not of this world

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Filed under: — Not of this World @

studied avoidance
flounders helplessly
in the oddest moments:
opening my
beaten metaphysics
your faded scrawl
(written to be found
before it was lost)
love’s erstwhile proclamation
all over again
over again

Friday, October 27, 2006

the exception as definition

Filed under: , — Not of this World @

“Normally,” says Geir Söli with a smile, “natural history museums just show pretty boring things: rocks, stuffed birds and the like.” Not so with the Norwegian zoologist’s latest project.

i can’t help but think once again how Aristotle’s account of nature as always or for the most part is the most helpful modern missing link with regards to such psuedo reasoning, not to mention that just because an animal does something doesn’t mean it should be held up as a model befitting human behavior. this particular article actually does bring in Aristotle, but only to note his observations of same sex hyena behavior. i guess his actual account of nature just isn’t relative to the day’s agenda.
i’m not familiar with that particular observation in the works of Aristotle, but i think it’s of some relevance that it isn’t found in the ethics…

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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We are half hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.
We are far too easily pleased.

from The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis

Saturday, October 21, 2006

jehovah emergence

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learned where the whole jehovah name for God developed the other day, thought perhaps you might be interested.
everyone is probably familiar with the practice of hebraic dropping of vowels in the old testament scriptures, basically to preserve time and space. so the name of YHWH was also so abbreviated, and towards the latter centuries of B.C. vowel pronunciation notations of the replacement name of Adonai were superimposed upon YHWH to guide those who recited the scriptures in the synagogues in the tradition that had developed that the name of YHWH was no longer to be spoken, but Adonia in its place. so basically the reinvent-the-wheel-pre-johovah’s-witness-folks came across that notation and figured out for themselves in isolation from tradition and biblical scholarship that His name was actually jehovah, and they were the only ones to step forward and be faithful thereto.
that straight basic textual attentiveness is so lost with this particular splinter group doesn’t exactly recommend itself to trusting them in the various other novel theological developments that they have since brilliantly come up with.
anyway, thought it might be a fun fact to pull out next time they knock on your door at some inopportune time…


Filed under: — Not of this World @

is in a class of its own.
through it i always am ever more deeply impressed by the art factor that is involved in good writing. anyone can type or scribble words about this or that, but few are able to convey the tragic beauty of humanity in a way that honors both aspects with such transparent humanity and respect, and a details breathing gestalt…

Sunday, October 15, 2006

psalm goodness

Filed under: — Not of this World @

O men, how long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

It is the Lord who grants favors to those whom he loves;
the Lord hears me whenever I call him.

Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still.
Make justice your sacrifice and trust in the Lord.
“What can bring us happiness?” many say.
Let the light of thy face shine on us, O Lord.

Thou hast put into my heart a greater joy
then they have from abundance of corn and new wine.

I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once
for thou alone, Lord, makest me to dwell in safety…

psalm 4

Saturday, October 14, 2006

my mayberry

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though my task at hand these days lends itself in some sense to walling off attendance to world and domestic political goings on, like a commuter passing by a pile-up on my way to work, i just can’t avoid rubbernecking and being somewhat affected. and the little bits i stay on top of these days makes blood shoot out of my eyes, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite talk show hosts. but i have found a means of gathering comfort, a very simple means which is always just around the corner.

in investigating the new locale, and to defrag when my head is exploding from imput building to the level of befuddlement, trogdor and i have been going on epic walks. from amidst the various directions we have set out in we have discovered an oasis, one well above the prefabricated gated attempts which sully the sun drenched expanse with sterile walls and elitesque nomenclatures. we have discovered an old school neighborhood, one shaded with old trees and littered with human activity. most of the areas around here are akin to ghost towns, an abundance of luxury lain waste with the defeaning absence of use. so the discovery of a real neighborhood was a welcome find; streets littered with barefoot children playing games and getting dirty, block parties and neighbors gathered at corners in evening conversation, flags proudly hung out before homes that have identity and difference, and the right amount of messy livedinedness. the other day i watched as a group of age 10ish boys were actually having a stick race, dropping their respective horses in the stream by a bridge and racing to the other side to see which one made it out first. a stick race! in 2006! and the father, who hid to the delighted giggles and shrieks of his two daughters as they raced around in the fading light and were pounced upon again and again as if for the first time. generational women walking together in the cool of the evening, sharing intimate conversations, men gathered on their porches or driveways sipping a cold one and surveying the scene with pride. people unplugged, children racing about in gangs of grubby imaginative investigation, neighbors knowing one another’s name and living life in comfortable, familiar lo-fi connection.

call me sappy, but i draw immense comfort from one simple stroll through an exhibition of fully alive humanity which has its priorities so grounded even amidst the ungrounding quaking up all around. most days i still think the republic is doomed, but at least the good life is being lived out somewhere in defiance of that unsavory prospect of doom. the sting of death has nothing on the received gift of life’s fullness…

Thursday, October 12, 2006

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“we’re literally like fish in a sea of intelligibility…”
-fr. lamb

and a paradox:
i hate writing papers
i love writing papers

Thursday, October 5, 2006

to the consumation of our longing

Filed under: — Not of this World @

But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him,
And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.

-job 19:25-27

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