Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for July 2004

From Sarajevo

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Day Four in Bosnia: Out the window of my sister’s apartment I can hear the Dino Merlin concert getting warmed up for tonight. Ive mostly recovered from my jet lag. Yesterday I walked downtown with my flatmate from last summer, Andy B, and had chevapi in the old town.

Since last summer the national library has finally reopened after burning in 1992. The building has a large atrium in the center. When I say “open” I mean that it is safe to walk in but it is currently an art exhibit. The atrium has about a dozen huge, arched doorways that are filled with different materials; books, sleeping pads, ruble, sowing machines. The book-filled doorways look especially cool with the mix of titles, all of which are political and historical.

Tomorrow Elizabeth and I head to the coastal island of Hvar for three days of sun, novels and snorkeling before heading to Croatias second largest city, Split, for three days of more reading, exploring Roman palaces and enjoying coastal Europe.

Written by furthermusings

July 31, 2004 at 6:27 am

Posted in General

The Roses of Sarajevo

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I wanted to post a picture in this entry but as I looked through the various pictures I have of Bosnia none of them gave a full view of the place I’m going today. Each picture has shows a facet of Sarajevo. Some show the war, some the Turkish influence, some the Austrian and some show the modern. But none showed them all.

Last summer I wrote the piece below and this morning thought it might be worth posting as I prepare to depart for Sarajevo today. I think it was my best crack at trying to convey what I saw and learned of Bosnia during my 2 1/2 months there.

I hadn’t thought about it before this morning but this trip will be an encounter with that unique world again, not just with my sister and Europe. Perhaps it’s time to venture back and think again on these things.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by furthermusings

July 27, 2004 at 10:05 am

Posted in Reflections

A Night with the Boys

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As John, Ian and I smoked, drank and talked tonight on the patio of the Mellow Mushroom in Asheville the following verses swirled in and out of my thoughts.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have recieved from God.”

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

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July 27, 2004 at 1:32 am

Posted in Reflections

Goodbye to GSW

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Sunset over GSW

Yesterday the sun set on my summer at Governor�s School. Since then I have found myself talking to my friends and family about my time there in a way that is similar to coming back from a cross-cultural trip.

As we all said goodbye Friday night through Saturday morning realized how much I�ll miss the kids. The more I think about it I realize that I was pretty durn lucky to have 60-odd kids (or 60 odd kids) that I could as their opinions at any point. It was strange to see them get into cars with their parents and resume their roles as sons and daughters in units organized by family after knowing them for six weeks as individuals creating who they wanted to be.

I wonder if I shall find my way back to GSW again?

Affirmation.jpg

Written by furthermusings

July 25, 2004 at 8:21 pm

Posted in On the Job

I Can Understand Croatian!

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Last night I showed No Man’s Land, a film depicting three men caught between Bosnian and Serbian lines in a trench during the Bosnian War. The majority of the film is in Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian and subtitled in English. There are, however, a few characters that work for the UN or the media that speak English or French.

Afterwards one of my students informed me that after about 15 minutes of the movie she had laid down on the floor of the auditorium to sleep for a while. What do you say to this but �oh, ok.� When she awoke she could hear the voice of an English reporter echoing over the seats to her nest between the rows of chairs. She said to me, �And then I thought �Oh my God, I can understand Croatian!��

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July 21, 2004 at 11:07 am

Posted in Laughter, On the Job

Project Darfur

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A few weeks ago I showed my afternoon social science class a video about the unfolding genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. At the end of the video there was about a minute of silence. I said �I�ve just told you there is a genocide currently unfolding in the Sudan. Do you have a moral obligation to do something?� Their response was �Yes and lets do something.�

Since then Project Darfur has garnered over 650 letters to NC congressman and senators urging action in regards to the humanitarian crisis. The seminar group put together an amazing seminar which was first presented to our school on Monday. Yesterday we were bused to our sister school in Raleigh to present the seminar, let their kids sign letters, and raise donations for the refugees.

Our first day of letter writting.

The kids have done an amazing job. The presentation was excellent. They are all impassioned and believe strongly in what they are doing. Everyone has had a good attitude. I�ve been continually impressed and at certain moments very proud.

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July 17, 2004 at 12:15 pm

Posted in On the Job

When I was Younger

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jtree.jpg

Tonight I sat around with a roommate from my senior year at Clemson. Dave and I were looking at old pictures and getting a lot of good laughs out the process. I thought the one above was too good to pass up posting. Not a bad imitation huh?

Turns out there are a lot of interesting shots floating around of me at Clemson.

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July 15, 2004 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Pictures

Westbound on I-40

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Tonight as I was driving back from Sean’s funeral with James, I started talking about the difference between living aspirationally vs. living resigned (I made these categories up as we drove). Living aspirationally means that I am living by dreaming of possibilities and of great things, hoping in the possibilities of the future. Living resigned means that I live saying, “I don’t want to try for more because I’ll only be disappointed.”

I see that I’ve chased aspirations and I ask, “What has that gotten me?” A lot of broken dreams. I’m ashamed to say that sometimes my response to this is think the answer is not to dream, to be resigned to the increasing finite possibilities of my life.  I’m not going to be a soccer star or a brilliant public intellectual. I’m not going to have my life worked out into a neat path. It’s hard for a dreamer like me to think about suppressing hope and dreams. It’s like strangling a part of myself.

But thankfully, I think this lesson that I have learned this year is not that.   Instead a lesson from this year has been to be both aspiring and resigned at the same time.  To be resigned to who I am, to not run after impossible dreams.

I’m learning to hope and dream in what God will do with who I finitely am.  Somehow that is different than the hoping and dreaming about the future I’ve done in the past. This hoping and dreaming seems more grounded, more gritty, more real than the dreaming than before.

It’s actively praying and believing that God will use the time here in Chapel Hill to grow me, to change me, to prepare me, for whatever comes at the end of next year.  It’s being faithful to pray and believe this even when I don’t have the next step to dream about.

I have to give props to God.  He has been more faithful than I often give him credit for.   His answers to prayer are frequent, surprising, and welcome.

Thoughts from late at night.

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July 13, 2004 at 1:06 am

Posted in Reflections

As the Crape Myrtles Blur Past

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Andy and Sean - 1998 End of the Year Banquet

Sean Andrew Galton – 1975 – 2004

I wish I could return from my four day blogging hiatus with happier news. Sadly this entry bids farewell to a college friend, Sean Galton, who took his own life yesterday in Myrtle Beach, SC. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding his life as I haven’t seen him in over two years.

The best word for Sean was kind. He lead worship at RUF. After graduating from Clemson he took a civil engineering job before going to Peru with Mission to the World, the PCA missions organization, where he worked with street kids. It grieves me that he is gone.

Driving back from Governor’s School I listened to the classical music station play waltzes and symphonies as the deep greens of the fields, the bright yellows and reds of the remaining daylilies, and the purple and reds of the crape myrtles blurred past in the hot summer haze; the beauty contrasting with my pondering of what took Sean to this decision.

Written by furthermusings

July 10, 2004 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Reflections

The Fourth in Lincoln

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On Sunday night I watched the fireworks from the rooftop of an apartment building in downtown Lincoln, NE. About 25 people milled around the roof waiting for the main fireworks display southwest of town. They came and were impressive, but what captivated me was the display to northwest of our building. From our perch we could see for miles across the breath of Lincoln. Little spouts of orange, green, purple and blue rocketed out of the grid of buildings and trees, emerging in explosions of light both near and far.

I dont normally think of myself as a patriotic person but as I looked across the city at the varied eruptions of light coming from hundreds of dispersed parties I felt something. I think it is amazing that so many people could celebrate something together, that all those people could find something in common to party about.

Now I know that many of the fireworks were set off by drunken groups of city dwellers but from my perch on the rooftop as they all emerged and combined in a celebration that lasted for hours I found myself feeling gifted to be able to take it all in at once. Each group could only see their own efforts exploding above their heads but we could see the glittering variety of color and motion of each one rising across the horizon. It was captivating.

Written by furthermusings

July 6, 2004 at 8:44 am

Posted in Reflections

Writing from a Far Away Land

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Governor’s School is currently breaking for the Fourth and I am in Nebraska visiting the girls from The One Grand. I can report that their house is better decorated than my usual surroundings. I am enjoying the conversation and the company which includes my friend, Jen, who drove down from Iowa.

I will be returning to GS on Tuesday and then three weeks of classes before flying off to Bosnia for three weeks and then comes year two at Chapel Hill. I’m looking forward to the plane flights; something about staring out the window of an airplane is magical to me. I love the reflection involved in travel, which I may blog more about later.

Written by furthermusings

July 4, 2004 at 4:36 pm

Posted in General