Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7On a Website for the Byzantine church in America, there is a beautiful adaptation of St. Ambrose of Milan on this story: St. Ambrose of Milan teaches that the blind man touched by Jesus received more then just his sight. In one instant we see both the power of his divinity and the strength of his holiness. As the divine light, he touched this man and enlightened him. As priest, by an action symbolizing baptism he wrought in him his work of redemption. The only reason for his mixing clay with the saliva and smearing it on the eyes of the blind man was to remind you that he who restored the man to health by anointing his eyes with clay is the very one who fashioned the first man out of clay, and that this clay that is our flesh can receive the light of eternal life through the sacrament of baptism.
You, too, should come to Siloam, that is, to him who was sent by the Father, as he says in the Gospel: “My teaching is not my own; it comes from him who sent me.” Let Christ wash you, and then you will see. (Adapted from Letter 67)This just appealed to me today. Thought I'd share it.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
T and I, and our friend P, decided to watch the marathon from a shady spot atop a hill on the Brighton Campus. It was fabulous: picnic blanket, books, yummy bread, cheese, salami, and (of course) wine; lots of cheering, picture-taking, and chatting between the three of us.
We sat there and watched the first wheelchair racer pass (he had huge arms), and then the two leading ladies (they were shoulder-to-shoulder the entire race!), and then the Kenyan guy who won the men's division. Then, slowly, the "normal" people started passing by: people who have been running their whole lives but not professionally, people who love to run marathons and do it for fun (?), and people who decided to do a marathon "just because." It struck me, as we watched these runners cruise, trot, jog, walk, hobble, stagger, and crawl by our vantage point, the question struck me, "Why do people do this to themselves?"
Granted, the people who run as a profession do it to make money. But what about the other thousands who ran this Monday? We came up with a few reasons..
1) Why not? (T's and P's reason. Very manly, I think.)
2) It's good for you. (Actually, it's not. The distance of a marathon is longer than a human should be running. There comes a point, for most normal people, where one's body would eat itself if one doesn't give it some other energy source (gel packs, power bars, etc.) Most people just aren't designed to run 26.2 miles all at once. But the training is good for you, definitely.)
3) It's one more way to conquer yourself. Alexander the Great, when he had conquered the known world, sat down and cried. Peter Kreeft said, "If he had only looked to conquer himself, he would never have run out of territory." That's a good point, I think.
4) Companionship. It was pretty cool to watch several pairs of people running together, step by step, arm in arm, or holding hands. In a marathon, especially, when the two of you sign up to run it together it's an entirely unique growing experience.
5) Making new friends you'll never see again. If you're running along in a race and you realize you're at the same pace as so-and-so in the orange shoes, you keep running with him the whole race. You get to know him, even if you never talk to him. "He runs hunched over to one side a bit." "He's smiling now, I wonder if his family is near by cheering him on." "It looks like he's got a side cramp, I hope he's feeling alright." You get the idea...
I remember that aspect of running in high school. In a race, whether you know the person or not, you're all kind of looking out for each other. It's true that you may also be kinda fiercely striving to beat them all, but I never had a chance at winning so I was mostly on the friendly side of things.
So, in the end, while I've acquired no desire to run a marathon myself (T still wants to--more so, I think), the thought of running a 1/2 marathon has entered my head. I could do that. I've done a 10 mile run before. Maybe I should start training with T and run the first 1/2 with him (actually, I wouldn't be running with him if he was running for a good time. I'm too slow.) and cheer him on at the finish line.. We'll see :)
Here are the winners for Boston's 112th Marathon:
Dire Tune - 2:25:25
Alevtina Biktimirova - 2:25:27
Robert K. Cheruiyot - 2:07:46
Adberrahime Bouramdane - 2:09:04
As you can see, the two leading women were only two seconds apart. Intense.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
HARK, hearer, hear what I do; lend a thought now, make believe
We are leafwhelmed somewhere with the hood
Of some branchy bunchy bushybowered wood,
Southern dene or Lancashire clough or
This garland of their gambols flashes in his breast Into such a sudden zest Of summertime joys That he hies to a pool neighbouring; sees it is the best There; sweetest, freshest, shadowiest; Fairyland; silk-beech, scrolled ash, packed sycamore, wild wychelm, hornbeam fretty overstood By. Rafts and rafts of flake-leaves light, dealt so, painted on the air, Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth, as the stars or as the angels there, Like the thing that never knew the earth, never off roots Rose. Here he feasts: lovely all is! No more: off with—down he dings His bleachèd both and woolwoven wear: Careless these in coloured wisp All lie tumbled-to; then with loop-locks Forward falling, forehead frowning, lips crisp Over finger-teasing task, his twiny boots Fast he opens, last he offwrings Till walk the world he can with bare his feet And come where lies a coffer, burly all of blocks Built of chancequarrièd, selfquainèd rocks And the water warbles over into, filleted with glassy grassy quicksilvery shivès and shoots And with heavenfallen freshness down from moorland still brims, Dark or daylight on and on. Here he will then, here he will the fleet Flinty kindcold element let break across his limbs Long. Where we leave him, froliclavish while he looks about him, laughs, swims. Enough now; since the sacred matter that I mean I should be wronging longer leaving it to float Upon this only gambolling and echoing-of-earth note— What is … the delightful dene? Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns Rankèd round the bower . . . . . . . .He could have said, "It was a beautiful summer day and a stranger is distracted from his journey by a noisy group of boys swimming. He decides to go swimming too. That's kind of like a wedding." But the beauty of poetry is the beauty and artistry of expression. I would love to memorize this poem (I'm not sure I'll be able to do it by May), if only for the line about the boys, who: Are earthworld, airworld, waterworld thorough hurled, all by turn and turn about. What a beautiful way to describe taking turns jumping into the water! Someday I'll have this poem memorized. Until then, I will just have to enjoy reading it.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
We woke early on Friday to get ready and to leave enough time to walk to the T, spend an hour riding it to the airport, take a bus to the terminal, check our bags, go through security, and generally hurry up and wait for our flight. We did leave in plenty of time, but when we stepped outside the door of our building, it was drizzling something fierce. "Drat," I thought, "we almost escaped." We knew it was supposed to rain all weekend in Boston, and we were very much looking forward to spending it in sunny CA. And so, even on the plane, we carried with us an encumbering memento of the east coast--a huge maroon and gold umbrella, standing at an impressive 3 feet. Oh well.
Luckily (I suppose), it wasn't considered dangerous enough to be denied its persistently awkward place at our side and we didn't need to check it. Also luckily, we had a rental car where we could properly neglect it.
We arrived on time in CA and met my parents (as quickly as we could) at In 'n' Out Burger (YUM!). From there, T and Daddy headed to the conference to play and Momma and I met up with my sister to go dress shopping (for me). See, T's in a wedding in May and I'm not. I don't mind not being in the wedding (I will get to sit in the pew with all T's siblings!), but I wanted to be sure to get a dress that would look good next to T's tux. I'm happy to report I found a dress--the first one I picked off the rack! I love Ross :)
We all went out to dinner Friday night at Olive Garden and guess what! THEY HAD PORTABELLA MUSHROOM RAVIOLI!! I'm not generally a fan of mushrooms (not as much of a hobbit as T), but Luigi's, the restaurant where we had our reception, used to have it and it was amazing! Anyway, walk down memory lane eating my pasta. Fabulous.
T's paper was scheduled for 11am on Saturday and we all (Momma, V, and I) trouped over to LMU to hear it. He was so cute. When I wasn't busy being nervous for him, I just wanted to squeeze him. He wrote about the struggle against bias--as understood by Bernard Lonergan. Toward the end of his paper, he started to read it much faster and I was getting a little worried that he was worried or nervous. Turns out he was reading more quickly deliberately 'cuz he wasn't as sure about his arguments in that last part as he was at the beginning. Maybe he was reading faster hoping the more critical listeners wouldn't hear anything to criticize. I dunno :) After his paper there were several questions and he answered them all very well! I took notes of the comments and suggestions (ah, the life of a philosopher's wife!). Afterwards, Momma told T, "I have to say, you will make an excellent professor someday." :D
There was a banquet at the end of the conference and Momma, Daddy, T, and I all attended. There was an open bar (gotta love them Jesuits!) and the dinner was delicious--just the right sized portions and YUMMY food! It was good to meet a few of the "heavy hitters" in the Lonergan world, and we all had a generally wonderful time.
Sunday we went to 8am Mass with the 'rents and my sister, V. The priest was a delightful old man who reminded us a bit of Wakko from the amazing, wonderful show, Animaniacs, which was amusing. The gospel was beautiful--the story of the journey on the road to Emmaus. I love that one... Toward the end of Mass, T must have been very excited for something because he got all hyper and started tickling me and chuckling and moving his legs around. Oh well :)
Brunch at the restaurant where V works (more yummy food) and then farewells to Momma and Daddy. It was so good to see them. Being so far away seems to make time between visits longer than they actually are. We saw my family in January but here it is April and it feels like much longer than 3 months. We want to get back to the west coast sooner than later..
Next, T and I headed off to see DD, another friend from GU. We went to the Cafe Mermaid for a snack (being very full from brunch) and walked on the beach. Ahh, how sweet it is to catch up with old friends! As fun as it is to make new friends, it's always fun to reminisce with friends who have been there at formative periods of your life.
While walking on the beach, we found an OCTOPUS! A real one! We figured he got stranded there between high and low tide. DD just wanted to poke it and play with its tentacles, but T and I saved it (with my flip flop). At least, we hope we did. Maybe it was sick and oozed up onto the shore to die in the sun.. oh well. :)
Sunday evening we had dinner with with Mr & Mrs JMFV (I'm still excited that I remember all his names). We just love them and it was so good to see them! They took us to a fabulous Mexican restaurant--we've been missing good Mexican food. It's not something one finds very often in New England.
After dinner, T and I went back to my sister's place and we all three (plus two of V's best friends) watched the movie Enchanted. We thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a clever parody of any and all fairy tales but with enough respect for the hope in them to have a happy ending! Amy Adams has the princess bit down pat--voice, dancing, hands (especially the hands). It was a fun night of laughing all around! Even the morals of the movie were solid (i.e., the lawyer and his girlfriend don't sleep together). Highly recommended! :)
Finally, after several more email attempts to meet up with a certain vocalist all weekend, we packed our bags Monday morning to return the car and head "home." It was an odd feeling, getting on the plane and heading east. We knew we were heading home, to our own home which we love, but we were leaving a home just as close and familiar (not my sister's apartment--the west coast and proximity to family). It's strange to feel so divided--not in a bad way, of course. We feel divided because we know we are supposed to be on the east coast at this point in our lives. But we also know we want to be closer to family and old friends. They (the proverbial "they," that is) say "Home is where the heart is." Can your heart be split between so many places? Boston, CA, WA (east and west), even TX and AL?
BUT! We had an absolutely amazing visit and it was wonderful and blessed and full of joy and happiness. We'll get back "out west" one of these days... here's hopin'!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I wore a light-weight jacket, which wasn't too much of a problem, but it was silk and shouldn't get wet. Oops.
I wore pants that look really weird when they get wet. The material sort of puckers and looks diseased--especially when it becomes flecked with wet dirt.
I wore my old black heels that have a crack in the bottom sole. Normally I'm pretty good about only wearing those shoes on sunny days (since they're still pretty sturdy shoes) but not yesterday. Oops again.
Luckily I was able to borrow an umbrella from the office and didn't get too wet going home. I hung my pants and stockings up to dry when I got home and sat down in some comfortable sweats to make cards. Birthday Season is coming for our families (the only two months that aren't "birthday season" are February and March), and I'm getting ahead of the game a bit!
This umbrella is just like the one I borrowed. The photo's from an engagement photo shoot of two BC alums. :)