Posts Tagged ‘labyrinth walks

02
Mar
15

3.2.15 … “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.” – Dr. Seuss … happy birthday, Dr. Seuss …

Dr. Seuss, quotes: Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss …

 

Seuss

 

ISIS, Islamic “Reformation”, Religion Dispatches: Very interesting in light of the recent Atlantic which it references …

But while reformation may signal modernity – and this is important in the context of any discussion about the Islamic State – it doesn’t always signal progress, liberalism, or democracy. It’s often presented as a given that the existence of modern democracy, capitalism, and science grow purely out of the reformation, but John Calvin was not Thomas Jefferson (arguably Thomas Jefferson wasn’t even Thomas Jefferson). It’s a reductionist understanding of history, and it becomes dangerous when misapplied to current events.

Our educations have tended to gloss over the brutal violence of the sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries that was perpetrated by both Catholics and Protestants. Millions of Europeans were killed on a scale unimaginable during the medieval era (even though our common parlance has us believe that that the Middle Ages were a particularly brutal period). From the French wars of religion, to the English civil wars, to the Thirty Years’ War (where possibly 30% of German civilians perished) the arrival of modernity signaled terror and horror in many corners.

How we use words like “medieval,” “reformation,” and “modern” must be exact if we’re to make any sense out of what the Islamic State is, and how we are to defeat it. Graeme Wood’s controversial Atlantic cover essay “What ISIS Really Wants” has opened discussion in the press about what language we use to describe the Islamic State. It may be politically expedient to deny that the Islamic State is Islamic (and of course the majority of the world’s Muslims find it reprehensible) but it’s also to commit the “No True Scotsmen Fallacy.”

Where Wood’s analysis falters is when he claims that there is a “dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature.” The fact is that when other pundits declare a need for an Islamic reformation that is exactly what the Islamic State is delivering. Far from medieval they’re eminently modern, they are simply an example of the worst grotesqueries that modernity has to offer.

And they’re not early modern as my previous historical examples have it, they’re as modern as we are. They may wish to return to their own fantasy version of an ancient past (and Wood even notes that ISIS recruitment videos utilize scenes of medieval warfare skillfully edited from contemporary movies) but no group, liberal or reactionary, can escape their own time period. To designate them as “medieval” is to merely engage in an outmoded school of historical critique that has more to do with our own constructed pasts and our own prejudices than it does reality.

The modern world has never been devoid of religion and the presence of religion does not mean we are in the medieval. We are not fighting a medieval army for the simple reason that it is not the middle ages. It is to buy into that old “war of civilizations” idea that eliminates complex historical contingencies in favor of a narrative every bit as mythic as what the Islamic State believes about itself. Indeed it is a formidable and evil army, but it is a modern army. The Islamic State, as Haroon Moghul notes in Salon, was born out of the catastrophic US invasion of Iraq. From the debris of that incredible mistake they have taken the technology of modernity and the rhetoric of the Hollywood action film to claim they’re building a caliphate.

via ISIS is the Islamic “Reformation” | Religion Dispatches.

 $2 dollar bill:  I love the idea of getting a stash of $2 bills for tips.

Legends, Myths and Factoids

Several legends have arisen around the $2 dollar bill over time:

The scene of the Declaration of Independence that appears on the bill’s reverse is not a perfect duplicate of the John Trumbull painting. Five figures were removed to make the image fit the bill

In 2004, President Jefferson’s estate and home Monticello had an admission price of $13. As a results most people required $2 dollars in change. The staff at Monticello would hand out $2 dollar bills featuring President Jefferson’s portrait as change for admission to his estate.

A two-dollar bill is often used as a tracer by small stores to track robberies. A store clerk can keep a two-dollar bill at the bottom of their one-dollar bill slot in the cash drawer with its serial number recorded in case of robbery.

In 2005 Stuart Woods wrote a novel called “Two Dollar Bill.” One of the major characters made it a point to always tip with two-dollar bills.

The two-dollar bill has a long association with horseracing and was popular at racetracks for placing a two-dollar bet.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computing, buys two dollars by the sheet from the Treasury Department. He then has them bound into a booklet and the bills act as “tear off” pages.

via $2 Bill History – The $2 Dollar Bill – America’s Rarest US Currency.

Significance of Red Doors in a Church: I commented in a labyrinth about the red doors, “As for the red doors … I see them usually at Episcopal and Lutheran churches.”  One friend, an Episcopalian did not know the symbolism.   I found this:

According to Dr. Richard C Hoefler, dean of Christ Chapel at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, “Christians have entered into worship, into the presence of God, through the blood of Christ.” It is also said that a red door in the Lutheran Church harkens back to the time of Martin Luther, who posted his 95 Theses on the red doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—the crimson color symbolizes the church as part of the Reformation. (Pastor Kuhlman, can you confirm?)

On the website St. David’s Episcopal Church  in Laurinburg, NC it explains: “Red Front Doors. The red doors symbolize the blood of Christ, which is our entry into salvation. They also remind us of the blood of the martyrs, the seeds of the church.”

Historically a church has been a place of sanctuary, a place where a soldier could not pursue an enemy, much like when one takes refuge in  Christ the enemy, the devil and evil,  cannot pursue and destroy you. Thank you Bonnie for bringing this little known history to my attention.

By the way, this door is at St. Francis Assisi in South Windsor Connecticut.

I am now on a quest for other Red Doors around the country, here is one in Nebraska City at an Episcopal Church

via Significance of Red Doors in a Church.

The Tree of Contemplative Practices | On Being, labyrinth walks:

via The Tree of Contemplative Practices | On Being.

05
Jul
13

7.5.13 … Atlanta’s best … one of those perfect Atlanta days …

I had one of those perfect Atlanta days … First,  a ride with my mom: Ansley Park, Brookwood Hills, the Cathedral’s labyrinth, lunch in front of the gates of the Swan House, then dinner at new Atlanta restaurant … Saltyard.  I highly recommend it!

The Cathedral of St. Phillips , labyrinth walks: This labyrinth fits right into my Atlanta drives with my mom.  7/2 was a great day … birds, squirrels, flowers, clouds …

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Atlanta, Swan House, YouTube:  At the Swan House, there is a new historical marker.  And in the bottom corner is one of those scannable codes linking to a YouTube, and a really fun YouTube  short on the Swan House.  Old technology meets new … Love it … and my mom did, too.

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Swan House – Atlanta History Center – YouTube.

Saltyard, Small Plates,  Atlanta GA: Just a few weeks ago, I saw a review of Saltyard … definitely worth it!  6.17.13 … Saltyard … on my list …   We enjoyed gruyere gougeres w/ smoked salt whipped butter, cerviche, greendale farm “mille fleur” (GA) w/ green tomato relish, housemade summer smoked sausage w/ quick kraut, pan roasted ga trout w/ fingerlings, buttered english peas, tarragon nage, roasted mushrooms, roasted brussel sprouts …

Saltyard offers a carefully edited selection of seasonal dishes, which are sure to impress even the most distinguished palettes.

Saltyard – Small Plates & Uniquely Social Dining Experience – Atlanta GA .

 

29
Jun
13

6.29.13 … rocks and sharpie pens …

Private labyrinth on Hardison Road, Charlotte NC, labyrinth walks, Be Still and Know That I Am God: I laugh whenever I walk this labyrinth because it is both kitschy and very sincere. It is in a beautiful neighborhood and has beautiful flowers and a calming water feature, but there’s the occasional yard art.

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It’s on top of a filled-in  swimming pool. They have made a nice use of the space and very graciously make it available to all.

This time, I noticed a table with a tray filled with smooth rocks and sharpie pens. A sign asked you to write your word or words. Of course I wrote my favorite verse: “Be still and know that I am God.”

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Blessings!

*  Here is some info on the Erwin’s labyrinth:

… residential property in a calming woodland setting. The owners, The Erwins, have very graciously noted that, “people are welcome” to come walk the labyrinth. As a matter of courtesy, however, we ask that you contact Jane Erwin, first, to request use of the labyrinth.

via Private Labyrinth Charlotte, North Carolina.

05
Jun
13

6.5.13 … “For about 20 minutes in that labyrinth, I witnessed a living example of the beautiful interplay between love of God and love of neighbor.”

kudos, Katherine Cooke Kerr,  labyrinth walks, FPC Charlotte,  “Not Far From the Kingdom”: Thank you, Katherine Cooke Kerr, for  putting into words the communal nature of walking labyrinths. Anne W. made me aware of your beautiful 6.2.13 sermon, “Not Far From the Kingdom.”    I shared this beautiful labyrinth walk on  5.28.13 … walk with me … But Katherine did a much better job.

From “Not Far From the Kingdom”:

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This past Tuesday night, I gathered with our Stephen Ministers for their bimonthly meeting. Instead of meeting here at the church, we took a field trip. We met at Avondale Presbyterian Church on Park Road. The reason we were there was to experience the labyrinth that they have on their campus. Labyrinths, based upon ancient design, are paths that begin at an outside point and lead to a central spot. Different from a maze, a labyrinth has one way in and one way out, and you cannot get lost in one.

They have long been used for spiritual practice in a number of faith traditions, and several churches, including Avondale, have labyrinths on their campuses.

After a quick historical and practical overview led by Dennard Teague, our group went outside to experience the labyrinth firsthand. Of the twenty or so people there, only about four had ever walked a labyrinth before.

When I had done it in the past, it had always been alone, which is the way labyrinths are usually experienced. I was curious as to how it would work as a group effort.

What happened was profound.

We gathered at the entrance to the labyrinth and, one by one, entered and began to follow the circuitous path. Everyone spaced themselves about 10 or so paces apart and walked at their own pace. Eventually we were all in the labyrinth, walking sometimes as close as shoulder to shoulder, but in complete silence. Some people walked with their heads down, watching their footfall on the brick path. Others looked up and around at the peaceful scenery, taking in the beautiful spring evening light.

I don’t know what was happening in the thoughts of those around me, but I can guess that some were praying and some were contemplating, no doubt at least one was compiling a grocery list, and some may have been blissfully free of thought. As I looked around, I realized that I was standing (or walking) in a perfect metaphor for today’s message.

For about 20 minutes in that labyrinth, I witnessed a living example of the beautiful interplay between love of God and love of neighbor. Each person was having their own personal experience- in prayer or meditation or silence- but we were not alone. We were loving God and loving one another- being in relationship with our creator while also being in relationship with one another. And I realized then that so much of what our life of faith is about looks something like this.

It happens here in worship, and in circles and bible studies. It happens in Sunday school classes and youth group, on mission trips and retreats, at hospital bedsides and gravesides. Wherever we are practicing our faith, we are living out the truth that the love of God and the love of neighbor are inextricably intertwined.

The solitary practice of faith- my focus on my relationship with God- is important, but it is incomplete. And the community practice of faith- my focus on how I treat my neighbor- is important, but it is incomplete.

It is only through loving God that I can truly love my neighbor. And only in loving my neighbor can I begin more fully to love God.

One without the other doesn’t work. This is the message of the Ten Commandments, and the message of Jesus in the Greatest Commandment.

The love of God and the love of neighbor belong together – they form the foundation for the life of faith, a life lived toward the kingdom of God, that place that is both here and not here, now and not yet, when the fullness and richness of God’s intention for creation will be realized and we will live in perfect harmony with our creator and our brothers and sisters.

It’s not far away. Thanks be to God. Amen.

via First Presbyterian Church – For Christ In the Heart of Charlotte.

31
May
13

5.28.13 … walk with me …

I had the great pleasure of leading an FPC Charlotte group on a labyrinth walk and teaching them about such walks.  In connection with my guiding them, I drafted “My History,”  and here it is …

My History

From Barbara Brown Taylor’s  The Alter to the World and leading into her section on labyrinths is this: “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.”

To be able to answer that question with that answer is what the labyrinth does for me.

Approximately three years ago a long time friend Mary  asked me to walk a labyrinth with her, this labyrinth here at Avondale. It had an immediate effect on me, and I began to research and walk other labyrinths locally. Within six months, I would describe myself as a “hooked” and possibly an addict.  During July 2011, I even dragged my family on a three-hour detour across France to see Chartres‘ labyrinth.

The following spring and approximately a year later, in a continuing effort to find peace and add meaning to my life, I walked a canvas labyrinth, one which is only set up on holy days etc. This labyrinth is at Myers Park Methodist Church. After walking it, I went to my friend Mary’s Ash Wednesday Service,  and she asked the worshippers not to give up something, but to take up a practice. I signed a purple card and put it in the collection plate.  My card stated that I would attempt to walk a labyrinth daily during Lent. That  was Ash Wednesday,  the first day of Lent 2012.

And I did, I walked almost every day. And absolutely found it refreshing, relaxing, focusing and well worth my time.

During my 2012 Lenten Walks I found a flyer here at Avondale, announcing a 2-day presentation by Lauren Artress : “The Healing Labyrinth: Addressing the Spiritual Hunger of Our Time” Lecture & Book Signing and “Nourishing our Spiritual Lives” Labyrinth Workshop.  I signed up.  These lectures gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts into words and universalize my year-long experiences.  Reading Lauren Artress’ Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool  and hearing her speak and experiencing her with others, including my sister and someone I now consider my labyrinth friend, was worth every minute of my time and money.  I would attend again n a heartbeat.

After Lent and the Artress weekend, I quickly realized that I missed my walks, and so I continued to walk.

I probably walk a labyrinth every week to 10 days. I have found that when I travel, I seek them out.   I have walked labyrinths in Miami FL, Atlanta GA, the Berkshires MA, Washington DC, Boston MA, Louisville KY and Boulder CO.

When I came to Lent this year, I made the same decision: I would walk labyrinths daily, if possible.  I came away with the same conclusion …my 2013 Lenten Walks, like my 2012 Lenten Walks, were worth every minute of my time and grounded me spiritually.

I continue to walk every week to 10 days.  I also walk when I am troubled or anxious or happy or joyful.  It takes me 20 minutes, and I almost always come away resolved.  As St Augustine says, “solvitur ambulando: it is solved by walking.

Here are a few pics …

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11
Feb
13

2.11.13 … What does a Pope do in retirement? …

Pope Benedict XVI , Bishop of Rome Emeritus, retirement, legal issues, papal enclave, twitter:  I don’t think anyone was expecting this … I woke up early today and was immediately hit with the news that the Pope was going to retire effective 2.28.13.  And i immediate wondered out loud on FB, “So the Pope is going to resign. What does a Pope do in retirement?”  Noting that, according to BR:

“The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, who left the papacy in 1415 to end what was known as the Western Schism among numerous competitors for the papacy.”

My pundit friends went into action …

BT: Invite him to bingo

MP: Retired Popes fly around in their cool hats with their flying nuns.

 And then the twitters started tow tweet …

Nate Silver
@fivethirtyeight
No pope has resigned since 1415, which is also the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning record.

Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco

The Pope resigned earlier today & Dan Brown has already written two thrillers about it.

via The Pope resigned….

Team Coco ‏@TeamCoco

Strange but true: for over 2000 years, Cardinals have picked the new Pope via rock/paper/scissors.

But my favorite was the husband of a friend …

David McDaniel ‏@DMcDaniel

Poor Notre Dame. They lose the BCS championship, then the Manti Te’o thing. Now they face the 2013 season with a rookie pope.

And the political cartoons … field day …

.

via The Platzner Post

But there are lots of interesting issues given that the last pope to retire was Gregory XII, who left the papacy in 1415 …

Q: How does one refer to a retired pope?

Benedict XVI would technically retain the title, Bishop of Rome Emeritus. “I doubt he would use the papal titles, but that’s something to be decided on,” said Father Kaslyn.

via A Legal Guide To Papal Resignation – Law Blog – WSJ.

And the consensus is … all bets are off.

The papal conclave—the secretive meeting of Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope—is expected to start shortly after the end of February, when Pope Benedict XVI, at 85 years old, said Monday he would step down.

The more than 120 voting cardinals will likely debate whether to select a low-key gradualist or someone who is going to govern with grand gestures, such as Pope Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II. In recent conclaves, cardinals have been split between those who take a more conservative approach to the church’s teaching and those open to changing some of the age-old tenets of Catholicism.

There is a saying among Vatican watchers that cardinals who are tipped as popes before the conclave begins rarely actually get the job. “The race is really wide open,” said Giuseppe Di Leo, a longtime Vatican journalist for Italian radio Radio Radicale.

The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place behind the locked doors of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Under highly detailed procedures, only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote in the conclave, and secret ballots can be cast once on the first day, then twice during each subsequent morning and evening session.

Cardinals must have a two-thirds majority to elect a new pope; a runoff may be held between the top two candidates if the voting goes as far as 34 rounds. Except for periodic pauses, the voting continues until a new pontiff is elected.

When a successor is elected, the ballots are burned dry to produce the white smoke that signals the church has a new pope.

via Contenders in Line to be Pope – WSJ.com.

And I also did a quick review of popes … List of popes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

“Solvitur Ambulando”  – It is solved by walking, labyrinth walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Lenten practices: 

I took a nighttime walk on February 11. It is 62° in Charlotte and so warm that I am walking in shoes flats with no socks like it’s summertime. I am wearing only a sweater, too.
The walk was quite nice, my first nighttime walk on the Avondale labyrinth. It is not well lighted, so I am making my way partly from limited visibility and partly from memory. Their are branches from the recent storms on the labyrinth.
I can’t wait to start my Lenten practice of walking a labyrinth  “almost daily”. Forty two days of walking and solving, I am very very excited.

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Marthame Sanders, Sermon: Changing God,  i feast therefore i am, Transfiguration Sunday: As I mentioned yesterday, I loved my own pastor’s sermon yesterday, but since I follow Mathame, I really enjoyed his as well … and they are very different.

When it comes to the church, I think we can fear change because we think we are messing with something that is eternal and unchanging. In other words, rather than asking God to change us, we worry that are trying to change God (or, at least, repackage God) in order to please people. I also think that this fear comes from a good place. Is the change we implement a cop out? When we do things like broaden our styles of music, or project worship information on a screen or a wall, are we dumbing down faith, cheapening it? Or are we using current technology in the way that Martin Luther utilized the new-fangled printing press to spread the word of God? Or, perhaps, is there something else altogether at stake?

And that is the challenge of Transfiguration, of trusting in a God who changes us more than we could ever change God. You see, the temptation of that moment on the mountain top is to stay there. Peter wants to build shrines, to preserve the spectacle in a way that it would last. The truth is that these moments are often fleeting. We get glimpses of heaven here. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the celebratory feeling of a full Sanctuary on Christmas Eve; or the intimate power of footwashing on Maundy Thursday; or the intellectual and spiritual challenge of Bible study; or the blessed gift of serving in the Food Pantry or Habitat or Journey or the Bargain Shop. There are moments in our life as a church that we are tempted to think, “If only it could be like this all of the time!” If only we could enshrine these moments and live within them now and forever. If only…

But that’s the thing: the purpose of these moments is not the possibility of their permanence. Their very power is in the fact that they are fleeting. The question is whether we are open to allowing them to change us…now and forever.

What is that moment today? Where is your glimpse of the kingdom going to be? Will you recognize it when you see it? Will you make room for it to change you?

via Changing God « i feast therefore i am.

Jerry Sandusky, faith, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, CNN Belief Blog: Although I did not attend this session, my cohort in crime did … And I came away wondering what was Sandusky’s faith and how had his faith home responded to the Sandusky’s crimes.  Did St. Paul’s United Methodist Church exhibit “moral courage?”

Ethical Action and the Penn State Scandal: Lessons for Lawyers

Kimberly J. Strom-Gottfried, Smith P. Theimann Distinguished Professor for Ethics and Professional Practice, UNC School of Social Work

this session will explore ethical issues raised by the Penn State football scandal, most particularly, the ethical dilemmas raised by actions by Jerry Sandusky in connection with the campus football program and Sandusky’s Second Mile charity developed to help disadvantaged young people.

Ed Zeiders, the senior pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, did not shy away from addressing the conviction of his congregant and friend on child sex abuse charges, asking his congregation to “pray for all of those who are victims and for all of those who are predators.”

Zeiders began his sermon with a question.

“In light of the misery, sorrow and suffering we see, affecting every aspect of our life, within us, in the midst of us, and around us – what are we to do,” he asked. “The world needs an answer, our community deserves an answer, and we need to answer together what is the most efficacious way to move forward from here.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

Saying that the eyes of the nation are fixed on the State College community and, to some degree, on the community of St Paul’s, Zeiders said that “in the midst of the raging storms around us” the church had an opportunity.

“If ever a local congregation has been given a moment to…..reveal what it means to be Christian,” Zeiders said, “this is that congregation in this moment in history.”

Zeiders spoke to what he said was the transformative power and saving grace of God, making a connection between faith and ethical behavior. “If we are to claim Jesus as savior,” he said, “we must, without fail, come face-to-face with our own morality.”

via Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Rep. Rick Nolan (MN -D), Constitutional Amendment, Citizens United: This will be interesting to watch.

A Democratic Minnesota congressman is introducing a constitutional amendment designed to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case that lifted many restrictions on corporate spending in political elections.

Rep. Rick Nolan unveiled the proposal on Monday along with members of Move to Amend, a grassroots coalition that has been seeking support on the local level in communities for the amendment. They say political campaign spending should not be a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

The 2010 Citizens United ruling paved the way for a flood of campaign cash from corporations, unions and wealthy interests.

Any effort to amend the U.S. Constitution faces daunting hurdles.

Supporters of the Citizens United decision say it upholds the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.

via Rick Nolan, Minnesota Democrat, Unveils Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United.

Pioneers! O Space Pioneers!, Walt Whitman, NASA,  mashup, Brain Pickings:

“Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!”

On the heels of yesterday’s animated adaptation of Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot and Ray Bradbury’s passionate case for space exploration earlier this week comes a dynamic mashup of Walt Whitman’s poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” and awe-inspiring footage of mankind’s cosmic triumphs. Conceived before Neil Armstrong’s passing but released this past Labor Day, the video pays homage to the beloved pioneer and casts a hopeful eye towards the future of space exploration.

via Pioneers! O Space Pioneers! A Walt Whitman + NASA Mashup | Brain Pickings.

Chicago, bars,  best bar in the world,  Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert’s Journal, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer, The Host, The Geriatric Genius: I just like this Ebert post. 🙂

Bea’s gift inspired Bruce’s blog, The Geriatric Genius, in which Elliott shows himself in the direct line of descent from the Host in the 15th century The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s character is the central figure and narrator of the Tales, the one who knows all the others and is their common bond, yet rarely takes an active role during their pilgrimage. It is he who names them, convenes their nightly meetings, observes what they do, hears their secrets, and tells of their weaknesses.

And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest,

So had I spoken with them, every one,

That I was of their fellowship anon,

And made agreement that we’d early rise

To take the road, as you I will apprise.

But none the less, whilst I have time and space,

Before yet farther in this tale I pace,

It seems to me accordant with reason

To inform you of the state of every one

Of all of these, as it appeared to me,

And who they were, and what was their degree,

And even how arrayed there at the inn.

The Host relates the stories of such as the Wife of Bath, the Nun’s Priest, the Three Rioters and Old John the Carpenter, “who foolishly marries a lively young girl.” Bruce’s blog follows the nightly adventures of such regulars as Street Jimmy, Bruce Faggypants, Ruben Nine Toes, D Train, Porn Star, the Cougar, Buzzkill, Larry Asshole, Connie the Crack Whore, Craig the Drunk, Fatal Attraction, Sleepy John, Johnny Ale, and the Counselor, waging their battles against reality. Many people without code names also come in, including talent from Second City across the street and Zanie’s comedy club around the corner, and yuppies, cops, robbers and respectable yuppies–whose tales don’t interest Bruce. Yuppies visited the bar twice in the recent indie movie “Other Children,” which completely failed to capture its character.

via The best bar in the world that I know about – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

Commencement Speeches, lists, Conan O’Brien, failure, Brain Pickings:  I think my favorite is Conan’s …

For decades, in show business, the ultimate goal of every comedian was to host The Tonight Show. It was the Holy Grail, and like many people I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000 — in 2000 — I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.

via 5½ Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Success | Brain Pickings.

St. Francis of Assisi, quotes, art, Rawforbeauty:

via Rawforbeauty.

Apple, Curved-Glass Smart Watch, Dick Tracy, Inspector Gadget , James Bond, NYTimes.com: Dick Tracy … Inspector Gadget  … James Bond … me 🙂

Dick Tracy and James Bond had watches that served as computers. Tim Cook of Apple wears a Nike FuelBand, which tracks his physical activity.

Dick Tracy had one. As did Inspector Gadget and James Bond. A watch that doubled as a computer, two-way radio, mapping device or television.

Though such a device has been lost to science fiction comics and spy movies of the era before smartphones, the smart watch might soon become a reality, in the form of a curved glass device made by Apple.

via Disruptions: Apple Is Said to Be Developing a Curved-Glass Smart Watch – NYTimes.com.

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo, civil war, Civil War, random, NYTimes.com: Random, but a very interesting tie-in …

Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” was published in 1862 and English translations of the five parts that constitute the novel began to appear in America by year’s end. Hugo had begun the sprawling novel in the 1840s, put it aside, and come back to complete it between 1860 and 1862. He was an opponent of slavery, and in 1859 defended John Brown. “Insurrection,” he said, was a “sacred duty.” In the novel, Hugo name-checked Brown in a list of celebrated revolutionaries that included Washington, Bolivar and Garibaldi. Hugo’s focus was the July Revolution of 1830, but it is possible he had the American conflict in mind when he wrote, “Civil war … What did the words mean? Was there any such thing as ‘foreign war?’ Was not all warfare between men warfare between brothers?”

via In Camp, Reading ‘Les Miserables’ – NYTimes.com

Jazzy Vegetarian, Public Television, Blog Talk Radio: I think I will have to record this … Jazzy Vegetarian, Season 2 on Public Television 02/06 by The Jazzy Vegetarian | Blog Talk Radio.

2013 snow storm,  NYC, Bloomberg:  6 more inches to NYC!

A fast-moving storm is expected to drop new snow from the mid-Atlantic area to southern New England, including New York City and Long Island, the day after tomorrow, according to Brian Edwards at AccuWeather Inc.

A “narrow band of nuisance snow” will spread from the Ohio River Valley into Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia during the day Feb. 13, and snow may start in New York, Long Island and southern New England after dark, said Edwards, based in State College, Pennsylvania.

via Fast-Moving Storm May Bring 6 More Inches of Snow to NYC – Bloomberg.

Downton Abbey, #DowntonPBS, Twitter:  A few of my favorites from last night:

VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair)

2/10/13, 9:30 PM

Edith, post-Edwardian Gail Collins, hums “Stronger” while marching out of the newspaper offices. #DowntonPBS

2/10/13, 9:35 PM

Enrollment in the Downton Malfeasance Society now open to new members. Bring your brooms. #DowntonPBS

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/10/13, 9:47 PM

Mrs. Hughes now the new philosophical wit at Downton. #DowntonPBS

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/10/13, 10:01 PM

RT @EmmaDVelez: RT @theLadyGrantham: Well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I am never wrong. #DowntonPBS

10
Feb
13

2.10.13 … in this world, but not of this world …

FPC, worship, sermon Transfiguration, epiphany,  labyrinth walks, “Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking, Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth:  IMG_5491As I left FPC today (did anyone else notice the tulip trees blooming!), I headed to one of my favorite labyrinths.  I had a heavy heart, despite a very excellent sermon by Kirk Hall about  Transfiguration entitled,  “A Glimpse of Glory.”  I was also quite struck by the affirmation of faith …

We believe Christ gives us and demands of us lives in pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom. Like Christ we may enjoy on our journey all that sustains life and makes it pleasant and beautiful. No more than Christ are we spared the darkness, ambiguity, and threat of life in the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Our confidence and hope for ourselves and other people do not rest in the powers and achievements of this world, but in the coming and hidden presence of God’s kingdom. Christ calls each of us to a life appropriate to that kingdom: to serve as he has served us; to take up our cross, risking the consequences of faithful discipleship; to walk by faith, not by sight, to hope for what we have not seen. (Declaration of Faith, 9.5) http://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf

But even my drive was uplifting …

 IMG_5492

IMG_5495  IMG_5493 IMG_5494 

And the walk was wonderful.  I came away feeling much better …

IMG_5496

IMG_5505  IMG_5503 IMG_5504

IMG_5502

IMG_5499 IMG_5500  IMG_5497

IMG_5498

 IMG_5506

I love the quote of Ms. Alexander painted at the “foot” of the labyrinth.

“With patience persistence and prayer, a God-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit.” – Almetto Howie Alexander 2011

And so this afternoon, I  did a little research on the labyrinth …

.Labyrinth

Activities are often thought of as group-oriented, competitive sports, skill-oriented, performance or even pressure. The labyrinth provides a balancing activity, one which may best be pursued alone, in one’s own time of need, searching, or desire for peace and focus. Experiencing the solace of journey provided by a labyrinth brings peace, healing, and enlightenment — mental health — appropriate for people of any age. The labyrinth itself is a beautiful monument to heritage and history. The spiritual and actual presence of the labyrinth will fulfill the dreams of its founder — a person who spent her life working for her community in education and civil rights — and will offer the benefits and reminders of this continuing journey to the community’s next generations.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

The study, design and installation of labyrinths has become an essential part of my work as an artist. From our research, we believe this may be the first Afro-Centric Labyrinth in the United States. This particular project has all the potential to become a great source of healing and education within the smaller community of Washington Heights as it interacts with the larger community of Charlotte. The unique design pays homage to the nearly lost origins of the labyrinth, and offers each individual the opportunity to metaphorically walk their life’s journey along a pattern that echoes the journey and philosophy of Mrs. Alexander.

— Tom Schulz

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

“Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking:  I also did a little research on the term “solvitur ambulando.” I found this very interesting.

Solvitur ambulando (pron.: /ˈsɒlvɪtər ˌæmbjʊˈlændoʊ/)[1] is a Latin term which means:

it is solved by walking

the problem is solved by a practical experiment

Diogenes of Sinope, also known as “Diogenes the Cynic,” is said to have replied to the argument that motion is unreal by standing up and walking away.

The phrase appears early in Lewis Carroll’s “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”. Achilles uses it to accentuate that he was indeed successful in overtaking Tortoise in their race to empirically test one of Zeno’s paradoxes of motion. This passage also appears in Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

The phrase appears in Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Clouds of Witness”. During the Duke of Denver’s trial before the House of Lords, the Lord High Steward suggests (to laughter) solvitur ambulando to determine whether the decedent crawled or was dragged to a different location, as this was a matter of dispute between the prosecution and the defense.

The phrase is also cited in “Walking” by H.D. Thoreau and in “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin in its first meaning.

The phrase is discussed multiple times and at some length in The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux.

The phrase was the motto of the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society.

via Solvitur ambulando – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Momastery, blog, meme: I loved this graphic and I enjoyed her blog as well.

You’re not screwing it up. Your baby is just completely wicked awesome.

via Momastery.

I’ve been both a “working” and a “stay-at-home” mom so I’ve experienced both sides of the internal and eternal debate moms endure all day, every day. When I worked outside my house, Mommy Guilt rode shotgun with me each morning, chiding me for dropping off my sick boy at day care instead of keeping him home and for rocking him the night before instead of preparing for work. When I got to work each day Mommy Guilt whispered that a good mom would still be at home with her son and when I returned home she’d insist that a better teacher would have stayed at work longer. When I’d visit girlfriends who stayed home, Mommy Guilt would say “See… this lady’s doing it right. Her kids are better off than yours are.” And Mommy Guilt certainly had a lot to say when Chase’s day care provider admitted that he had taken his first steps while I was working. Every night when I finally got Chase to sleep, finished grading papers, and collapsed into the couch, Mommy Guilt would snuggle up next to me and sweetly say “shouldn’t you spend some quality time with your husband instead of checking out?” And finally, before I fell asleep each night, Mommy Guilt would whisper in my ear, “YOU KNOW, THE ONLY WAY YOU’RE GOING TO BE A GOOD MOTHER AND WIFE IS IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB AND STAY HOME.”

And so now I’m a stay-at-home mom. And the thing is that Mommy Guilt stays home with me.

via Momastery.

Davidson College basketball, Nik Cochran, multitasking, live blogging: Another great day to be a Wildcat (fan)!  Congrats to Nik.  I think it is great that I can multitask and pay attention to a game.  I often put on the live blog, even when I am watching a game.

Cochran Hits 1,000 Career Points; Wildcats Roll to Eighth Straight Win

Nik Cochran became the 44th player in program history to hit the 1,000-point plateau and Davidson shot 53.6 percent in a convincing 87-52 victory over Appalachian State in front of 5,090 fans Saturday evening at Belk Arena.

via Davidson College Athletics.

Davidson College Athletics – Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. ASU.

Davidson College, Baker Athletic Center, The Davidsonian:  So many things to be done …

“Baker was designed 25 years ago when athletes had one season of intensive practice and play. Now all sports practice year round,” Jim Murphy, Director of Athletics, explains. “This building [Baker] has had an incredible demand put on it. There are students in this building almost around the clock.”

With additional men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball practice courts, as well as a dance center with two studios, office space, and storage, the extra space will alleviate scheduling constraints, reducing the current inconvenience of athletes missing study groups, regular dinner hours, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to benefiting varsity athletes, this extra space will increase student participation in club and intramural sports by 60%, as well as accommodate an expanding academic and extracurricular dance program.

Not all of the additions will be about scheduling, however. Some are merely ways to improve both the athlete and the spectator experience. The renovation will include new locker rooms, team rooms, film rooms, and administrative offices for men’s and women’s basketball. All athletes will appreciate the expanded Basil Boyd Training room, and students, faculty, and staff will benefit from a new cardio/fitness room, as well as a classroom for health and wellness instruction. Baker currently sees 90,000 patrons annually. A new ticket office with internal and external windows and a new game day entrance facing the parking lot will streamline the spectator experience.

The planned Baker renovations are a reflection of Davidson’s impressive expansion over the past quarter century. “Being able to respond so positively to the growth we’ve seen in the student population is the most exciting aspect of this project,” says Murphy.

via $15 M renovation of Baker slated to begin in April – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Stonewall Riots, President Obama,  1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Christopher Park, public art, legal history, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, 2013 Legal Festival of Learning, hetero-normative society:  Three weeks ago, if you asked me what I knew about the Stonewall Riots, I would not have been able to tell you anything, and when you told me about them, I would have had to admit that I really do not remember ever learning about the event. Well, President Obama referred to the riots in his 1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, I saw the Stonewall Inn on my 1.28.13 tour of Greenwich Village and the statues dedicated to the riots in Christopher Park (the park facing the Inn), and l learned about them in the context of the legal history of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights at the Legal Festival of Learning on 2.9.13 (Same-Sex Relationships: Recent U.S. Developments by Maxine Eichner and Holning S. Lau). Sometimes I am amazed at how un-knowledgeable I am, and wonder if my education will ever be complete. As a lawyer and lover of history, now I at least feel like I can enter into an honest and educated conversation of the topic.”

.

I had not witnessed the use of the acronym LGBTQ ….

When most people see the acronym “LGBTQ” they are fairly certain what the first four letters stand for. “L,” of course, stands for “lesbian;” “G” is for gay; “B” stands for “bisexual” and “T” means “transgender.” But the “Q,” which represents the word “queer,” is harder to define.

So what exactly does it mean to be “queer?”

“Personally, I think ‘queer’ encompasses ALL in the community, whereas ‘gay’ is primarily used for only the homosexual male segment of the community,” says Kate Sherry, the editor of Queer Life News. “However, there some of us who do identify strictly as ‘queer’ instead of ‘lesbian’ or ‘trans,’ etc.”

Originally, the word “queer” meant unusual or strange, and later, it became a derogatory term for someone who is gay. At the end of the 20th century, members of the gay community reclaimed the word and in doing so, recycled the meaning once again, this time with the goal of empowerment.

The “grayness” of the word is part of its power because it breaks down the ability to label and categorize lifestyles that unfairly generate hate and oppression. Activists, people who strongly reject traditional gender or sexual identities, or anyone who feel oppressed by the pressure to conform to the heterosexual lifestyle often use the word.

According to Bill Serpe, the executive director of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), “queer” is a catchall word for anyone who is outside the societal norm, not just those who identify themselves as part of the gay community.

“Someone is queer when they have realized that they are not straight, heterosexual or born in the wrong body. Not all people who might fall in this category like being called queer, but would agree that they are living a lifestyle that is different from what is considered the social norm,” says Serpe.

So, can a straight person be queer? Sure. For some, the “Q” stands for “questioning,” which includes people living the straight lifestyle but questioning their sexuality, someone who isn’t sexual at all because they are unsure of their identity or a person who is sexual, but doesn’t fit into any particular box.

“Anyone who feels they don’t or can’t conform to a hetero-normative society are eligible for queer status!” says Sherry.

via OnMilwaukee.com Milwaukee Buzz: What does the “Q” in LGBTQ really mean?.

2013 Northeast Blizzard , Storm Nemo, Nemo memes:  It is amazing th pictures and videos that are coming out of the NE.  Apart of me would love to be there and a part is glad I am looking at tulip tree blossoms! FYI —  10 Things To Know About The Northeast Blizzard. I just love this picture of Beacon Hill from the WSJ …

EASTON, Mass.—A historic blizzard pummeled the Northeast, dumping up to three feet of snow across New England and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in New England.

via Storm Sweeps Through Northeast U.S. – WSJ.com.

And then there are the Nemo memes. 🙂

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

Nemo in the Snow | Complex.

Cool Tools, Boing Boing: Just found this  interesting …

We’ve already come up with a lot of ideas for Cool Tools projects, and some are very ambitious. As Kevin said, “Let’s turn Cool Tools into a butterfly, not just a better caterpillar.” That’s a terrific goal to have, and it’s one that can be achieved while staying true to Cool Tools’ original statement of purpose:

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest.

I love learning about what people make and do, and the tools they use. Do you have a tool you love? Tell us about it at Cool Tools.

via Mark joins Cool Tools – Boing Boing.

Mason-Dixon Knitting.

 English grammar,  NFL,  Tweets, Chris Culliver, Wes Welker, 2d graders: 🙂

A class of 2nd Graders show off their corrections to a number of tweets from top NFL sports stars, including this one by San Francisco 49ers' Chris Culliver.

A group of 2nd graders have corrected  a number of NFL tweets; handing out a lesson in spelling and grammar to a number of top NFL stars.

The second grade students from Elmwood Franklin Elementary in Buffalo, N.Y. were given a challenge by faculty at the school to correct the grammar and spelling mistakes in a number of Twitter postings from top NFL players.

The young children went to work on tweets from Chris Culliver, Wes Welker and Titus D Young Sr. on Friday, correcting errors in grammar the stars had made in the world of Twitter.

In one tweet by Chris Culliver in which the San Francisco 49ers player tweeted, “I pray to God I’m never dieing broke”

Chris Culliver has been in the news a lot this week as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans this Sunday for Super Bowl 47.

However, despite the pressure that must be on Culliver in preparing for the big game, the kids were still unforgiving on his spelling and grammar.

via 2nd Graders Correct NFL Tweets: Chris Culliver, Wes Welker Twitter Accounts Given English Lesson.

blogs, knitting:  I don’t knit, but I liked the blog because of the dialogue between the two writers … Mason-Dixon Knitting.

weddings, destination weddings, Travel + Leisure: When I first started hearing about destination weddings (and I will attend my first this spring), I asked my teenage daughter  if she would ever want a “destination wedding” … the beach where she grew up going, for example.  She looked at me like I was crazy … so I was astounded to read this article  …  “For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

“People don’t want their big day to be cookie-cutter,” says Anja Winikka, editor of TheKnot.com, a popular wedding-planning website. “First, the crazy new thing was destination weddings”—which these days represent about 20 percent of ceremonies. “And now, just in the past five years, we’re noticing many more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

via Worlds Strangest Places to Get Married – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

twitter, HuffPostHome:  HuffPostHome … I will not trust you again.  This one was really stupid and definitely not  “one of the coolest things … ever seen.”

HuffPost Home 

@HuffPostHome

This laundry trick is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen huff.to/12BrQFE




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