lenten journal: passageway



I was one of the words that showed up when I crowd-sourced my Lenten Lexicon. Tonight I figured out why.

My plans for the evening have been laid out for a week: cook and watch basketball. I’ve been looking forward to it. I was flipping back and forth between the early games when Ginger walked through the kitchen and said, “Check out channel 256.” I followed her instructions and found one of my favorite movies, Man of La Mancha. My attachment to the musical goes back to my family stopping in London on our way back to Texas from Africa. It was 1967 and I was going into sixth grade. My parents took us to see the show because it was one of my father’s favorite stories. I figured out later we saw the original London cast before it ever came to Broadway and Robert Goulet turned “The Impossible Dream” into a lounge lizard cliché.

As a kid who, like his father, struggled to feel worthy, to feel good enough, the story of Don Quixote wrestling with reality and finding the courage to dream burrowed its way inside of me. In a world before YouTube, my father could quote most of the show. As I sat on the couch with Lizzy, our youngest Schnauzer, curled up beside me, I quoted most of the movie myself, and sang along as well. I was hardly through the first chorus and I could feel the tears running down my cheeks. The words and music opened a passageway to my memories and to my father. Even as I missed him I could feel him close.

I am grateful tonight to have found the thin place, the connection, the passageway that connected my life from sixth grade to high school (when the movie came out) to tonight, where I could remember once more

that the world will be better for this
that one man torn and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage
to reach the unreachable star.



  1. it is Saturday morning and Easter is coming. The sun is bright, the sky bright blue and so is my spirit. Milton, your thoughts stirred me so deeply that I found myself weeping, no sobbing from inspiration. We are capable of such beauty, courage and love; but mostly what I get from the news today is fear and gloom and hate and death. You have reminded me again about what is lasting and true. It is the dream of the possibilities in all of us for good. Thank you.

  2. Milton: I am weeping for the beauty and the message-I agree with Ragan’s comments. Thank you for remembering and honoring your father in such a beautiful way.

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