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Showing posts from October, 2011

He Is Not Passive

I haven't really found my spiritual home in New Haven yet.  There hasn't been a church or a group that meets me on my home turf and provides the sort of spiritual comfort I've known well before.  I have ample excellent influences that are stretching and growing my knowledge of and ways of believing in God, but there's something a little cold about that when the other part is missing.  I live alone, and I've just started to have my first few moments of loneliness in my apartment.  Especially when I wake up from a nap and I know nobody ever knew I was sleeping, or that I was now awake.  
I am asking a lot of questions about the things I've learned in my religious education - both the conclusions I've drawn by myself, the thoughts I've developed with friends, the ideas I accepted at Pepperdine, and the maxims I've learned in church.  This is where it's important to distinguish questioning from doubting.  I am not doubting - I am not trying to choo…

Blessed Are They

“Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures, and its pains, to a dear friend.

Tell him your troubles, that he may comfort you; tell him your joys, that he may sober them; tell him your longings, that he may purify them; tell him your dislikes, that he may help you coquer them; talk to him of your temptations, that he may shield you from them; show him the wounds of your heart, that he may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others.

If you thus pour out your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subject of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back, neither do they seek f…

Christ, My Hermeneutic

The grad school workload has officially arrived.  I am meeting with every one of my professors this week about topics for my final papers and am in the thick of midterms.  It's a ton of work and sometimes I get pretty stressed out, but I haven't yet lost sight of my love for all of this learning.  Aquinas, the Italian Renaissance, Chaucer, and a scholarly look at the Hebrew Scriptures - I will always be glad to have this knowledge in my head.  
We had a great Chaucer class last week.  We read The Franklin's Tale (one of the Canterbury Tales you may have had to read in your freshman English survey course).  In this story, a married couple perfectly exemplifies courtly love by making a pact of mutuality and equality in their marriage - each simultaneously the master and servant to their spouse.  Then the husband goes away to be a knight and conquer things, and the wife is heartbroken by his absence.  She paces along the cliffs by their house and stares at the black rocks on …

I Must Go to Yale. They Have Harold Bloom.

Here are two depressing little short films about graduate studies in the humanities.  One must keep one's sense of humor. 

Whole-Food Plant-Based Chocolate-Chip Pillows

I'm still in a food mood over here.  
Tonight I had a chocolate-chip cookie craving, so I looked in the cupboard to see what I could come up with.  I eyeballed everything and made it up as I went along, so I didn't know how they would turn out. To my delight, from the oven emerged these extremely light, puffy little chocolate-chip pillows.  They were very lightweight, fluffy, and satisfying (thanks to the whole grain flour and no white sugar).
Here's the recipe (measurements approximate):
In a mixing bowl, combine: 2/3 cup 100% whole wheat flour1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp sea salt Separately, mix together: One flax "egg" (1 tbsp flaxmeal combined with 4 tbsp water.  Let sit a few minutes before adding to mixture.)3 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup3 tsp earth balance1 tbsp olive oil1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk1/2 tsp vanilla extract Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing only until combined (the flax egg and whole wheat flour are really easy to…

Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

Ten excellent ideas to warm up this chilly fall day.  I bought some sugar pumpkins from a roadside stand the other day which I planned to use as decorations, but this post is giving me other ideas:

Ten Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

A Rather Yale Evening

Last evening, I took a stroll after my Chaucer class to wind up in the Temple Bar at Mory's to do some reading.  I settled into a cozy booth, wrote a letter to Greer (yesterday was his first day of basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia), and opened up Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier.

I love the book.  It is full of humor and sage advice, and describes the way one can make use of courtly social graces to persuade others toward virtue.  It's a discussion of the artful and delicate ways one can navigate the corrupt waters of power and influence, and it describes the ideal Courtier in a way that makes me long for more people like this to enter our political sphere.

As I read, the Whiffenpoofs, that famous Yale a cappella group, started singing in the adjacent dining room.  I sat and listened for some time before packing up to head to the library.

It was cold and lightly raining outside, and the air felt brisk and wonderful.  I walked through the wet evening and m…

O Oriens by Malcolm Guite

E vidi lume in forme de riviera Paradiso XXX; 61

First light and then first lines along the east
To touch and brush a sheen of light on water
As though behind the sky itself they traced

The shift and shimmer of another river
Flowing unbidden from its hidden source;
The Day-Spring, the eternal Prima Vera.

Blake saw it too. Dante and Beatrice
Are bathing in it now, away upstream…
So every trace of light begins a grace

In me, a beckoning. The smallest gleam
Is somehow a beginning and a calling;
“Sleeper awake, the darkness was a dream

For you will see the Dayspring at your waking,
Beyond your long last line the dawn is breaking”.

Find Malcolm's blog here.

Essex and the Connecticut River Valley

I was thrilled to be able to take a whole day off this weekend to take a little day trip up to Essex.  It's only about a 25 minute drive from my apartment, and the place epitomizes New England charm.  Greer just graduated from JAG School in Charlottesville, VA, and he came up to visit me before beginning basic training in Ft. Benning, Georgia (because Connecticut is on the way from Charlottesville to Atlanta, of course).

We took a little steam train ride through the thick woods out to the river.  So pretty as the leaves are just starting to change colors.

We went for a little walk through the town of Essex and found this by the quaint marina.

These two were taken at the Griswold Inn - Greer and I stopped in here for dinner.  It was built in 1776 and looks like it hasn't changed a bit.  We sat in the library room right next to a giant fireplace.  It was so terribly cozy, and I can't wait to come back here on some cold winter night with a great book and my journal.  New En…


Little moment of missing California today.  It's chilly and brisk and wonderful here, but I am missing the feeling of vastness and expanse that I love about home.  I took this photo of my brother Ian in 2009 - our whole family went out to Santa Cruz Island in early October for my mom's birthday.  There is something so exciting about an open ocean like this.  The wind that hits your face has swept across miles and miles and miles of sea, and you can feel it.

And, of course, now would be a great time for a saunter down Main Street.