Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It looks good on paper

The other day I was justifying, making excuses, acting out the part of a person who can't be made accountable for their own life.  I was talking about Steve--my friend, the 66 year old formerly homeless person who lived with us for three years, who just moved out to do a job that he sees as his calling in life, who calls us his family.  I was talking about Steve to someone and I said:  "I guess it sounds impressive to say that we lived with a man who was homeless. But, in reality it only looks good on paper."  What I meant was true enough--after some initial hiccups I found living with Steve to be a real joy.  I like his stodgy, ornery way of being in the world. We clicked. In the last three years Steve spent a fair amount of time helping us--supporting my dream of a street newspaper, walking our dog, reading to our kids, taking out the garbage, making Wednesday night Spaghetti.  I said "it only looks good on paper," in part, because I wanted to say that it is not hard to live with Steve... I love Steve.  But, there was another more insidious side to the matter. There is my deep seeded sense that I  am a fraud.  Who thinks if I squeak by at all  in life it will be because the externalities--the paperwork--checks out right.  I admit right now that I can be a bit of a liar in all my self-abnegations, and I might just not know all they ways in which this lying hurts folks.  I hated the main character in "A Catcher in the Rye" who calls everyone "fake"--maybe I have become that person and my treatment of myself is an evocative example of this attitude.     

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do not be anxious about anything.  

It wasn't quite a stigmata, but there was definitely blood.  Doug and Johanna and Simeon  and I were driving through Toronto with our car backed on our way to an MCC event called "In all that we share," a weekend camping event on a reserve 7 hours North of Toronto.  Before we left we had one errand to run--take back the bag that someone left in our car the night before.   Doug went into the women's apartment and came back 5 minutes later with a stricken look and blood on his palm--he had just been poked by a needle.  The women who owned the bag worked in the sex trade. Doug knew that she was HIV positive and thought that she might also have Hepatitis C.  We rushed to the hospital.  We didn't know much about these matters, but I thought that there was some sort of prophylactic medicine that was given in these instances.  There was and an hour later completely stunned Doug has a good prognosis and a bag filled with AZT and other similar drugs that he was to take for the next 6 months.   

Seven weeks later Doug was due for a blood test.  I didn't sleep for the entire week.  Even though the statistical probability for contracting HIV was astonishingly low and Hepatitis C very low,  I was deeply troubled.  It was at this time I began to realize how very far I had come from a sustaining faith.  The trouble was not that I ever stopped believing in God, or believing in God's desire for justice for the world, or even believing that God loves me---but I suddenly realized how impossible it had become to believe that God really desired my happiness.  There was a lot of suffering in this world and over the last several years I have seen more and more of it... It was just very difficult for me to accept the fact that God's purposes for my life might include suffering.  That is not what I wanted.

I am still struggling with this matter.  Doug ended up being okay. However, the memory of those dark nights are not gone and I have yet gotten anywhere near the point of a non-anxious faith. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Song of Simeon and Visions of Johanna

When Simeon was born the idea of naming him after a wizened old man didn't seem so strange. He frowned, had a mole with a black hair squarely in the center of his head, and a double chin. He looked world worn and wise. We had just experience a mesmeriznic Christmas and this grand, post Christmas Saint was on our mind. Moreover, I truly have always loved the story of Simeon and Hannah who in the context of a Lukan account where no one seems to understand nothing--they get it! Moreover, I was reading the works of T.S. Eliot and loved his poem "Song of Simeon." But, to look at him now. Well, it just seems absurd. He is the most joyful, boyish, squirrel-ly little squirt. It is hard to imagine him growing into a name with such gravitas. But, there are times when I realize that there is more to Sim than meets the eye and that he has this deep, inner life that is hidden from me. I remember how much thoughts of God, Hell, Jesus, and Eternity animated my mind starting as a small child and I am intriqued to know what he thinks.  

Johanna was named in part after my Father, in part after the Apostle, in part after the Dylan song Visions of Johanna, and in part after Hannah in the Bible. (Doug always says she was named after Hannah Arendt as well, but I don't remember.) She might have been named Davita if she looked more serious or had darker hair. But, from the start she was blonde, blue eyed and fair and seemed to favor her parents Scandinavian side.  In the Dylan song, Johanna haunts the singer.  She is his Beatrice.  
I can imagine Jo in such a role.  I'm in love!  But, of course she is too young to be some poet's muse and much too young to finish up Arendt's final section of Life of the Mind, and it also might take a few more years before she can tell a story as well as her Grandpa John or craft a stunning prologue about the Word made flesh.  Although she can tell a good story and can wax eloquent about the peaceable kingdom--a topic that John could have perhaps expounded on a bit more in the book of Revelation.  

What a lot of hope is embedded in these names.   What if Simeon grows up to be an Industrialist and Johanna a fashion model?  What will we do?  What does it mean that we have put our hopes into these forms so frail but who possess the dynamo of their own wills and intellects.   I am not sure?  

In another sense, I feel ill equipped to pose this question.  We did give the names filling them with meaning and significance and a bit of an unspoken prayer.  But, it isn't the case that we are pushing them in any particular direction.  We are not placing babies in Sim's arms to see if he can make predictions or having Johanna read Aristotle.  In fact, we are pretty low key in general.  (See post below on parenting philosophy)  But, I hope that they will at least grow to love their names and to treasure the meanings that they have.  That they will know that the were given in love and that the names at least resonate with them--speak of things that they value--that they are proud of them.  

 T.S. Eliot
      A Song for Simeon
      Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
      The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
      The stubborn season has made stand.
      My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
      Like a feather on the back of my hand.
      Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
      Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.
         Grant us thy peace.
      I have walked many years in this city,
      Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
      Have given and taken honour and ease.
      There never went any rejected from my door.
      Who shall remember my house, where shall live my children's children
      When the time of sorrow is come?
      They will take to the goat's path, and the fox's home,
      Fleeing from the foreign faces and the foreign swords.
         Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
      Grant us thy peace.
      Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
      Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
      Now at this birth season of decease,
      Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
      Grant Israel's consolation
        To one who has eighty years and no tomorrow.
         According to thy word.
      They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
      With glory and derision,
      Light upon light, mounting the saints' stair.
      Not for me the martyrdom, the ecstasy of thought and prayer,
      Not for me the ultimate vision.
      Grant me thy peace.
      (And a sword shall pierce thy heart,
      Thine also).
      I am tired with my own life and the lives of those after me,
      I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those after me.
      Let thy servant depart,
      Having seen thy salvation.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Take my moments and my days let them flow in endless praise

I like to sing.  Every night I sing somewhere between 3-9 songs to Jo and Sim as I put them to bed.  Some kid's songs, a couple of folk favorites, but mostly I sing them hymns. To close our singing time I always sing a song Doug's mom made up and the Doxology.  We started to sing the Doxology before we joined a Russian Mennonite congregation that joyfully refers to the song as the Mennonite National Anthem.  The particular hymns that we sing tend to go through phases.  Currently, "They will Know we are Christians" is quite popular.  I especially like the line about "guarding each man's dignity and saving each man's pride."  It has a nice Trade Union sound to it and also fits my Father's ethic of never, ever embarrassing someone or making them covet you.  

Others that are on the top ten right now are "Forever Young" and "Simple Gifts.  "Forever Young" is a pretty perfect blessing for a kid.  I especially like the line "May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, may you always know the truth and the light surrounding you, may always be courageous, be upright and be strong and may you stay forever young .. "  I also have been singing "Take My Life"   

I am not a good singer or even average.   Whenever I get to the line "take my voice and let me sing always only for my King."  I chuckle to myself.  My kids and God might be the only ones that want to hear me sing.  A select group.  However, singing is pretty hard to detach from being human and I feel like it important to sally forth with my nasally out of tune jubilations despite the ways in which my voice can falter and fail.  

It was during the stressful time that surrounded my comps that I found myself singing "Take My Life" to the kids.  It might have been at that time that the lines about intellect and will were especially resonate to me as I was pondering which had primacy.  But, I also think it was part of a clambering towards wholeness and a deep longing to feel like my days were part of a great symphony of praise.  Marilyn Robinson's Gilead helped me to see the degree to which there is praise embedded  in our very being in this world--a world that God had set apart by his presence.  

I recently has a friend refer me to a G.K. Chesterton quotation : "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly."  I have fallen in love with it.  I see the merits of excellence, but it has started to fail for me as a way of praising God.  I would like to return to a place when human excellence can once again feel doxological to me.   I realize that much of the dismissal of praise songs that occurred when I was at Calvin came from a strong commitment to the belief that God should only receive our best.  I can think of better reasons for not liking praise songs.  But, I think this is a particularly unhelpful one.  We praise a God who is high and holy and beyond us and we always fall utterly short in this.  Excellence as a measure of a life of endless praise fails me because I seek excellence for a whole host of other reasons as well--typically the real praise in the equation is the praise I hope to gain from others.  . 

During my time at Calvin I received lots of praise from my Professors.  I had never even been the biggest academic star in the very small Buckley, MI constellation.  Suddenly some of the smartest people I had ever met were giving me outrageous praise.  It all seemed to fit the idea of calling-- the fact that people were telling me how talented I was in something, the wonderful atmosphere of a Christian academic community. . .  It was easy for me to see how my papers, and test, and projects might be part of a larger project of praise and thanksgiving and joyful being.  It is tougher now.  Currently, I am trying to figure out what it might mean to let my moments and my days flow in endless praise and if that means an attitude change or something more drastic.

My singing is perhaps the least excellent thing that I do.  But, I have always sensed a blessing in singing words of resignation, praise, release, faith, boldness, and lament.  It may be that we are as likely to find a life that is doxological doing the things that we fail and falter at as those where we find our gifts. I have known this a long time.  But, I seem to need to be reminded hourly of it.  

Take my life and let it flow in endless praise...

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Sea, the Sea

Johanna lost a tooth yesterday. This is her fourth. She has managed to lose her teeth all over North America. She lost one tooth in Northern Michigan, one along the shores of the Atlantic, another at home in Toronto and last night she almost left her tooth on the beach. From sea to shining sea, the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Ontario to the shores of the mighty gitchi-gumme.

We travel alot.

This summer alone we have been in L.A., Boston, and New York. We have gone to Rhode Island twice. This despite the fact that we officially had a staycation this year and did all kinds of wonderful stuff in the greater Toronto Area (including the Toronto International Film Festival) not to mention a wonderful trip up to Algonquin Park.

I am a bit flabbergasted and feeling a wee bit profligate. There have been a lot of resources burned and I have failed to appreciate it fully while it was occurring.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Parenting: Apologia Pro Vita Sua

I tend to walk accidentally into some minefields. I have been attempting to avoid the parenting minefield. It would be a satisfying feeling to meet with parents that hold to the same parenting philosophy as I do. I know that a lot of people have such communities or such imagined communities, but I feel startlingly alone. The problem in short is that I do not have a philosophy. This offends people. I remember a college boyfriend once told me, "Hey, I would be fine if you didn't shave your legs out of principles. . . or I would be fine if you shaved everyday out of vanity. . . but this shaving sometimes and not shaving other times is gross." Destroyed on the shoals of intentionality. Intentionality is hard for me. I once made a decision for Jesus. No problem. I made a decision to marry Doug. That was easy. But, in general no other decisions have ever been that easy. I am still not sure about what I would like to do when I grow up. I still become troubled about the question of denominational identity. And, then, there is the daily grind of decisions that really, truly wear at me.

What first attracted me to the work of the Christian ethicist Stanley Hauerwas was not his startling vision of the alternative Christian polis, instead it was his portrayal of the virtuous person for whom ethic is not the crisis of decision but an art-- a way of being that is seemingly seamless. At my best I hope that my parenting embodies my love and faithfulness and patience and that decisions are made correctly (a lot of the time) without recourse to a philosophy. At the worst, I fear that I worry neither toiling or spinning.

But, how to explain this to people who have very decided philosophies and who make me feel at times like a falterer and a fraud? Is there grace in doing nothing? I was never able to appease the boyfriend who believed that I needed to have a rationale for only shaving my legs some of the time.

I am a person of strong convictions and yet surprisingly meager intention. As, I often tell those dear to me. . . I am a plodder and not a plotter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am blogging in the flicker of candlelight. Strange neon pink shadows are splashed across the face of the table.  I hover over this light and brood.   There are big problems and then there are negligible ones.  But, my inability on an almost daily basis to write and think and edit and research is starting to get me flummoxed.  It may be time to start treating my writer's block with tried and true remedies.  Will power seems to be a faltering affair.  Perhaps there is a twelve step program for dissertation writing.  I need to admit by powerlessness, that I must rely on an higher power and take a inner inventory.  Enough, my inner inventory would begin with how self absorbed I am... and the degree to which this blog declares this...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I rarely find myself awake at 2:30.  I think that it might be a simple matter of too much coffee and a full moon.  I always kind of enjoy these lucid intervals in the middle of the night.  I had quite a few of them when I was pregnant with Simeon.  That was a heady time.  I was studying for the GRE, trying to secure one more recommendation, and finish my course work, and apply to Graduate School.  A crazy time.  But, I have good memories of staying up late reading Barth and Foucault.  

I have jumped through a massive amount of hoops during the last six years.  It is hard to work so hard and still feel like things aren't quite going to work out.  That perhaps the die was already cast and that you are just fruitlessly kicking against the pricks.  I have always found it particularly hard to work hard for something and simultaneously leave the fruition and the outcome to God.  It may be the case that an academic career is simply not going to work out.   I still remember my pre-teen frustration that every time I prayed in a Basketball game, "God, please let me hit this free throw--just once,"  I never did.  It was difficult to realize that what I want and what God wants are not the same thing.  And, in the scheme of things my wanting a personally rewarding and enjoyable career might stack about as high as nailing a free throw.  I know... this is not precisely ad majorem dei gloriam or Calvinist vocation talk.  I tend to think that our general vocation the love and hope and faith stuff is probably enough for most of us. Most of us don't necessarily require a special call from God. 

 Yet, I have to admit to having experienced one. Many of you that are closest to me know that when I was a very young girl I sense a distinct call to the ministry.  I never have precisely rejected this call.  Perhaps, I am waiting to hear it in a more visceral way or a more concrete way or through the ministry of my church.  Who knows?  I really don't.  Quite honestly.  Truth be told, sometimes I think that the academia is not going to work because it never was suppose to work.  I know. I know. I know. There are many things I feel when I hear myself saying this-- excuses, excuses; or fears; or a case of the grapes are sour anyways; or when will that girl shake her evangelicalism?, or, or?  Well. I don't know.  I really don't know.   And, that is all she wrote.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why do I have a Christmas Tree on my desk?  

Currently on my desk:  one tube of yellow paint, one card from the game "One Fish, Two Fish; Red Fish, Blue Fish," 9 books including J. Moltmann, God in Creation, two books on Whigs, two books on Dorothea Dix, Ray's, A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, two books on particular trials, Ahlstrom's Religious History of the American People, and an interloper from Doug's work: Christ, History and Apocalyptic.  There is also one Wee Sing tape All God's Children, a mug, the cover for the Dylan cd. OH MERCY!,  a big file box of articles, a copy of ENDNOTE waiting to be installed, my laptop, Prince Charming's magnetic top, a flower made of pipe cleaners,  a picture of Johanna and I making a snowman,  10 note books, a card with dates for Doug's dentist appointments, and a card with a picture of an RCMP Mountie and his horse Honest Ed, a reindeer shaped cookie cutter, a toy John Deere Tractor, and the especially out of place Christmas tree.  Might I have an organization problem?    No wonder work is coming slowly this morning.   I cleaned my desk and feel slightly better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tonight is just a ticking time bomb.  The house an absolute disaster; I want to clean it desperately.  But, B and A are away,  there is a glut of dishes that have to be done before I can start, and dollars - to -donuts M will wake up before I've even filled the sink.  Plus, I have a sermon to write. Plus, I have two dissertation chapters to finish.  I know, I know, why waste five minutes on this stupid blog?   I just am overwhelmed by tasks that absolutely can't ALL be finished in this current space/time continuum.  And, to make matters worse, I am the most scattered, ADD, flighty mess of a women in the whole entire world!  And, to make matters slightly more worse, I am not one step closer to actually learning grammar, and I can't find my lost library book.  ARGHHHHH! AND ARGHHHHH! AND ARGHHHHHH! 

Monday, July 27, 2009

I went sailing today.  It was really, terribly lovely.  The warm sun, the rocking, the wind on my face.  It was relaxing and very comforting and, yet, invigorating.  The line from Mr. Tambourine Man was brought to mind.  

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Yes, to not particularily thinking. I realized today that I need to cultivate more times of holy silence.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Incessant they spurn and spin
and move in time
to their
own (they say) drums

I am spinning
keeping time 
my eye on you
the beat.

I am spinning and my eye slips
Could it be easier?  
Is there some rhyme I miss 
and if I knew it could I  move
could I move my eye?

You don't answer. 
NO Oracular only spectacular 
and I have had enough seeing 
and would like 
to believe

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I started to write, "I must confess I wasted the day."  But, I should reconsider.  Eggs Benedict with a friend hardly counts as waste.  Taking care of a necessary doctor's appointment--waste?  Chatting with a friend, waste?  No, these experiences were not wasted time.  Nor, was eating dinner with my family or even watching a rerun of Little House on Prairie.  But, the 3.5 hours I could have worked today were squandered, and for that I am disappointed.  But, I need to remember that school is not the only work or activity that counts.  I am in a cult.  It is called the academy and I am in constant need of an attitude adjustment.  

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I feel like I have been untying a particularly tedious knot.  I have been pulling and teasing and twisting to no avail.  The knot is wet because I attempted to get some leverage on a particularly nasty tangle.  This had made the untying even more difficult.  But, wait!  I think I may have untwisted something crucial.  Is this the first knot.  I hope.  I hope that I can begin to unravel some problems I have been working on with plodding frustration for a while.  

I must remember that there is always a stage of any kind of work professional or personal where exertion seems meaningless. It always require a special kind of wisdom to know when one should just lay down the entire knotty mess and when you should keep struggling a long.  You might be working towards the solution....or you might be making the problem terribly worse.   

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I woke up this morning with Timothy Dwight in my bed

 I woke up this morning with Timothy Dwight in my bed...

Or, so I might sing if I was a blues singer.  It is better than my mother-in-law or butter and eggs.   It might just be the unfortunate kickback of too much dissertation work.  I have to admit that I am captivated by these 19th-century folks.  They are so earnest and so serious and so profoundly immune to the ironic.  I, of course, actually live with someone that would make fast friends of William L. Garrison.  I am proud of that.  I am beginning to love my work.  Even though it feels like it is going to be rather professionally infertile.  I like these haunts and spooks and grave souls skulking around my mind.  I like the way their seriousness and optimism challenges my jaded half-heartedness!  I want to go take down some monstrous and impossibly inviolate institution.  (I just need to take care that I don't build a bunch of prisons and asylums along the way. )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Night

Last night, in a space of about 30 minutes, I went from trying to convince someone with a legion of problems including: addiction, physical disability, abandonment, loss, and a violent past, that their life is not meaningless-- to feeling that I was a wretched failure because of a few academic setbacks.  Why can't I seem to accept that there is grace, too, for me?  

Good Morning Resentment

As of late, I have been frustrated by the tide of resentment that greets me in the morning.  Regardless of how assiduously I thwart its thralldom during the day, it always seems to come right back at me in the morning.  Today, I went running.  As I was pounding the pavement trying to outrun the darker angels of my nature, I began to realize how much my resentment has it sources in my overweening desire to be in control. I resent those that get the awards, praise, kudos that I desire. I have never thought of myself as a particularly ambitious.  But, I am.  I am also frightened because my lack of ability to perform means that I might not be as safe as I would like to be.   So, the question is what part of this gorgon to I take on first: the sense of profound inefficacy, the ambition, the desire for control or the resentment?  The question:  can I diagnosis the center of this whole cluster of problems in my inability to allow God to be the Sovereign of the universe and my consequent inability to allow myself to be part of God's life in the world--whatever that means for my ambition?  Or, do I take on the problems symptomatically.  Tackle the resentment when it comes, the sense of incompetence when it comes. . .  ? 


Sunday, June 14, 2009

I have been re-reading Henri Nouwen's Return of the Prodigal.  I had forgotten how powerful the book is.  At the centre of any book on the spiritual quest is Augustine's affirmation that our hearts are restless.  This book evocatively connects that restlessness with the homely image that Jesus provides to us of paternal love, fraternal jealousy, the tremendous odium of comparison, youthful unfaithfulness and celebratory grace.  Similarly, Marilyn Robinson's Home enfleshes the story of the prodigal son.  Moreover, it takes the reader a step further into the mysterious union between the rejected and called; two that become one through the possibility of grace.   Nouwen suggests a movement beyond being one of the  children to taking up the mantle of the Father in the story.  Robinson's story dwells on how the younger and the older need each other.  How they might come to be reconciled to one another--  That the "accepted" might recognize their need to be embraced by the rejected, and that "the rejected" might accept the embrace of "the accepted." We are all accepted and we are all rejected.  We are in most desperate need to experience the grace of God through others and through our grace for others.

Living in Christian community brings with it very pressing questions concerning how we might maintain a home for others.  That I struggle again and again with the desire to make my home my habitus, my outer garment, the expression of me--my creativity, and zeal, and passion, and thereby reject the call to make this home, our home.  

I want to make this home the habitus of God.  A place of formation in the virtues of friendship and faithfulness and sharing.  In short, to wear the shimmering garment that is God's graces.

The things that are getting in the way of living this vision are legion.  I can scarcely begin to even address them now.  I imagine that careful reflection on monastic literature would soon make it entirely and extraordinarily obvious how common the attitudes that undermine our community are in the life of past Christian communities.  Certainly the sins of jealousy, and sloth, and anger, and greed are at the forefront. . .

I affirm, however, that right now, it is in this place that I am called to hear from God and to grow as God's child.  That this means a  more rigorous conflict with my own personal demons and obsessions seems obvious.  

Saturday, June 13, 2009

All I know for absolutely certain is that more of my thought power needs to be aimed outside of my head.  Nein to introspection.  I suspect that this is why ceaseless prayers is important.  Prayer need not be introspection.  It can be.  But, at its best doesn't it aim towards praise and reconciliation and therefore has a telos outside of my own being.  The psychic energy can also go out in the works of love and works of creativity.  It can also be expended in works of charity.  When we pray with our very lives for peace, or justice, or fraternity (sorority...) 

Then there is running.  Pound. Pound. Pound.  

Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Night

I went on a street walk with (D). There is something about wandering the back allies and behind the bright lights of the city that makes one feel strangely like a space shuttle or a monad. I was glad to be with (D) and his friends but I still felt singular and like I was only watching people out of Emerson's giant eyeball. I am amazed at how engaged (D) is in these situations. He was warm and human and comforting. I would like to keep going with him on these street walks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Words. I am having a hard time producing them. There has been some massive rupture in the thinking process. I read. I read. I read all this academic jumbo and I can scarcely put together a sentence any longer. Worse yet, I do not know why it is that I might want to put together a sentence.

I have lost almost entirely my sense of a transcendent logos outside of time that made wordsmithing sensical. I am alone with my words, my broken syntax, my empty longing to connect and to communicate. I want this blog to be anonymous. Hoping that there might be some way forward...

Perhaps, empty communication might bring back words to me. In this sense blogging might become somewhat of a prayer. But a prayer to the empty, merciless, chaos of cyberspace.

Should I rather write a friend?
I have been trying to learn grammar as a therapeutic activity. It is my theory that my general sense of incompetence stems from my inability, to stop slicing sentences with commons. However, I find grammar books to be very moralizing. Some of the moralizing I can identify with. For instance, I do think that over use of the passive voice or phrases beginning with "it is" or "there are" can hide agency. "There is a lot of sludge in rivers." "The rivers have been polluted." These sentences ignore agency.

However, all the talk of our Fall into bad grammar seems to be a tad bit over dramatic. I am interested only in the declension that happens to nominatives. Not, so much other narratives of grammatical declension.

I will let you know if I begin to find some peace of mind and a stronger sense of self in my grammatical exercises.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today has been so banal. I am ashamed of myself a little. I followed the classic route by which I squander a day. In general all such days include an inordinate amount of time spent on the computer. I am doing better at ignoring facebook and its mutiple possibilities. I am not doing as well as ignoring blogs, news, movie reviews and impossible schemings.

I have a sense that my time on the computer is exacerbating a tendency to be fractured, to follow what Thomas would call the sin of curiositas, and to not think and feel and love from a deep center. In short, it has become sinful. Perhaps, slothful. This blog is an attempt to be more doxological about my time.

Monday, February 23, 2009


it isn't warranted
this love
that over 
has flowed
 and I can only 
flow back into the it
not warranting what is wanted not wanting what is warranted.  Alone, with my need to deserve.  My Desert. 

and I could refuse
and I could refuse
Oh, I could turn
from this all of everything
just for the sake of my own
meager self-it is not that I can't accept but I am so afraid -proud
well, it isn't warranted.
I am embarrassed by this grace.