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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Shadow of Death

Sitting alone in my dark apartment.  We had our first summer storm today - temperatures in the high 80s, booming thunder all afternoon, big forks of lightning in the sky, short spurts of torrential rain.  I spent the day packing up for the summer.  I'm subletting my apartment so I have to clear out every shelf and drawer and closet.  I know I'm coming back in a few months, but it's a bit of a faux move-out.  It sure reminds me of my first few weeks here - hot and sticky weather, my first experience with violent summer storms, trying to deal with too many pairs of shoes and figure out storage solutions.

Just finished watching Meet Joe Black for the first time, which is why I'm up at 2:35 AM.  What a killer of an end scene.  I put it in so I'd have some company while I tidied up my room before bed and then couldn't turn it off.

I love the story about a great man.  These days I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a human life great.  I've been so …

Highway Robbery

I dedicate this post to Uncle Dan, the original lover of gloomy weather.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning to keep chipping away at Augustine.  When I awoke the light outside was just beginning to blue, and I laid in bed for a moment listening to my wake-up song:

This polyphony, Nesciens Mater by Jean Mouton, is a Renaissance piece I heard in a lecture at the beginning of this year.  A scholar had gotten a dreamy grant to tour Italian Renaissance churches and chapels with a choir to see if Renaissance music had been composed with specific buildings in mind.  She did a study of the way the sound waves of different pieces carried through different buildings, and it was completely amazing to see the way sound for different songs filled the architectural spaces in ways that were utterly specific to the buildings.  Grand, bombastic coronation pieces bounced around the giant spaces of the biggest cathedrals with perfect symmetry, filling every corner, while these quieter, "smaller" …

Home Stretch

It's 72 degrees outside. Slightly breezy.  The trees are full of broad, green leaves again.  The semester officially ended on Friday.

And I am sitting in the Sterling Library reference room with about 40 other grad students who also got extensions on the deadline for that last paper.  The facial expressions in here are a mix of self pity and self loathing.

I feel like this:

Yes, this finals season has been great, but I am ready to leave the weird study outfits behind and start my summer!  Ahhh!!!


I've been waiting to feel an urge to write an "I can't believe it's almost summer!" post, and here it is.  In my writing this week, I've been referring quite a bit to the papers I wrote last semester and it feels like I just wrote them.  The feeling of that term paper season is still so fresh.  It feels nothing like this one.  
In a few days I'll already be half finished with my masters degree here, and then onward.  I have never felt more certain that I want to keep going on this academic path, so there will be PhD applications in the future, and many, many more projects, papers, and books, praise the Lord.  

Tonight I am filled with excitement about everything this summer will bring.  I am so looking forward to time with my family and time at home in beautiful California.  I adore what I do here in school, but there's a very nice rhythm to an academic year that provides a lazy three months for reflection and regeneration.  It feels like getting awa…

Oboedientia Caritatis

Translation: "harmonious obedience of mutual love"

"What makes this Oboedientia Caritatis possible is the right priority of love.  Abel chose God, not himself, as his good, and in so doing he fixed on the only object of desire that others can share without rivalry or fear of loss.  Not only can they share such a love, they can actually increase it by doing so.  Less can become more, and living partnership can be, not a compromise of power, but a source:

"A man's possession of goodness is in no way diminished by the arrival, or the continuance, of a sharer in it."

This is a little selection form an article I'm reading by my adviser, Peter Hawkins, about Augustine in the Divine Comedy.  Dante mentions so many influential Christian figures and mysteriously passes over Augustine until he gets a one-line mention in the vision of heaven.  Strange!

Yet Augustine's influence can't be avoided.  In this passage, Hawkins is looking at Augustine's exeg…

Finals Food

I am proud of myself for using all of my meal points before the end of the semester - it was a close one, but I managed it.

Now I am eating all of the food left in my apartment, which is mostly a lot of grains.  I have accumulated a lot of whole wheat cous cous, quinoa, and red lentils.

After 9 hours at my desk with my Augustine paper, I caved in, walked across street to Caseus (the gourmande's Mecca of New Haven) and had a chocolate soufflé so delicious it deserved its own blog post.

Back to Augustine.