Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Brown Taylor

28
Feb
15

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?
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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 …
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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.
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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.
via http://www.luc.edu/medieval/labyrinths/chartres.shtml

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. 🙂
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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 …

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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.

10
Apr
14

4.10.14 … “‘It was the landscape of his childhood.’ … It was the landscape, in other words, of unfiltered experience, of things felt rather than thought through, of the world in its beauty absorbed before it is understood, of patterns and sounds that lodge themselves in some indelible place in the psyche and call out across the years.”

In Search of Home – NYTimes.com:  Excellent essay. Today, i was researching modern era sense of space, time and matter, and this just fits right in.

In a fascinating recent essay in The London Review of Books, called “On Not Going Home,” James Wood relates how he “asked Christopher Hitchens, long before he was terminally ill, where he would go if he had only a few weeks to live. Would he stay in America? ‘No, I’d go to Dartmoor, without a doubt,’ he told me. It was the landscape of his childhood.”

It was the landscape, in other words, of unfiltered experience, of things felt rather than thought through, of the world in its beauty absorbed before it is understood, of patterns and sounds that lodge themselves in some indelible place in the psyche and call out across the years.

That question is worth repeating: If I had only a few weeks to live, where would I go? It is a good way of getting rid of the clutter that distracts or blinds. I will get to that in a moment.

And it’s that essential openness of America, as well as the (linked) greater ease of living as a Jew in the United States compared with life in the land of Lewis Namier’s “trembling Israelites,” that made me become an American citizen and elect New York as my home. It’s the place that takes me in.

But it is not the place of my deepest connections. So, what if I had a few weeks to live? I would go to Cape Town, to my grandfather’s house, Duxbury, looking out over the railway line near Kalk Bay station to the ocean and the Cape of Good Hope. During my childhood, there was the scent of salt and pine and, in certain winds, a pungent waft from the fish processing plant in Fish Hoek. I would dangle a little net in rock pools and find myself hypnotized by the silky water and quivering life in it. The heat, not the dry high-veld heat of Johannesburg but something denser, pounded by the time we came back from the beach at lunchtime. It reverberated off the stone, angled into every recess. The lunch table was set and soon enough fried fish, usually firm-fleshed kingklip, would be served, so fresh it seemed to burst from its batter. At night the lights of Simon’s Town glittered, a lovely necklace strung along a promontory.

This was a happiness whose other name was home.

Wood writes: “Freud has a wonderful word, ‘afterwardness,’ which I need to borrow, even at the cost of kidnapping it from its very different context. To think about home and the departure from home, about not going home and no longer feeling able to go home, is to be filled with a remarkable sense of ‘afterwardness’: It is too late to do anything about it now, and too late to know what should have been done. And that may be all right.”

Yes, being not quite home, acceptance, which may be bountiful, is what is left to us.

via In Search of Home – NYTimes.com.

2 Vernon, Atlanta GA, Neel Reid, BuckheadA beautiful Neel Reid home was lost last week in a fire. Many of you knew the Hull family. All were safe including beasts.

I never knew the home’s facade on Vernon, but it’s rear, which you can see from Habersham, has always been a favorite of mine. I was so happy to read that they have all the original plans from the 20’s and hope to restore it. 

 

THE LOSS OF A NEEL REID DESIGNED HOME

 

An important Neel Reid (1885-1926) designed residence has fallen victim to a devastating fire that occurred late afternoon on Tuesday. The Atlanta based architect (with roots in Jacksonville, AL & Macon, GA) is revered for his classic designs, constructed around the early 20th century. I pulled my copy of James Grady’s Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia (1973), and felt a sense of bittersweet to see the home proudly featured on the back cover (picture above). This Buckhead residence was designed for Mr. Cam Dorsey in 1925, and at the time Grady’s book was published, was owned by Mr. J. C. Fraser. It had 2 access points, the main off of Vernon Road, and secondary off of Habersham Road. A key focal point was the semihexagon designed front entrance porch. Photos below include details from Architecture of Need Reid in Georgia, followed by images of the home from the last 48 hours.

*Mr. Ferguson and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend a party at this house, hosted by the current owners, and we are beyond heartbroken for them….   They took great care in preserving Reid’s original vision.

via {dF} Duchess Fare: The Loss of a Neel Reid Designed Home.

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A Buckhead family is in high spirits despite losing the main part of its historic home to a fire Tuesday.

Gerry Hull, owner of the house designed by renowned architect Neel Reid, said it will be rebuilt in the same design. The main part of the house, which is about 7,000 square feet, is a total loss, but the two additions on each end were mostly saved, he said.

According to William R. Mitchell Jr.’s book, “J. Neel Reid: Architect of Hentz, Reid and Adler and the Georgia School of Classicists,” the home was built for Cam Dorsey in 1923 and ’24.

“I’m going to put up a big sign, 6 feet tall, to say, ‘Sorry for the inconvenience. Neel Reid’s house will rise again, like the Phoenix,’” Hull said. “We have the original plans for Neel Reid and we have all the drawings and plans for the work that has been done subsequent to Neel Reid, so it will be put up so you won’t be able to tell the difference.”

Despite reports the fire started in the attic, Hull said it began at about 6:15 p.m. by a roofer who had been working on the home. He did not know the roofer’s name.

via Neighbor Newspapers – Historic Buckhead home destroyed by fire.

What Suffering Does – NYTimes.com:

But notice this phenomenon. When people remember the past, they don’t only talk about happiness. It is often the ordeals that seem most significant. People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering.

The right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness. I don’t even mean that in a purely religious sense. It means seeing life as a moral drama, placing the hard experiences in a moral context and trying to redeem something bad by turning it into something sacred. Parents who’ve lost a child start foundations. Lincoln sacrificed himself for the Union. Prisoners in the concentration camp with psychologist Viktor Frankl rededicated themselves to living up to the hopes and expectations of their loved ones, even though those loved ones might themselves already be dead.

Recovering from suffering is not like recovering from a disease. Many people don’t come out healed; they come out different. They crash through the logic of individual utility and behave paradoxically. Instead of recoiling from the sorts of loving commitments that almost always involve suffering, they throw themselves more deeply into them. Even while experiencing the worst and most lacerating consequences, some people double down on vulnerability. They hurl themselves deeper and gratefully into their art, loved ones and commitments.

The suffering involved in their tasks becomes a fearful gift and very different than that equal and other gift, happiness, conventionally defined.

via What Suffering Does – NYTimes.com.

Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark:  She talked on the topic at Davidson two years ago and I loved her. I heard her last fall and she was awful. She was way too focused on the minutiae of her research. I’m hoping the book reflects her more broad and anecdotal approach. And I’ve started the book and I am happy to say, the intro follows the approach at Davidson!!

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How did darkness become a synonym for everything wicked, sinister, or wrong? In her new book, Barbara Brown Taylor decides not to believe everything she hears about the dark. Instead of turning away from it she heads into it instead, embarking on a year-long journey that takes her into dark caves, underground nightclubs, subterranean chapels, and unlit cabins in the woods on nights with no moons. Along the way she discovers a spirituality of darkness that provides a life-saving antidote to the full solar spirituality available in the marketplace.

via Publications – Barbara Brown Taylor.

scrabble words, geocache:  🙂

Good Morning AmericaVerified account

‏@GMA

The new #Scrabble word is “Geocache”! #ScrabbleWordShowdown

via Twitter / GMA: The new #Scrabble word is ….

Most Popular Starbucks Drinks By City – Business Insider:  Funny. I match right up to Charlotte.

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The most popular drinks nationwide were brewed coffees and lattes. The map lists the drinks that are ordered more often in each city than anywhere else.

The data also revealed that Seattle, Boston and Memphis are among the cities that prefer Starbucks’ dark brews, while Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver and Charlotte prefer the chain’s light offerings.

via Most Popular Starbucks Drinks By City – Business Insider.

Latta Arcade, Charlotte, Crisp:  The other day I had lunch in one of my favorite Charlotte venues, Latta Arcade … I’m going to Crisp and John to Fujiyama. I love this space … and its 100 this year.1966288_10152390436504052_1152134376091405997_o 10155448_10152390436509052_2691226617192916895_n

 

The Commission bases its judgement on the following considerations: 1) Latta Arcade was designed by important Charlotte architect, William H. Peeps, and built in 1914; 2) Latta Arcade was developed by Edward Dilworth Latta and his Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company, which was instrumental in the development of early twentieth century Charlotte; 3) the Latta Arcade was built as part of large scale commercial construction program undertaken by Latta during the boom years of the early twentieth century when Charlotte emerged as the largest city in North Carolina; and 4) the Latta Arcade has already been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the interior of the Latta Arcade has designated as a local historic landmark by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

via THE LATTA ARCADE.

Vidalia Onions: A Crop With an Image to Uphold – NYTimes.com, kith/kin:  I grew up with Vidalias, love them cooked  on the grill in a foil pouch with butter, salt, peeper and a bouillon cube! They were only available from May to the 4th of July … great memories of my dad.  🙂

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VIDALIA, Ga. — Like the rush to be the first to get bottles of Beaujolais nouveau to Paris or an Alaska Copper River king salmon to Seattle, the pressure to sell the first Vidalia onions of spring is intense. The identity of this town rests on the squat, sweet onion. This time of year, just before the first of the Vidalias are pulled from the sandy soil, the green tops farmers call quills cover nearly every field.

Mostly, Vidalias mean money in this corner of southern Georgia. The crop brings in about $150 million a year to legally registered growers in the 20 counties that make up the official Vidalia growing region.

But there is trouble in the onion fields. Three Vidalia growers took the state to court last year. Instead of shipping out their onions on April 21, a date set by the state for this year as a way to protect the Vidalia brand and to keep the playing field level, the growers wanted to send out some onions early.

via Vidalia Onions: A Crop With an Image to Uphold – NYTimes.com.

 

 

 

02
Apr
14

4.2.14 … “Her desire to teach others about nirvana, Dr. Taylor said, strongly motivated her to squeeze her spirit back into her body and to get well.” – Jill Bolte Taylor …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten labyrinth walks,   Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte (25/40):
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A. and I began our morning together at Amelie’s … love this place.  It was strangely empty.  Is the controversy with the former employee causing this or is it just an off time?
After our extended coffee, we head to the labyrinth.  It is great weather and the trees are budding, every day a little greener.
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Two days in a row I am able to snatch some time with a friend on my walks. I realize there is significant value in walking alone. But there’s also significant value in sharing this time with another person, especially a friend.  And that’s my friend in the pink shoes!
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Each walk is unique. I really enjoy time with A because she always challenges me.  We talk of everything: religion, illnesses, parents, kids, relationships … I have several things to research including Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight, Barbara Brown Taylor’s new book about darkness and the possibility of doing a “private” book study with A. Oh, and job opportunities.
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After I return home, I re-watch  Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk  and research her book My Stroke of Insight.

Her desire to teach others about nirvana, Dr. Taylor said, strongly motivated her to squeeze her spirit back into her body and to get well.

This story is not typical of stroke victims. Left-brain injuries don’t necessarily lead to blissful enlightenment; people sometimes sink into a helplessly moody state: their emotions run riot. Dr. Taylor was also helped because her left hemisphere was not destroyed, and that probably explains how she was able to recover fully.

Today, she says, she is a new person, one who “can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere” on command and be “one with all that is.”

To her it is not faith, but science. She brings a deep personal understanding to something she long studied: that the two lobes of the brain have very different personalities. Generally, the left brain gives us context, ego, time, logic. The right brain gives us creativity and empathy. For most English-speakers, the left brain, which processes language, is dominant. Dr. Taylor’s insight is that it doesn’t have to be so.

Her message, that people can choose to live a more peaceful, spiritual life by sidestepping their left brain, has resonated widely.

via A Stroke Leads a Brain Scientist to a New Spirituality – NYTimes.com.

What a great day … lots of positive energy to move  forward …
Namaste!
PS to A … I tried that yoga relaxation thing … it worked.  🙂

 

19
Jan
14

1.19.14 … “However, Sherlock is not the overall most portrayed literary character in film. That title belongs to the non-human character Dracula, who has been portrayed in 272 films.” …

Barbara Brown Taylor, quotes,  An Altar in the World:  I loved this quote … BBT is always good.

“Anything can become a spiritual practice once you are willing to approach it that way–once you let it bring you to your knees and show you what is real, including who you really are, who other people are, and how near God can be when you have lost your way.”

~Barbara Brown Taylor, from An Altar in the World

via Barbara Brown Taylor.

The Saint John’s Bible,  YouTube:  I saw images of this illuminated Bible on Pinterest … gorgeous.

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▶ The Saint John’s Bible on NBC Today Show – YouTube.

google doodles:   I love google doodles … I often have to google the honoree and love to learn something new. But I never thought about it being like postage stamps or that they are benefitting financially from the honoree … that it is a marketing tool. It made me think. But yes, it does seem extreme.

But is Google the right booster for one of the Harlem Renaissance’s greatest treasures? We’d be appalled if McDonald’s used Martin Luther King Jr.’s image to sell hamburgers or if Coca-Cola put Mohandas Gandhi on a soda can. So why is it any different when a tech behemoth uses Hurston to hawk searches?

Since Google began Doodling in 1998, it’s aligned its brand with some of the greatest human beings who ever walked the Earth, borrowing the pixie dust of Gandhi, MLK and others. In a role once reserved for the U.S. Postal Service and its stamps, Google now decides who deserves tribute — Hurston yes, Malcolm X no.

It’s time for the company to stop folding major political and cultural figures into its logo.

Remember: Google is embroiled in privacy lawsuits around the globe even as it criticizes the National Security Agency for invading Americans’ privacy. It protests censorship yet continues to expand its presence in China. It’s been accused of manipulating search results to benefit its business and may be the world’s largest copyright violator. It celebrates great African Americans in Doodles but won’t release its minority hiring statistics.

When Google goes deep, its Doodles rob honorees of context. The logos reduce legacies to cartoons, turning icons into iconography.

Google’s insistence on associating itself with greatness is more insidious than a college freshman putting up a Che Guevara poster in a dorm room, unwittingly celebrating a violent Marxist whose role in Cuba’s revolution helped isolate the nation for half a century. With Doodles, a company with unprecedented reach into our private lives incorporates history into its brand — a brand most Westerners with a computer stare at every day. That’s not just creepy, it’s downright Orwellian.

Google has caught flak for its Doodle-ocracy before. It’s been accused of insufficiently marking Memorial Day and Veterans Day . For the past several years, the site has restricted views of a rainbow banner honoring Gay Pride Month to those who search “pride related” terms such as “LGBT” and “marriage equality.” And last year, the company was hammered for showcasing labor organizer Cesar Chavez on Easter Sunday instead of that guy who rose from the dead, Jesus Christ.

via From Gandhi to MLK, history’s giants have become marketing tools – The Washington Post.

Rose Bush,  Stephen Doster, books:  This came highly recommended.

After his wife’s death, engineer Dudley Redfern moves from Wisconsin to Sprite, Georgia, seeking to hide from his grief by burying himself in work. He soon comes to believe everyone is crazy in this tiny town, where Old Southern values are placed on odd pedestals and more than the usual spiritual awakenings take place. Little does he know that the quiet nights and work-filled days he expected will soon be interrupted when Sprite’s prodigal son returns to run for high office, and he finds himself embroiled in an age-old scandal and searching for solutions to issues he has never faced before.

via Rose Bush: Stephen Doster: 9781625969965: Amazon.com: Books.

lasagna with fresh tomatoes and basil, recipes: 🙂

Lasagna with fresh tomatoes and basil is a perfect dish to start off the new year. It’s healthy but still substantial enough to feed the family. Using homemade lasagna noodles will make each bite taste fresh, silky, and smooth. It’s perfect for even my littlest one! But never fear, dried lasagna noodles will work perfectly well too! I also love using fresh tomatoes for this recipe — it makes everything feel and taste really light! And if you\’re looking to make it even lighter, swap out the cheese for light ricotta and part skim mozzarella. This lasagna is a tasty treat that will bring a little bit of Italy to your kitchen every time you pop it into the oven!

via ▶ Lasagna with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil | Farm to Table Family | PBS Parents – YouTube.

Eagle Scout/Idealist/Drug Trafficker?, Silk Road, bitcoin, NYTimes.com:  So now I know what bitcoins are used for!

A man who created a website that changed the world as we know it could believe he had a chance to live forever. At minimum, he could be a hero to anyone who thinks that government has no business in business.

Hence Bitcoin’s wry new nickname in legal circles: “Prosecution Futures.” The government has begun making arrests: Olivia Bolles, a Delaware doctor, was charged in November with selling oxycodone, Xanax and other drugs on Silk Road, stuffing Sour Patch and Jolly Rancher candy in the packages to thwart detection.

But the limits of technology are only part of the reason that another Silk Road is unlikely anytime soon. To function, such a site needs a leader who is dedicated to the point of fanaticism, and, more important, has a strange kind of integrity. Dread Pirate Roberts did not take the Bitcoin and run because he was a true believer first and an outlaw second. He was a rare set of contradictions, a humanitarian willing to kill, a criminal with a strict code of ethics.

via Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug Trafficker? – NYTimes.com.

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….

Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.

Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Sherlock Holmes,  most portrayed literary human character :

Sherlock Holmes awarded title for most portrayed literary human character in film & TV | Guinness World Records

Having been depicted on screen 254 times, GWR today announces that Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, has been awarded a world record for the most portrayed literary human character in film & TV.

Since his creation in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been played by over 75 actors including Sir Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Plummer, Peter Cook, Roger Moore, John Cleese, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr (above).

Guinness World Records adjudicator Claire Burgess commented, “Sherlock Holmes is a literary institution. This Guinness World Records title reflects his enduring appeal and demonstrates that his detective talents are as compelling today as they were 125 years ago.”

Through a combination of films, television series, dramas and documentaries, Sherlock’s appearances beat the character of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by 48 portrayals to claim the record.

However, Sherlock is not the overall most portrayed literary character in film. That title belongs to the non-human character Dracula, who has been portrayed in 272 films.

The record was recognised as part World Record London, a calendar of record-breaking events taking place in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

via Sherlock Holmes awarded title for most portrayed literary human character in film & TV | Guinness World Records.

37 CALORIES BROWNIES, recipes:

37 CALORIES BROWNIES

(If you don’t save these to your wall, then you are NUTS.. who doesn’t love brownies??)

3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup Cocoa powder

1/2 cup Old fashioned rolled oats (like Quaker)

1/2 cup Truvia (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar)

1 egg

1/3 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a square baking dish (I used 8″x8″). Combine all ingredients into a food processor or a blender, and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Pour into the prepared dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 9 large squares.

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For Motivation, Inspiration, Fun, Recipes, Weight Loss Tips, and Education JOIN US!

via Facebook.

LOL, http://www.LocalWineEvents.com:  I should never drink …

APSS, Northside High School, kith/kin:  Saw this and thought many of you would be interested … … Isn’t it amazing that the North Atlanta area used to have 4 high schools?

Chris Christie, Bridgegate:  Helpful …

Bridge Players

Bridge Players – WSJ.com.

George Takei, LOL:  George Takei has some fun stuff..

wine labels, followup:  Earlier today I mentioned that I enjoy wine labels and still remember the vinyards I visited 24 years ago, many becuae of their labels … Here they are:

Chateau Montelena:

Folie à Deux Winery:

Monticello Vineyards:

Domaine Chandon:

Clos Pegase Winery:

 

Clos du Val Wine:

Grgich Hills Estate

12
Jan
14

1.12.14 … A lot of Downton and a little Maimonides … and some in between …

me, MegaBus, Atlanta:

So a few things … I really do prefer the bus.  Atlanta traffic is a nightmare.  Downton Abbey viewing party with my family is great fun.

Downton Abbey, Sillybubs, Downton Abbey Viewing Party:  So during my visit, we had a DA Viewing Party:  Our menu was deviled eggs (according to the internet, very Edwardian!), roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and sticky toffee pudding.  I had to explaint o Mollu that the pudding was not pudding, but moist cake.  Why do the Brits do that? And if I had paid attention I would have done syllabubs which I always spelled sillybubs.  🙂 And btw, we had sillybub in South Georgia when I was growing up.

Syllabubs and possets are English dairy dishes which probably first evolved during the sixteenth century. Syllabubs were made from cream and wine and were served cold. Possets were frothy spiced custards made with cream, wine and eggs and were usually served hot. Because they were cold, syllabubs could be served in delicate glass pots without any fear of the glass cracking. On the other hand, piping hot possets had to be consumed from much more durable ceramic pots, like those illustrated on the right.

via Syllabubs.

Eric Stevens, 23, of Rochester, New York, loves Downton Abbey. How much does he love Downton Abbey?

So much that when he found there was no existing Downton Abbey Lego set, he built one for his girlfriend as a Christmas present.

via Man Creates Adorable Downton Abbey Lego Set for His Girlfriend : People.com Mobile.

Molly Wilmer Barker, Running Mates USA, Girls on the Run, fathers: Excellent post by Molly Wilmer Barker!

For some reason, I had a hard time loving my dad. He wasn’t around…when I was a little girl. My mom struggling, with her own demons, was completely unavailable to mother even herself, much less me. Unsure and poorly equipped, my dad simply disappeared. He emotionally and physically checked out. He lost himself in his work and his political life…he lost himself out there and I often questioned, as many kids do, whether I did something to push him away.

But now, I recognize that my father is fast becoming one of my greatest teachers.  My anger or lack of understanding for him has gently slipped away in these recent weeks.  How liberating to see him as a man…a man simply doing his best to deal with life on life’s terms.  I don’t know specifically what drove him to work so hard, to serve others with such persistence, but I do know that he, like me, you, my son and daughter share this experience we call being human.

If I’m honest with you….really honest to the point of revealing something I’ve been a bit ashamed to admit but can do so now with tenderness and understanding of myself, the anger I’ve had for my dad has spilled over into other areas of my life: my work in the early years, my marriages, my personal relationships, my own need at times to escape or seek the love from others I felt lacking from my Dad and also from self…but thanks to this new project and the wonderful people I’ve met in the process of working on it, I’m recognizing that the boxes we allow  to confine us aren’t restricted only to women.  Men have them too and as limited as I often allow myself to feel by our culture’s female stereotypes, the shackles that restrain men are as powerful and debilitating as those that restrain us.

I only now  beginning to understand and gently accept his humanness…the pull he felt to be a man, a father, provide for his family and how scary it might have been watching your child suffer…feeling unequipped because you were…because men after all, at least in his generation were supposed to be strong, capable and completely stoic and sufficient.

via Running Mates USA – My Father.

Northern Lights, aurora borealis,  bucket list, CO: I saw this post from Jack. Since seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list, I would love to be in CO last week.  Unfortunately, it snowed that night.

 Aurora Borealis seen in Greenland.

It seems the entire state is abuzz about going towards the light.

The Northern Lights may still be visible in Colorado Thursday evening, but as darkness fell skygazers tried to remain optimistic amid forecasts that clouds might block the view or that the solar storm that causes the lights might not have been as intense as predicted.

Any chance to see the the aurora borealis as far south as Colorado is very rare. And the possibility comes thanks to impeccable timing, said Joe Kunches, a forecaster with the federal Space Weather Prediction Center.

via Northern Lights show still possible in Colorado after sundown – The Denver Post.

Chicago, snow in the city, LOL:

<img class="aligncenter" alt="Working on some KNIGHT Dibs… </p><br /><br /><br />
<p>(don’t worry, I’ll show myself out)</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>—via rhyank” src=”http://31.media.tumblr.com/92ac26dbf9e3667b76e80d0235b2b3bd/tumblr_mz2cxmYR4x1qgkpcgo1_1280.jpg&#8221; />Jan 8, 201411 notes #chicago #dibs #chicagodibs #snow #parking

So, some asshat parks in the spot you clearly shoveled out and dibs-ed with a lawn chair — do you A) slash his tires, B) light his car on fire, or C) write a passive-aggressive note that makes him feel really terrible? You think it\’s the car-on-fire thing, but you\’re not totally sure, are you? Thankfully, the fine folks at the Chicago Dibs Tumblr are, which\’s why we hit them up to help us put together an official rule sheet for every Chicagoan\’s favorite spot-saving pastime.

via Chicago Parking Dibs – The Unwritten Rules – Thrillist Chicago.

Calendar, Barbara Brown Taylor, Myers Park Baptist Church,  October 17-19 2014:  Calendar item!

A little preview of Barbara Brown Taylor, coming to MPBC October 17-19, 2014!

“Reverence may take all kinds of forms, depending on what it is that awakens awe in you by reminding you of your true size… Nature is full of things bigger and more powerful than human beings, including but not limited to night skies, oceans, thunderstorms, deserts, grizzly bears, earthquakes, and rain-swollen rivers. But size is not everything. Properly attended to, even a salt marsh mosquito is capable of evoking reverence. See those white and black striped stockings on legs thinner than a needle? Where in those legs is there room for knees? And yet see how they bend, as the bug lowers herself to your flesh. Soon you and she will be blood kin. Your itch is the price of her life. Swat her if you must, but not without telling her she is beautiful first.”

from An Altar in the World, p. 22

Save the date for Barbara Brown Taylor at MPBC, October 17-19, 2014!

via Myers Park Baptist Church.

Christie Controversy,  Political Scandals,  Washington Wire – WSJ:  I.m waiting for the memes.

In this case, as Slate’s John Dickerson notes, there already was a sense that Gov. Christie could be a bit of a bully.That means that it’s harder for the politician at the controversy’s center to skirt around it because it fits into a perception for which the groundwork already was laid in voters’ minds. Thus, it was hard for President Bill Clinton to move past the Monica Lewinsky scandal because it played directly into a pre-existing perception that he was a little loose on the marital fidelity front. Similarly, Republican candidate Mitt Romney was deeply damaged by comments suggesting he didn’t care about the opinions of 47% of Americans who didn’t like his economic policies because those comments, however fairly or unfairly they were characterized, seemed to confirm a sense among many voters that he was a bit of a wealthy elitist.

via The Christie Controversy and Lessons on What Feeds Political Scandals – Washington Wire – WSJ

 Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal, Book Review, WSJ.com:

Scholars often divide Maimonides intellectual work in two: first, his efforts at codifying Jewish law, which previously existed mainly in the vast and often unresolved legal discussions in the 63 tractates of the Talmud; second, his philosophical writing that reconciles the science of his time with his Jewish and by extension, all monotheistic faith. Mr. Halbertals achievement here is that he presents these two projects as a single one: a bold attempt by Maimonides to make sense of faith for an educated audience in an advanced civilization.

via Book Review: Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal – WSJ.com.

10
Dec
13

12.10.13 … Advent brings out different sentiments in different people … “A few nights from now, when you stand to sing Silent Night, know that you have done more than just light a candle in a world that is too dark for too many” …

Advent Photo-a-day:

Varsity-Lake

Advent Photo #10: HOLY … I generally think of God and, rarely, people as HOLY, and even more rarely, places. But holy connotes a certain cleanliness and nothing evokes that to me more than a snow. This came today from the CU parent liaison. It makes CU look holy … a word rarely used to describe a large state university, any state university. But this is the home of my middle child and today as he walks into a week of finals, I will see him walking on holy ground … the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 6:1-5 (NIV)

Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

and I thought about this hymn …

 Holy Holy Holy, Christian hymn, Reginald Heber (1783-1826):

 Holy, Holy, Holy is a Christian hymn written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826).[1][2][3] Its lyrics speak specifically on the Trinity,[2][3] having been written for use on Trinity Sunday.[3] John Bacchus Dykes composed the tune Nicaea for this hymn in 1861.[3] It references the Sanctus, which is often called the \”Holy holy holy\” in English. The name is a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea which formalized the doctrine of the trinity in 325.[2][3] The text paraphrases Isaiah 6:1-5.

The hymn is sung in the 1953 film Titanic.[4]

Lyrics:

Holy, Holy Holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before Thee,

Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see:

Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

via Holy, Holy, Holy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ken Garfield, Advent editorial:  Made me think …

But all of us can always give more – to feed our neighbors and show the cynics that the church world as a whole is more than fancy sanctuaries and harsh judgments. All this self-righteous talk about sin that turns off so many people to organized religion: Isn’t the biggest sin people going hungry anywhere, much less in a wealthy city like ours, with a sanctuary seemingly on every corner?

Here’s another fact that should bring you to your knees, praying for a response: The Observer’s Mark Price on Friday reported that Loaves & Fishes has suffered a 23 percent drop in local food drives this autumn.

A message to all the churches out there: It’s Advent. Leave room around your manger scene for people to drop off canned goods. Ask your visitors on Christmas Eve (the ones you might not see again until Easter) to bring a few groceries from one of the fancy supermarkets sprouting all over town. A few nights from now, when you stand to sing Silent Night, know that you have done more than just light a candle in a world that is too dark for too many.

Ken Garfield is director of communications at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte.

via This Advent, do more to fight darkness than light a candle | CharlotteObserver.com.

WestJet Christmas Surprise: WestJet Christmas Surprise Will Make You Believe in Santa [VIDEO] … This is a really sweet video. Seriously clever marketing, too!

via ▶ WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving – YouTube.

The more than 150 WestJet employees played the part of Santas elves, gathering personalized presents, wrapping them and delivering them to the Calgary airport before the unsuspecting recipients landed. Upon arrival, the travelers received nothing short of a holiday miracle at baggage claim.The entire event was captured via hidden cameras and turned into an ad mimicking the poem commonly known as The Night Before Christmas.This wasnt WestJets first foray into spreading airport Christmas cheer. Last year, the airline created a Christmas-themed flash mob, complete with dancing elves, in the middle of an airport. The video received almost a half million views, leading the airline to donate flights to a family in need through their community investment program.This year, WestJet will donate flights if the video receives at least 200,000 YouTube views.

via WestJet Christmas Surprise Will Make You Believe in Santa [VIDEO].

good manners, holiday spirit:  From someone on  FB named Jeff Klein … Thank you, You, too!

internet memes, Bah humbug!: As a UGA football fan, this is how I feel about football … Bah Humbug!

Jeff on a shelf,  Elf on the Shelf (A Christmas Tradition):  This made me laugh … very loud!

Jeff on a shelf. For $50 bucks I’ll come to your house and let you pose me in scenes of festive mischievousness. For $500 I’ll leave. — with Elf on the Shelf (A Christmas Tradition).

Barbara Brown Taylor, Bread of Angels, quotes:

“Every day we count on things we cannot see to hold us when we fall. We entrust the weight of our lives to things we cannot prove. By the power of our beliefs, we choose what kind of world we will live in–a porous world, full of glory doors leaking light, or a flat world where everything is exactly what it seems.”

~Barbara Brown Taylor, from Bread of Angels

15
Feb
13

2.15.13 … I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ….

IMG_5696
“Solvitor Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Labyrinth  walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Augustine of Hippo, Rev. Wes Barry, Ash Wednesday Sermon,  First Presbyterian Church:  There are days when I wonder why anyone would choose to live anywhere but the southern part of the United States. Today is one of those days.
IMG_5683 IMG_5709  IMG_5701
As I approached the Avondale Presbyterian Church labyrinth, the chimes were clanging and the water poured at its columbarium fountain.  Both welcome me.
 IMG_5684 IMG_5708 IMG_5697
I reach for an information sheet for the first time in a long time,  and Avondale’s  labyrinth keepers have  changed the sheets since the last time I looked at them. One is entitled, “Light, Darkness, Shadow of death, and the Way of Peace” … rather ominous title 🙂 … I especially liked the these quotes …
In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (from Benedictus, Song of Zechariah)
Light, darkness, shadow of death, peace. These four themes draw us closer in these mid-winter days to God.
Light, darkness, shadow of death, way of peace: may you find yourself caught up in the good news of Jesus Christ and be a part of community called to be Christ’s body in the world.
And from the other sheet …
Augustine of Hippo said, “It is solved  by walking.” What is IT? If you want to find out, then you’ll have to do your own walking.
-Barbara Brown Taylor , An Altar to the World
You will show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.   Micah 6:8
Let my inner child dance the rainbow, the labyrinth. Chase each color along the way. Thank you, bless you, oh my God. Be with me and I shall begin to shine as you shine;
IMG_5698 IMG_5695  IMG_5701
  IMG_5692 IMG_5690 IMG_5686 IMG_5691
IMG_5702 IMG_5710  IMG_5693  IMG_5705
 IMG_5699  
I then thought about  Wes Barry’s Ash Wednesday Sermon from First Presbyterian Church.  Two snipits jumped out at me that directly relate to my walking …

Slows down time for us that we might see Jesus …

Four things that make us human: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual  …

After I arrived home I did a little research and found this helpful … The Practice of Walking on the Earth: Groundedness (4 March 2012) – Chicago Community Mennonite Church and also this …

Walking the Labyrinth is a right-brain meditation activity.

There are as many ways to walk it as there are walkers, but here are some suggestions.

Give Gracious Attention: quiet your mind, let go of doing and be, allow thoughts to go away, be still in mind, embrace soul rest.

Ask a Question: Prior to walking, journal your thoughts or share what you are looking for with another person (they might help you to form your unspoken question). During the walk look at your question from all aspects; walking allows your own consciousness to open so deeper aspects of yourself can speak.

Use Repetition: a mantra phrase, centering prayer, non-distracting word, affirmation sentence

Read & Reflect On Scripture: a psalm or other inspiring material

Ask for Help Through Prayer: pray as you walk

Honour a Benchmark in Your Life or That of Another: a memorial act, a celebratory act, a penitence act, an intercessory act, etc.

Make A Body Prayer: move spontaneously as encouraged by the path, feel safe in its containment, sense kinetic awareness.

Use Accessories: wear a coloured scarf as symbolic of something for you; carry an object of significance to you (votive candle, flower, stone, etc.) Whatever you carry in should be carried out as well.

via Labyrinth Society of Edmonton.

Fareed Zakaria, suicide,  gun control , twitter, NYTimes.com: This tweet by Fareed Zakaria  got my attention …

Fareed Zakaria ‏@FareedZakaria

Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85% of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2% of cases: NYT http://nyti.ms/XP2FtA 

As did this quote in the NYT article … “If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

 
Suicidal acts are often prompted by a temporary surge of rage or despair, and most people who attempt them do not die. In a 2001 study of 13- to 34-year-olds in Houston who had attempted suicide but were saved by medical intervention, researchers from the C.D.C. found that, for more than two-thirds of them, the time that elapsed between deciding to act and taking action was an hour or less. The key to reducing fatalities, experts say, is to block access to lethal means when the suicidal feeling spikes.

The chances of dying rise drastically when a gun is present, because guns are so much more likely to be lethal, said Dr. Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard center. Guns are used in more than half of all suicide fatalities, but account for just 1 percent of all self-harm injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, a rough proxy for suicide attempts, Dr. Miller said. Overdoses, which account for about 80 percent of suicide attempts, are responsible for just 14 percent of fatalities.

“If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

via To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

MLB, baseball, stadium financing, New Yankee Stadium, tax-exempt bonds, 2013 Festival of Legal Learning:  This was one of my favorite seminars … You can just call me a nerd.

Building the New Yankee Stadium: Tax-Exempt Bonds and Other Subsidies for the Richest Team in Baseball

Patricia L. Bryan, Martha Brandis Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

When Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009, aggregate costs had skyrocketed to $2.3 billion, with more than half contributed by taxpayers. the massive federal subsidy resulting from tax-exempt financing bonds presents a particularly troubling issue, especially

In light of convincing evidence that wealthy private owners, and not the broader community, reap the financial benefits of using these bonds for sports stadiums. the enormous—and often hidden—drain on the federal treasury leads to the important questions: are taxpayers striking out on public investments in sports stadiums, and if so, how can these federal subsidies to sports teams be limited in the future?

via Festival of Legal Learning.

Mother Teresa, quote, Goodreads:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

via Goodreads | Quote by Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can d….

Valentine’s Day, Harry Potter,  howlers:  I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ❤

A Howler defined …

Letter that plays recorded message in a very loud voice, and then explodes

Howler

“You’d better open it, Ron. It’ll be worse if you don’t. My gran sent me one once, and I ignored it and – it was horrible.”

—Neville talking to Ron about his Howler.[s rc]

via Howler – Harry Potter Wiki

Frederick Buechner Center, Barbara Brown Taylor:  I heard BBT talk last winter and was overwhelmed … this lecture is from 2009 …

If you are among the billions of people who do not know what I am talking about, then the first book was called Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, which chronicled my decision to leave full time parish ministry for college teaching ten years ago now.  The second is called An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, which is a kind of field guide to encountering God in the ordinary practices of everyday life.  It comes out next month.

The difference between these two books and those that preceded them—or to put it another way, the difference between the form and content of their proclamations—is what you might call the difference between public and private truth.  I don’t think you can ever draw a clear line between those two, since private truth is always going to flavor public truth.  I am not even sure it is a good idea to make a distinction between them.  If your private truth and your public truth are very far apart, shouldn’t you be seeking professional help?

I know Christians who speak of the “scandal of particularity,” by which they mean the apparently outlandish claim that God chose to be made known in a particular person living in a particular human body during a particular period of history.  You will have to invite a theologian to say more about that, but I like to think that people who are inclined to accept such a claim might be willing to accept the scandal of their own particularity too.

Still, I was paying attention when the dean introduced Frederick Buechner, the Beecher Lecturer for 1977, whose lectures were entitled “Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.”

Great title, I thought, as the elegant man stepped into the pulpit.  When he opened his mouth, I was struck first by the voice: restrained but insistent, as if he had something important to tell us that he would not yell to make sure we heard.  If we wanted to hear him, then he expected us to do our parts.  His job was not to make things easy for us.  His job was to say something true that mattered.

The next thing I noticed was his sentence structure, which was odd and looping, beguiling to the ear.  Each word had earned its place in his speech.  Each word had been chosen for its meaning, but also for its beat.  If I could have blurred my ears the way I sometimes blur my eyes, then I might have imagined that I was listening to a poet instead of a preacher—or to a composer conducting his score—but that would have required at least a moment’s disengagement from the words themselves, which I was not willing to give.

While I was still trying to figure out how he was doing it, Buechner began conjuring up the living presence of Henry Ward Beecher, his predecessor by more than a century, the first Beecher Lecturer in 1872.

the places they go and the things they do, there is the sense of what the old hymn quaveringly addresses as “O love that will not let me go,” the sense of an ultimate depth to things that is not finally indifferent as to whether people sink or swim but endlessly if always hiddenly refuses to abandon them.  Brownie loses his faith and his teeth.  Lucille teerers off to her death on French heels.  Open Heart goes up in flames, and the Love Feasts are run out of Alexander Hall.  And yet…Here’s to Jesus, Here’s to you, proclaims the air-borne streamer high over Nassau Street, and even Antonio Parr wonders at the end if it is maybe more than just a silvery trick of the failing light to which every once in a while the Tonto in him whispers Kemo Sabe, faithful friend.  Maybe the reason any book about something like real life is a love-letter is that in the last analysis that is what real life is too.[3]

Sorry that was so long.  I just wanted to hear the words coming out of my mouth, as the perfect finish to The Buechner Lecture.

So thank you, Frederick Buechner, for the time you have spent looking in the mirror that we might see ourselves more clearly.  Thank you for telling the truth, both about yourself and about the gospel, that we might tell it too.  Thanks even for nicking yourself, so that you could write for us in blood instead of ballpoint pen.  We can tell the difference, and we are in your debt.

©Barbara Brown Taylor

King College, Bristol, TN

January 24, 2009

via Frederick Buechner Center.

Latin, More Intelligent Life, essays:  Love this essay … so here it is in full…

For Intelligent Life’s editor, Tim de Lisle, the best language to learn is one that has hardly any direct use…

I studied Latin for 15 years, and this may well be the first time it has been of direct use in my adult life. There was one moment, long ago, when it nearly came in handy. I was reviewing an album by Sting that contained a stab at a traditional wedding song. There are many such songs in Catullus, whose elegant poetry I had spent a whole term plodding through. If ever there was a time to play the Latin card, this was it, so I described Sting’s wedding song as “Catullan”. Somewhere between the Daily Telegraph copytakers and the subs, “Catullan” was changed to “Catalan”. It probably served me right.

So, direct use: virtually nil. But Latin—which gives us both “direct” and “use”, both “virtually” and “nil”—has been of indirect use every day of my career. If you work with words, Latin is the Pilates session that stays with you for life: it strengthens the core. It teaches you grammar and syntax, better than your own language, whose structure you will have absorbed before you are capable of noticing it. Latin offers no hiding place, no refuge for the woolly. Each piece of the sentence has to slot in with the rest; every ending has to be the right one. To learn Latin is to learn rigour.

The price for the rigour is the mortis. Soon enough, someone will helpfully inform you that Latin is a dead language. In one way, sure, but in others it lives on. It is a vivid presence in English and French, it is the mother of Italian and Spanish, and it even seeps into German. More often than not, the words these languages have in common are the Latin ones: it remains a lingua franca. The words we take from Latin tend to be long, reflective, intellectual (the short, punchy words we didn’t need to import: live, die, eat, drink, love, hate). Business and academia, two worlds with little else in common, both rely more and more on long Latinate words. The European Union speaks little else. Ten years ago, for another article, I had to read the proposed European constitution. It was a long turgid parade of Latin-derived words. The burghers of Brussels were trying to build a superstate out of abstract nouns.

Management-speak and Euro-blather are Latin at its worst, but learning it will still help you cut through them to find clarity. It is a little harder to bullshit when you’ve learnt Latin (though quite possible to bluster, as Boris Johnson proves). And if you stick at it you discover, after no more than eight or nine years, that this is a glorious language per se.

via LATIN IS THE BEST LANGUAGE | More Intelligent Life.

2.15.13 meteor strike, Russia, BBC News: Wow … 

A meteor crashing in Russia’s Ural mountains has injured at least 950 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.

Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where meteorites fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.

A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.

President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.

A large meteorite landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.

The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.

via BBC News – Meteorites injure hundreds in central Russia.

Sen. Lautenberg,  Rep. Ralph Hall, Rep.  John Dingell, WWII veterans, The Greatest Generation, end of an era, US Congress:  Interesting fact about The Greatest Generation –

Aaron Blake  @FixAaron

Lautenberg is last WWII veteran in the Senate. Two remain in House: Ralph Hall and John Dingell.

The recent death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a celebrated World War II veteran, coincided in many ways with the waning influence of veterans in American politics. There are now only three World War II veterans in Congress: Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas and Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan. Over all, the number of veterans joining Congress has perpetuated a four-decade-long slide.

The interplay between politics, the military and veterans is a complicated subject matter. Although war is supposed to be an extension of politics, we don’t want service members associated with politics. Some historians surmise that Lincoln removed Gen. George B. McClellan, the top Union Army general, partly because General McClellan showed too great of an interest in politics.

In recent decades the number of military veterans in Congress has greatly diminished, but this trend will somewhat reverse as Afghanistan and Iraq veterans come of age. Although this past election cycle was focused on domestic issues and the economy, it will be interesting to analyze whether veterans running for office place a great emphasis on their military service in an election cycle in which foreign policy is a major issue. It will also be interesting to note how veterans of my generation contextualize their service and explain what lessons they learned from our recent wars. Veterans are not a homogenous group, and every veteran takes away a different lesson from military experience.

via The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics – NYTimes.com.

Sports Illustrated,  Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday, NBC Chicago, restaurants, Chicago:  I don’t think anyone has told Chicago that he’s not there anymore …

Ring in MJ’s 50th with this five-course birthday dinner that includes a shrimp cocktail with a 23-spice cocktail sauce and a 50-day dry-aged Wagyu rib eye. Finish things off with a complimentary piece of chocolate layer cake, which also clocks in at 23 layers and will likely put your pants into a Space Jam.

via Michael Jordan’s Birthday – Eat – Near North Side – Thrillist Chicago.

Michael Jordan will turn 50 years old on Feb. 17.

It seems hard to imagine that one of the most iconic figures in the history of basketball is getting up in age. There hasn’t been a parade celebrating an NBA Championship in Chicago since 1998, but it seems like only yesterday that MJ was still in his Bulls uniform and mesmerizing us all as he delivered title after title.

To commemorate Jordan’s 50th birthday, the latest issue of Sports Illustrated will feature MJ on the cover for a record 50th time.

via Sports Illustrated Celebrates Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday | NBC Chicago.

Pier 213 Seafood, restaurants, Atlanta GA, Thrillist Atlanta:  Sounds pretty good to me …

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main image

After eight years of providing seafood for ATL restaurant heavyweights eager to turn you into one (Bacchanalia, McKendrick’s Steak House…), the family behind Irvington Seafood in Mobile, AL decided to throw their (presumably cool, floppy sailor’s) hat in the ring with Pier 213: a nautical-themed outpost serving up a variety of fried, grilled, and steamed plates from under the sea. Under the sea!

via Pier 213 Seafood – Eat – Thrillist Atlanta.

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