Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Brown Taylor

09
Mar
19

3.9.19 … “Not everyone is able to walk, but most people can, which makes walking one of the most easily available spiritual practices of all. All it takes is a decision to walk with some awareness, both of who you are and what you were doing. Where you are going is not as important, however counterintuitive that may seem.” – BBT

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Lenten Lists, MorningStar Lutheran chapel – Charlotte NC, 2019 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (4/40), Lenten Lists:

It was 46° and foggy… As I pulled up, I saw and heard the landscaping crews. These two factors changed the dynamics of my walk.

I decided that I would wait a few minutes and get organized before heading over to the labyrinth. I sent out a Postagram to a friend who I wanted to thank. And I read for a few minutes from “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.” In the section entitled “The Practice of Walking on Earth” (which features labyrinths), I noticed that Barbara Brown Taylor talked about a sixth sense – the ability to align the body in space. I think walking labyrinths increases my concept of space and my ability to move in space. Barbara Brown Taylor also noted, “Not everyone is able to walk, but most people can, which makes walking one of the most easily available spiritual practices of all. All it takes is a decision to walk with some awareness, both of who you are and what you were doing. Where you are going is not as important, however counterintuitive that may seem.”

I didn’t immediately walk to the labyrinth. There was a man working on a new area to this scared garden, a prayer garden. And at the labyrinth was a woman and her husband and their dog, a high-energy golden retriever. I talked for a few minutes with the woman about the labyrinth and what I knew about them. She frequently walks at this labyrinth but she did not know the history or the availability of other labyrinths in the area. The worker, a brick layer named Bill Stublaski, interjected that he knew of two other local labyrinths, one at Davidson College and one at Avondale Presbyterian Church on Park Road. The couple and their dog left.

I continued the conversation with Bill. He was the bricklayer who created this labyrinth. He knew that it was dedicated to Shannon Kennedy, a woman who died of health issues 16 years ago. As a matter fact, Bill and his wife had adopted Shannon’s child, a 10-month-old daughter, after her death. And his building the labyrinth was a labor of love with Shannon’s mother, his daughter’s grandmother. And although he had never done any bricklaying of this type at the time, it was a true labor of love. And he did a perfect job with only a black and white picture of the 11 circuit Chartres labyrinth.

An interesting point is that the “morning star” in the center area was his daughter’s idea, and she was six years old at the time. I told Bill that because of the morning star etched into the center pavers, I had researched the significance of the morning star within the Christian tradition. Here is a link to what I found:

Christ Himself

Some scholars consider the reference to be to Christ himself. Professor Andrew Hill has written:

“Jesus Christ is described as the ‘morning star’ in 2 Peter 1:19 (phosphoros) and in Revelation 2:28 (aster proinos), and He identifies Himself as ‘the bright morning star’ (ho aster ho lampros ho proninos) in Revelation 22:16” (413).

He goes on to point out that this “star” symbolism reflects the Old Testament and inter-testament emphasis on the “celestial” nature of the coming Messiah (cf. Num. 24:17; Mal. 4:2).

William Barclay suggested several ideas. He thought the expression could signify the coming resurrection of the righteous. Just as the “morning star” breaks forth from the darkness of night, so the Lord’s people will break out of the darkness of the grave (1957, 67).

Later, however, he came to a different conclusion. He was “quite certain” that the “correct interpretation” is this. The “morning star” is Christ himself.

“If the Christian is true, when life comes to an end he will possess Christ, never to lose him again” (1959, 140).

Source: What Is the Morning Star of Revelation 2:28? : Christian Courier, https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1105-what-is-the-morning-star-of-revelation-2-28

As an aside, Bill mentioned that initially the product that formed boundaries was a “gator” product. And that this product really had deteriorated, and now they were going to let the moss take over. There is some risk that the moss may become too slippery. They are watching it closely.

And I found this about Bill:

Local brick mason Bill Stublaski carefully laid the labyrinth’s 9,400 pavers over a period of several months. The project was especially meaningful to him, as Kennedy was the birth-mother of his daughter, Angelica.

Source: Morning Star labyrinth honors woman’s memory | Charlotte Observer,

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/community/south-charlotte/article9229256.html

The walk itself was quick pleasant. The chimes kept me company. (Bill had hung them.)

2019 Lenten Lists: Others with access to my email

1. Atlas Obscura

2. NextDoor Digest

3. Masterpiece on PBS

4. Afar

5. NYT: Cooking

6. Alpine Club of America

7. Tubi

8. The Fussy Librarian

9. PBS

10. BookBub

11. UNC General Alumni Association

12. Penguin Random House

13. UGA Alumni Association

14. MPHS Mustang Express

15. Tasting Table

16. All Recipes

I can clear out a lot of email clutter today!

3.9.19

.

Hacking: These hacking incidents are scary on so many levels.

Three colleges across the U.S. have been hacked. And now, the hackers are seeking a big payday before they hand over information.

Oberlin College in Ohio, Iowa-based Grinnell College, and New York’s Hamilton College were targeted recently by hackers that stole data on students applying for admission to their schools, according to The Wall Street Journal. The hackers were able to dupe college staff members into handing over passwords and took control over databases that housed student applicant information.

Those who stole the data are now seeking one bitcoin—currently traded at approximately $3,800—from students to retrieve their “entire admission file,” including teacher recommendations, admissions department comments, and more.

Source: College Applicant Data Hacked, Ransomed at 3 U.S. Schools | Fortune, http://fortune.com/2019/03/08/college-applicant-ransomware-hack/

02
Mar
18

3.2.18 … “Solviture Ambulando—it is solved by walking—said Augustine of Hippo, one of the earliest theologians of the Christian Church. What is “it” you ask? If you want to find out, you have to do your own walking.” Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (17/40), Eastminster Presbyterian Church – Marietta GA, Driving Mama Lindsey, Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World:

Today was a day of serious conversations and much thought. I originally had hoped to take a long drive with my mom and my sister to to Cumming to walk my favorite private labyrinth and visit with my favorite labyrinth builder/keeper. But that was not to be. Instead the three of us visited four Lenbrook personal care apartments and analyzed the pros and cons of each. It made us each tired. So as we headed out from Lenbrook, we redirected. That’s life.

We headed back to Marietta and picked up take out from Yeero Village, a Greek restaurant, owned by the same family that owns the Marietta Diner. We shared excellent gyros, a shrimp kebab and lemon soup, and the soup was excellent.

We took our takeout to a nearby park and we delighted watching a dad and his two little girls play. I would have never dreamed the swing contraption would pass modern playground safety regulations. After the family left, my sister and I gave it a go. 🙂

My mom and I then dropped my sister off and headed back. I routed us by Eastminster Presbyterian’s labyrinth.

It was beautiful, sunny and warm in the garden. This is the labyrinth with the columbarium at the center. As I began my walk, I heard sounds of traffic and children in the playground adjacent to the garden.

This is an octagonal labyrinth and although it essentially the same pattern as the Chartres pattern, the angular nature of the pattern disturbs the flow. But it still was a delightful labyrinth to walk in the warm sunshine.

My mind goes to Barbara Brown Taylor’s discussion of labyrinths and related topics. I searched for several quotes that I like.

“Solviture Ambulando—it is solved by walking—said Augustine of Hippo, one of the earliest theologians of the Christian Church. What is “it” you ask? If you want to find out, you have to do your own walking.” Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World. (New York: HarperOne). 61.

And Barbara Brown Taylor writes in her section “The Practice of Walking on the Earth,” “”Most of us spend so much time thinking about where we have been or where we are supposed to be going that we have a hard time recognizing where we actually are. When someone asks us where we want to be in our lives, the last thing that occurs to us is to look down at our feet and say, “Here, I guess, since this is where I am.” Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, 56.

3.2.18

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?
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 …
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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. 🙂
manet_the-railway_custom-b22b6edc95365018f8629dcb89202119cfce745a-s800-c85

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 …

noel-oscars-2015-1483-articleInline

 

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.

KEDL_Buckhead_mansion_2

 

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.

starbucks_beverage_preferences_mapbuilder_004

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.  🙂

onions

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):
image-5
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.
image
image-3
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 Allison in the pink shoes!
image-2
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.

genesis+page+1+amd+2.JPG 705×500 pixels.

▶ 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.




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