Further Musings

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

Archive for June 2011

Wednesday’s Tresures

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Yesterday Dad and I ventured up to the top of Schoodic Head.  The whole day was encompassed a misty grey fog limiting the visibility to about 100 yards.  So we turned away from the ocean and plunged into the forest, up through acres of moss covered boulders, and proceeded to turn a mile walk in an hour of photography as we did our best impression of Japanese tourists with our cameras, stopping every few yards to peer at some small miracle.

I’ve wondered a lot about the mix of cameras and vacations.  I wonder if I don’t spend more time trophy hunting for great shots than I do enjoying the things I see.  For yesterday at least, it was a good balance.  Photography can make you look for beauty in small places.  And we found it as in the carpet-like mosses, the skeletal lichen, and the bright green of new pine growth.

One thing I love about this part of Maine is how tactile the experience is: the rocks are sharp and textured, the moss is damp and springy, the new growth is so tender.  The sense of touch is something I rarely think about in my home or around Chapel Hill.  (Mostly I think how I don’t want to touch doorhandles for fear of germs.)  I love how everything here begs me to touch it.  Just another reason I think this is a great place for kids.

We finished the day with a lovely dinner at Jordan Pond House.  The food was excellent and we had the best seat in the house.  Our corner table looked out two walls of windows across their colorful, cottage-style plantings, down the lush lawn onto the pond and beyond.  After dinner Dad and I walked down to the water and it made me miss my honey a lot.  We keep two framed photos from that spot in our bedroom from our trip two years ago.  Will see her soon!

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June 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Pictures, Travel

From Maine

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Today I’m in Maine with my parents.  It’s been a lovely couple of days.  My drive in from the airport at 2am featured no less than five porcupines bristling and waddling quickly (or not so quickly) off the road.  They’re very prickly and kind of cute . . . what Charity says about me actually.

When Dad and I finally pulled into the cabin I walked out onto the rocky shore of the Atlantic.  I looked up into the perfectly clear sky and was transfixed.  The Milky Way shown across the sky nearly from horizon to horizon.  The full dome of the sky was so vast and full it made me dizzy to stare at it.  The blackness of the sky without moon or city lights, the cloudy whiteness of the Milky Way, and the hundreds of stars left me speechless.  To the north, the big dipper hung low over the cabin.  I really wanted was to sleep outside for the night but the giant pile of football sized rocks that comprise the beach didn’t look too comfortable.  As I took one last look at the sky before turning to walk inside a shooting star seared a line of white sparkles across the top of the midnight sky.

Yesterday Dad and I ventured out across the tidal flats to Little Moose Island for a day hike.  Acadia in the early summer is a wonderland of flowers: swaths of spiky purple lupines, vast mounds of wild pink and white roses, and lone Siberian irises scattered like lonely sentinels.  Throw in the odd blueberry bush still in bloom, a dozens varieties of smaller flowers, and the lichen and it’s a colorful, beautiful place to wander around.  We didn’t see any moose but we did see an eagle and a nest. Very cool.

Between the colors and the constant roar of the ocean as the waves break against the rocks Maine is a beautiful sensory experience.

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June 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

Posted in Travel

Advice from Lincoln

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For the last week I’ve been reading Team of Rivals, a biography about Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.  Among the many things that have struck me is the fluency, constancy, and thoughtfulness of the letters she excerpts from.  Their way of communicating was much more deliberate and much more thoughtful than the emails I dash off.  For example, I can’t remember the last time I gave anyone advice in writing, even though it seems a wise way to reflect on others problems.

I found this excerpt particularly adroit.  As someone who rarely fights I’ve half-wondered if I should conflict more with others to practice for when I’ll have to fight.  I like Lincoln’s reply to a man he pardoned from a court-martial for publicly deriding his superiors:

“No man resolved to make the most of himself, can spare time for personal contention.  Still less can he afford to take all the consequences, including the vitiating of his temper, and the loss of self-control.  Yield larger things to which you can show no more than equal right; and yield lesser ones, though clearly your own.  Better to give your path to a dog, than be bitten by him in contesting for the right.  Even killing the dog would not cure the bite.”

Quoted in Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Pg. 570

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June 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Reflections

Counseling, Evangelicals, and Homosexuality

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The NY Times Magazine is running a long article this week covering the debate about how therapists should and do counsel evangelicals with homosexual desires.  It’s a pretty interesting look at how a secular profession devoted to helping people achieve their own goals engages with evangelicals who don’t want to embrace a gay identity.  Very interesting.

Not so interested in discussing it on the blog but would love some conversation over coffee or a meal about it.

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June 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Church

Amazing Music Making

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So fun.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so musically talented.

(make sure to click on the squares)

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June 14, 2011 at 10:17 am

Wired Headset Please?

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The WHO released a report today classifying cellphones as a “possibly carcinogenic,” in the same class as DDT and engine exhaust.   Yikes.  Now that’s scary.  The “possible” modifier is because we won’t know for sure if cell phones cause a rash of brain cancers for another 20 years.

I’m pretty religious about using my wired headset.  You?

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June 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

Posted in Geeky Blogs