Saturday, January 30, 2010

Poetry Day - No Beauty We Could Desire

Here is a poem by CS Lewis himself, that presents something of his 'Argument from Desire', capturing that fleeting, unnameable and ungraspable Sehnsucht in the first two verses.


No Beauty We Could Desire

Yes, you are always everywhere. But I,
Hunting in such immeasurable forests,
Could never bring the noble Hart to bay.

The scent was too perplexing for my hounds;
Nowhere sometimes, then again everywhere.
Other scents, too, seemed to them almost the same.

Therefore I turn my back on the unapproachable
Stars and horizons and all musical sounds,
Poetry itself, and the winding stair of thought.

Leaving the forests where you are pursued in vain
—Often a mere white gleam—I turn instead
To the appointed place where you pursue.

Not in nature, not even in Man, but in one
Particular Man, with a date, so tall, weighing
So much, talking Aramaic, having learned a trade;

Not in all food, not in all bread and wine
(Not, I mean, as my littleness requires)
But this wine, this bread … no beauty we could desire.

C. S. Lewis


(Note: I don't think Lewis means that Sehnsucht goes away when you find Christ - something still comes over me when I smell a bonfire or read a certain poem - I think it is more that you then know from where it comes and what it means.)


Picture from http://www.topnews.in/files/saving-forests.JPG

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Reader

I checked my blog stats today, after seeing the links to Das ist die Sehnsucht about (among the circle of the poets, curiously but not surprisingly – the poets know why) and it is only then that I discovered that my friend Frances has shifted her blog URL and raised her blogging rate. (Incidentally, I changed to the new posting format the other day, and the links are not showing up at the bottom of the post – don't know why as I said "allow" in the post.) This is Frances’s About Me:
My field is early seventeenth-century devotional poetry, but I am interested in nearly all forms of English literature. I tend to think that poetry is more important than most things.
If that does for you what it does for me, then read the blog. She has also picked up Poetry Friday about where I left it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Late high tide this morning

The tide seemed to be extremely high in my little part of Sydney Harbour while I was out jogging this morning, so much so that I had to hang off a wall and inch my way along the edge of a cement culvert thing to stay out of the water (I didn't want my shoes all soaking and squelching for the rest of it!) where normally there is no water - or very occasionally there is only a little water. So I googled to see if there was any particular reason, out of curiousity, and according to this table, a late high tide was predicted for today months and months ago - all to do with the usual moon phases - and tomorrow is set to be even higher! For some reason I find that sort of thing interesting (and tomorrow might need a re-route). I rather like it that the ocean tide interrupts my life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Das ist die Sehnsucht

I love this wikipedia article on Sehnsucht. I want to be friends with the person who wrote it. I find the concept of Sehnsucht, or the inconsolable longing, a liberating one to grasp, in it's way. It is something other than contentment. It frees me from sitting at my desk bored out of my mind at work, before walking home past the concrete factory to eat dinner by myself in my flat, and struggling to tell myself, 'well I shouldn't desire anything outside of this'. Instead I can say, but ah yes I do, and I can't help that while-ever I am alive. But I can then go on to recognise that that longing will only ever be consoled with Christ in the new world, and then for eternity. And so I am freed from trying to actually find it here - all I go looking for, those things that stab for their very beauty, when I see the sunset over the water between the silos of the concrete factory or listen to Bach or remember childhood camps in the forest, "are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited" (Lewis in The Weight of Glory).

I am reading Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke at the moment. I have tried to find a translation of Rilke's poem, pictured here painted on the side of a house.


The best I have come up with is this, which doesn't quite work, taken from here:

That is longing: living in turmoil
and having no home in time
and those are wishes: gentle dialogs
of day's hours with eternity

And that is life. Until out of a yesterday
the most lonely hour rises
which, smiling differently than the other sisters (hours)
silently encounters eternity.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fear and anger

So my facet of fear didn’t particularly strike the chord with people, which I found really quite interesting. And so far no one has had a shot at what was supposed to be anger. My thinking as I scribbled those was that while there are moments of extreme fear and anger in our lives, these emotions also live on in our ordinary days in less obvious ways. So I wrote about anger from the thought that a good many people are subliminally angry about something, which surfaces when the thoughts are free to wander, and that often that something is related to the notion that someone or some group or organisation (eg boy/girl, family, church) didn’t give you what you wanted them to give (or what they were called upon to give eg parents who didn’t give basic parental care, spouse who left).

But, enough of all that. Since I have a new scanner that I am yet to make much use of, I thought I would give you some reason to believe that I know what extreme my-life-is-about-to-end fear is. So, here is the photographic evidence of how one of those moments ended. This was my first car, and the accelerator cable jammed full throttle on the open road, and I went a little bit too fast - and I couldn't stop.




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Writing the emotions again

When I jog, or drive long
or forget I am in the shower
it plays (as always,
only then louder).
The broken recording
of what you wouldn’t give

Any guesses? Maybe this one is being obscure, but think 'suppressed _____'.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Writing the emotions

Simone began a little project with an open invitation. I like her grief and jealousy offerings, and Andrew’s depression actually made me laugh. So I thought I’d have a go, if you see random facets of emotion appearing here. Can you guess which this is?

a glazed face
fleeing eyes
a shoulder angle
something remark-able
out the window

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The poetry of birds

I don't think my poem below would qualify, but I do actually like poetry that features birds, which is usually about so much more than the birds. If I was going to indulge in a book, just because I thought it was a lovely book, a contender would be this one.

Questions on blogs are risky, but if you were going to splash out on a nice book, let's make it a hard cover book, preferably with pictures, which book would it be?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Poetry - A bird at its chocolate

When it comes to dabbling in poetry, I thought I should try writing more about life's ordinary things. I also thought I should try more with rhyme. So, here’s a poem, or maybe a silly little ditty rather, about a pigeon, which is possibly well on its way to what poets call doggerel, and my rhymes, not to mention my conclusion, might be questionable, but I had fun.

A Bird at its Chocolate

I passed a pigeon on the pavement
this morning as I walked
Nothing odd in its behaviour
but that it never balked

And kept on snatching furiously
at a purple wrapper
I paused, looked at it curiously
Wherein contained its rapture

And there it had three squares of melting chocolate
Good serving for a pigeon
For dairy milk it pecked on, desperate,
unswerving, so far gone

in ecstasy I might have squashed it
busy at its chocolate

And so all creatures madly risk their life
to glut on an uncommon delight.

ALP 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dina lives in Haiti

OK, so I know there are much more important things going on in this world than my hair part. Up until a couple of years ago I had a sponsor child in a little country in the Caribbean called Haiti. Her name was, and hopefully still is, Dina. I have a file in my filing cabinet full of her letters, translated from French, and her drawings.

When I first sponsored Dina I didn’t know all that much about Haiti, and I enjoyed looking up facts and finding out more about the country through the sponsorship. Back then Haiti was the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere (one of the main problems being that much of the topsoil was lost through deforestation and erosion). I don’t imagine that will now change any time soon.

One day, after I had been sponsoring Dina for eight years, I got a letter from Compassion telling me that Dina and her family were leaving the area covered by the sponsorship, and basically I lost her. She then lived in Poste Metier, near Port-de-Paix which, from what I can gather, is far enough away from the centre of the recent earthquake that she and her family might be safe. But where they moved to I don’t know.

In all the news about Haiti I see a little girl called Dina, who liked “rolling a hoop, playing jacks and singing”.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A hair-raising post

Last week I thought I would attempt to make the momentous decision of whether my hair would look better parted in the middle rather than on the side. This momentous decision was prompted by some horrid-looking Christmas shots I saw of myself, taken from the side that the part is currently on (I thought it made my forehead look flat from that angle, and it also means that side of my hair curls differently against my face). Out of curiousity I googled hair parting, because who can make decisions these days without googling?

To my amazement there is a great plethora of links on hair parting out there. For your benefit and information, I give you just a few:

The first important step, I would have you know, is to determine what shape your face is. This site, assists you to that end, with some ensuing hair-parting directions. And this site was very helpful – especially on scrolling down past the flow chart to the descriptions.

And this site, fascinatingly, says that everyone's nose goes off to one side, and so, assuming you do side-parting, you should send your hair over to the other side. All these years I have been doing the wrong thing by my nose! And what's more, everyone has one eye that is prettier than the other, and you should accentuate that eye. Who knew. (I don't know what you do if the side of your pretty eye conflicts with the direction of your nose!) I’m all for a little working with your natural assets, but clearly there is a whole world of hair-parting secrets out there of which I was unaware.

As it turns out, I have quite the oval face, though a little short. If you’d ever asked me I would have said squarish, when it isn't square at all. How did I get to be this old and not know what shape my face is? (Scarcely ever darkening the doorway of a hair-dresser may have something to do with it.) And it turns out that parted in the middle is good, so I think I am going to give it a go. Just so you know.

Honest to God - Marilynne Robinson on prayer

When I was reading Home by Marilynne Robinson in the holidays, I thought this was an interesting comment on prayer. I actually quite liked the little list given of things her father taught her to pray, but it needs to come after the latter has all been lifted up:
She was less inclined to pray than she had been once. In her childhood, when her father, a tall man then and graceful, had stepped into the pulpit and bowed his head, silence came over the people. He prayed before the commencement of prayer. May the meditations of our hearts be acceptable. It seemed to her that her own prayers never attained that level of seriousness. They had been desperate from time to time, which was a different thing altogether. Her father told his children to pray for patience, for courage, for kindness, for charity, for trust, for gratitude. Those prayers will be answered, he said. Others may not be. The Lord knows your needs. So she prayed, Lord, give me patience. She knew that was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it. The right prayer would have been, Lord, my brother treats me like a hostile stranger, my father seems to have put me aside, I feel I have no place here in what I thought would be my refuge, I am miserable and bitter at heart, and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse. But it cost her tears to think her situation might actually be that desolate, so she prayed again for patience, for tact, for understanding–for every virtue that might keep her safe from conflicts that would be sure to leave her wounded, every virtue that might at least help her preserve an appearance of dignity, for heaven’s sake. She did wonder what the neighbors thought, if any saw her in the street at that hour. Something fairly near the mark, no doubt.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reforming Female S*xuality

So, since I put up that poem, which might have caused some a disturbance, Wendy over here at Practical Theology for Women has put up two posts on reforming female s*xuality, as an example of what she is trying to do in a new study on Ephesians (and The Scarlet Letter even gets a mention, if you are reading along over at the EQUIP book club). Here are the links (and I'm just using stars so I don't wreak havoc with filters):

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Poetry - Safe S*x

If you are among those who think poetry belongs in times past, well here is something more like Keats for 2010. One of the powers of poetry is, to me, its ability to communicate, or suggest, a wealth of meaning with a few words, as I think this poem does. And if you find poetry somewhat impenetrable, I believe he is suggesting that the thing described by the title of this poem but rarely, if ever, exists - outside the boundaries God has put around it, for good reason - and that the misuse of the thing is the source of many catastrophes besides. (Donald Hall was married to Jane Kenyon, whose poems I posted last week.)


Safe S*x
by Donald Hall

If he and she do not know each other, and feel confident
they will not meet again; if he avoids affectionate words;

if she has grown insensible skin under skin; if they desire
only the tribute of another’s cry; if they employ each other

as revenge on old lovers or families of entitlement and steel—
then there will be no betrayals, no letters returned unread,

no frenzy, no hurled words of permanent humiliation,
no trembling days, no vomit at midnight, no repeated

apparition of a body floating face-down at the pond’s edge

Image from here: http://www.machinecancel.org/forum/hoboken_more/returned_mail.jpg

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours

Soph over here tagged me in a desk-showing photo thing. This is sacred territory readers, not many people go in here. I was very tempted to clean it all up and scatter the right knowledgeable and creative things about, but no, I decided to let you have it in all its humble glory, complete with a feathered halo I got from a secret santa. I don't actually do a whole lot actually sitting at this desk mind, and, as you can see, the white board that was supposed to be for writing things on is covered in stuff and magnets (I like magnets! - and stuff it would seem). My desk is actually solid maple, apparently, and one day when I restore it and replace the handles, it will be nice.


I think I will tag Simone and Nicole, because I haven't seen their spaces, and if this takes off the rest of you can tag around, and I shall be watching!

Friday, January 15, 2010

What has become of Stu?

Ever wondered what your high school chums (or some of them at least) really thought of you going into "ministry". Then read the poem, Prison Chaplain, by Timothy Murphy.

Poetry Day - Bright Star

I saw the movie last night, so this had to happen.


BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

John Keats

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Red, yellow, black and white

Soph has put up some pictures of the Sydney Festival opening night. She has a nicer camera than I do, but here are mine:


the black arm band approaching the stage


an indigenous family in front of us


one of many projections on the stage

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You Only Cross My Mind in Winter

Lyrics and performance by Sting, music by JS Bach. Right now I'm sweltering, but I can pretend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Poetic friends

And I read this during the holidays but haven't linked it here yet, shame on me: Sophie won a poetry award! Congratulations from all of us here at Something This Foggy Day.

Al Green and The Black Arm Band

I went and saw the Black Arm Band, followed by the Reverend Al Green for the first time on Australian soil, in the Domain on Saturday night. I had no expectations for the evening, essentially going because the lovely Sophie let me know she was going along and I thought 'why not?', but I really enjoyed it. The Black Arm Band, something of a conglomerate of Indigenous artists, were very entertaining (though I confess I didn't catch too many lyrics). Dan Sultan in particular seems to have quite a following, though I wasn’t familiar with him, and he certainly has stage charisma and enthusiastic double-time moves. Then Al Green was just so good. He came with a thirteen piece band and his daughters for back-up singers (read more here). One of the first songs he sang was “Let’s Stay Together”, and this youtube gives you some idea of his own stage presence, which is in no way diminished with his ageing. He threw roses to the crowd, did some hilarious moves and sang with passion and frequent flashes of that smile. It was just a whole lot of fun. I didn’t think I knew a whole lot of Al Green, but then discovered that I knew almost every song he sang, because they have featured on so many soundtracks and been covered so often. 100,000 people got to their feet to groove in their way because the music was so infectious. ‘Twas a jolly good time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Other things I'm reading and listening to

Lest you be thinking it’s entirely fiction novels and music that’s deliberately not Christian around here, I thought I’d tell you about something else I got for Christmas. Someone completely surprised me with their abundant generosity before Christmas and gave me a Koorong voucher hidden away inside a Christmas card. So, I popped in to the Koorong sale on Boxing Day with family, because popping in to Koorong is easily done in Toowoomba, which is where I was at the time (and it wasn’t even my idea!), and got myself something I have been wanting for a long time: an ESV study bible. (I’d tried in vain about half a dozen times to win one on various blogs, but my winning streak seems to extend only to Penguin Books.)

My luggage went 1.5 kg over on my return flight, and I thought ‘yes, I know why’, because you could kill somebody with this book (and I had a few other additional books, plus various other bits and pieces my Mum was trying to give me, also), but it contains great things. I’m only a few chapters into Genesis, but so far, very good. Let me say two things that are genuinely true: 1) I don’t always find reading the OT entirely gripping; and 2) I was actually gripped while reading the articles The Theology of the Old Testament, Introduction to the Pentateuch, and Introduction to Genesis (there’s also an Overview of the Bible article, which was also good). So my aim this year is really just to get as far as I can get through it.

I also discovered the ESV audio online and have been listening on my iPod, using the method described here. I don’t know if that is 100% legitimate (if somebody thinks not, then tell me), and I am probably going to buy the whole bible at some point, but I downloaded Genesis 1-5 this week and listened to it each of the three days I went to work as I walked there, in the hope that this would help it kind of seep in somewhere. (And I am with the guy at the post linked about with his choice of voice – it doesn’t seem that you can buy ready-made discs with David Cochran Heath’s voice, and some of the others I find a little too dramatic, but you can download MP3s of him reading here.)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

John Piper coming to Australia

Here is the news. That should be a blessing. I have gone to every ENGAGE conference yet, and will hopefully be going to that one. I'm looking forwarding to reading this new book.

Poetry Day - Let Evening Come

This is the poem that sent me off exploring Jane Kenyon. It's lovely.


Let Evening Come
By Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Picture from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0512/moonvenus3_bush_c81.jpg

Friday, January 08, 2010

More around the web

While I am pointing to things that have some bearing on single women, or should I say particular bearing on single women, this is another good post on single women and pursuing education. What do you think?

And read this on single pepple in the church and have a few laughs. Some of them don’t resonate a whole lot with me, and things certainly aren’t that bad in my neck of the woods, but number 11 is the classic. There might be some theoretical truth in that, but rarely is it the reality for a single person.

The prosperity gospel for conservative evangelicals

This is a thoughtful post. (And it also contains the reason I have expressed my concern elsewhere about the way teenagers/young women are often motivated to sexual purity - that being that they should "save themselves for marriage" within which they can enjoy God's great gift of sex unhindered etc, because that is just not the reason, and there are no promises that marriage will be forth-coming.)

Soul cake

I feel like I was rather spoilt with nice things for Christmas this year. A good many of them were books, but also among those nice things was Sting's new album If On A Winter's Night. I love, love, love it. But I appreciate that it's probably not for everyone — it's in the line of traditional, largely celtic and medieval, music, and it's melancholy. Interesting is that in his blurb in the cover (which is quite an interesting read, for a potted history of Christmas outside of the Church) he says “Like many people, I have an ambivalent attitude towards the celebration of Christmas. For many, it is a period of intense loneliness and alienation. I specifically avoided the jolly, almost triumphalist, strain of the Christian carols”. It’s a shame he doesn’t know that the intense misery of humankind is the very reason why the Christian carols are triumphant about the birth of a Saviour.

There is one song on the album called Soul Cake, which I like, among others. I got to musing about the term "soul cake" and to thinking that I quite liked that concept, and that maybe 2010 would be the year of keeping my eyes open soul cakes. You know, those morsels that delight your soul. Not necessarily the essential things — those would be soul bread — but the extra delicacies you come across that especially move you, or transport you or set you singing ...

But then I googled the term, which is perhaps just as well before I went around using the phrase, because a soul cake is actually "a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Souls' Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory" (from Wikipedia). Or elsewhere it says that "Soul Cakes are an echo of the sacrificial foods of the Celtic festival of Samhain held in early autumn. These little cakes were traditionally set out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve (31st October) for the souls of the dead. On All Saints Day (1st November) children would go "souling" calling out "Soul, Soul, for a Soul Cake: pray you good mistress, a soul cake". And elsewhere again it says that before the reformation poor Christians offered up prayers for the dead in exchange for these cakes from their wealthier neighbours. Or Sting himself, in the video that plays on his website, says the soul cakes were there to appease the ghosts of the past.

I mean, I'd be all for the idea of letting souls out of pergatory, if I believed that souls went to such a place, and that all it took to release them was the consumption of a little cake. But I don't. And I think it was a terrible sort of wickedness to lead people to believe (and so burden them with the idea) that they could buy, or eat, the salvation of the soul of another.

But despite all that, here is the song. For some reason I find myself taken with medieval traditional songs. This video is the album version, which I have included, though it's not the greatest sound (and you needn't watch it), because it's the only version I found on Youtube that includes the trumpeted refrain of God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, which I like (and I don't think Sting intended it, but the words of the first verse of that carol would be rather apt) .



And here is a live version performed by Sting on the Today show. Other songs on this album that I really like are There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue (a 15th-century English carol), Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (a 15th-century German carol) and Lullaby For An Anxious Child (and on the video Sting speaks curiously about the dual purpose of lullabies to both soothe and disturb children). Interesting he has also set The Burning Babe, a poem I've always liked by Robert Southwell, a 16th-century English Jesuit martyr, to music, though it isn't perhaps the way I would have chosen to do it. And I do love his closing song You Only Cross My Mind in Winter (you can listen to snippets of them all here).

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Having it out with melancholy

I won't post all of it in here, but Jane Kenyon's poem, Having it Out with Melancholy, about her experience with depression, is quite eye-opening, not to mention disturbing, and of course sad. Here is an excerpt of some lines I found particularly noteworthy:

...

You taught me to exist without gratitude.
You ruined my manners toward God:

...

A piece of burned meat
wears my clothes, speaks
in my voice, dispatches obligations
haltingly, or not at all.
It is tired of trying
to be stouthearted, tired
beyond measure.

...

... With the wonder
and bitterness of someone pardoned
for a crime she did not commit
I come back to marriage and friends,
to pink fringed hollyhocks; come back
to my desk, books, and chair.

...

... Unholy ghost,
you are certain to come again.

Coarse, mean, you'll put your feet
on the coffee table, lean back,
and turn me into someone who can't
take the trouble to speak; someone
who can't sleep, or who does nothing
but sleep; can't read, or call
for an appointment for help.

...

... Easeful air
presses through the screen
with the wild, complex song
of the bird, and I am overcome

by ordinary contentment.
What hurt me so terribly
all my life until this moment?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Life imitates blogs

I quite accidentally met Izaac and Sarah in real life on the weekend, which was nice. I had otherwise heard of them (or quite accidentally met them in cyberspace), and known something of them, through links from other blog friends.

A coffee in time

When I was in Brisbane I caught up with Simone over coffee – well, I don’t know that either of us actually drank coffee, though my Chai Latte didn’t taste much like Chai, but you know what I mean – which was lovely. We had one of those conversations I find myself hankering for lately, that’s just real, in which you end up sharing things you never intended to (about yourself I am meaning) because you find you’re in a place where that’s OK. We talked about life and all and writing poetry, then got on to blogging, as fellow bloggers are perhaps want to do at some point (and because that is a good part of how Simone and I keep up with what’s going on in each other’s lives).

When we touched on what sort of things you share, and how much you share, on a blog I found myself talking about, or questioning really, the fact that there are things you just can’t blog about as a single person (perhaps woman in particular) that a married woman perhaps has more freedom to say. You may or may not be able to infer from all that that we possibly had some discussion alongs the lines of this post (I’m actually thinking of compiling a list of things I could get Simone to post on, because maybe she is just braver than I am!). I do question the prevailing idea that single working women have more time than stay-at-home Mums. I think rather it is a different sort of time. And I am not game enough to say anymore about it! :)

Interviews with Marilynne Robinson

Whoo-ooh! I just came across this post over at Between Two Worlds on Marilynne Robinson. I read Home also in the holidays after reading Gilead (I have previously mentioned Housekeeping here), and I have The Death of Adam on the shelf for this year (Justin Taylor has put in all the links, conveniently, so you can find them there). I haven't listened to these interviews yet, and really must go out and buy some food right now, but I am looking forward to them.

Crochet meets toy animals

I went up the mountain yesterday to catch up with my bestest friend from High School, who was staying, with her husband and her three sweet girls, at her parents place up there. I might come back to that later, but for now, because I know that I have kept all those of you who made courageous guesses about my next crochet project anxiously waiting for the result (that makes one person – who made a courageous guess that is, who may or may not be anxiously waiting), here it is.

Herman the Tortoise for my nephew. I don’t think crocheted toys are necessarily going to become my next “thing” - the therapeutic value of crochet seemed to get lost in all the fiddling about with small parts, and it was all I managed to make for Christmas (and it actually wasn't finished quite in time for Christmas) because it was really quite time-consuming. His mouth is a bit lop-sided, and the astute might notice that one leg went on upside-down, but that's all part of his charm I decided. (It's navy, not black, too.)



Sunday, January 03, 2010

Mental health resolutions and good literature

I do like the resolutions which John Piper has posted over at Desiring God, originally from Clyde Kilby, a professor of English Literature at Wheaton College, whose “plea was that we stop being unamazed by the strange glory of ordinary things”.

And if you would like to read some good literature, in an old book, with a little input, this month at the EQUIP book club we are reading through The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, with notes from Susannah Macready, who did her doctoral thesis on The Scarlet Letter and it's engagement with seventeenth-century American Puritan Theology. It looks to be all very interesting. I got a copy of the book for Christmas and am looking forward to reading along (and need to start soon!).

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! For the coming year -
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude, vs 2
I returned from holidays latish last night, went to church early this morning for the morning tea roster, came home and needed a snooze, because Queensland time difference is enough to do that to a person, so I still have stuff everywhere and feel like I haven't particularly sorted myself out re 2010 just yet, but hope to do that soon.