Archive for February, 2015


2.28.15 … “I noticed how much more I notice when I am not preoccupied with getting somewhere” – Barbara Brown Taylor

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 10/40, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, Barbara Brown Taylor, our beasts, research, labyrinth rosette, Medieval History:

Who let the dogs out? Unfortunately, my days’s plan was interrupted by a neighbor’s call that the beasts were out, AGAIN.  They are safely back in now.
Research in a modern world … wow.  I was looking up some things at the library.  It is amazing what a good digital library can yield …
And at the library I run into a friend who is checking out Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Alter in the World.  Her story on labyrinths is part of why I do what I do.

“The first thing I noticed was that I resented following a set path. where was the creativity in that? Why couldn’t there be more than one way to go? The second thing I noticed was how much I wanted to step over the stones when they did not take me directly to the center. Who had time for all those switchbacks, with the destination so clearly in sight? The third thing I noticed was that reaching the center was no big deal. The view from there was essentially the same as the view from the start. My only prize was the heightened awareness of my own tiresome predictability.

“I thought about calling it a day and going over to pat the horses, but since I predictably follow the rules even while grousing about them, I turned around to find my way out of the labyrinth again. Since I had already been to the center, I was not focused on getting there anymore. Instead, I breathed in as much of the pine smell as I could, sucking in the smell of sun and warm stones along with it. When I breathed out again, I noticed how soft the pine needles were beneath my feet. I saw the small mementos left by those who had preceded me on the path: a cement frog, a rusted horseshoe, a stone freckled with shiny mica. I noticed how much more I notice when I am not preoccupied with getting somewhere” (pp. 57-58).

via Bonnie’s Books: An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, 2009.

I am walking Sardis today.  Brochure …  “a spiritually progressive community of faith.” I’m going to think about that one … A church would never advertise itself as “a spiritually regressive and exclusive and closed-minded community of faith,” would it?
IMG_2363  IMG_2365
This brochure is actually very helpful.  here are some pics:
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I follow its suggestions and at the center focus on my being a “child of god.”
I also noticed for the first time that the millstone bench at the center has 6 distinct areas as does the rosette of the classic Chartres design.  Was that intentional? More on this later …
So as i finish at the center I notice … broken glass, tree bark … and the I hear dogs barking and the sound of traffic …
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And hooray, hooray … I see my first DAFFODILS of the year.
And the beautiful daffodils contrast to the overall winter sights …
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So after my walk my mind was going in a million directions:

The spiritual center goal, the resting place, is defined by a Rosette pattern of 6 petals, reminiscent of the sacred lotus, symbol of Enlightenment.

via Chartres Labyrinth.

At the center is the rosette with 6 petals (or circles). These represent six different kingdoms (from the entrance in a clockwise fashion):

* Mineral

* Plant

* Animal

* Human

* Angelic

* Divine

via Experience a Labyrinth.

There were numerous medieval Christian labyrinths whose paths meander through four quadrants. The most famous eleven-circuit labyrinth was laid into the Chartres Cathedral floor in France in the early 1200’s. This is the style of the main 88-foot labyrinth in our center. The six petals of the rosette in the center of the labyrinth represent the six realms of Creation. Beginning at the left as you enter and going clockwise are: the Mineral Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, the Human Kingdom, the Angelic Kingdom, and the Kingdom of the Unknown. Spending time in each petal helps us connect to healing energies from each realm.

via Sacred Circles Hilltop | The Labyrinths.

Whether a central plaque existed or not, the labyrinth’s center is surrounded by a six lobed rosette, which was an ancient symbol from the east and was used to portray the nature of God in Sumerian, Babylonian, Jewish, and even Roman art.[10]  Craig Wright argues that this depiction is being used to point towards the “new God,” in this case Christ.[11]  If, as Wright argues, that the labyrinth is connected to Christ’s Harrowing in Hell, its placement within the nave creates a stunning visualization which pulls together numerous beliefs and fuses them into one.  The cathedral itself is a celebration of geometry, and taking the celestial implications made by both its location and its central rosette, one can expand the symbolism of the labyrinth further, tying it in with Chartres’ great rose window that depicts the Final Judgment.  An eschatological history lesson is being taught.  Christ suffered on earth (the nave) and then descended into Hell (the labyrinth), but he defeated death and ascended into heaven, where one day he will judge all of mankind.  Accordingly, the labyrinth points to the moment that the “new God” saved humanity, but when connected with the rose window, it represents a call for repentance.

And this gave me a little insight into the 7 ringed variations …

The labyrinth incorporates many levels of symbolism within its sacred geometry.

The seven rings of the Cretan labyrinth symbolize:

-the seven sacred planets

-the seven days of the week

-the seven Chakras of the body

-the seven principles of the Cosmos.

So now you know what I know about the center … but here is one more tidbit on labyrinths for you.

Christian Invasion

Christianity has a history of taking images, traditions and dates from other cultures and tailoring it to fit a Christian context. For an example, all someone would have to do is look at the traditional date of Christ’s birth, Dec. 25. It comes from ancient celebrations of the winter solstice. The Mormon leader Brigham Young described the practice in this way, “I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.”

The labyrinth has a similar history. What began as an ancient Greek symbol became a popular Christian devotion in the Medieval Ages. Labyrinths began appearing on the floors of churches and became its own type of prayer. According to the Washington National Cathedral, Christians in the Medieval Ages who could not make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem would walk the labyrinths as their own spiritual pilgrimage.

The practice is still done today, though it no longer has the connotation of pilgrimage. As a guide to those walking the labyrinth for the first time, the Washington National Cathedral says, “There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Some people walk with the intention of addressing an issue in their lives, others to pray and meditate. It is helpful to pause before you enter to center your thoughts on your intention.”

So what about the labyrinth that sits between the lake and Crown Center? Who put it there? From a discussion with Penny Livermore, I learned that the Loyola Labyrinth was painted by a group of students from the Department of Medieval Studies four years ago. The labyrinth sits next to a medieval garden that includes various plants and herbs found in medieval times.

While there is a religious connection to the Loyola Labyrinth, it was not put there by campus ministry or the theology department. Instead, it is a call back to the time when Christians first called this mysterious ancient symbol as their own, as a way to reach the Holy Land and mediate on their own lives.

The Loyola Labyrinth reminds those walking it that the labyrinth is no longer a prison, but a place to free yourself from the worries and problems keeping you captive.

via Loyola’s Labyrinth | Faith in Chicago.

And here’s a pic with some more info about Loyola’s labyrinth … beautiful spot right by the Lake!  And take a peak … the bagpipe playing cat is fun.

This week saw the first major effort at repainting the labyrinth, with stunning results. Most of the labyrinth’s yellow paths have been touched up and restored, and several formal illuminations have been restored as well, or are in the process of being restored. Some entirely new animals have taken up new homes in the labyrinth, adding a distinctive look and feel to the composition.

via Replanting the Past: Loyola University Chicago’s Medieval Garden: Labyrinth Renewal! Colorful Opportunities for Those Who Volunteer!.

And a few more this and that for today. I’m not really that fond of these Manets … $65 million, really???  I am much more fond of his landscapes, his cathedrals and even The Luncheon on the Grass. 🙂

A major star who has absolutely nothing do to with movies is having his day in Los Angeles right now. It’s the 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Not exactly an Impressionist, Manet was revolutionary enough for the Impressionists to make him their hero.

Two LA museums are now featuring two major Manet works. Several museums in the area have Manets in their permanent collections. But these two — The Railway, on loan from Washington’s National Gallery of Art, and Spring, which is worth about $65 million — are new in town and getting the star treatment.

Manet spring

Spring is light and bright — a young woman in profile, flowing cuffs on her flowered white dress, caramel colored gloves. Manet’s brush flirts across the canvas, darting and dancing with color.

“It’s painted at the very end of his life,” Beeny explains, “in this sort of final reaching out to grab youth and beauty and all of the things that make life wonderful in the moment when he is in failing health. It’s often difficult for him to paint, and so in the last years of his life he paints mostly beautiful girls and flowers.”

It’s a pretty picture — unusual for the artist. He’d been darker — saluting Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya. Here, his only black is the ribbon tying his model’s hat. Getty curator Scott Allan says Manet’s use of the color was distinctive.

“The Impressionists famously sort of jettisoned black,” Allan says. “Their shadows would be blue and purple. If you look at … Renoirs there’s no blacks to be seen. So it’s one of Manet’s signature elements.”

via Impressionist Hero Edouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles : NPR.

And then there is always the dress … white/gold or black/blue?  I think it’s pewter/light blue.

“Your eyes have retinas, the things that let you interpret color. There’s rods, round things, and cones that stick out, which is what gives your eye a textured appearance in the colored part. The “cones” see color. The “rods” see shade, like black, white and grey. Cones only work when enough light passes through. So while I see the fabric as white, someone else may see it as blue because my cones aren’t responding to the dim lighting. My rods see it as a shade (white).

There’s three cones: small, medium and large. They are blue sensitive, green sensitive, and red sensitive.

As for the black bit (which I see as gold), it’s called additive mixing. Blue, green and red are the main colors for additive mixing. This is where it gets really tricky. Subtractive mixing, such as with paint, means the more colors you add the murkier it gets until its black. ADDITIVE mixing, when you add the three colors the eyes see best, red, green and blue, (not to be confused with primary colors red, blue and yellow) it makes pure white.

—Blue and Black: In conclusion, your retina’s cones are more high functioning, and this results in your eyes doing subtractive mixing.

—White and Gold: our eyes don’t work well in dim light so our retinas rods see white, and this makes them less light sensitive, causing additive mixing, (that of green and red), to make gold.”

And this user says he turned his phone’s brightness from low to high and saw the colors switching.

So give that a shot, maybe.

via White and gold black and blue dress – Business Insider.

But really this is the most important news of the week …



Authorities say they have recovered Lupita Nyong’o’s stolen pearl-covered dress estimated to be worth $150,000.

At a news conference Friday evening, officials displayed the dress and said they were continuing to investigate who stole it.

“We believe this dress is the dress that was stolen from the London Hotel,” said Lt. Michael White, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department received a call about 3 p.m. from TMZ saying the celebrity news website had received an anonymous call from someone who said the dress was left at the London West Hollywood hotel, where it was reported stolen two days ago, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

The caller took the dress to the garment district in downtown L.A. and discovered the pearls were fake, Nishida said. Instead of keeping the dress, the caller returned to the hotel and left the dress in a second-floor bathroom that is under renovation, Nishida added.

Whether the pearls are real is irrelevant, White said.

“It doesn’t change anything in our investigation,” he said. Still, until investigators find out otherwise, the assumption is the pearls are real, White added.

Detectives must talk to Nyong’o and anybody with knowledge about the dress to confirm it is the same dress she wore to the Academy Awards on Sunday.

“The dress appears to be intact, but some of the smaller pearls are falling off,” White said.

via Lupita Nyong’o’s stolen Oscar dress recovered – LA Times.


2.27.15 … I made it work … “Why is it so hard for my very smart students to make this leap—not the leap of faith but the leap of historical imagination? “

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 9/40, South Tryon Community Church (UMC): I came back to this labyrinth hoping that it had been restored. I know it is a Boy Scout project from quite a few years ago, but this one has REALLY  fallen into disrepair. And it was a lovely treat for this community.  I wish someone had taken the time to teach the community of its purpose and use.


Today, much of it is been dug up;  there is even a pile of bricks over to the side.
I think some heavy equipment has dug it up, too. It is extremely damp, and in places there is 3 inches of mud.
I know the path, so walk it anyway.
I’ll look around and I realize there has been a leak; there’s a pipe, and there are huge puddles collecting water.
I hear trains, I hear and see buses and cars as everyone scurries to  get home on a Friday afternoon.
If I had lots of money I would pay to restore this labyrinth and do some training. I think the people of this community would really enjoy it if they knew and appreciated it. I also think that they would enjoy receiving the guests that would come, like I do, just to walk the labyrinth.
IMG_2359  IMG_2353
This urban church is part of the community. I see and hear children yelling and  playing
I made it work.
New Rules Spur a Humbling Overhaul of Wall St. Banks,

Nearly seven years after the financial crisis, banks are still churning out profits and wrestling with regulators.

Yet Wall Street, by many important measures, appears to be in the middle of a humbling transformation.

Bonuses are shrinking. Revenue growth has stalled. Entire business lines are being cut. And some investors are even asking whether the biggest banks should be broken up — changes that are all largely attributed to a not-so-well-known set of rules regarding capital, a financial metric that captures how much cushion banks might have in the event of a crisis.

via New Rules Spur a Humbling Overhaul of Wall St. Banks –

Map Shows Loudest and Quietest Places in the U.S.:

Where is it quiet, and where is it loud? A map unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, shows you where to go if you want a landscape without much racket.

It was produced by researchers from the National Park Service and elsewhere, who compiled 1.5 million hours of acoustic monitoring from around the country, Science reports. They then created an algorithm that predicted noise values for areas where sound wasn’t directly measured.


The map was made in part to see what areas may have ambient sound levels that could interfere with the survival of species like owls, which have sensitive hearing and require relative quiet to detect prey.

via Map Shows Loudest and Quietest Places in the U.S..

Be Still meditation:

The Oasis: Particularity of Time and Space, Davidson College:  

It strikes me that Davidson overall is a temple in this contemplative sense, too, of higher learning and higher selves, individually and together.

Particularity and pluralism, faith and reason, time and space.

via The Oasis: Particularity of Time and Space.

Professors question traditional four-year residential college model – LA Times, Davidson College, flipped courses, higher education, 4-year residential college:

“Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education,” which Stevens edited with fellow Stanford professor Michael Kirst, questions the four-year college path that evolved after World War II. The authors advocate for a more flexible model that is based less on the Ivy League and more on for-profit colleges.

“Higher education is Teflon compared to that,” said Kirst, president of the state Board of Education.

As our “outsourced economy” continues to whither, and our population swells thanks to “open borders”, I don’t expect the “Land of Opportunity” to have much left.

Colleges have begun receiving score cards from the federal government based on their cost and graduation rates, among other factors. And the Obama administration has proposed a ratings system for colleges that would take into account tuition, average student debt and graduation and transfer rates.

Stevens said he sees more innovation in the technology field. Several San Francisco start-ups have started offering seminar-style college courses aimed at training people for tech jobs. And Stanford students and administrators have discussed a program to spread undergraduate studies over a longer period than four years.

But of all the residential campuses, Stevens said he believes Davidson College near Charlotte, N.C., has done the best job of exploring alternatives to the traditional four-year schedule among selective private schools.

The school has offered “flipped” courses in which students watch lectures on their computers and spend their time in class interacting with their peers and professors. The school also started an adult learning institute that offers primarily evening courses designed for adult students.

At Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, professors have been tracking results for students taking “flipped” classes and comparing them against the same class in a traditional setting.

Davidson President Carol Quillen said she’s not sure what role flipped courses and adult learning will play in the college’s future. “No one knows what the impact of new technologies is going to be on higher education,” she said.

Quillen said the college is likely to keep trying to find ways to integrate technology in the classroom, but she didn’t foresee it tearing down dorms any time soon.

“It would be foolish and possibly irresponsible to ignore it,” she said. “I don’t know how we can tell students they can make a difference in the world if we don’t teach them about technology.”

via Professors question traditional four-year residential college model – LA Times.

Religion’s Role in the History of Ideas – WSJ:

It happens every year. In teaching my humanities class, I ask what a philosopher had in mind in writing about the immortality of the soul or salvation, and suddenly my normally loquacious undergraduates start staring down intently at their notes. If I ask them a factual theological question about the Protestant Reformation, they are ready with an answer: predestination, faith not works, etc.

But if I go on to ask them how one knows in one’s heart that one is saved, they turn back to their notes. They look anywhere but at me, for fear that I might ask them about feeling the love of God or about having a heart filled with faith. In this intellectual history class, we talk about sexuality and identity, violence and revolution, art and obscenity, and the students are generally eager to weigh in. But when the topic of religious feeling and experience comes up, they would obviously just prefer that I move on to another subject.

Why is it so hard for my very smart students to make this leap—not the leap of faith but the leap of historical imagination? I’m not trying to make a religious believer out of anybody, but I do want my students to have a nuanced sense of how ideas of knowledge, politics and ethics have been intertwined with religious faith and practice.

via Religion’s Role in the History of Ideas – WSJ.



2.26.15 … “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” – Banksy

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 8/40, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Who doesn’t love a Youth Barbecue at a church. You have to think of all those moms and dads, and in this instance, mostly dads, who are up cooking the barbecue through the night the night before. I’ll put it on my calendar to come get a pound of barbecue on Saturday.

No chimes as I walk in, but the birds are really going at it. I’m mad at myself, again, for not getting some birdseed to leave on the labyrinth. I will make an effort to do this today.

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And now I hear the chimes. I love the snow coming down in the eaves of the chime canopy.


The most significant noise in the garden is the sound of the water fountain and a close second is the sound of the drip, drip, drip of the snow and ice falling from the trees as it melts.



Do you see the little bit of snow left on the cross?

I hear the sound of the train in the distance. I have heard it before. And I don’t think it’s very far away. But I’m going to have to get a map out and see where the tracks are relative to the church. I really cannot think of where they are.

As I walk I am trying to remember the line from The Sound of Music’s “These are a Few of My favorite Things” that deal with snow. So I ask Siri …


Here it is:

These are a few of my favorite things. Cream colored ponies … Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters …

And then I walk …


IMG_2318  IMG_2329

IMG_2330  IMG_2322IMG_2321  IMG_2327  IMG_2323

As I finish my walk, I hear the sound that I had a new text message. So sitting on the bench, I checked my messages then my emails and then Facebook. To my great surprise, a childhood friend who about two years ago back reentered my regular circle of friends, has posted our third grade class picture, E. Rivers Elementary Mrs. Clay’s Third Grade 1968-69, for which I have been looking for ages. It just make me smile.

Mrs. Clay Third Grade E. Rivers

In addition, my son who says I never have a conversation with him without asking what he is going to do next tagged me in a post of this article.  Again, love that boy, and love that he is thinking and moving and making subtle jabs at me … just a little bit.


The thing is, mountain people, you are awesome business owners. You know about risk. You know about passion. You know about hard work, early mornings, and tenacity. You know about loss and getting slammed. You know how to pick yourself up and try again and again until you succeed. You know how to feel things, with your heart and your head and the pit of your stomach. You might not know about web design or finance or spreadsheets, but you know how to show up, rain or shine, and make shit happen.

You are my favorite type of client, and your experiences will help your business succeed.


I see you, with your scars from the knee surgeries or those weird-looking collarbone lumps protruding from your shirt and that wild look in your eyes, and I know what you know. I’ve seen what you’ve seen. And together, we can pretend to fit into normal society. We just have to run our businesses with honor and boldness and as much grace as we can muster.

via Ski Bums Grow Up. Then They Start Kickass Businesses. | Teton Gravity Research.

And then I found a great Banksy today …

Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR

Banksy says about this image:

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

via Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR.





2.25.15 … “Spiritual life at its best is reality based.” – Krista Tippett … MERGE NICELY PLEASE …

IMG_2278 “Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 7/40, Christ Church Episcopal/School Lower School Greenville SC, another #snOMG, brine trucks on the interstates, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons,  Lucas Johnson, The Movement Remembered Forward, On Being, Krista Tippett, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Thompson’s Boots and Shoes, serendipity, these boots are made for walking …, John 3:16 CLEARANCE SALE,  SketchGuru:

As a make my way north from Atlanta with a winter storm warning in effect, I must tell you of a few things that I observed.

First is the brine trucks.  This is the second time in two weeks that I have seen them.  Both times on I-85, both times blocking both lanes of traffic with a police or DOT escort.


And because I was sleepy, I decided I would stream a Krista Tippett’s most recent On Being broadcast. Good decision …


The Movement, Remembered Forward

Wisdom for how we can move and heal our society in our time as the Civil Rights Movement galvanized its own. Lucas Johnson is bringing the art and practice of nonviolence into a new century, for new generations. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons was an original Black Power feminist and a grassroots leader of the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

via Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons and Lucas Johnson — The Movement, Remembered Forward | On Being.

The interview is worth your time. Krista Tippett closed with this statement:

MS. TIPPETT: You know, I wish we had hours and I have pages of questions we haven’t gotten to but where we have gone is so rich. And mostly it leaves wonderful questions in the room for us to hold and live with and reflections and nuance, that’s new. I think in my work it’s become more and more important to me that spiritual life at its best is reality-based and the two of you embody it. So I want to thank you so much for being with us tonight and sharing…

via Transcript: Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons and Lucas Johnson — The Movement, Remembered Forward | On Being.

Several times in the interview, Ms.  Tippett referenced  the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.  I had never heard of it, so of course I did some digging …

Rev. Lucas Johnson was born into an army family in Germany, and grew up in coastal Georgia. He is a leader of the century-old International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons became a leader, while still in her teens, of the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. Today, she’s a professor of religious studies at Florida State University, and a student of Sufism. She was raised by her grandmother, who’d been a sharecropper and whose own mother had been a slave. I spoke with Lucas and Zoharah at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. before events in Ferguson and beyond reignited racial anguish. But the perspective they offered that night has become, if anything, more necessary.

via Transcript: Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons and Lucas Johnson — The Movement, Remembered Forward | On Being.

Founded in 1914, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation is an international, spiritually-based movement of people who, from the basis of a belief in the power of love and truth to create justice and restore community, commit themselves to active nonviolence as a way of life and as a means of transformation–personal, social, economic and political.

We are people from many faith traditions and many who don’t subscribe to any particular religious background or community. IFOR has members working in 40 different countries, speaking a variety of different native languages, and expressing a wide away of cultures. What unites us is our commitment to a world free of war and structural violence.

via index.

So as I continued my drive, my thoughts were focused on the interview.  And of course I got a good chuckle at the carpool line sign …



I must admit, I have begun to focus on dedications …


And now to my walk …




Messy, Cold, Damp …

Clover … I see clumps of clover and then I realize that the center rosette on this labyrinth looks like a “6”  leaf clover.


Grass has grown into the path and I find myself “straddling the path” because it is almost too narrow. So my feet are in the boundaries … I am walking on the edge.  I do this to say stay stable/balanced.


IMG_2287 IMG_2284

And the center or rosette today …

IMG_2289 IMG_2292 IMG_2290

My timing is awkward because it is time for the carpool line to begin. So I have to hurry so that I do not get blocked in by the elementary school carpool moms.

The workers nearby are working very hard on what is going to be a beautiful project.

IMG_2295There is a MAJOR building project going on near the labyrinth. I wonder if the workers wonder what I am doing. I also wonder if the workers who do the work will they ever appreciate their work or get to enjoy it with their families.




And then as I continue my drive … I’m clearly taking the slow route home, which I never do. And I stopped at a discount shoe and boot store in South Carolina. And of course I yielded and bought a pair of Clark’s black dress boots that are treated with Gore-Tex. how could I pass up the “John 3:16 CLEARANCE SALE.”


You can thank me now. The Southeast will probably never have another snow or wintry mix after today. However since the storm was already on its way, I think I will get at least one wearing of my new boots.

And I must note this wonderfully wee bit of tackiness next does … nothing like a GA Tech fan who also likes plastic yard deer.  🙂


QT, Tervis Tumblers, Folds of Honor:  I am a sucker for Tervis Tumblers and I saw at one of my 3 QT stops for Diet Dr. Pepper from the fountain (79 cents), I knew I wanted one.  And when I found out they were only $9.99 supported Folds of Fields and come with $10+ in coupons … I knew I was buying one …






Of the one million-plus dependents adversely affected by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly nine out of 10 do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance. Folds of Honor seeks to meet this need by providing annual educational scholarships to the military families of those who have been killed or disabled while in active duty. These help support private education tuition, tutoring and educational summer camps for children K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and children. Since its founding in 2007, the organization is proud to have awarded over 7,500 scholarships, including over 2,000 in 2014 alone.

via Mission | Folds of Honor.

And I have a new favorite app!! SketchGuru



And dare I mention Gaffney’s iconic Peach … She’s not faring so well in her cap … IMG_2308

Davidson College Mens Basketball, A10 Conference: And a nice ending to my day: Davidson wins!! Davidson 60 – Rhode Island 59


Heavy snow began falling across the Charlotte region Wednesday evening, causing slick roads and forcing most area schools to close Thursday.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect 6 to 8 inches of snow in the Charlotte area, and 8 to 10 inches east of Union County, before the system moves out Thursday morning.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was among the districts to announce that classes are canceled Thursday. No makeup day will be needed for CMS students.

At 10 p.m., snow was falling heavily across the region, creating visibility problems for some drivers.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be closed

Doug Outlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said temperatures hovered at or above freezing for longer than anticipated Wednesday night, which meant less snow stuck to roads.

via 6-8 inches of snow forecast for Charlotte | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer.






2.24.15 … the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks,  The Cathedral of St. Phillip – Atlanta GA: 

It is cold, 38°, and it is wet. Not my favorite weather. But since I made this commitment, I will walk.
I have several meditations for lent booklets. Today I’m using the one prepared by Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte. I like that the last lines of the devotional: “Let God displace worry at the center of our being. Thanks be to God and may we except each day as a gift.”
Since I am obviously looking for anything that utilizes the words walk, center, journey, etc. I found this one appropriate for today and I will repeatedly say as  I walk, “Let God displace worry at the center of our being…”

My thoughts, without too much thought:
Water dripping
A worm
Damp fog
Cold nose. Mine. 🙂
Another worm. And another. The worms crawl in …

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2.23.15 … dedicated to the memory of the twenty children and six staff members from Sandy Hook Elementary who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 … “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 5/40, All Saints Episcopal Church – Gastonia  NC:
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I have not been here since 2013. And I’m here in the middle of what is still very much winter. There are big piles of leaves covering part of the path and an empty Hornets coffee cup.
I had forgotten about the butterfly theme. It is on the bench as well as on several markers. In addition there is a paver that says, “peace be with you.” And it is with those thoughts, the butterfly thing and the peace be with you prayer, that I am making my walk today.
This is one of the few abbreviated Chartres style labyrinths that I actually enjoy. I don’t know why, but it makes this one fun to be able to walk it in under 10 minutes and it is only 10 minutes off the highway. I can walk it very quickly. I noticed the pavers fit in the center perfectly. And the sun is setting and shining on my face. It was a nice thought to walk with.
I hear the birds and I see one soaring in the sky.
Most of the room rosemary around the boundaries are in good shape, however, there are two that are absolutely dead. There is a little work for the labyrinth keepers. I love that there are box gardens over to the side. I wonder who uses them. Are they community gardens with the food raised being  donated? Or are they garden plots  provided to members of the congregation.
 And, of course, whenever I see rosemary …

OPHELIA: There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.

via Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Act 4. Scene V.

And then as I leave , I read the garden’s marker: Dedicated to the  memory of Sandy Hook … ‘Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.’  Matthew 5:8″

2.22.15 … Are you okay? …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks,  Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth – McCrorey YMCA/Charlotte NC 4/40:

Are you okay? Soon after i started walking, one of the women leaving the Y’s hosted church asked me if I was OK?  i then realized that if you did not know that there was a labyrinth on the raised area near the parking lot, or  if you did, that you did not know what a labyrinth was, you might be confused by a woman walking in circles.  So I tried to explain to them that I was very much ok and that they should try to walk the labyrinth .
Before walking, I intentionally looked at each of the symbols painted around the center of the labyrinth 11 circuit Chartres-style labyrinth.  I would like to know more about the symbols.
IMG_2219  IMG_2218  IMG_2217
I also notice, for the first time, that the lunation’s are scored in the concrete …
The walk ..
I always laugh when it approach the center because it looks like a Parcheesi board …
Sirens  … Three fire engines scream as they pass.
More church members continue to come out of church. They are almost all African-American women with children. I see very few men, except young adult men. Very interesting in light of Edward’s Ethnic Studies class where he has learned about the role of women in African-American culture.
I have been walking this labyrinth frequently for several years. Today I noticed on the billboard (which I have looked at multiple times) the artist drawing as well as the labyrinth’s logo. It became clear to me that the “Parcheesi board” at the center is a CROSS.  I feel really rather silly.
And then i notice the quote at the base of the labyrinth:  “With patience persistence and prayer, a God-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit – Almetto Howie Alexander 2011
“The labyrinth is my dedication to the Washington Heights community to inspire people of all ages to find a peaceful place to reflect, refocus, heal, meditate, find peace of mind and pray,” says Mrs. Alexander.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Mission.

A few other things that struck me today:

We Should All Be Feminists, 6 Books To Give Your Best Friend, lists:

We Should All Be Feminists

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As most of us know, award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDxEuston talk on feminism was recently sampled in Beyoncé’s “Flawless.” Now this compact but passionate speech is available in book form. “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are,” writes Adichie. Girls are brought up “to see each other as competitors… for the attention of men” while boys are raised to prove themselves with their masculinity. Her conclusion: “If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.” Pair this slim but substantive book with Roxane Gay’s best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist, both of which illustrate how being outspoken can sometimes also be the best way to be heard.

— Michele Filgate

via 6 Books To Give Your Best Friend.

Paul Durand-Ruel (pioneering art dealer),


aul Durand-Ruel set out to create value for something that no one wanted, and changed the economics of taste for ever. With a brilliant eye and steady nerve, he was the first dealer to make a business from contemporary art, and for years he was the only one who sold, and often the only one who bought, the Impressionists.

viaPaul Durand-Ruel: pioneering art dealer –

The Atlantic Magazine’s Mission Statement:  Interesting mission statement for a 158 year old magazine … one of my favorites.

The Atlantic Monthly was first published in 1857 by the renowned lecturer and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and fellow poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. They did actually launch with a mission statement back then:

The Atlantic will be the organ of no party or clique, but will honestly endeavor to be the exponent of … the American idea

The Atlantic’s mission statement has since been updated to:

The Atlantic is America’s leading destination for brave thinking and bold ideas that matter. The Atlantic engages its print, online, and live audiences with breakthrough insights into the worlds of politics, business, the arts, and culture. With exceptional talent deployed against the world’s most important and intriguing topics, The Atlantic is the source of opinion, commentary, and analysis for America’s most influential individuals who wish to be challenged, informed, and entertained.

via The Atlantic Magazine’s Mission Statement | Shapes of digital media.



An ice Stonehenge, or as five guys from Lake Mills, Wisconsin call it, the “Rock Lake Icehenge” is quite a sight to see as you’re driving down Lake Shore Drive along Rock Lake.

via Five guys built “Icehenge” on a lake and it is beautiful!.


2.20.15 … Step 6: We came to see that, despite often feeling stressed by the demands of life, taking time every day to be in stillness, provides a “peace” that is essential to our well-being. We are more present, available and willing to see the mystery of serendipity and coincidence. We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 3/40,  Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Step 6: We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition:

Chimes … Beautiful today. It was 25°, but it’s unbelievably sunny, so it did not feel cold.
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On the phone while walking … But this friend keeps me centered so I enjoyed the  conversation at the center.
Be still … I focused on Psalm 46:10. But I used it for thinking of it in this way as I just saw this video at a class on Tuesday a week ago …  Be Still meditation …
There was ice on the labyrinth in the spots where the shade normally is. That made for interesting contrast as well as an interesting extra effort as you walk across the ice. It made the walk very intentional at times.
iPhone expired; therefore there are very few pics.
I also reviewed in my mind the Red Boot Coalition meeting that I had attended this morning.   We focused on Step 6.

Step 6: We are loved

We came to see that, despite often feeling stressed by the demands of life, taking time every day to be in stillness, provides a “peace” that is essential to our well-being. We are more present, available and willing to see the mystery of serendipity and coincidence.

We are loved.

via Step 6: We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition.

I had so many thoughts in my head. These were some of the things we talked about in connection with Step 6 …

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemy of Pilgrimage | On Being:


The Alchemy of Pilgrimage

The Brazilian lyricist Paulo Coelho is best known for his book, The Alchemist — which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 300 weeks. His fable-like stories turn life, love, writing, and reading into pilgrimage. In a rare conversation, we meet the man behind the writings and explore what he’s touched in modern people.

via Paulo Coelho — The Alchemy of Pilgrimage | On Being.

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer,  I am not sure what impressed me most about this essay … just read the whole thing.

And yet, one line from Hume’s essay strikes me as especially true: “It is difficult,” he wrote, “to be more detached from life than I am at present.”

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

via Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer –

And this is a great reinterpretation of Psalm 46:10Be Still and know that I am God.

Barbara Brown Taylor’s book on Darkness:

I loved this …

If I had my way, I would eliminate everything from chronic back pain to the fear of the devil from my life and the lives of those I love — if I could just find the right night lights to leave on.

Just from the title, I know that I’m going to get some candles and do a nighttime labyrinth walk in the next 10 days. I just need to.

via Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Dealing with the Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Menopause: menopause midlife spiritual …  Dealing with the Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Menopause: Finding … – Dana E King, Melissa Hunter, Jerri Harris, Harold G Koenig – Google Books.

Enjoy your day!!



2.19.15… nice walk in all the mess of life …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 2/40, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

Tree down, so still messy.

But nice walk in all the mess of life.



2.19.15 … God for all seasons, in your pattern of things, there is a time for keeping and a time for losing, a time for building up and a time for pulling down.

Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 1/40, Myers Park Baptist Church- Charlotte NC, Ash Wednesday Service, Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church:

A very wintry day for this first day of Lent. It will make a wonderful beginning memory of my 2015 walks.

Birds are chirping wildly … I think I will get some birdseed to leave at the labyrinth.

The labyrinth is messy. Seems appropriate for Ash Wednesday.

It’s cold and damp. Also seems appropriate.

Afterwards I attended an Ash Wednesday Service at Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church where my longtime friend was leading worship.

In the bulletin was this Prayer:

God for all seasons, in your pattern of things, there is a time for keeping and a time for losing, a time for building up and a time for pulling down. In this holy season of Lent, as we journey with our Lord to the cross, help us to discern in our lives what we must lay down and what we must take up, what we must end and what we must begin.

Give us grace to lead a disciplined life, in glad obedience and with joy which comes from a closer walk with Christ. Amen.


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February 2015