To Anne Rice, With Love (Music for Mondays)

I’ve been on vacation since July 28th. On July 29th, you let the world know you are leaving the Church, and Christianity, in “the name of Christ.” Soon thereafter, the whole blog-o-sphere was on fire with “what it all means” posts. The one I liked, I posted on our Facebook page.

But I was on vacation, see, and sorry—I wasn’t going to write a post about you pulling a “crazy Ivan” and leaving the Church. I promised my wife that I wouldn’t post, and I’m a man of my word. Besides, there was too much to do and too much to see in Washington D.C. Like seeing the museums of the Smithsonian, the Marine Corps War Memorial, the Capitol, the White House, and the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. All worthy of future posts. But in the back of my mind, Anne, I still thought of you.

And I remembered you again when I came across the passage in Genesis where Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. I’m sure you are familiar with this story Anne, because it comes right after Abraham had bargained with God to spare the cities of Sodom and Gemorrah if he could find 10 righteous men in them.

But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” “For the sake of those ten,” He replied, “I will not destroy it.”(Genesis 18:32)

It appears that when taking the census, Abraham came up short, because the city was destroyed in the very next chapter. One family, that of a fellow named Lot was found, and they were warned to get out of town with one condition…don’t look back.

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.(Gen 19:26)

Anne, this all happened a few chapters after the flood (like déjà vu all over again). But maybe you believe everything in the Bible is allegorical. Some is, some isn’t. You have to trust the Church to lead you in this, but that is where you and I part company, see?  Now, Paul and Barnabus parted company too and the world didn’t end. But Barnabus never left the Church either.

Anyway Anne, this is getting long. The thing is, I drove to D.C. and drove back, as it takes about 8 hours(one way) from where I live. In my old van, without satellite radio, the reception goes bad on the radio, so we threw some cassette tapes into the stereo (I said it was old!) and these songs came up on the course of our drive home. They reminded me of you again, and here they are.

Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus. I don’t know if this is what you have in mind Anne, but it is a far cry from what Marie of the Incarnation did.

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Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.  “Overboard and self-assured? That’s what it seems like to me. Oh, and “a denial” too. But don’t you fret, because stronger people than us have denied Christ (just ask St. Peter).

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Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground. Then this came on, Anne, and I thought: “Sheesh!—I wish Anne could hear this old tape (recorded in 2005), because maybe this is what she is thinking?!”

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Elton John, Rocket Man. But then Elton John came on and sang this Bernie Taupin song that made me think you are going to be “burning out your fuse up (t)here alone,” if you aren’t careful. Anne…you’re not being careful—it’s lonely out in space!

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Blondie, Heart of Glass. Seriously, this came on next. Anne, I hope you don’t feel like this!

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Simple Minds, Don’t You Forget About Me. It’s weird, Anne, but the next song on the loop that reminded me of your situation was this one. Sure, the tune is from the movie “The Breakfast Club”, but now, in this context, it means something different to me. “Will you recognize Me? Call My name? Or walk on by…”

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Journey, Seperate Ways. I’m not making this up!

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U2, Mysterious Ways. Do you really think you have the Church all figured out Anne? You know, Thomas Aquinas had a personal revelation experience and afterwards,  he never wrote a single word again. He said everything he had ever written prior to that experience was like so much straw. She moves in mysterious ways Anne.

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One day you will look back
And you’ll see where
You were held 

how by this love
while you could stand there
You could move on this moment
Follow this feeling

Ok, that is all of the songs that I heard on my drive home yesterday that made me think of you. This last one, I heard today on the way back from work.

Madness, Our House. It’s crowded, it’s loud, it’s a house full of sinners. And trust me, “She’s the one (you’re) going to miss in lots of ways.”

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Come back soon Anne! We’ll leave the light on for you.

  • Lisa Julia Photography

    I pray Anne sees this and knows it was written with affection. I am sad she left us too. My love and prayers for her continue. I enjoyed the musical selections. i am old too =)

  • Frank

    Lisa, when we drove by Occoquan,VA, we still had a good radio station to listen to. These songs cropped up in the Shenandoah Valley though ;-D

  • Shannon prayer is that Ann realizes she's a vital part of the Body of Christ and that all of us, both in the institution and out of it, need her gifts and talents and faith as well.

  • Lisa Julia Photography

    I've been spoiled by xm radio but we do have a good classic rock station here or there in DC =)

  • Sandy

    I had to smile when I saw the Personal Jesus clip… I actually have thought of two other songs by Depeche Mode for Anne right now, from the same album and also from their last one, Playing the Angel… you know if you have to do Simple Minds…… two minds, still love for Anne. :-)

  • Athos

    Hi Frank – IMO, Ms. Rice is gravely torn between a perceived loyalty to a son who is experimenting in the provincial netherworld of human sexuality of the latter-20 and early 21st-centuries and the collective wisdom and Tradition of Mother Church's long view of the sad, sordid realities of human history.To side with the former on mere maternal loyalty is understandable, but not only wrong but uncharitable toward her son. Secondly, if she regresses and begins to write on her pot-boiler genre of vampirism, she strays into influencing young and old alike in true scandal: leading others into sin (Catechism, No. 2284), a grave matter indeed. One can't just claim, "Oh, it's just art."Great music, BTW. Cheers

  • Laura S.

    I was driving and this song came on the radio and I thought of Anne too!The Four Seasons

  • Anonymous

    Frank,After describing the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, you write, "Anne, this all happened before the flood." Unfortunately, I think your Biblical timeline was a little off when you wrote that. The story of the Flood actually ends 10 chapters earlier, and Abraham (a key figure in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah) is a tenth generation descendant of Noah according to the genealogy in Chapter 11.

  • Frank

    Noted! (And corrected) Thanks!