Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Poem I was Reminded of from Deborah's Blog


Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the hand above?
A woman's heart, and a woman's life--
And a woman's wonderful love.

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win
With the reckless dash of a boy.

You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be as true as God's stars
And as pure as His heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef,
I require a far greater thing;
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts---
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called Home,
And a man that his Maker, God,
Shall look upon as he did on the first
And say: "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose may fade
From this soft young cheeck one day;
Will you love me then, 'mid the falling leaves
As you did 'mong the blossoms of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and true,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook
You can hire and little to pay;
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.

~Lena Lathrop

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I wish I could write poetry like this!

G.K. Chesterton

There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is split on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all-
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Monday, February 20, 2006

“Poets do not go mad; but chess players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite."

The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits. - G.K. Chesterton

Therse are some of my favorite quotes from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. One of the reasons I like them so much is that they apply to my life so well. I have grown up in a terrible war between reason and emotion. I have been raised both at home and at school with a mind towards the rational. After all, people make stupid decisions based on emotions. But God is an emotional God and a mystical God. Life that is purely rational may not have great grief, but neither will it have great joy. In fact, great grief might result in the longing for that joy. Rationality and analysis are a great way to kill emotion, a great way to eradicate feelings or to protect onself from feeling. But I don't want to live that way. I want to feel; I do feel. Being female, I am essentially emotional, because God made me that way. I am tired of thinking that I ought not be be passionate about anything. I must walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is mystical.

So that is a short summary of the topic of my mind, and heart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Early in spring I see snow-drop flowers perking up through the damp earth, and there is the smell of little boys and girls playing in the mud, shrieking with laughter and hilarity, then, stepping inside, a careful washing of the hands and toning of the voice, a hushed honor and respect for the jewels and treasures, the thrill of a childhood love for reading.

The leafy maple leaves dance greenly in the summer sunshine, skipping with me on the way to the summer’s greatest joy, the time to ponder and play with friends from foreign lands and adventures too dangerous for your mother to let you go on in real life, sitting in the warm glow and grass on the library lawn or benches.

Swish, swoosh, crackle! A step, a hop, just to see how many you can step on to hear their autumn sounds and release those sweet smells that only come from the delicious crunching of leaves. This is a perfect time to walk and read and discover the mysteries of things you never knew and never imagined, back and forth from my house to the library as often as I can.

Briskly stepping, each print left behind in a row with others and then the warm room full of impossible choices, I must chose the right one, the perfect book for a long dark evening snuggled at home with fleece and earl grey tea with sugar, barred against the cold and beautiful snow with places to go, old stories to revisit, all held in the dear and precious friends we call books, held for us in a house of prized warmth, smells, and memories.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Only mildly related to Valentines Day.

When asked whether Judge Judy helped the public in understanding the judicial system, Don Burnett, a Dean at the UI, replied saying, "Judge Judy is as about as much help as a Valentine is help for a surgeon performing heart surgery."

I thought that was just so funny. :D
Oh God! I am waiting
Waiting for the words, the plan!
You brought her to me
Why me? My talent so untried.
My heart aches with love.
She doesn't know love
Any love, Your love.
How can I help her?
What can I say?
How do I love a hard heart?
But as You brought water
Fromt he rock in the desert
So have you brought tears
From her face of stone.
She is Your's, not mine.
I leave her to You
Perhaps the soil's softer for the tears
How shall it be fertile?
Plant Your seed in her heart
For mine is full of anguish
I look at her wan face
I see how much she needs
Only you can satisfy
Mix her tears with living water.
Drench the desert of her soul.
Plow the ground, break the surface
The layers of brick she has become
Pierce her with Your Light.
Warm her with Your Love.
And make her grow.
And have her bloom.
Can this be the plan?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stolen from the blog of the beautiful Ashleigh

It permeates to the shallowest of us. The Sorority Girl submits herself to the Frat Boys, to be ranked and valued based on income, loudness, alchohol tolerance, breast size and bone structure. She worships sex and money. Sex + Money = Cool. She sees herself as being above the vassals of academia, the serfs of hobbies, and above all, those who don't dress well.

The Computer Science Major subits himself to the awesome authority of Knowledge. Oh, he doesn't know C ++ ? Cretan scum. The CS Major is above those who only know HTML or how to screw in a lightbulb, and below Bill Gates.

The average Adult is more interesting. He enrolls himself in the service of an abstract virtue, like Diligence (which often translates to Greed), Kindness (which can be good and altruistic, but often dissolves into self-help advice for people who don't want it) or Love (Lust.)He puts above himself the people he knows who have accomplished more for said virtue than he has, and is usually benevolent to those who seek the same path as he does. For those who chase a different virtue, he ranks as undeniably lower. "Sure, he's a good person, but he doesn't understand the importance of Environmentalism" . He gives them the freedom of their own sub-taxonomy, but also bestows upon them a libelous label, like "Republican."

I asked Grant what his hierarchy was, according to our new Movement. He said he's below Love (he means it like Charitos) and Emotion. He doesn't see anyone as below him, just as in entirely different, separate hierarchies that he doesn't have to bother with. I noticed that he placed himself at the bottom of his own heirarchy, and called him a Russian Peasant.Grant threw the question back at me, and I am a slave to Christ, to His Charitos, and to Knowing People. The ones I outrank are the ones who refuse to enjoy themselves. The ones who write techno but don't dance to it, who fix cars but don't take road trips, the ones who camp in the desert and whine about sunburn instead of smelling the sage. I want to stuff rose petals in their mouths, rain meteors on them, do ANYTHING to show them how much beauty Christ has spent on us. Isn't it BEAUTIFUL that He gave us a shimmering sunset, even though most of the people in this town were too busy to notice, and though lots of of the people who did notice don't even know it's from Him? Isn't it Beautiful, just devastatingly BEAUTIFUL that He died for us, whether we like it or not?

I had never realized before how integral Love is to Beauty and Playfulness.


Bloggers Nemesis

It is ironic in some ways but as a amateur blogger my nemesis is my blog. I use my own blog as well as other people's blogs as a way to put off doing things that I really ought to do. Procrastination has become a fine art with this online world of friends and facinations. For example, right now, as I type these very words, I ought to be typing the words to an English paper on the gender issue in late 1800's American literature. So, it isn't that I don't want to be writing. Nor is it that I didn't enjoy the stories we read. I just don't want to do my homework. I struggle with this idea with my students and have yet to discover just how to conquer it. I want them to enjoy what they read in school the same way I enjoyed things when I read them out of school. I want them to enjoy writing for class the same way I enjoy writing not for class. I have not been able to make myself that way, so trying to make my students that way is proving difficult. However, I would like to boast that four of my students actually enjoyed Moby Dick this year. That is a feat in itself. Anyway, I am going to go be a disciplined student and type my paper; well, actually, that is unless something else distracts me first... like those blogs on the side of my page... they are some good ones!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Training for service

The best training is to learn to accept everything as it comes, as from Him whom our soul loves. The tests are always unexpected things, not great things tat can be written up, but the common little rubs of life, sill little nothings, things you are ashamed of minding one scrap. Yet they can knock a strong man over and lay him very low.
Amy Carmichael (Candles in the Dark)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yet Another Day

The weather here in the Northwest has been absolutely fantabulous. We have had warm sunny mornings and the air is fresh and clean smelling. There is something almost intoxicating about melted snow running down in rivers in the sunshine. There is the smell of little children playing in the mud. There is the way all the ground seems alive and growing...almost. The promise of spring is suspended all around. Yes, I know this is premature for up here. It is merely a foretaste of things to come. We will probably even get another snow. But it is delightful and exhilarating while it lasts.

Sometimes I get these glimpses of other things to come as well. Glimpses of the joys of heaven where all who have called on God sing together in a harmony of tongues and colors. That too is something to look forward to.