It is a hot place. I am sure some sea strangeness is around it, but I saw little. Tourists and those who prey on them in turn I saw. Heat I felt and got tired at one point of always sweating. Then the wind on the balcony, and the sea wall made of coral, and the spray and scuttling crabs under the pink reflection of a sun we did not see setting. Enough! Tomorrow off to better regions, chillier.
All posts for the month March, 2011
Posted by unknowing on March 29, 2011
Hot weather. The coast. Muggy. But not everything is walled and grey. Plants, old mansions, the sea! We´ll see how tomorrow leaves me. This is not a bad place so far. Here´s where these colonial high-ceilings make sense. Good meat: the coast is where you get good beef.
Never in my life talked so much to my brother. Odd, that.
Posted by unknowing on March 28, 2011
dissidens has made a valuable discovery. You should read these poems.
Sometimes a poet needs a critic, and if this poet needs a critic, he needs better critic than myself, but if the poetry is difficult for you because it is contemporary try my comments below. But not before you try the poems first.
Posted by unknowing on March 28, 2011
I don’t know whether out of sheer fortuity or because here and there nasty and ignorant things were said about culture, but however it came about, Bauder is holding forth on it again and I can honestly say he’s no evangelical. The large amount of ignorance there is about culture can no doubt today be attributed to evangelicals if not entirely, then almost entirely; because if there is one thing I give them, it is influence. Only outfit ever had greater influence per capita was the Legion of devils that got ahold of the herd of swine and took them in a direction which, in comparison with that chosen by evangelicalism, was not entirely devoid of merit. And so you might read Bauder. It all started here.
I thought I had learnt everything he knew about it and at one point he told me he had nothing more to teach me: I had taken all his courses and I reckon he was being a bit hasty in his conclusions and waiting for me to catch up on my reading, which I cannot still claim to have done. He had the way of acting some times as if he expected more out of me, and I believe in this area he probably expected more than could be expected and was flat-out wrong like he is on the whole idea of remaining in the institutions of fundamentalism. Here I find he has come up with a few new things in the last week, and in this week, while I cannot say it is new, it does seem to me to have the benefit of time passed in that it is clearer than I remember things formerly being laid out. That is the advantage to thinking productively about things over time, and no, I can’t say you will see this with evangelicals, more’s the pity. They have fads, they think about things, and eventually they come up with something inadequately basic and devoid of useful conclusions, subsequent to which they tend to stay in the same exact spot. Look, for example, at Ken Myers.
One can’t help feeling, ruminating over it all here with some coffee and no lemon merengue pie, that the sort of book that is wanted has a title that goes a little like this: The Devil and Culture. You know, a sort of analysis of the relationship of evangelicalism in general and their more ignorant fundamentalist brethren toward the incarnation of their religion, or sorry lack thereof (and I am not talking about incarnation), and how perhaps a straighter path down the Gadarene slope might just have done the trick with a whole lot less confusion.
Posted by unknowing on March 25, 2011
I’m really curious about the military helicopters that overfly our zone and just circle and circle for hours in the morning.
1 We are close to the airport.
2 We are near the edge of the city and maybe there’s some base or training to be had.
3 Maybe they’re looking for shady characters. I went for a walk and saw one poised at the door of a house. What rape or unspeakable crime was taking place inside I do not know, but the guy was shady and the operation he was involved with cast over with an awful pall.
Maybe the search is for one of the many youths you see dealing little papers and things to each other, or just walking along smoking weed (ah, the smell of marijuana smoke in the morning).
4 Maybe its me? Eventually the bugger ends up flying directly over where I am, no matter where I am.
* * *
Vacation soon. I’m ready for it. At the end of this Sunday evening it will have been the 52nd time I preached our taught this year. All new–I have not used anything old, and Isaiah was a killer without Dorsey to orient me about the structure. I am weary and am afraid of getting jaded. It is a good thing a vacation comes the following week. Cartagena first, and then good old Boyaca.
I’ve been teaching weekly now for a year–only missing one week in all that time. I have gradually moved up to twice a week, and then with a bang in January four times a week for 13 weeks straight. And the good news is I’ve grown a lot. The things that worried me a year or even three months ago don’t faze me now. We need to raise up more leadership in our churches. I have started fasting and praying for it.
* * *
I hope to escape it all for my vacation, and put my mind off of it like I do on my day off. I sometimes wonder if that is how it should be, but my views on rest are that it consists largely in variety: in something different. I don’t need to sleep more, I sleep enough. What I need is a little more variety so that I can do everything I do with fresh vigor. I am seriously thinking about taking up watercolors–we have a woman in attendance who practices and teaches such things. Do me good, I think.
Do me good to recover my accordion. Maybe what I should do is try to play the piano again at church.
So grateful for my library, for the downtown library, for the internet. I can still keep up with Joe Epstein and such refreshments, elements of variety via the internet. Preaching too, others, and considerations of, and such things which like a helicopter are over me an awful lot these days.
Posted by unknowing on March 25, 2011
Just got a look again at the Psalms & Hymns of Reformed Worship. What a trove! I am told they’re translating it, and I hope they do it well. The things a good hymnal can serve to keep out, and in Reformed circles, the things having ‘reformed’ on the cover can serve to accomplish . . . and destroy if they’re not done well.
In the British Isles, like here, they tend to issue, from what little I’ve experienced, the hymnals without music to the congregation. I like to have the hymns that way as plain poems and when I lead I am less likely to skip over to the wrong stanza. What they then do is issue a Music Edition with those impenetrable notes and all that jazz, spiral bound for the weirdos who play. I have that too, and it looks very interesting on the variety of tunes available, on contiguous pages, for the same words.
Man I hope we can get this well done into Spanish.
Fortunately for us here in Colombia, our book service lady has strong connections with the Metropolitan Tabernacle, which seem to be investing a good deal in Spanish materials nowadays.
Posted by zartman on March 22, 2011
“Pou,” sez the devil, “Aint it time you take a break?”
“I feel great. I don’t need no vacation. I can always get away and fish.”
“I know about the fish,” sez the devil. “I got a good fishing spot for you to go to, out of the country.”
“I love the USA!”
“We all love the USA,” sez the devil, “but there’s other places and maybe I could use your help in Tripoli.”
“Got pals there?” sez Pou.
“Course. I got pals everywhere; just like you, only more.”
“Awright. Where’s the tikits? Or you gonna provide cash.”
The devil flash his gold tooth and hand Pou the tikits.
“What did you expect? Luxury paid cruise up the Moscow river?”
“They got a river reach that far?”
“I’m jest sayin. You kin find friends there; you’ll see.”
When the devil get back to where he can smell the sulfur he sez, “Call the State Department and have them declare war on Canada in a couple of days, ok?”
“Fine,” croakz the frog, and they both grin.
Posted by unknowing on March 18, 2011
Another week of finishing early. I hope I can keep up the pattern. It gives me time to contemplate, to read, to think ahead.
At this stage I don’t direct the worship always. I provide the information, but I don’t control it: they can change it. But I have scheduled myself to direct once a month, and this week is my turn. I implement a call to worship like we used to do at Providence, I have some remarks before the reading so that they can hear the portion of Scripture with understanding–and I don’t have the congregation read, and I’m going to cut out a hymn.
And this week, having finished Titus and waiting to begin either on Genesis or Revelation when I get back from a vacation, I’m going to be a bit topical. We don’t have a Reformed Baptist tradition here like we did in the USA, and we have a lot of people from all kinds of backgrounds, so I am going to give them a strong dose of Reformed soteriology and see if we can somewhat separate between the sheep and the goats.
I’m going to start commenting on hymns more, longer, even take a bit of time away from the evening study to wade into a hymn or two. My goal is that by the time they come around to voting on whether they really want to keep me or not, they’ll have a pretty clear idea of how it is going to be and why.
Of course, that could change if I get a fellow elder–which I am also trying to work on. It will be interesting how we interact on many things, but especially on music. Reformed Baptists consider all the elders equal, none ‘senior’ or ‘main’ or anything, from what I understand. Not that I’m afraid of it: we proceed according to conviction and mutually submit, and if in the end it doesn’t work out I can always concentrate more on being a Science Fiction writer.
Speaking of which, this is still going down, if you are interested.
Posted by zartman on March 17, 2011
So I was listening to all the Mark Dever audio from the ATC and the Bauder, and I got a bunch of truncated stuff of low quality, but enough to make me curious about Mark Dever.* So I went over to IX Marks and looked in audio and found the listing: Where a Pastor Begins.
I got nothing. What am I missing?
I’m about as new as they come: I never aimed for being a pastor, I routinely ignored whatever they taught me about it, and I only reluctantly agreed and am still not convinced I’m for it. So that seems to be the best place to start, but it doesn’t work. I could really use a clue on what a pastor ought to do—or do I have to get it all straight out of the Bible for myself?
Ah! Found what I need.
*Did get enough audio to hear Todd’s voice in a question.
Posted by unknowing on March 15, 2011
So what was it like, getting mugged? For those of you who have never had the joy, I had the joy today. One thing that happens is that you don’t really accept it is happening as it happens.
Colombians say every place is dangerous, so I don’t listen to them. Now I understand better and the lesson wasn’t that expensive. I was in a solitary place, I saw the guys circle twice eyeing me–two guys on one bike; shady but not uncommon–and I let them sneak up on me from behind. I guess I could have turned around and watched them. When I turned around the chap was brandishing a knife and they soon had their hands inside my pockets.
Which is why I don’t like to take my wallet with me, and fortunately I didn’t have it. But they got the cell phone, and that’s a good excuse to quit investing in that trendy stupidity. Second one–I’ve done my time and it is time to quit. But they also got my little black notebook.
There was no danger, of course, unless I had fought back, which I saw no clear way to do against two guys stronger than me and one of them with a knife. They wanted money and I had no money (lie!). So they told me to start walking one way and took off another. When they had got away I returned and soon found my discarded notebook with the 10,000 peso bill in it and the Parker pencil still attached.
May God have mercy on them; not only do they suffer from human depravity but it looks like their fair share of human stupidity has been exceeded. They’re mean, ugly and predatory; I’m sure they rode away from that encounter poorer than I did, and now I must not forget to pray for them.
And now? Do I return that way? Man, I do not want to be intimidated out of taking a walk wherever I feel like it by a couple of cowardly thieves that regularly prey on people there. But if I return carrying a pipe or something, they might round-up a few friends and see what it is I’m trying to protect. On the other hand, what if I go with nothing, just my book–can’t risk loosing my precious little black notebook again as useful as it is to have it along. Will that work? should I go armed with strong calls to repentance? A bit of a dilemma, because it really is a wonderful walk to get away from all the noise of traffic and hear birdsong and wind, and the cries of people being held up.
I have a new attitude toward bicycles now, and I look at people in a way I did not before, and I understand a little better. Suddenly and for the first time in my life, I feel like working out.
Posted by unknowing on March 15, 2011
Finished my ancient volume of Rupert Brooke on the bus today. There’s a poem at the end about Gabriel and Mary and it makes you feel like you’re inside a pre-Raphaelite painting. Brooke was part of the generation of poets exterminated in WWI.
* * *
A few more Greek students today, it seems. They’re chaps who work in the main bookstore. We’ll see how many show up. I don’t want to end up with more than two or three at a time though–I really want to stay away from classrooms. There are plenty of people around here putting on classrooms for the dead souls who prefer it. Let them knock about their empty heads and lecture at them from on high. For me, a table and a table-cloth, a lamp and no overhead light, some books and low, reasonable considerations.
Have some discrepancies on books. I want to use Machen, but we can’t seem to get a hold of Machen. There’s Davis and I think I’ll take him. There’s always the modern books with charts and grids and even colors now (colors! return to kindergarten only more garish), but the old stuff with the basic tables has a better aesthetic appeal. I got one of the old Macmillan Machens with the plain black cover and gold lettering on the spine before that went to paperback. Why is it so much of the modern way of learning has to be ugly and pragmatic? Can it be said that the students are coming out with a better understanding because of it? I wonder if they can desire to be in the things of learning.
At one point getting lost in the aesthetics of things might have been a distraction. But life seems to have lost so many graces. I once knew a guy who was studying Greek whose hatred for the whole thing was nearly frantic. I wonder how much the lunacy of these bean counters writing the modern books in ugly colors can be blamed.
* * *
Our winter has been interrupted with a great deal of sun. I got a sunburn sitting in the living room on Saturday afternoon. Did not to go the library and so I had to go today and found a print sale and got some Sisley prints. All my desktops are by Alfred Sisley here. The sun shone on him too.
Posted by unknowing on March 14, 2011
Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat’ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! — Death eddies near –
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.
I don’t know how serious Brooke was being at the time. His short life was drawing toward its close and I think that he somehow sensed it because of the themes he touches in his poetry. Maybe not. And maybe he was being entirely flippant, but I don’t think so.
What do we know of heaven? What can we dream or imagine? Nothing much, but what we know; and that’s what this poems shows me. We have such little, silly dreams.
Posted by unknowing on March 12, 2011
Well, I wandered myself through Villas de Granada, along a busy street full of a lot of of the good things of Bogota, and beyond. One of the main thoroughfares around here is la Calle 80 which turns into the Autopista a Medellin, which leads west away down the mountains. The flight path of a lot of jets involves that road, I noticed. I got there and headed west.
Soon one reaches a bridge made of guaduas. Guaduas are a sort of tough bamboo which is supposed to be better for building that steel and better resistant of earthquakes. They don’t use it for building here much because our building codes, apparently, are taken lock, stock and barrel from L.A. where they make no provision for using guaduas–welcome to the third world.
On the south side of said bridge one finds a long, paved bike path. It is a bike highway, actually: two lanes and you can get two cars on it, besides the sidewalk extending generously on both sides. It is overgrown and neglected, runs through a long swamp, and is perfect for walking.
The first think you notice is that you can’t hear the traffic. You hear the planes from time to time, but you hear the waterfowl mostly. And you see the waterfowl, white and black with long beaks and legs and great wings. The marsh hens are there, and other such fowl, along with the mourning doves and raucous birds. Saw cows too.
And it is long, often fringed with pino romeron, but not too often. I reckon it is a 45 minute walk one way. It ends at the Bogota river, with a bridge leading into a wonderful park where I found a grove of enormous eucalyptus. There the vista changed from marshes with the city in the distance, and the mountains, to just trees all around, and park-like adiaphora like courts, pitches and playgrounds. Didn’t explore much there, but there it is for me to explore when three and four hour walks are the order of the day.
But there it is! My paradise for walking and getting away from the city. It is about a half hour away waking, which all serves the purpose. Nowadays I walk for half an hour before I start reading anyway. And on the way back I can get buttermilk, or empanadas, or arepas, or buñuelos, or a Mexican combo, or pizza or a whole, roasted chicken.
I think I’ve found the part of the city I want to live in. I have certainly found my place for walking.
Posted by unknowing on March 11, 2011
“Well,” sez the devil, “we could always call on the King James men.”
“I reckon I’m a King James man,” sez Pou.
“You don’t know what you talking about,” snapz the devil. “The King James men is a rap outfit, and you aint got the talent, yo.”
“Oh,” sez Pou, and he kind of frown. “Though that stuff was off limit.”
“It is off limit, to you.”
* * *
Biddi Bling Gangsta King James–as he generally styled himself–was considering. Should he sell his soul to the devil? He could rap about it afterward, though no one would believe it except the crow. It would look like another pose and even the hip-hop world was beginning to experience fatigue–something James didn’t like, but wasn’t sure why. He envisioned, when he considered it vaguely–the only way he could–a tunnel with no light at the end.
And there was the drawback: What was the point? What did he stand to gain by doing it?
“Stand to gain a lot of authority,” sez the frog, by which the frog meant authority and James understood a sense of authority.
“Where you show up from?”
“Never mind that. Here I am,” sez the frog, “and here you are, and it high time you make clear whose side you on.”
“Aint the rap enough?”
“It aint no more than a pose; but that something you don’t understand. Not in todays society it aint enough,” sez the frog, and he catch a wandering fly which turnt out to be the missing apostrophe.
“I make a recording with special tortured frog noises,” sez James, and he rollz his eyes at the frog.
The frog blikz–wondering who going to tell them from what usually sounded.
“Shoot you dead,” sez James, making like he’z fixing to grab the frog.
“What would the crow say then?”
“Crow don’t know.”
But James come up short cause he know the crow know, and the crow believe in the devil and in the frogs and even in Pou. And give to each the reverence due–specially the frogs. And James remembers oncet the crow sez he can get to the place of Pou’s heart: contending for what you don’t know, hard. With footnotes. And now the frog remindz him too.
“Aint never rapped a footnote,” sez James.
“Aint never rapped the Bible, have you?” sez the frog, as there had nobody tried that yet.
Which James had to admit, experiencing something not altogether unlike conviction. “Not to date.” And he understandz it aint him, but the crow they after because he got the ancient secrets even the devil can’t crack.
“You aint really after my outfit,” sez James. And the frog grin and blinkz both his eyeballs.
So in the end James sez yes, and sellz his soul to the devil and suddenly the King James men are on the side of Pou tou. James talkz to the crow and the crow smokez his dope and meditates over the fire and sendz up the necessary smoke signals. And Pou rubz his hands and it feels like it’z all leading somewhere.
Only the devil wazn’t impressed and he’z kind of sour grapes for the next couple of weeks and rough on the frogs a bit.
“I thought there was more to it,” sez the devil. “All I get out of it was the soul of some fake bad guy? I feel like curtailing all the authority I done gave him in exchange for them two footnotes. Aint I got plenty enough rappers already all in a matchbox?”
“Aint you got to keep your word now?” croakz a frog. To which the devil only laugh.
Posted by unknowing on March 11, 2011
Fog on the windows and rain out-of-doors. This is how it is during the first rainy season–days of rain. I am not dissatisfied by the amounts of rain we get here.
Other than the rainy season, since we are Reformed, we have no other season. Saw the Catholics all out with ashes on their forehead and remembered that we do not observe days or moons or seasons or rituals. Just the Lord’s Day like the ticking of the clock which since creation has been going with only the radical alteration that moved it forward at the Resurrection. I love it; I love simple worship. Can’t wait to skip Mother’s Day entirely. Not artistic, I know, not full of men’s imaginations and hoopla and lent, but we don’t need those–they are not commanded and therefore not important. Like special music! I do not miss the absence, the embarrassment of someone without talent singing at us and one just wishing it were over with.
No seasons: it is like my wife–always the same and no ups and downs, the way God meant things to be.
Will spend some tentative hours in Carthaginia soon. Cartagena is about the oldest Western settlement on this continent–they have a fort, among other things. It is a tourist trap and probably unimaginably repellent but we will see. It is hot weather by the sea, but still the sea. I want to walk a lot there along the shores and quays and along its narrow tangled streets. Hope to settle out of that into some prolonged reading. Colombians give advice but I ignore it because they don’t understand about reading and they like hot weather and have a talent for spending hours without purpose or plan in just watching the time waste away.
Could use more time for planning ahead. For Revelation is calling to me as is Genesis. It has been a long while and I’d like to return and settle in with both. Wish I were free and could choose! I don’t know that I enjoy being a pastor but it is profitable for learning Scripture, that mysterious book. At least this time is not wasted, it is profitable to me, and I have found as it settles it does not exclude poetry or literature or the important things of life with the claims of people. At least not yet. No, I am not so fond of people. And I still entertain hopes of pulling out of this business and in the direction of science-fiction fame. Yes!
Posted by unknowing on March 10, 2011
The Leon de Greiff concert hall at the National U. is a good place for a concert when the orchestration requires the orchestra pretty much take up the whole platform. It is a big, dim hall with good acoustics and little upkeep. I bet 50% of the lighting in the hall is clean out, and you can see water stains and mold in the distant panels.
We have better halls, but this one in the middle of that ghetto, the National U., located exactly on the Che Guevara plaza, with a silhouette of the blighter right over the entrance to the hall, which is somehow fitting in that there’s the unprepossessing exterior and then there’s what goes on inside. It is big, it is not all that interesting, it is dim–of course–but it feels like coming home: comfortable, the audience knows what to clap at, you can hear, and the quality is not so bad for what you pay. It is a giant oyster shell and a womb of sound, a dilapidated and experienced star-ship, and that is what it needs to be.
We have a new director here: Enrique Diemecke, a Mexican who’s also on with the BA Filharmonic, the Long Beach Symphonic and the Flint (yes, MI) Symphonic—but he’s good. I think the Argentinian connection has been a bad influence: he has a cheap, flashy style that’s off-putting. He talks before he puts on the performances, which is annoying—we can read the program notes. He attempts to guide us into appreciation and it is a sign of the decline of things, I suppose, that we can probably expect someone to come and talk to us before we listen to the music probably more and more rather than less and less. Old Lior Shambadal probably didn’t even know Spanish, and so we were spared.
The Bax was Tintagel. The director informed us that’s probably were Arthur was. It was—according to Mallory—where the vile Mark of Cornwall was, and La Beale Isolde, and of course Sir Tristram who at one point, to disguise his identity, was Sir Tramtrist. Not Arthur that I can recall. The piece was new to me, and not a bad piece to warm things up. Not hard for an Anglophile to enjoy if not particularly memorable.
(In the orchestra there was a cellist with bare arms and a sequined blouse and loud lipstick. She looked like an upper-class Mexican to me, and I could not help feeling there was something of the cellist missing in her get-up: the decorum, modesty, the suicidal impulses one associates with such careers.)
A lengthy Argentine with peculiar, pointed shoes (most Argentines are unreconstructed Italians), Luis Ascot, played the Ginastera piano concerto #1. The program notes said it had a lot of dodecaphonic bits in it, but I couldn’t tell them from the other bits, and it all sounded modern. I like it because I like brilliant, modern music and this music was brilliant. Ginastera may not have got the most charming pair of glasses available to him at the time, but he could make interesting sounds. I admire his vigor and—though this may sound sarcastic I do not mean it that way—his determination.
I don’t know if you would pay money to know what the music made by corpses floating in the blue light at the bottom of the sea would sound like, but I would. How strange sometimes, how seemingly random the sounds, and yet not without their attraction to me. I do not wish the thing would end for all the paranoid scratching and the sinister sounds of tinkling glass. The notes crawl like orchestrated arachnids—and where do they crawl? In the folds and tunnels of my brain, is where, and I find the whole experience wonderfully unusual. How curious, and of course, because they are nothing if not self-conscious, how marvelously intelligent they manage to make it all feel. Not beauty so much in the 20th Century, perhaps, but intelligence. And the days are coming, if they are not here already, when we will wish we had at least intelligence.
I was glad for the Ginastera, and I’d go back for more.
Here’s what I wrote about a part before we came to the last movement: A viola laments and the orchestra erupts in calamity; we hang on every last bit of it. A space ship lands, poised, full of delicate rocklike formations in tanks of amber liquid, and for twenty years they do not move. Then the aliens come to life. In the twenty years, sounds follow each other like drops, like echoes ricocheting in slow motion, and the wash of timbre laps the shores of that sea, consciousness, with alien evocations.
I like that stuff, man. And of course, it all ends with rhythm because what is left to us but raw power? We can appreciate raw power here. We clapped heartily for Ascot and he gave us what I reckon was a Piazzolla encore: short and neat.
In the interval one looks upon one’s fellows, wondering—don’t you? I was glad to see intelligent old men, or at least intelligent-looking old men. Foreigners keep the arts appreciated here and families. You see what you see, of course, besides the people who straggle and you wonder why or how the sod got in.
The second part was Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Even I could tell the band and the director haven’t yet found all of their connections. But Diemecke brought them along and husbanded them for the Nimrod. The Nimrod, now, is a kind of hymn but with such sublimity that one might say it is the hymn only the gods sing. And Diemecke knows this. He was saving up for the Nimrod, and it was truly unearthly. I have never in all my days experienced what I experienced in that concert hall. And then the memories of that as the piece concluded changed again the whole piece for me. I haven’t heard it very often, and only once or twice complete. I don’t want to either; I want it to be a special thing I only hear in concerts, I think.
It was some good performing, and some good music as far as I can tell who have mostly love and not a lot of understanding. I’m going to keep an eye on the upcoming and be a bit more in attendance than formerly.
Posted by unknowing on March 6, 2011
My Spanish gives me problems because I went to school in Spanish till fourth grade and then quit using it when I was 17. So I came with the educated vocabulary of a fourth-grader, and the popular vocabulary of a teenager. And then when I started to teach I was trying to use it for ideas and expressions that I had strained after for years in English.
Yes, I felt a bit tied, and part of the struggle now is to reclaim in Spanish the territories I have for a long while roamed in English. So if you want, you can see how I’m coming along below, and if it works, and if you would stretch things otherwise than I did . . . providing you are apt at Spanish.
The person I’m writing to I think of, when I explain her to others, as a character out of Dostoyevsky. I like her a lot and she’s very intelligent, besides being like a character out of Dostoyevsky. She is worried because the missionaries at the last church she was at are undergoing a lot of physical problems strange and severe right now. She left the church because she groaned at their casual attitude to it all and now she’s wondering if God is punishing them . . . and whether God doesn’t want her to drive the message home so they repent and clean up their church and religion. I told her not to try helping God drive his point home. Anyway, she wrote me asking about Job.
We studied Job when I first started here, and reached some rather reformed conclusions about Job’s grasp of soteriology. I am not sure they constitute the best explanation, but they do appear to have a pedigree in Calvin (somebody told me). I am more inclined to find explanations in the literary portrayal of things for the righteousness of Job (that he clung to it because he hadn’t anything wrong to confess), but I like the undergirding of a developed concept of justification–maybe because I’m a covenant theologian now. Job was sure that those who believe in God are just (justified), just like you see in Psalms the polar opposites just and sinner. The categories don’t mix. It does not explain everything, this concept, but it does help the odd persistence of Job make more sense to me. He is sure he was absolved, and had done nothing to provoke God’s wrath. So you’ll see that in there.
Posted by unknowing on March 1, 2011