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Feb
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2.14.16 … Happy Valentine’s day … What’s love got to do with it? …

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“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walkng, 2016 Labyrinth Walks (Walk 5/40), Almetto Howie Alexander labyrinth – McCrorey YMCA/Charlotte NC, Valentine’s Day:  I walked very early at the McCrorey YMCA.  John volunteered last night at Room in the Inn at the Y, so I joined him early for a cold early morning walk.  This is a nice labyrinth and I enjoy it every time I come.  I always find something new in the afro-centric themed art surrounding the classical Chartres labyrinth.  And of course I found a heart!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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FPC-Charlotte, PW February 2016 Devotional:

What’s love got to do with it?

February is always an interesting month to me.  There is Valentine’s Day and usually the season of Lent begins at some point, this year it is early, February 10.  So what does love have to do with it?

In a recent editorial by New York Times editor David Brooks, Mr. Brooks states:

The art critic Frederick Turner wrote that beauty “is the highest integrative level of understanding and the most comprehensive capacity for effective action. It enables us to go with, rather than against, the deepest tendency or theme of the universe.” By this philosophy, beauty incites spiritual longing.

Today the word eros refers to sex, but to the Greeks it meant the fervent desire to reach excellence and deepen the voyage of life. This eros is a powerful longing. Whenever you see people doing art, whether they are amateurs at a swing dance class or a professional painter, you invariably see them trying to get better. “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart,” Vincent van Gogh wrote.

Some people call eros the fierce longing for truth. “Making your unknown known is the important thing,” Georgia O’Keeffe wrote. Mathematicians talk about their solutions in aesthetic terms, as beautiful or elegant.

Others describe eros as a more spiritual or religious longing. They note that beauty is numinous and fleeting, a passing experience that enlarges the soul and gives us a glimpse of the sacred.

The shift to post-humanism has left the world beauty-poor and meaning-deprived. It’s not so much that we need more artists and bigger audiences, though that would be nice. It’s that we accidentally abandoned a worldview that showed how art can be used to cultivate the fullest inner life. We left behind an ethos that reminded people of the links between the beautiful, the true and the good — the way pleasure and love can lead to nobility.

Source: When Beauty Strikes – The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/15/opinion/when-beauty-strikes.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=collection/column/david-brooks&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=David%20Brooks&pgtype=article

In Matthew 22, we find the THE Greatest Commandment:

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Over the past few months, we have looked at various gifts or fruits of the spirit as set forth in Galatians 5:22-25.  And the first listed is LOVE.

Do each of these uses of love mean the same thing?  We seek love to find truth and to enlarge our soul and give us a glimpse of the sacred, we are commanded by Jesus to love, and we are gifted love by the Spirit.

So I suggest that during February and continuing throughout Lent, you focus on love.  Instead of giving up something for Lent, give love and take up a spiritual practice where you focus on God’s love.  I have walked local labyrinths for the past 5 years as my Lenten practice.  Try something different:  pray daily, try centered prayer or meditation daily, tour a local church daily or walk a labyrinth.

Let us pray: Lord, let each of us encounter Jesus in our everyday lives and let us seek love, experience love and share love. Guide us to do as you command: to love you, Lord, with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our minds. Amen.

Dennard Teague

February  2016

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, RIP:

Scalia’s death has far-reaching implications for the Supreme Court and a round of major cases the justices are set to decide this summer, including Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which challenges the university’s affirmative action policy, plus a case that contests Obama’s immigration policy and another that reexamines the meaning of “one person, one vote,” said former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez.

Source: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas ranch – SFGate

Scalia-Ginsburg friendship, opposing ideologies, CNNPolitics.com: Several people in the media and social media have talked accused Justice Scalia of being misogynist, racist, elitist, etc.  But does anyone believe that Justice Ginsberg could think such things and be such a good friend?  Why can people no longer respect those they differ with, even if with respect to fundamental issues.

During a joint appearance with the woman he also has called his “best buddy” on the bench, Scalia said, “Why don’t you call us the odd couple?” “What’s not to like?” Scalia joked at the event hosted by the Smithsonian Associates. “Except her views on the law, of course.” The two justices and their families vacationed together. There was a trip to Europe where Ginsburg went parasailing, leaving Scalia on the ground to admire her courage but at the same time worry she might just float away.

Source: Scalia-Ginsburg friendship bridged opposing ideologies – CNNPolitics.com

It’s easy to mourn the lack of civility in contemporary American politics; politicians on both sides talk glowingly about the time when Ronald Reagan could invite Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill to the White House for a drink to work out a conflict. It’s just as easy to say that civility is for people who don’t have the courage of their convictions — that if people genuinely disagree about what is best for America, they shouldn’t have to put that aside for the sake of small talk. What makes Ginsburg’s statement remarkable is that it shows how superficial both sides of the civility argument are. The respect that Ginsburg’s statement shows for Scalia’s intellect — that she could trust him to point out the flaws in her arguments — also reveals a respect for her own, to know the difference between a genuine agreement of principle and an error that needed to be corrected. But more importantly, the statement shows that it’s okay for people in politics to spend time cultivating other interests — like opera — and that those can be a genuine basis for friendship in their own right. Arguably, that’s easier for appointed judges than it is for elected officials. It’s still rare. And it’s still worth celebrating. It’s not just atypical in contemporary American politics for people to be both ideological adversaries and close personal friends. It’s atypical for contemporary American political figures to even be close personal friends with each other. Justices Scalia and Ginsburg showed just how much everyone else was missing. That won’t be as significant to Scalia’s legacy as his jurisprudence, but maybe it should.

Source: Read Justice Ginsburg’s moving tribute to her “best buddy” Justice Scalia – Vox

Sri Srinivasan, Supreme Court justice in the making:  So who is next?

From his post feet away from the nine justices March 27, Srikanth Srinivasan (SREE-kont SREE-nee-vah-sun) calmly explained what Roberts called a “totally unprecedented” situation. Along the way, the mathematics professor’s son sprinkled in references to numerators, denominators and algorithms, the statutes 28 U.S.C. 530(d) and 28 U.S.C. 1254, and the precedents established by INS v.Chadha, United States v. Lovett and Turner Broadcasting v. FCC. Without notes. It was just the latest chapter in a stellar legal career that has taken the 46-year-old litigator known as “Sri” to a seat on the nation’s second most powerful court — and given him instant buzz as a potential Supreme Court justice himself. The Senate unanimously confirmed Srinivasan on Thursday as the first new judge since 2006 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The vote was 97-0.

Source: Sri Srinivasan: Supreme Court justice in the making?

Biscuits: A Love Story,  Garden and Gun:  I love biscuits so I thought this was a fun Valentine Day story.

lent a hand. “Before he did the last fold, I’d punch the dough,” she says. “I’d leave a fist mark in it. Then I’d always claim that the biscuits turned out right just because I punched them.” He always saved a biscuit for her, and she joked that she’d marry him if he kept it up. Ten years later, she made good on that promise. They’ve been married for three months. She still punches the dough before he folds it, but she lets him do the rest of the work. “He makes them so well there’s no point,” she says. But she doesn’t agree with him on everything. She likes her biscuits with butter, and he prefers his with sausage and grape jelly.

Source: Biscuits: A Love Story | Garden and Gun

 Virtual Tour, Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, Open Culture:  Bewildering is right!  I saw it at the Prado.  I would love to know what he was thinking ….

 

Art historians have argued about the meaning of The Garden of Earthly Delights—Hieronymus Bosch’s enormously sized, lavishly detailed, and compellingly grotesque late 14th- or early 15th-century triptych—more or less since the painter’s death. What does it really say about the appearance and fall of man on Earth that it seems to depict? How seriously or ironically does it say it? Does it offer us a warning against temptation, or a celebration of temptation? Does it take a religious or anti-religious stance? And what’s with all those creepy animals and bizarre pseudo-sex acts? “In spite of all the ingenious, erudite and in part extremely useful research devoted to the task,” said scholar Erwin Panofsky, “I cannot help feeling that the real secret of his magnificent nightmares and daydreams has still to be disclosed.”

Source: Take a Virtual Tour of Hieronymus Bosch’s Bewildering Masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights | Open Culture


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