Sunday, March 27, 2005

Joyeuse Paques

Happy Easter everyone. For many reason, this is my favorite holiday of the year. May your time with friends and family be blessed by the knowledge that Christ is alive, and that the power of the cross is that it is empty.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

Grace & Peace

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ready, Fire, Aim...

Taking inspiration from a friend (whom I recently discovered is a fantastic narrative writer), I have become enamored with the idea of serial posts - periodic thoughts in a related vein addressed under a common title. These are not to be confused with posts that take a few iterations to complete (like our community's thoughts on worship), or mutiple posts in a similar theme that lack the conscious coherence of a serial post (e.g. many politically oriented posts close to last year's election).

I currently have two serial posts: "who's your grandma?!" a serial including random thoughts and fun news items, and "Non impediti ratione cogitationis?" a new serial of my thoughts on the fairer sex.

At the risk of overkill, I'd like to kick-start another serial entitled "who we are" (no linkage yet for obvious reasons), that examines and reveals things about myself that I often find surprising. I consider this post to be a proto-iteration of this serial.

As with all serials, I will link the current post to its previous iteration, and welcome your thoughts and comments, especially stream-of-consciousness thoughts that will inevitably spark me to look deeper at my reflections.

Grace & Peace

Currently Spinning
"Kind of Blue"
By Miles Davis

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Non impediti ratione cogitationis?

(or, my thoughts on women)

A post of this magnitude certainly entails more layers than I can ever imagine uncovering. Plus, I have precious few thoughts I dare categorize as "conclusions." But in a spirit of profound humility (dare I say reverance?), I would like to make this a periodic post of my thoughts on the fairer sex.

The following poem you may find distressing, humorous, profoundly beautiful, or perhaps deserved, depending on your perspective. I hold these in tension:

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity, --let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

In a complimentary, or perhaps contradictory spirit, to what degree do we think that men and women need each other? This may be taken in many ways, and I consciously imply all of them, but anticipate a response predicated on the likely impression of one element over the others.

Don't second guess yourself too much. We're all smart enough to play devil's advocate with ourselves. But stream of consciousness is far more answer to follow.
Grace & Peace

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Tale of Ernest Christian (Explained)

Several people have wondered at my posting The Tale of Ernest Christian. Given its relevance, I think it is worth returning (in brief) to this story, and what I find powerful about the questions it raises: Why does this happen? Is this inevitable? How might it be prevented?

The Tale of Ernest Christian is not about me per se. The strength of this story is the degree to which it reflects every divinity student after a time. I have been back at YDS only a few months, but I sense the cynicism and rigor mortis all around me. Given the variety of people that I know, we are certainly not alone. While some aspects of the Tale will resonate more with some than with others, each of us sees a reflection of our unique spiritual struggle in this simple story.

Like our reflection in the story itself, the answers we glean are unique to each individual. This is why I posted the Tale. Not merely to reveal something about me, but to reveal something about you. That's not to say that thinking about these questions resists systematic analysis completely, but that the power of reflection is greatest when each person encounters him/herself in the story, and wrestles with the answers that are unique to the individual. A long hard look in the mirror is rarely a fruitless endeavor.

For myself, I anticipate the approaching storm, and would like to ensure (to the best of my ability) that I am attached firmly to the Rock, no matter now strong the winds may blow.
Grace & Peace

Monday, March 14, 2005

heard on the trail

During a weeklong excursion on the AT, the following quotes became anthems for our merry band of YDS travelers:
  • "Bring the motherfuckin ruckus!"
  • "Bitches best believe that hype!"
  • "Zero degrees? Ten inches of snow? Ha, ha bitches!"

You just gotta love divinity students...