Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ridin' the Storm Out

Waitin' for the thaw-out.

"Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun
of York."

That line has been running through my head over and over the past month or so.
Winter is for me a time of discontent. I struggle to find beauty in this dead season.
The fields are ugly, the trees are bare and it's COOOOLD! Bone- chillingly cold.

I think Shakespeare hated winter too. Unlike Richard III, however, it seems as if no sun appears here to warm the bones and gladden the heart.

I walked in Graham Park today. The sunlight glittered off the snow-covered trees, lending a pristine covering to their naked limbs. The cold clear air refreshed me as I walked and my mind wandered.

Mother died two years ago today. My far-away family remembered her and missed her in their FaceBook posts and I was taken back to the scene around her bedside. It was a day much like today. It was cold and snowy in Lee County, Arkansas. The biggest ice storm ever was pounding NW TN.

We stood around her: a sister and her husband, children (the three of us who are left), and grandchildren. Someone began to sing "Amazing Grace." My sister laid her head on mom's chest as she sang, and before we finished the chorus, that frail breast (that had nurtured her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and countless youngsters in the community) ceased to draw breath.

Today was a blessed reminder that, in the coldest, deadest winter, there is the promise of springtime. The sun shone in Graham Park.

Today I remembered that in the time of suffering and discontent, there is also a promise:

"Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house ae many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also" John 14:1-3

Thursday, January 20, 2011


So now they're telling me I'm going to have to pay for this spiffy college education
I've gotten.

Really? I say. Even if my diploma is still in the large envelope in the corner of my room?

Well, apparently, yes.

So I'm thinking well what did you accomplish here, to the tune of countless thousands?

I did come away from Geology class with the theory that the breaking of the "fountains of the deep" in Genesis 7 caused those wandering tectonic plates and continental drift. This would be my own theory, actually, not the professor's.

In the Civil War class, I learned that there are some college students who believe that "The Anaconda Plan" was a scheme hatched by dastardly Yankees to spread poisonous serpents throughout the South.

In Roman History, I heard (NOT from the professor) that the term "Blue Light Special" originated with Nero as he burned Christians for nightlights at his dinner parties.

Dr. Dan McDonough demonstrated in class how the Yankees neglected to bring scaling devices (ladders, etc.) to the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg. And how they lived (some of them anyhow) to regret the oversight.

Dr. Kurt Gorman proved, in his Music Theory class, that mathematics is (are?) an integral part of music. I dropped that class.

I learned that five years is a long time.

I learned that staying awake for 12 hours at night then trying to attend classes in the daytime will, if practiced over a year and a half, age you. A lot.

I met Ms. Jenna Wright. And I learned a lot of really cool stuff about writing.

Such as: I can, at least a little,
I like it, alot,
There are all sort of techniques for making one a better writer,
I like the technical side almost as much as the creative side
that of all the reasons I had for going to college, this perhaps was the purpose, after all.

I guess I really should give these people their money.

Do you think they would mind much getting their payment in rolled pennies?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who are you?

No, who are you, really? What standards do you apply to yourself?
We all have our worldview, right? And that viewpoint shapes who we are,
doesn't it?

Maybe the real question is: are you who you think you are, whom you claim
to be, who you aspire to be?

Some ancient Greek or other (maybe Socrates) said "Know thyself." The Chinese
general Sun Tzu said "Know your enemy."

Put in a Christian context, these may be speaking of the same person. Certainly, we
must be aware of our weakness (es) and though Paul refers to Satan as "the enemy,"
that shoe fits me, sometimes, as well.

So then, I ask myself: who are you? And if I'm honest... well.

Talk about your "fear and trembling."