29 February 2008

As I Walked Out One Evening
by W. H. Auden

As I walked out one evening,

Walking down Bristol Street,

The crowds upon the pavement

Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river

I heard a lover sing

Under an arch of the railway:

'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you

Till China and Africa meet,

And the river jumps over the mountain

And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean

Is folded and hung up to dry

And the seven stars go squawking

Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,

For in my arms I hold

The Flower of the Ages,

And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city

Began to whirr and chime:

'O let not Time deceive you,

You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare

Where Justice naked is,

Time watches from the shadow

And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry

Vaguely life leaks away,

And Time will have his fancy

To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley

Drifts the appalling snow;

Time breaks the threaded dances

And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,

Plunge them in up to the wrist;

Stare, stare in the basin

And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,

The desert sighs in the bed,

And the crack in the tea-cup opens

A lane to the land of the dead.

'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes

And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,

And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,

And Jill goes down on her back.

'O look, look in the mirror,

O look in your distress:

Life remains a blessing

Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window

As the tears scald and start;

You shall love your crooked neighbour

With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,

The lovers they were gone;

The clocks had ceased their chiming,

And the deep river ran on.

28 February 2008

quest for this world

"The quest for personal well-being, health and psychic security has replaced the older hunger for personal salvation. It is as if we have settled for a redemption that salvages this world alone" (James Emery White, Serious Times)

27 February 2008

"Now I know some of you have already heard of me, but for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar, let me explain how I teach. Between today until the class right before finals, it is my intention to work into each of my lectures … one lie. Your job, as students, among other things, is to try and catch me in the Lie of the Day."
[here] via [kottke]
Sounds like Reb Saunders in The Chosen, which came way before Neil Postman.
Luke's Commonplace Book

Boy on a String, by Jars of Clay

The marionette has your number
Pulling your arms and legs till you can't stand on your own
Dragging you conscience on the stage
And your heart gets rearranged,
And you cannot tell your mentor from your Maker
Look at the crowds bleeding with laughter
Over the way you entertain at beckon call
They don't see behind the lights or the painted background
They just like to see you fall

And you don't really mind
And you're just wasting time
And you don't feel anything
You're a boy on a string

I feel a sadness like Gapetto
Watching the life that he created run away,
Seeing the puppeteer's intrusion
And holding the remains of puppets that had rotted away
One day the curtain will not open
And all of the crowds will go away
But sometimes those strings will choke you
But until that day

No you won't really mind
And you're just wasting time
And you don't feel anything
You're a boy on a string

And you don't really mind
And you're just wasting time
And you don't feel anything
You're a boy on a string.

26 February 2008

May it Never Be

Steel towers of cold metallic-grins posses me

In a cruelly awkward embrace, the caress

of anti-glory, of grey walls of ash.

Authors of this age are dried-lettuce wrong-

—their philosophy, that is—

For we do not advance with these paint-by-numbers.

Digression. Digression.

American “dream” tromping as elephants on parade.

Digression. Digression.

Ha. The Law was broken for a sense of peace.

For steel towers of cold metallic-grins.

For the anti-glory.

Steel towers of cold metallic-grins possess me
In a cruelly awkward embrace, caress me as

compacted truths slink into Darkness-suitcase

As streetlight corners dim, the Truth suppressed

In taxi-trunk, in fantasy, in sci-fi, and pulpits nationwide.

For “all the world’s a stage”*

Digression. Digression.

Put on your measured gaze, tonight you play the fool.

Seems Jonah’s got a friend.

Ha. The Law was broken for a sense of peace.

For truths convenient-packed in suitcase-Dark.

For the anti-glory.

Steel towers of cold metallic-grins possess me

In a cruelly awkward embrace, the caress

of frozen coals in the midst of cricket-summer.


of this fury

are dried-lettuce


Ha. The Law was broken for a sense of freedom.

May it never be.

In the dried-up cold of darkness,

Sometimes mountains rise.

With a zenith for a song—

Arresting the attention of the angels,

of the demons,

And of the best of men.

*William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, 2.7.139


The kindness of the unexpected...aye, when a stranger gives you more than you would have given him...

"Stranger Love"

Several weeks ago, I answered a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Her name was Susie, and she had dialed the wrong number. Susie and I, however, talked for nearly two hours. Conversation swayed from small talk to the love she still has for her ex-husband who she left for abusing her. They are still dating.

Two weeks before I talked with Susie, I met an older gentleman in a local coffee shop by the name of Gene, a photographer and die-hard Royals fan. Over an hour later, Gene and I were asked to leave because the employees needed to lock the doors. There’s such an interconnectedness that God has created all around us that I don’t often see because I’m too caught up in ideas that I think are worth my time. Ideas like politics, carbon footprints, war, sports teams, work and school dominate my thoughts because I am passionate about them. Until I met Susie and Gene, though, I had hardly any passion for the people that shared with me the world I’m dying to change. Jesus equated love for his father with love for our brothers and sisters. But how can I love someone who isn’t here to love? Caring thoughts for others is the best way to inactively love our brothers and sisters. Think about them. Wonder if they are well. Picture them doing something they love. Wish that they are happy. In these ways, they are being prayed for.

There hasn’t yet been a day that I haven’t thought of Susie or Gene. I haven’t seen or spoken to either of them since we had our heart to heart, although Susie made me promise that I would let her cook me dinner. Gene is probably shooting photos of soon-to-be-married couples and can’t keep his mind off of Royals’ spring training. Susie is probably trying to keep her Kindergarten class in line, preoccupied by thoughts of what to cook for that boyfriend/husband of hers for dinner. But they exist. They are out of sight, but always on my mind. These two strangers taught me how to more effectively love another human being. And for them, I am thankful.


25 February 2008

Sunrises and the Haste-land

"...I mentioned that I have seen this desolation often. I have. So I now offer back your soul-remnants with a word. Take heed of the rising sun, in its moments of glory. Gaze long upon the wheat fields, grey with dawn’s transition. In the silence, allow the clamor of your overwhelmed be heard in the whisper of a covenant—a covenant of courage, sealed with the red-blood of your heart.

…and when you, having received sight once again, witness shattered souls falling deceived into the darkened haste-land, give them back their sight."

24 February 2008

Caedmon's Call, Prepare Ye the Way

"The Word of the Lord came one evening
Concerning His bride's great sin
He'd send down His Word to renew her
To prepare for the Bridegroom again
The Word said repent
From seeking vain glories
While the gifts in the Lord's name you give
Repent of all the first stones cast to kill
While your own self-righteousness lives..."

Those last two lines...

23 February 2008

Kids who break down walls...when no one else can

Strange, you know. I've babysat before, not often getting calls to babysit again. Not that the kids don't like me...we just don't connect. Let's face it, I'm not the best babysitter--the introverted don't make the best hyper-active kid-watchers. Yet tonight, two kids stole my heart (when many teens and adults cannot do so). These kids broke down walls in less than two hours.

You see, I got to their house tonight with the 6-year-old girl wanting to show me everything, wanting to take charge. She sat right down with two pieces of Pizza Hut pizza, got herself a Sprite, and ate. Her brother, however, wailed as his parents left. This 2-year-old scrambled away from me each time we made eye contact. (I went to find him and found him hiding, crouched underneath the dining table...it hurts pretty badly when a kid that little thinks you're the epitome of "Boogie Monster.") Yet the evening wore on. We went outside on the swings. I chased them around and played peek-a-boo. We read Junie B. Jones. We watched Max and (whatever his sister's name is--the show with brother and sister rabbits). When the parents returned, the little boy followed me instead of clinging to his parents. He lifted his arms, saying "hug and kiss." Really?!

Maybe you can see why, for one of the first times ever, I asked the parents to call me anytime.
Table For Two--Caedmon's Call

Danny and I Spent anther late night over pancakes

Talkin’ ‘bout soccer And how every man’s just the same.

We made speculation On the who’s and the when’s of our futures

And how everyone’s lonely But still we just couldn’t complain.

And how we just hate being alone.

Could I have missed my only chance,

And now I’m just wasting my time

By lookin’ around But ya know I know better,

I’m not gonna worry ‘bout nothin’.

Cause if the birds and the flowers survive,

Then I’ll make it okay.

I’m given a chance and a rock; see which one breaks a window.

See which one keeps me up all night and into the day.

Because I’m so scared of being alone

That I forget what house i live in.

But it’s not my job to wait by the phone

For her to call.

Well this day’s been crazy

But everything’s happened on schedule, from the rain and the cold

To the drink that I spilled on my shirt.

‘Cause You knew how

You’d save me before I fell dead in the garden,

And You knew this day long before

You made me out of dirt.

And You know the plans that

You have for me

And You can’t plan the end and not plan the means

And so I suppose I just need some peace,

Just to get me to sleep

22 February 2008

“Study Abroad allows people to leave their current educational institution and spend a semester or a year in Europe or Australia. Though study abroad are offered to other places, these two are the overwhelming favorites. By attending school in another country, white people are technically living in another country. This is important as it gives them the opportunity to insert that fact into any sentence they please. “When I used to live in [insert country], I would always ride the train to school. The people I’d see were inspiring.”

If you need to make up your own study abroad experience, they all pretty much work the same way. You arrived in Australia not knowing anybody, you went out to the bar the first night and made a lot of friends, you had a short relationship with someone from a foreign country, you didn’t learn anything, and you acquired a taste for something (local food, beer, fruit). This latter point is important because you will need to be able to tell everyone how it is unavailable in your current country.

It is also important that you understand the study abroad ranking system. Europe/Australia form the base level, then Asia, then South America, and finally the trump card of studying abroad in Tibet. Then there is the conversation killer of studying abroad in Africa. If you studied in Africa, it is usually a good idea to keep it quiet, it will remind white people that they were too scared to go and they will feel bad. Use this only in emergencies.” — Stuff White People Like

21 February 2008

Con que pagaremos amor tan imenso?

Con que pagaremos amor tan imenso? Amor y misercoridia…Dios ha escrito “vive” en mi corazon, y su perdón ha cubierto mi rebelión. A veces, muchas veces, pienso y pienso solamente con un conclusión…no hay palabras, no tengo palabras o cosas suficientes por este deuda.
“... time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition”(Tennessee Williams, in “The Catastrophe of Success”)

Wild, Wild (by Mary Oliver)

This is what love is:

the dry rose bush the gardener, in his pruning, missed

suddenly bursts into bloom.

A madness of delight; an obsession.

A holy gift, certainly.

But often, alas, improbable.

Why couldn’t Romeo have settle for someone else?

Why couldn’t Tristan and Isolde have refused

The shining cup

Which would have left peaceful the whole kingdom?

Wild sings the bird of the heart in the forests

of our lives.

Over and over Faust, standing in the garden, doesn’t know

anything that’s going to happen, he only sees

the face of Marguerite, which is irresistible.

And wild, wild sings the bird.

19 February 2008

via Luke’s Commonplace Book on 11/3/07
“If we come to read anything in Holy Scripture that is in keeping with the faith in which we are steeped, capable of several meanings, we must not by obstinately rushing in, so commit ourselves to any one of them that, when perhaps the truth is more thoroughly investigated, it rightly falls to the ground and we with it.”

- St. Augustine, from here

from The Maytrees by Annie Dillard


When he was a young boy, his mother took him along the night she went to see a fishing boat aground on Peaked Hill Bars in a storm. Frisch Fragonelle was the first to go. In the blackness Toby Maytree knew him by his narrow shape, as everyone on the beach knew every man clinging in the rigging by shape. He squinted into spray and happened to see Frisch Fragonelle let go. Seas ruptured on bars in rows behind the vessel and before it, so streaming foam silhouetted Frisch Fragonelle’s drop an instant before it covered it. He fell upright and straight as a plumb bob.

—Hell, young Toby’s mother said close by, the very hell. The whole frozen town on the beach groaned.

His father and the whole coast guards at the Peaked Hills Bar station had already tried everything: firing the breeches buoy; launching their boat into the breakers; and even launching an old whaleboat that Captain Mayo’s tractor hauled down the beach from town. At first the men hooked in cordage and spars were waving to the people on the beach, as if hallooing them in midnight high spirits, or as if pointing out their situation, or as if warming their blood by saying ate a volta, adeus, good-bye. Seas, spray, and sleet froze on them. Toby and the others onshore waved and jumped and all useless else, as if their encouragement would lighten the men’s hearts, and maybe it did.

The stranded crewmen dropped all night like acorns. More groans low under the high wind. Toby saw something like laundry roll in a breaker. The next wave presented it as Frisch Fragonelle’s body. Maytree’s father and another coast guard brought it in and laid it at his wife’s boots without a word. Mothers were turning their children and heading toward town.

—Do I have to go home now? Toby was eight. He hoped she would say, Yes, darn tootin’ go home. You must shun the sight of the men of our own fleet, your friends’ fathers, dying almost an arm’s length from shore, and us helpless to save them.

His mother bent to his face and looked at him. Her face was chapped. Two wool shawls covered her head; she had wrapped her fingers in the fringes.

—No, she said. You don’t have to go home. This is part of life.

Damn, he thought—not that he would watch his neighbors drown, but that it was part of life.

The Poet With His Face in His Hands

(by Mary Oliver)

You want to cry aloud for your

Mistakes. But to tell the truth the world

Doesn’t need any more of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t

Stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t

Hold it in, at least go by yourself across

The forty fields and the forty dark inclines

Of rocks and water to the place where

The falls are flinging out their white sheets

Like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that

Jubilation and water-fun and you can

Stand there, under it, and roar all you

Want and nothing will be disturbed; you can

Drip with despair all afternoon and still,

On a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

By the passing foil of the water, the thrush,

Puffing out its spotted breast, will sing

Of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

18 February 2008


Your Type is INTJ

Strength of the preferences

Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging

% 56 50 12 78

You are:

  • moderately expressed introvert
  • moderately expressed intuitive personality
  • slightly expressed thinking personality
  • very expressed judging personality

Blogging is more about what I see than it is about my opinion

the point of a blog? More than giving my commentary about things (which will happen, certainly), my blog is about post the phrases, photos, happenings that catch my eye or my heart each day…so that it doesn’t feel like I’m writing it all down in a notebook which will be lost or recycled in a few months anyway.

If I do not pay my fine, I cannot check out books, for I am nearing the “if you owe this amount, you cannot be trusted” limit.



Total Due: $4.30

Just supporting the local library.

When I would hear a horrific story, I would want to respond quickly, write a check, and be done with it. But I have met many incredible people who are responding with their lives, and that has exposed something in me. Radical Womanhood: Self-Help Christianity or Kingdom Work?

oh, a blog where comments are allowed!

Job--the man who worshiped

Job 1:20 “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Really?! Even though I “know” all about Job and know that he was a man of integrity, I still waited for the climax of the parallelism—something of the “and Job wept” or “and Job cursed God and died” sort. But no.

“and worshiped”