Further Musings

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

Archive for May 2010

Safely Home

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We’re home and finally caught up on sleep.  It was nice to be wide awake at 6am. Charity and I spent the time working our photos down from 950 to around 630 from our trip. Any takers?

In sum, the trip was great.

A week in London was highlighted with stunning Kew Gardens, the ancient colleges of Oxford, and museums filled with art and artifacts.

A week in Normandy had huge stone cathedrals, beautiful beaches and cliffs, and many, many WWII cemeteries.

A week in Paris with my parents cruising the Seine at twilight, eating wonderful food, and seeing some great museums (including, but not limited to the famed Paris Sewer Tour :-).

In the end we would take a bit more countryside and a bit less city next time.  We’re grateful to have seen so many great things in the cities but we loved the restful, beautiful peace of the Normandy countryside.  It filled us with a peace that we rarely get elsewhere.

I don’t yet know how if I want to put together some thoughtful posts or just drop beautiful pictures from time to time but I thought I’d post this photo as it’s one of my very favorites from our time.

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May 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

Posted in Travel

At the Eagle and Child

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For many years the Inklings met at the Eagle and Child to read and review each other’s works.   You readers know that I’m a Tolkien nut and a Lewis fan as well.  It was pretty special to raise a glass to them in their old haunt. 

It’s amazing to think about what influential narratives were penned there, how their stories shape our imaginations. 

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is a study in eu-tastrophe where there is an unexpected salvation (as opposed to catastrophe where there is an unexpected terrible event).   I love the gospel message that salvation is unexpected and beyond hope. 

I loved raising a glass to a man who has so shaped my thinking.

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May 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Travel

Amongst the Oxford Spires

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Despite coming off the worst argument of our marriage earlier in the day I still think it was a beautiful view and a nice shot.

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May 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Travel

Self Portrait at the British Museum

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What a fantastic space. 

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May 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Travel

At Les Miserables

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On Wednesday we staid home through most of the day and ventured into the city for a quick tour of the British Library before eating dinner at an industrial/monastic Belgian resturant and heading down to a show of Les Miserables.  The theather was intimate, our seats wonderful, and the story still has me thinking.  Now if only the songs would get out of my head when I try to sleep . . .  

Our days here have been a nice blend rest and adventure though we keep feeling crazed.  Though we don’t want to be we’ve noticed we feel tense and are always running for our next stop when we’re in the heart of town. 

We’re trying hard to be observant about how we feel after our adventures and have concluded that leaving more space to get places and scheduling time to put our feet up between sights would improve our sight seeing days. 

I think we’re both ready to have less internet access and more empty country spaces to wander. 

Normandy’s just around the corner . . .

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May 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Travel

What the Bird Said Earlier in the Year

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So I did manage to download a few photos.  Am too tired to do more but here’s the one from yesterday. 

Off to France in the morning with little internet expected until our return.  More photos to follow then. 

G&P,  Andy

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May 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Travel

On Addison’s Walk

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Today I walked round Addison’s Walk, a footpath that encircles an island on the grounds of Magdalen College in Oxford.  The grounds were a lovely green oasis surrounded by stone walls providing a bit of peace after many a day in hectic London.  It was wonderful to tread the favorite haunt of C.S. Lewis and to see such beauty. 

As I rounded the home stretch I crossed the river to peer into the deer park and there, beside the locked gate, I found a poem (see below) etched into circular stone plaque, gray with lichen and age blending into the vast gray stonewall on which it is mounted.  Improbably, growing out of the top was a lone buttercup, perfectly formed, yellow and full of spring, and of hope, and of promise. 

I teared up as I read the words aloud under the gray Oxford sky.  The perfect, impossibly perfect, match of the buttercup to the poem still makes me teary on this day when hope was needed. 

Since then I’ve been wondering what it means, for me to hope . . . during this spring . . . about this year. 

What the Bird Said Early in the Year

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you.
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! – the gates are drawn apart.

Written by furthermusings

May 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Reflections, Travel