Fellow," Buttercup said."Neither did I, in truth, but if He didn't exist, I didn't much want to either.” 

Lord of Permanent Affection.
Strength to live the day.
Mind your own business.
Work with your hands.
Encourage one another.

Love you.
Mean it.

Donna Elsie

God be with the suffering ones today.


  1. Yes. This.

    All of this rings so true in my soul.

    I was just thinking of the verse, "I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Later it says "taste and see that the Lord is good." Surely he is.

    Bless you, Donna.

    1. P.S. agreeing with you in prayer

  2. janice11:00 AM

    That book and especially that paragraph shaped my life. I needed it too. I no longer think of death as being unfair, it is inevitable, none of us are getting out of here alive, but having hope when you are the ones left behind is necessary.
    Love you Donna, Mean It

    1. Beautifully said Dearest Janice.
      Love you.
      Mean it.

  3. Anonymous11:03 AM

    I think that we have to feel the pain of others to be truly good people. But we can't become consumed by it...and we have to find the joy in life in every little thing we can or else we will become miserable people. And miserable people affect others in such a negative way.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      This is so true. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Thank you not only to William Goldman, but also to Donnie Elsie for sharing this today. And no, I don't think our hearts can take on all the pain and suffering in the world, but we can pray BIG together. xoxo

  5. Coming here to read your words is a highlight of my day, Donna. Whatever you decide to share each day always makes me happy or thoughtful.

    (Two weeks ago I wanted to reread "The Princess Bride" and found out our library doesn't have a copy anymore so I asked the librarian who was checking me out to put me on hold for the book. When I went to pick it up I found out it's the abridged version called "Just the Good Parts." I was so disappointed because it is in essence the movie script. I will track down the original version soon to reread William Goldman's words again.)

  6. Just before reading this post, I was on Facebook and saw this quote from Pastor James MacDonald: "If your trust in God is limited by your understanding of His ways, you will always have a limited trust." My prayer for myself is that my trust in Him not be limited by my own understanding. Isaiah 55:8-9: “'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"

  7. Internet ate my comment. Summary:

    I lean on the "but God" statements in scripture, trusting that despite ourselves and our brokenness, God speaks. Brings comfort and hope.

    I also turn off the tv. I have spent too much of my life getting sucked in to these sorts of things in the tv, and it becomes a skewed form of entertainment for me. So I have to walk away, and pray.

    The opera singers who were killed - with their baby - were friends of one of my dearest is unthinkable.

    But God. Rich in mercy. Yes.

    1. Our pastor just preached a series on the "but God" statements in the Bible. Very good. Very comforting. Prayers for our world.

  8. You know, for my entire life I've heard about people who just love The Princess Bride. I've never bothered to watch it.

    This quote alone has convinced me to read it. Now.

    You're not alone, by the way. My heart can't take that kind of news. (After a brush with breast cancer last year, I could no bear to watch the news because I would cry, real tears, and be unable to function. Life changes your heart in surprising ways sometimes.)


  9. Anonymous2:33 PM

    You are such an encourager even when things/times are hard and I totally agree with your post.

    I'm currently watching "Parenthood" on Netflix and got to the part about a character's battle with cancer (for which I was completely unprepared and had I known, might have unwisely chosen not to watch the show!). Then I saw references to Kara Tippet's death and began reading her blog and bought her book "The Hardest Peace". One of the teacher's at our school lost her husband this week after a decade-long illness. Life is hard! Just today, I read this in "The Hardest Peace": "Give me the courage to stand the pain to get the grace." Flannery O'Connor, A Prayer Journal

    Also, my sister (who is fighting her own battle with cancer and glory be, winning!), posted this from her favorite and mine, Anne Lamott, earlier this week. I can't figure out how to link to it, but if you find her on Facebook, it was a post from March 23.

    The quote I remember from the Anne Lamott post was "the problem with life is that it is so lifey".

    You would totally appreciate Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death!" It is wonderfully written and much of his message (which I read about 10 years ago) has stayed with me. One of the biggest things I remember is he said something about the nature of global newscasts which we hear/see and we are confused about their impact on us. Of course we feel compassion for those who perished in the Germanwings crash and for their families. But we also feel helpless and lacking control to do anything about the situation. Before television, the news people heard was local. You perfectly described the problem we all feel with news that is bigger than our ability to comprehend. We are exposed to it constantly and I think it has added to the stress we feel in our daily lives. As Steph says above, I have to walk away from it and pray.

    The length of my response indicates the difficulty I also feel in processing all the very big, sad things of this life.

    Sandy C.

    1. Kara Tippett's passing impacted me, too - as did her book. Thanks for this post, Sandy C.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Anonymous11:02 AM

    I have been away from the computer, so did not see this until today. Interestingly, I just finished reading the book As You Wish by Cary Elwes and it was delightful. That cast had a wonderful, fun time making the movie and Cary says respectful, wonderful things about William Goldman who was on set for the making of at least part of the movie. Our youngest son read the book, way before the movie was made and introduced us to it.

    We no longer watch the news on TV. We read the newspaper and I say a prayer as I read some sad how some people forget that life is a gift. Yesterday we had a terrible accident near us on a busy interstate a semi ran into a bridge under construction and knocked it down onto dead and three injured. Thanks be to God, it could have been so much worse and prayers for those impacted by the event. The important thing I remember is to "lean into Jesus." love and prayers, jep

  11. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Ms. Boo, I'm so with you. I cried reading about the German plane - my firstborn is 6mo, and there was a 7mo on the plane, and that just choked (even now!) me up. Take every day as a blessing. And do you know that your blog is a blessing, every day? It's too much to focus on the negative of the whole world, you show that there is good and sweetness and God and yes, we CAN get through this day! Prayers for you and your family (especially Emma), from this loyal Internet stranger in Boston - Lori

  12. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Dearest Donna, I am not sure if you will even see this, because it is a day late. I hope that you are somehow notified when a new comment arrives, even if it is a day late. You have a calmness and sweetness about you that is unparalleled to anyone I have ever met. You bring peace to the soul. I will NEVER EVER forget you and I, sitting in the funeral home, my daddy in the casket in front of us. The peace and comfort your words gave me, I still can feel them to this day, almost 25 years later. I may not remember the exact words, I knew I was worried about there being a heaven, and would we really all meet again, and would my father even recognize me. You told me that time does not matter in heaven, and that my father would always be with me...and to this day, I find dimes. I pick them up and say, Hi Daddy! It gives me peace to know that he is with me. Without you, I might not have ever thought that way. Keep your gentle spirit...we all need it and more people like you in this world.
    Kris Schwarz

    1. Thank you dear Kris. Janice told me a few years ago that our dad left her dimes! So now I think that too! Katie collects them. We are connected Kris...because of our parent's love. It's a gift.


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