29 September 2005

must see photo

There are probably only a few things each day/week/month that are just amazing. This photo is one of them. A definite must see!

16 September 2005


*happy dance*

11 September 2005

hit by car. fine, bruised, a little shocky. bike undamaged, except for a banged up basket.

innocently riding along, saw that I had a walk sign to go through the crosswalk. enter crosswalk. see car moving. realize that she's totally going to hit me and that I can't do a damn thing about it. think, "well, shit."

and then I was on the ground and my groceries were everywhere (I was remarkably focused on the groceries being in the street). all these people want to know if i'm alright, and I (bawling) reassure them.

anyway. enough of all of that. I'm fine. my left leg will turn pretty colors by tomorrow, and my knee is stiff from the swelling. I'm pretty proud that I got back on the bike and rode home though. (and will not mention that I collapsed into a weepy heap as soon as I got there... oops, it's out.)

so that's my grand adventure. my dad's response: "glad to know you'll make it to 23... so long as you don't have another incident before friday."

08 September 2005

comparative reading notes

Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers (Webber, ed.)
Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality (Schmidt)

These are both anthologies/collections of prayers or writings by Anglican authors. If I had to choose, I found Give Us Grace to be slightly more useful, but Glorious Companions includes longer historical snippets on the authors.

Both are organized on the author's birthdate, moving forward toward the present, and both are thematically indexed as well. I would probably quibble with some of the inclusions/exclusions, particularly in Give Us Grace, but these would be excellent additions to my bookshelf on a permanent basis, more for consultation than reading, although they could also be used with a prayer practice.

07 September 2005

reading notes: Letters to Malcolm

I love C.S. Lewis. He's one of my favorite authors. Since I'd never heard of it until recently, I assume that this book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, is one of his lesser known works.

My impression was that this is a book deeply timebound. It's certainly interesting, and there are comments made that are applicable even now, but it is particularly shaped by the times and circumstances of his writing.

These aren't a collection of letters a la Screwtape, by the way. He really did have a friend named Malcolm, and these are his letters to him. Only the letters by Lewis are included, and it's interesting to see how the conversation moves without knowing the content of Malcolm's replies.

wisdom bits:
  • I am afraid many people appear in my prayers only as "that old man at Crewe" or "the waitress" or even "that man." One may have lost, or may never have known, their names and yet remember how badly they need to be prayed for.
  • I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at teh moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.
  • The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
If you like Lewis, and especially if you're familiar with Anglicanism (and the C of E version of it), this is a quick and interesting read.

01 September 2005

reading notes: Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

This is the first book I've read by Anne Lamott, and I have to say that she's hilarious. Hands down, no doubt about it. She cracks me up. I definitely recommend this book!

It's more of a stream of consciousness roughly organized than a book that has an overarching plot or message. It's funny and has a lot of great quotations, which provoked an earlier blog. But it's not tightly constructed witha strong directional format. Her narrative sort of meanders through a landscape, loosely connecting interesting moments and illuminating them.

Anyway, the wisdom bits:
  • "if the devil can't get you to sin , he'll keep you busy"
  • on Sunday School: "We did not exclude anyone, because Jesus didn't. ... On bad days, I could not imagine what he had been thinking."
  • "But you don't always get what you want, you get what you get. You want to protect your child from pain, and what you get instead is life, and grace."
  • On prisons: "...years ago, when you could still believe in caring for prisoners without being accused of being soft on crime. Jesus was soft on crime. He'd never be elected anything."
  • "Teenagers who do not go to church are adored by God, but they don't get to meet some of the people who love God back. Learning to love back is the hardest part of being alive."
  • "I'm all for bribery when it's for a good cause. I think God does a lot of bait-and-switch. Peter catches a boatload of fish, then gets to become a disciple. We're herd animals, horse-people, and sometimes a bright orange carrot is the only thing that will get us to move."
  • "Building a wedding is a recipe for muddle -- the bridal party, the families, the guests, the minister, the vows, the food. You're attempting to make something beautiful out of unruly and unpredictable elements -- the weather the nuttier relatives, the rivalries, disorders, and dreams. Out of mostly old neurotic family and friends, you hope to create something harmonious. You do so as an act of faith, hoping that for a brief period of time, the love and commitment of two people will unite everyone; and it will sort of work."
  • "I remembered something Father Tom had told me -- that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns."
  • on skiing: "I tend to fall fairly often, and flounder getting up, but I enjoy the part between the spills, humiliations, and abject despair -- sort of like real life."
  • on mothering her son: "I am not here to be his friend. I'm here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped, and I am here to raise him to be a person of integrity and joy. Besides, the kid you know at home is only a facet of the child who lives in the world."
  • "...what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune. But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued."

oh, I could go on forever. But this is enough. Just read the book. There's more where this came from, I promise.