It’s about the light

This poem by Michael Blumenthal reminds us that the light given by God is what gives the beauty.

“Light, at Thirty-Two” by Michael Blumenthal from Days We Would Rather Know.

It is the first thing God speaks of
when we meet Him, in the good book
of Genesis. And now, I think
I see it all in terms of light:

How, the other day at dusk
on Ossabaw Island, the marsh grass
was the color of the most beautiful hair
I had ever seen, or how—years ago
in the early-dawn light of Montrose Park—
I saw the most ravishing woman
in the world, only to find, hours later
over drinks in a dark bar, that it
wasn’t she who was ravishing,
but the light: how it filtered
through the leaves of the magnolia
onto her cheeks, how it turned
her cotton dress to silk, her walk
to a tour-jeté.

And I understood, finally,
what my friend John meant,
twenty years ago, when he said: Love
is keeping the lights on. And I understood
why Matisse and Bonnard and Gauguin
and Cézanne all followed the light:
Because they knew all lovers are equal
in the dark, that light defines beauty
the way longing defines desire, that
everything depends on how light falls
on a seashell, a mouth … a broken bottle.

And now, I’d like to learn
to follow light wherever it leads me,
never again to say to a woman, YOU
are beautiful, but rather to whisper:
Darling, the way light fell on your hair
This morning when we woke—God,
It was beautiful. Because, if the light is right,
Then the day and the body and the faint pleasures
Waiting at the window … they too are right.
All things lovely there. As the first poet wrote,
in his first book of poems: Let there be light.

And there is.

Thoughts on Spring

Emily Dickinson wrote, “A little Madness in the Spring / Is wholesome even for the King.”

Margaret Atwood wrote, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote,
“Spring still makes spring in the mind,
When sixty years are told;
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart,
And we are never old.”

“Hotties” at Church

At her blog The View from Her, Jan writes:  “Apparently, the real problem with online internet dating services is that they just don’t have enough ‘hot-looking’people to choose from. A friend sent me a link to this article, describing the very newest in online matchmaking: a site exclusively for ‘fit, good-looking’ people. But not just any good-looking person can sign up. Prospective members must submit pictures and must be rated an 8 or higher by people already in the club. Once they are in, they are permitted to e-mail other ‘hotties’ for $9.95 a month. This just brings out my inner 9-year-old. ‘I don’t care about your stupid club! I wouldn’t be in it if you PAID me!'”

Makes me wonder about church. Do we think we are hotties? Is it all about having the right kind of people?

Things Occurring to Me

1. No big upsets in March Madness. What a shame! It’s all Goliaths and no Davids. How boring.

2. The one thing I am finding out about Julius Caesar – when something didn’t work, he stopped doing it. And that’s the difference between Caesar and me.

3. Don’t go to a public library right after school’s out. It’s like they let rats run loose.

4. I like Mitt Romney, but I am suspicious of anyone who can intellectually buy into Mormon teaching. It has more in common with science fiction than theological reflection.

5. Does everybody have a tattoo?

6. A lot of our problems have to do with turning little things into big things.

7. Someone loves you more than you could ever know.

8. Movie marathons at home are a good thing.

9. If you live in Santa Barbara California I read that you qualify for a housing subsidy if you make less than $177,000.

10. Al Gore could use a few visits to the gym.

11. George Bush could use a few visits to the library.

12. Franklin Graham could use a course from Dale Carnegie.

13. Don Bryant could use a few more visits to the gym, library and a Dale Carnegie course, plus a lesson on avoiding thedreaded comb-over.

14. We are all tolerating something that is outrageous.

15. I still don’t get how a Krispy Kreme store could fold. How is that again?

16. Being able to read any book you want to read by getting it from the library rather than spending money to buy it is a gift from God.

17. When I get out of my car in a parking lot and see that the car next to mine is as messy as mine on the inside, I feel better. When it is spotlessly clean, I get depressed.

What’s going on

So here it is what is coming up, going on, happen’.

1. We are gearing up to go to Ben’s graduation on April 29 from the University of Pittsburgh. (Pitt got beat by UCLA last night). He will graduate with a degree in Material Sciences Engineering and two minors in Philosophy and Physics.

2. Been reading Caesar: The Life of a Colossus and The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them.

3. Next week I start teaching Bible at evening college and the following week I add another course on Philosophy. It will be busy.

4. I’ll be at Chicago in early June to help Jon move out his studio apartment to a one bedroom. It will be one floor down in the same building he is in. Sharon will fly out later on to spend a few days adding a woman’s touch to the place.

5. Got the cd of Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life from the Pembroke library.

6. Really been enjoying listening to Brad Paisley’s new song Ticks and Lucinda Williams’ Are You Alright?, Learning to Live without You, and Change the Locks.

7. Following March Madness.

8. I would love to go to the the conference on Tolken at the University of Vermont next month.

9. Paying attention to the stories about the abysmal conditions in VA hospitals.

10. I need a new computer really bad. Jon’s coaching me, doing his best to keep me from getting an Apple

11. Readjusting to getting back to the gym regularly.  A good thing. I’ve been going but since the kidney stone surgery I haven’t been as fanatical. Getting back into the mindset.

12. Trying to decide how long I keep my 1995 Buick Park Ave before it starts giving me big time trouble. It’s been a great car. Bought it at 67,000 miles and now have 140,000. Not a moments trouble beyond normal maintenance.

13. Just got my taxes done. A good feeling.

14. I am helping lead this session of Divorce Care at church. Wow! What a privilege!

15. Time for Spring time work around the house. Can’t wait to open it up for the warmer weather.

12. Been listening to some great podcasts from Yale University. They are free and each week they post a new one. I can do free. I also love listening to Ira Glass’ American Life.

13. I’ve joined a Henri Nouwen book club at the nearby St. Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church. I use some of Nouwen’s stuff in one of my college classes.

14. I want to read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood since I spent some years in Kansas where the murders he describes took place. I rented the movie Infamous, the story of Capote’s obsession with the murders he details in the book.