Conceding Faith

I believe that there is an authority that is greater than reason, and that is God. The mysteries of God shine a light on the humble situation that is the human intellect. Man's frustration in this matter and his oft-covered over, but nevertheless, insatiable appetite to know point toward the boundless nature of being, and that who is Being, God. No matter how much I read about philosophy and the history of knowers, and in the face of every rationalization about how man needs myths to comfort him, I take peace in the omnipresence of the gap between reason and faith and continue to take the leap.


A Gentleman and a Scholar for President

One, I like Obama more and more all the time. I enjoyed reading this article about Obama's relations with the uber-conservative law school at the University of Chicago. It was cute to see how the academia were trying to seduce him to forgo the public life in favor of the armchair and lectern.

Today I realized that I have four more weeks left up here, when I thought it was three. Truth be told, I was disappointed. Three weeks sounded good.


Happy Birthday, Frauke

photo courtesy of bloomberg news

Goodness, gracious! Look at Hurricane Dolly coming for Brownsville and Matamoros. I hope everyone is working on becoming safe and secure and that my friends and their families are making efforts to stay dry. Happy birthday today to my Grandpa in Georgia and to Frauke, my employer.

Water is the most incredible thing because we are so intertwined with it, being mostly composed of it, depending on it for our life and the life of our environment. We draw to it for entertainment, and enjoy the weightlessness of being immersed in it. And then there are hurricanes, monsoons, and tsunami's and we recognize how water has the power to destroy us. Josh just wrote a very nice poem comparing friendship to water.

Though it is many months old (years? hopefully not, cannot remember) Damien Rice's album 9 continues to impress me. From the first time I listened through it and still this evening, it seems to be the most tragic and poignant account of a breakup. He really captures all the little elements that make breakups so devastating. The first track, 9 Crimes, a dialogue, or maybe a two person monologue, of two people struggling to come to grips with their infidelity, guilt, shock, what have you, still chills me. Accidental Babies- brilliant (for what it is). Dogs- charming, at least.

I could go on about all the ways I experience this album and all that it has made me think about, but I will keep it short tonight, except to say that if I ever had to break up along the lines of the story in this album, I think I would just crumple up.

Oh, in case you were wondering, here.
My favorites are Indie, Estrella, and Mriana Triana.

One more thing, football is not that big of a deal up here. What? I know because Robert casually said that he doesn't like to watch it, and I made a big deal out of it before I even knew I had opened my mouth to speak, basically.

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Summer Time, The Living Is Easy

All hail the power of summer-- its slowness, the way it desires to wake up lazily, how malleable each hour seems to be. Though, for most people, whose memories of such sweet summers have long since melted into nostalgia, summer is just a hotter version of every other season. There is just as much work to do. In Texas, the summer heat forces us to dash to the time clock more quickly, just to make the trip quicker from one AC to another. In Michigan, it means that road crews can fix the ice-damaged roadways, build bridges, and construct whatever else the six months of winter prohibited. Someday the workforce might engulf me and steal away my summertime, but now I am trying to realize how good I have it.

I have two weeks (last week and this one) free from employment, roommates, Dallas traffic, the Southern sun. As for the recent scandal in my apartment, I was still relatively free to not live in the midst of it. I am stress-free, and have recently taken up yoga. Still, I've let myself get bored one minute, and lazy the next.

Thoreau said, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." A few years ago my inspiring friends and I drank up the words of Thoreau-- a life giving potion awakening us from our adolescent slumber. All my life I treated the idea of eternity like a family member-- someone I spent so much time with and knew familiarly. But, also like a family member, I actually knew so little about it, and took it for granted.

When you're a Christian and have been promised eternity ever since promises held any weight with you, death seems like a mere pause between now and forever. Everything moves slowly, like a perpetual childhood summer. One has time to wait for months, and even years, to see what exactly "God wants" for you. One pretends death can be written off by saying, "Honey, just stick me in any plywood box and plant me in the back," as I've heard my step-dad say in so few words. Time means nothing when you never consider running out of it.

And then, ever so suddenly, death crept up on me, and reminded me of its realness. Almont is a small town. One could walk anyplace in town within minutes. It is enjoyable. A few days ago I just so happened to be driving, which all the time seems to be increasingly wasteful, to the Rite Aid. It is a minute's drive if the stop light catches me.

The windows were down. I just passed for the third time a couple girls walking down the street, wearing fairy wings. Jason Mraz's acoustic "I'm Yours" was playing for the third time that evening. I thought about my film that was sitting in its plastic cylinder in the passenger seat, and the pictures it might hold. Hopefully the dandelions would be sharp and in focus.

I thought about developing my own film and the joy of controlling that process, and being intimate with my photographs, the thrill of really knowing them from conception to birth. And as automatically as swatting a fly I just said told myself no, I can't do that. I wouldn't be very good. Other people do that who have worked on it for a long time. Why should I expend my efforts on someone else's craft?

Of course I didn't say so many sentences, they are all mushed up into a feeling. You know how one word can mean a really large idea? Eh, those are mostly in other languages. But the basic idea is, that is not for me and what does it matter if I don't learn something I'm interested in? Somehow along the way, my idea for what my life should encompass stopped growing with me. Somewhere inside of me there is still a little girl who cannot play sports, and this idea of being completely talentless, and these elementary boundaries stop me from trying something new that I might really, really like.

There is so much out there that I want to know, and not all of it in books. I could still become proficient at a couple languages, teach my body a new rhythm to dance to, work out an illustration style, bend into impossible yoga positions, hanglide, train a dog, organize a charity, sail Mitch and I's boat (that we do not have, yet).

I will die someday, and it isn't just a pause in between now and the rest of eternity. It is the closing of a chapter, the end of my physical mortality. It is the end of my only chance to enjoy this great, great illusion and fill it with the things that seem the most real. It is the greatest divide, the darkening of all we know empirically.

It is not only people who live without faith that wander through life aimlessly. It is the one of the most common and miserable themes of many, many peoples lives, and it is partly because we are generally not attuned to death as we should be. For many people, especially those who cannot hope on our forever, death is too terrible and mysterious to think about. It is easier just to cover it up than to face its despair. And for others, it is too casual of a thing to hold meaning.

Heidegger recommends the life that is attuned (tensed) to death, like a bow that is taut, aimed at its mark. This does not dismiss the fact that what comes after death will be enjoyed, too. It will be glorious. But it does intensify the this life is the only one we get to live in this way, with all the pleasures of watching time go by, and waking in the morning to meet it again. In it we can witness the miracle of passing from ignorance to brilliance, from apathy to passion, from evil to righteousness, from selfish to loving.

Grace. Peace.
look for the bear necessities.
the simple bear necessities.
forget about your worry and your strife

--jungleBook (disney)


So Far From Home

Today was my furthest venture from home in Almont. Destination: Ann Arbor

More update later.


Ann Arbor was really


Would it be toooo much to ask to summer in Ann Arbor? Could I teach up here for a year maybe? Where are the fifteen lifetimes that I will need to live all the lives I dream about? In which one could I accept the offer to Aupair in Germany? When do I get to be a professor? A high school teacher? A Waldorf teacher? Man. If I were a cat...


Week Three

How about a blog about how things have been going up in the North, sans metaphorical language? I thought so.

I have now spent two and a half weeks actually working. Two days of this week were freebies, one is tomorrow. Happy Independence Day, America!

One of my favorite times of the day is right before I wake the kids up. I make breakfast-- eggs, french toast, or cereal. All with orange juice, and sometimes bananas for Jacob and I. I like setting out three bowls, plates, napkins, glasses, and sets of silverware. Flipping eggs and french toast is quickly becoming second nature.

Never before have I seen kids who are so entertained by board games. It's heaven for me, though, seriously, because I never tire of them. We've played at least twenty games of Sorry and no less than fifteen games of Uno. We couldn't count the games of Connect Four.

The trees are beautiful-- dark, green, and so very old. The willow trees have impressed me. They are tall and their branches and leaves really extend all the way to the ground, draped like a quilt over the back of an old chair.

I've ventured out, talked to random people, laughed with strangers, talked softly with children. Once an old woman stopped me at Meijer, the big grocery store around here similar to HEB plus, convincing herself through talking to me that she should buy the book which the John Adams HBO special is based on. She delighted me.

Last night I had dinner for one at Victoria's. Chicken and orzo pasta salad. White Bordeaux. I love that word. Bordeaux. I think that is what I'll name my son.

We go to swim lessons. Play dates. Tutoring. Ice cream. The park. It really is cute. We argue, too.

Mitch talks to me at night, and when I can draw conversation out of him during the day on Google Chat. It is sweet of him to spend so much time on our conversations, because I really do need them. I need to hear him, and see how he is doing, but honestly, I just need someone to talk to, as well. The thing is, exam time is coming up for him, which means I can't expect so much time from him for our evening chats. So, dear friend, do you think you could call me sometime? I would really love someone to talk to, in between taking care of my two new loves (Jacob and Kaylin) and exploring small towns like Romeo and Oxford.