All posts for the month March, 2012
Posted by unknowing on March 31, 2012
There you have it.
Posted by unknowing on March 30, 2012
I have seldom had a better trip. We like to go to the town where I lived when I was a kid. There is a pretty decent little bus that goes out that way departing every hour, and it only takes 3 hours to ge there. It is kind of our Duluth.
We were awake at 4AM, so we got ready and departed, arriving there in time to visit 3 different coffee shops before an early lunch. And that’s where it really started going right. I started writing and by the time we were done with the third coffee shop, I think I had figured out a story.
Here’s the thing with my stories. I get an idea and work on it, but I never know where I’m going. So I write the beginning and then I have to figure out where to take it, and that is the hard part. I have a bunch of started stories, some from many years back. I go back and read then and if I still like what I have I start working on figuring them out; and I have found coffee shops work.
After lunch it was out to Iza, and a half hour walk on the unpaved road out to our resort. It is a wonderful place with hot springs, so they have a turkish bath, a warm-water pool, and country seclusion. The mountain on our right was thundering all the way along that road, but it held off raining till we were there. From the hammock I listened to the rain, listened to the busy birds, read Heller; and when the lighting had passed on east, I fell asleep a while.
After that, we had some cheer and again I wrote, and I think I figured out a good bit on a second story I took. So then the turkish bath for 45 minutes or so, and then in the drizzle that lingered on till dusk the pool. Nice that, being out in the rain bathing warm. The steam rose from the surface, there was fog on the mountains, I listened to the birds, watched a cow up on the hill, got wrinkled.
After that I had what they call a club sandwich there, which comes with a scrambled egg. Wrote at that time as well. Then off to the fireplace, Heller (intellectually exhilarating, Heller. If you have not read The Disinherited Mind and you’re at all Barfieldian, then do), a lot of time rebuilding the fire for the chap till it roared, then off to bed (I checked the next morning: nothing left to the stuff I added to the fire but cinder).
No heating in the rooms and it was about 40 degrees–which, when you have woolen blankets and like the weight–is optimal. Slept till 3AM. Woke up, went to look outside, dark and quiet and cool. No stars, but a lot of country peace. Lit a candle and went to bed again, where I wrestled with my demons till 4AM, I’m guessing, and knew nothing more till rather closer to 9AM than 8.
Breakfast. Walk into town in the morning sunlight, caught bus there, at the terminal in Sogamoso we got the bus leaving right away, 3 hrs to Bogotá. Not a lot of writing takes place for me in the bus, nor reading.
Rather than go home, since I had a meeting at church at 4PM, I went to get lunch at the mall. Worked on the third story there. Then I realized I didn’t have keys for church. Time, therefore, for coffee and there, wonderfully, I think I figured out how to make the third story work. Pretty pleased about that one. So pleased I finished my coffee watching some team called BOT and some team called TOT going at it on ESPN+ on the large screen in the shop.
With the good work on the stories, it was not so hard, when I checked at an internet cafe, to find two new rejections. One of these days I am going to connect, and then I will have a string of them all ready to go.
Posted by unknowing on March 27, 2012
That’s what I fancy I sound like today, and it makes me wonder what I shall sound like tomorrow. I’m not trying to sound too much. Speaking of sounding, it reminds me of Kronos. I listened to my Kronos CD just the other day.
We’re having a damp rainy season. Windy outside right now, and 65 with the sun and all. Damp though. When it starts raining, it is not likely to let up till it has done a thorough work.
Was out eating chicken rather late last night, talking with a chap who has become a good friend. I don’t often make friends with pastor types.
I don’t often make friends, come to think of it.
I like being out late eating chicken, actually, now that I make enough money to do it, I like eating in the second floor of a chicken roastery. I have the notion nowadays that Bogota in many ways is the way things were in developed cities 100 yrs ago, especially when I think about the small restaurants, the deep fried stuff, the unornamented interiors, the health risks one takes. It is a pleasant illusion.
One has no idea how things are here until one spends a lot of time and a lot of talking, and that is what these sessions eating chicken bring home to me. I take all these situations and bafflements from the wrong point of view. It makes me think that to them I must seem awfully strange as well.
It is certainly a place full of curiosities. Have you ever tried another country for a good long stint? On you own? Wholesome.
Posted by unknowing on March 24, 2012
Luke begins the gospel in wonder. The wonder of the incarnation is felt in the astonishment of those participating, in their poetry and song, in the pronunciation of Gabriel: is anything too wonderful for God?
Luke also ends in wonder. The astonishment of the discovery, the unwillingness to believe out of sorrow and dullness of heart is turned into an inability to believe of sheer overabundant joy. And there is the amazing suggestion when this risen Jesus who proves he is no ghost, who eats and is touched disappears, appears out of nowhere, and then rises into the clouds. Luke that way, obliquely, suggests with delicate precision that the wonder begun in the incarnation has not stopped with the incarnation; the resurrection has deepened it, opened up a whole new world of wonder. The incarnation was just the doorway. What lies beyond the resurrection is promised to, hinted at, and awaited by these men who to the death believe that nothing is too wonderful for God.
Posted by unknowing on March 22, 2012
High above the city, staring through the windows at the sparkling frost of the planet, he thought: All my illusions like so many stained glass windows are being shattered by the unceremonious vagrants of experience who do not realize these windows made it seem like I was living in a cathedral.
And there was that lonely sense of exile, much deeper than most of the rest of life. He listened to Shostakovich and could feel the lament of things that should not be the way they were. And there was in that companionship through string quartets a strange kinship, despite the time and the light years between.
Posted by unknowing on March 21, 2012
Maybe your kids will like this: chapter 1, and there are some 18 chapters.
I amuse myself. It is a good thing I like my own jokes, and perhaps you will as well.
Posted by unknowing on March 17, 2012
A curious even at Emmaus, that Sunday. Jesus made known in that social and to them familiar act. Jesus the creator of wheat, Jesus the provider for all creatures, Jesus the Bread of Life known in the breaking of the bread.
Luke deliberately choses to make us observers, telling us from the beginning that it was Jesus on the road. We do not participate in the discovery of these disciples the way we did with the women because Luke has blown Jesus’ cover early in the story. But that master storyteller knows what he is doing. Look at the way he brings an odd, pictorial memory into literary description by making the readers observers and not participants in the experience. Had he told us that Jesus had a peculiar way of breaking bread, then told us this person broke the bread with that peculiarity, it would not have worked. It would have lent itself to sentimentality at best, felt contrived at worst.
Instead, Luke anticipated and suggests. He suggests to us there was a peculiar way Jesus had of breaking bread, because it is not the exposition for all that it causes their hearts to burn, but rather this action at the end, and repeated in their report in Jerusalem, that pierces the veil of grief, foolish unbelief and slowness of heart.
And the literary expectation, the anticipation is there, another facet of that profound event when Jesus said: this do in remembrance of me.
Posted by unknowing on March 15, 2012
Went to the library. Not for lack of reading–I have quite a few things, though I did just finish the Laxdaela Saga today, and that third volume of C.S. Lewis, well, I’m approaching the last year of his life, though all the correspondence with Barfield comes last. But I pay for my membership, and I hate to see the months past.
In 1962 Lewis read a book by Erich Heller which so fascinated him he wrote the author to thank him for it and to tell him he was going to read it a second time. I looked it up in the library and we have it. Now I have it: The Disinherited Mind. Ought to be stimulating. Lewis said some awfully good things about it.
Also got by Heller: Kafka. And then by Davies the second in the Depford Trilogy, The Manticore. It is going very well from what I read on the way home on the bus.
Posted by unknowing on March 12, 2012
Violence here. Tempers, tear gas, stones thrown, riot police, injuries, vandalism.
At the turn of the year the mayor’s office raised the price of transportation: they cap some, subsidize some, interfere with it all. How much did it rise? 50 pesos. I’m not one for ultra-heavy math, but that seems to me to be around 4 cents. That’s what they’re protesting here today.
Here’s where they have a point: what is provided is not worth what one has to pay, most days.
* * *
Did you see the Oestreich made it into the latest time of nick? A step down from Remonstrans, but one can’t always be too picky. And Remonstrans got better poems.
* * *
So they’re looking for a pastor here and it looks like in some of the lower circles of Reformed Baptism there are people into this fad of having the elders rule. Authority, after all, is making all the decisions and exercising a spiritual paternalism. Voting, of course, is democracy, and that won’t do because the Bible is not democratic (although, curiously, it appears the belief of some is that the pastors have to work at achieving a congregational consensus before proceeding in a situation in which congregationalists would–also after achieving a congregational consensus, as much as possible–vote). As for Xeirotoneo, well, lets not commit any etymological fallacies. Paul and Barnabas seem to have operated by the sheer imposition of their will. Well, they may have taught and instructed and made sure there was something of a congregational consensus among the mature before definitely not having a vote.
How far are these sorts willing to take it? Propose an amendment to the 1689! In Reformed Baptism, that is serious.
Well, I doubt they’ll keep on calling themselves Baptists 2 centuries from now, and then we can do what Spurgeon did and dust off the 1689 once more.
Posted by unknowing on March 9, 2012
Cogua lies so high in the mountains
One marvels at the amplitude of green.
Near the mountain tops fog forests grow.
There you have a moist, earthy cool;
Every night is cold; and yet the sun at
Noon cheers nicely. The flowers wave,
The cattle ruminate, the green steep upland
Meadows bask. Trees with small leaves,
Each attending to the wind, receive their life,
Nourish on their bark the lichen, growing
Together in a way that makes it all add up.
Posted by unknowing on March 8, 2012
I greet you, communicants. It has been a few days and lest you wander off into a dark wood of despair and self-hatred, some distractions I bring.
I have a new way of painting. The first fruits was the David cloud formerly displayed. To it may now be added a few pleasing results. I’m getting so good, I sometimes think, I ought to see about going to school for it.
This one is unambitious and not bad. The nice thing about being unambitious is that even if you don’t accomplish much, you don’t screw up as much.
The sky below is particularly felicitous eh? What was not quite so felicitous was the deer that ended up resembling a donkey and eventually mostly vanished, as you will no doubt be able to see.
The wife of me, a woman of taste, likes this below. I do too. I wish I knew what makes it a bit cartoonish, but I have not put my finger on it.
Speaking of putting one’s finger on it, the wife of me said this one looked like something for a Children’s book. It is dedicated to S.W. (if one may be permitted to dedicate, from time to time, a watercolor) who ought to know what Yggdrasil is.
And this last one is dedicated to premillennialists everywhere, especially E.W. who is a die-hard. I told him it is the closest I’ll get to it now.
Posted by unknowing on March 5, 2012