Where Sheep May Safely Graze (contd)
New York, May 23--It's not only a tranquil Memorial Day week-end in the city, but awards time at the 68th Cannes Film Festival and Iceland's Rams (Hrutar) by Grímur Hákonarson has just been awarded the top prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. As the film's story goes, two brothers who hadn’t spoken in 40 years reunite in a remote Icelandic valley to save their rams.
Meanwhile, closer to home on Mulberry Street, sheep are also being honored in a more low-keyed fashion, without fanfare or fashion police. As I cross the street from the public library side, three sheep are being bundled out of a van from Hudson, NY and promptly set to graze the delicious fresh long grass in Old St Patrick's Cathedral cemetery, their needs perfectly suited to the task at hand. Says the Monsignor, "They'll be here for two months to keep the grass trimmed." Literally. After all, we the people in New York give short shrift to the metaphorical use of the phrase "mowing the grass" and the practice to which it refers of obliterating people, buildings and neighborhoods in the Gaza strip.
Asked whether this was the return of the lambs named Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh which had been brought in for St Francis Festival of the Animals last Fall, Monsignor said no, these were new sheep and had been given cartographic rather than scriptural names: Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth. Nor did their visit coincide with an event on the ecclesiastical calendar. " We just like to keep things pastoral," the Monsignor smiled.