Further Musings

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

Archive for July 2007

No Spoilers Here.

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On Sunday night I had Tim pray for me during the service in the chairs we have set up in the back of the sanctuary and yet again I loved how his prayers and the music washed over me with promises and supplications blending into one noise, a waterfall of balm and it felt like the promise of refuge.

It’s been a whirl of a return from Europe back to Chapel Hill as you can imagine, filled with grief and busyness, both of which have taken place in the blaze of a Southern summer with the crape myrtles of North Carolina on display like giant, flowery torches in the humid swelter.

The grief has come from death and it’s also come from the pending departure of our dear friends the C’s who have made me a part of their family over the last four years in Chapel Hill. I’m not sure how I could ever convey what a gift it was for them to open their door to me so many Septembers ago when I came knocking, so scared of intruding I’d driven by their house and kept going but so lonely I circled back. My trepidation was met with an open table and four relationships that have meant so much to me here. I tear up to think of their departure.

Through all the emotions and visitors of the last two and a half weeks it’s been interesting to hear the various themes of the novels I’ve been reading run around in my head, almost like commentary on the events of the day. Who knew that Harry Potter could engross and frame life, like the Lord of the Rings has for me over the last decade?

But I’ve wrestled myself out of the thrall of the HP series and I’ve found myself thinking again of The Brothers K, the reread that spanned Europe and Chapel Hill and, to a lesser extent of an Alice Munro collection The View from Castle Rock, my last read in Europe.

Thinking about those reads makes me think of my desire for silence and stillness that the trip and reading Celebration of Disciplines has piqued in me. It makes me wonder what my unprocessed books and a desire for stillness demand of me. It makes me unsatisfied with how I’ve read (and not read) over the last year.

Sometimes I worry that I could read like a glutton eats: out of fear, out of the fear of silence. I think its interesting that a reading could be both the path to silence, the silence of a listening posture, and away means from silence with an air of franticness in flitting to the next book in the pile, filling up the silence with another voice until they become a cacophony.

So all that’s to say I might plop down a few quotes here from time to time, to clear them out of my head, to help me listen and perhaps to take note of some of the voices that are accompanying me these days. No promises. But just wanted to clear myself off some space on some hard drive somewhere to put them.

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Written by furthermusings

July 25, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Reflections

and they’re up!

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Last night Charity and I finished the captions for the slide show of our European adventure. Be forewarned: its 381 photos long but still that’s better than the 1,123 photos we started with 🙂  When you think about it that’s only 13.61 photos per day . . . ok, maybe we’re a little trigger happy but it was really cool!

Turns out Picasa has some cool features like the ability to map particular pictures and to upload video.  Check out the end of the show to hear a couple clips of our interviews with each other our last day in Germany asking what we learned and what we enjoyed.

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July 24, 2007 at 10:22 am

Posted in Pictures

On the Ramparts

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It’s been a tiring week here in Chapel Hill with lots of tasks to help take care of from moving furniture to changing over the bills into our name.

Hopefully Charity will post our vacation set of photos soon.  Five friends and two family members have bravely looked through our “shortened” 430 picture version of the trip  (down from ~1,300 photos).  Jeannie borrowed a projector from work and it was pretty cool to see our photos in crystal clear, three foot high formats!

Until the slide show goes up (and maybe even afterwards) I thought I’d post a couple of my favorite ones.

This one (the big version) is the background of my computer at the moment.  There’s something about vastness of the rampart that evokes almost a sailing feeling to me, like Liz is ready to crash out into the great blue sea.

on-the-ramparts

Written by furthermusings

July 19, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Pictures

A Goodbye

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This week has been both a sad and full one as our good friend, Doc, died on Wednesday at the age of 93.  His death was unexpected and its brought both his family and mine into town.

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Many of you know how bound up Roy and I are and what gracious gifts he’s given Charity and me in allowing us to live in his house.  What hospitality Charity and I have shown in our current residence on North Street is completely by his gracious gift for which we are thankful.

Though I’ve known Roy and his wife Emma (who died in January) my whole life, its been since moving back to Chapel Hill four years ago I’ve been a regular visitor to him in his assisted living facility.   He is a man whom I love very much.

Doc and I have shared many jokes, wry comments, and much conversation over the last few years. He’s been one of my most regular friends.

I will miss him terribly.

Written by furthermusings

July 15, 2007 at 9:46 am

Posted in At the House

So you go to Europe, come back and blog about wild salmon?

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I’ve been reading over this Europe trip and much of what I read was a series of essays by David James Duncan titled My Story as Told by Water. It was one of those books that got me agitated in a serious way especially about the issues addressed by this group: http://www.wildsalmon.org/

The gist of the issue is that there are 4 dams on the Snake River that are churning up wild salmon populations and driving them towards extinction. It’s not clear that building these dams were a good idea to begin with: yes they generate power, power boating recreation, and barge runs but the costs are enormous. Aside from flooding beautiful rivers to kayak and fish on, they are driving these salmon species towards extinction. (see the website for details) They also prevent a salmon fishing industry from existing and fish that could be thriving if the dams were removed.

The economic arguments for removal are sound but what really got me was Duncan’s quote from Genesis:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them saying, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the waters in the seas.”

So economic arguments to bring down the dams aside (and I think they are good ones) it seems to me that God thought creating these salmon was good. He thought that salmon had something good to say about who he is and what He’s about. Perhaps it’s the sacrificial act of the salmon’s runs, climbing all that way to one’s death to create life? Perhaps it’s God’s provision for us in the food and sport that comes swimming up out of the ocean to us? Perhaps that God loves beautiful and amazing sights and animals?

Whatever his reasons He saw fit to bring these fish into being. To countenance their extinction is to say to God that we think he’s wrong about having creating these species.

It seems to me that for whatever reason God made these fish I’m inclined to defer to his reasoning.

So I’m encouraging you to take a look and sign the petition online. I think it’s a good idea.

Written by furthermusings

July 9, 2007 at 9:24 am