The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's a bit of a quandary

If we buy the rented house that we live in we will put glass sliders across a lot of the back of it and a covered patio to extend the living space.  This weekend we saw a model home (pictured) near Dripping Springs that perfectly modeled our idea (theirs was on a grander scale) and educated us on the electronically actuated "blinds" which are ~perfection~.  The house (that model home house) itself is just huge, as in 5,000+ and it's beyond my imagination to "see" a family actually living in it, iow, I don't know people who live like that.  The agent hosting the open house said every person who visits asks if the second floor (half of the house) can be deleted on a new build.  Of course anything is possible for so lofty a price tag.  Here is a link to pictures of the home when it was staged for the Parade of Homes Tour (2016) ... it was furnished differently when we visited.  I especially loved the glass partition wall between inside and outside and a scaled down representation would be perfect for the rental house if we renovated here.  I think we will reach a decision about buying it within the next 30 days.  The owner is offering it at almost 20% above the appraised value ... and it has several hundred less square feet then he has believed (and has been paying taxes on for the past many years) ... don't know how that happened.  It would be hard for me to justify spending above the appraised value.

A man was in to clean the HVAC this week.  He said he doubted the duct work or the condenser had ever been cleaned (the house is plus40 years old) and because he was contracted by the landlord for a "light" cleaning and it was ... more ... he left without doing any cleaning.  He offered a new quote for the work to the landlord, who in his usual style has decided to "get a few more estimates".  Normally, as least as I make sense of what I observe, he brings in three or four different tradesmen/vendors to provide estimates for the cost of repair.  In the past none of them actually is hired to do the work.  Landlord has a long term arrangement with an after hours "handyman" who will "do" a barely passable, half cooked, version of what was initially needed.  Here is an example:  There is mold coming out of the vents and completely coating the air-conditioning unit, coils, wires, housing, etc. in this house.  The evidence points to some cosmetic clean up prior to our moving in two years ago ... by that I intuit, a person with a bleach rag wiped the vents and probably the outlets right next to the vent coverings. The ceiling near those vents shows signs wear and tear (maybe scrubbing) on the popcorn ceiling treatment, some Keltz paint (maybe, one can hope) and some probably white spray paint to finish the cure.  It did render the mold problem undetectable to the uninitiated (me).  The "HVAC - pro" who came in said it was the worst he had ever seen, definitely not the light cleaning that he was sent out to complete, and that he suspects the house needs complete "mold remediation" which will cost thousands of bucks due to the removal of affected sheetrock and studs.  If we buy the house it is our intention to basically gut it so that's not a huge deal ... the problem is in paying premium dollar for an uninhabitable home.  Because maintenance has been deferred for(ever) so long on this house, it is hard to assess the extent/cost of a remodel project.

Here's my quandary - the lot is perfect.  It is a perfect place.  I feel very blessed to be where I can see what I see from the back porch.  It's great.  The house is - a mess.  It's a mess that is going to take a lot of money to clean up and I don't have a way of truly knowing how much money and time it's going to take.  It may be too costly on all levels of consideration.  But, the lot is great.  My husband is able to make extra money which would go to remodeling the house.  It seems to be enough money to make a remodel ... easy.  What if the availability of those funds "disappears" before we finish the work?  The remodel would be largely dependent on his extra (post retirement) income.  Did I mention  the lot is truly amazing.  This morning I saw deer wading in the river, frisking around on the lower lawn, and standing on their hind legs while stretching up to eat low hanging foliage from a tree. It's time for baby deer.  Last year we saw one, as small as a cat, still wet and able to take only a few steps before settling back in to the grass.  Remembering makes me smile. The forty year old single pane aluminum windows don't make me smile ... neither does the dry rot ... L, though he has replaced most of the back porch decking constantly reminds me to watch my step when I go out there lest I fall through as he did.

If we don't buy the house we will be in a different situation by the end of July.  We are developing "Plan B and C".  I can't really call buying this place "Plan A" because we are still working through the possibilities.  I am very mindful that when we decide what we will choose we are also deciding what we will do without (like spending extra money on travel ... like the luxury of not needing extra money ... like not having an amazing walking trail right out the front door, ... like these trees and the variety of birds they give perch to, etc.).

This filter "highlights" that hard earned grey hair!

What I saw on a recent walk

And then you're gone and home might be something like this
strangers walk by snapping pics with their phones,
it's behind a fence but that doesn't keep the critters out ...

All this "important stuff" is so temporary.

the magnificent trees he planted are flourishing

 at two miles Max thought to protest
I have to remind myself that he is still a puppy
6 months old now

this - not on that Berry Springs walk, but in the stream in the back yard

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Brushy Top pics on the drive through

These pictures were snapped while on a little drive around - we were near enough to one of my very favorite places and decided to drop by to see what we could see.  Center picture is a five or so acre - they call it a ranchette ... I think that is a stretch, and mostly about an ag exemption with the tax man. Herds and lone grazers meander around - they are mostly exotics and a vet is on staff compliments of the HOA to tend to them.  This is a project called "Brushy Top" - I've linked it before I believe.  It's a bit out for how my husband likes to live.  Nearest town is Blanco, Texas ... probably 45 minutes in to either Austin or San Antonio.  It would be quiet out there, but I think I'd like it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wow, May is well on it's way to gone!  I have been neglectful of updating here.

“Until I know this sure uncertainty,
I'll entertain the offered fallacy.”

~Shakespeare/ Comedy of Errors

I keep on thinking we are going to find "our" house over here in this red hot seller's market!  House hunting, along with living in a rental house that has a reputation for not being maintained has just about worn me out!  Have you ever known me to use two exclamation marks in a row?  I'm not much of an exclaimer!  

I've probably said before - I love this lot/location.  With the river visible from every window on the back of the house I get to see all kinds of birds, big and small and literally herds of deer. It's beautiful at night too because of the fireflies and the insect serenade.

Here's today's walk:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

From the Nicole Nordeman song, "...and so it will be as you are recreating me ...", the song feels dated now, popular Christian music has become numbing as the Gregorian Chant seems to me to intentionally  be - I'm saying, the "simplicity and repetitiveness of the lyrics and notes" lends the music to encouraging a trance like, mindless, state of flow maybe over the congregation.  I'm to trying to get in to that today - I'm observing that music has taken a different track and it might even be difficult to trace the path from there to here.

 Here's what N.N. has said about her song, Every Season.

 ‘Every Season’ was my way of saying ‘I’m not going to let Gods’ sovereignty be ruled by my emotions or circumstances or I’ll be all over the map for the rest of my life,”  she explains.

 I like that.  That's why I posted the vid to the song.  I've been walking, usually for around two hours a day, and it gives me an opportunity too reflect on the changes in nature.  A recent delightful discovery, or new awareness, is I suddenly realized that I can see the movement of the sun, the azimuth, as the morning dawns over the tree line beyond the river.  I loved noticing that (over time) from my quiet coffee spot back in Auburn.  It seems an incredible gift to enjoy from the back porch here.  Owls are still calling to each other and deer are wading in the water as the sun begins to paint the day.  It's windy today and the trees, all leaved out in green, are undulating as though to a song only they can hear.  Rain is in the forecast. I can smell it's promise in the air.

This week my walking buddy and I will mark the 36th year of our journey together.

I had just finished college then - boy does time fly (when it's not dragging along)!

I gotta run for now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Max - 5 months

Pics for SAMSON rehearsals

manipulated pictures taken during SAMSON dress rehearsals

And, I suddenly wondered where Austin Opera gets the singers for their Opera Chorus - because I may want to do that : )

It is such a pleasure to sing great works again.

Roger Scruton, new to me, actually has a lot of interesting things to say.  I've been reading and watching his work that is available on line.

Lisa's Italian Creme Cake recipe

Icing roses "piped" on by V ... she does that so well!

You'll definitely need to double the icing recipe.  I used pecans in the icing between layers, but kept the top icing smooth.  Also, I think this cake wants larger pecans in the cake batter and very finely chopped pecans on the sides with the toasted coconut.  This cake is at it's best served very cold, just short of frozen.

Easter dessert this year (and very hopeful to become an Easter menu tradition).

While we are talking about Easter traditions - this was the only Easter basket in our home this year ->

a pie "bunny" and the start on soup crocks for little miss

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Alright, so, I'm not going to do those 52 lists.  Some of them are just too ... here: List the people who brighten your day (skipping/ too silly, they are all pretty silly), List your favorite quotes (see side column).  List the things you treasure most ... and that is definitely going to be "the things which can not be replaced or repeated, as important people and various life experiences ... joy.  When ever joy is happened upon, those are the most treasured treasures.  I think "stuff" passes away but those moments and those people who help you become who you are becoming for "next" remain and are the pearls of value.  The pearly portals to eternity.  Those treasure you do take with you (I think).

Bigger picture = the dam (background)  from the spillway side where the walking trails are "improved" and maintained. 
Upper right = red line entering picture is where I stood to snap the bigger shot.  Those rocks ... I believe they are "crawling" with rattlesnakes!  I've seen rattlesnakes there and I've seen sticks that look like rattlesnakes there ... both are alarming!  Would you believe a young woman, 30ish and certainly old enough to know better, climbed up that rock wall and came over the barrier at the midway point on the bridge?!? (The smoothly arched part of the red line is the bridge.)  I am generally highly unlikely to comment on anyone's, and certainly a stranger's, behavior or choices BUT when she came over the edge from climbing that wall I said ... You know the rattlesnakes are "active" this time of year, right?  She didn't have a clue.  Fortunately, she took the note  graciously.  She said she didn't think there were snakes around here.  Uh ... yeah.  Last week I saw a coral snake not more than two foot from the paved trail.  Yes ... snakes ... love rock piles ... love rivers ... love Texas hot.  If there were a list of "what are you afraid of" snakes would be at the top for me.   
Lower right picture = the elusive black squirrel.  I don't know if it really is a black squirrel or even if there is such a thing as the black squirrel, but whatever it is, I've seen them only here, in the rocks, and they are really hard to spot.  They blend right in and the shoot over and under the boulders with lightning speed (probably dodging snakes is my guess).  This one is a baby.  He was on the lake side of the dam.
The weather is mostly fine and I've started walking a couple hours (or more) a day.  Yesterday I had a nice visit along the trail with the most normal Vietnam era Vet that I've become acquainted with.  He served as an officer in the marines.  Also noteworthy was his little dog, a mix of chihuahua and Cretan hound.  I like the dog's calm yet alert disposition.

Really bad weather over where four of my family members  are ... it's glorious here today.  Recent storms have cleared the air of pollen.

I'll do some of those lists ... .

Friday, March 24, 2017

(what I like to do for fun)
enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure
  • Basically, anything that makes me laugh. My favorite thing to laugh about is when I am with someone who is actually trying to be funny.  For fun I like to do things and be with people who I can laugh with.
  • I like to shop with a buddy who I'm getting ready to prepare a meal with and I like cooking with a buddy - that's fun.
  • I like to fly for fun.  I don't have a favorite plane, they are all good.  Flying as a passenger isn't fun, it's just boring.
  • I like out of doors things like hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, kayaking.  I like those things in different ways (the speed of the experience is different for looking at things)but they're all good for fun in their own ways.
  • Seeing my kids is almost always super fun for me.  I especially enjoy seeing them enjoying each other and their other special people.
  • It's fun to jump on trampolines.  I also always have fun on or near water.
  • It's starting to be fun to plan a train trip.  
  • Anything that I get to get dressed up for (except funerals) is fun.
  • Singing is fun.  Singing while laughing is really fun.
  • It's always fun to watch cute kitten videos with V.
  • Holidays are reliable fun times.
  • Learning can be lots of fun.  I tend to think of it as a fun thing even though lots of routes to better understanding are not fun.
  • Exploring - places, ideas, people, etc. is fun (at least initially).
  • Shooting pool.  Playing silly board games.
  • Pedicures are fun.
  • Yoga.  Yoga is fun.
  • Playing ... that's the word!  Any thing playful is fun.  I like to play.
  • It's also fun to see the people I love having fun - that's probably the best fun.
  • Watching live sporting events at the venue especially.
  • Making lists like this seems like it's gonna be fun.  C invited me to do 52 lists with her this year.  This is list #1.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hmmm - what to do?

Someone sent this today and it seemed like a thing to share.

I don't think about regrets very often.  Like this guy says, life doesn't come with do-overs.  Maybe there are a few along the way, but you can't count on them coming when you think you need them.

[This is the only regret that I can think of, I mean, regrettable choices have been made, but those aren't choices where I might have made a better choice with the information I had available at the time - running is different.  I regret that I didn't either keep up with or re-start a running routine.  It's advisable for me to begin running like I used to do (long distance running) now.  I'm a huge fan of well defined calf muscles though because  they are a sure sign of the ability to commit long term to something (and I think it's a healthy coping strategy).]

Having spent Saturday on a day trip with One,I would like to share this bit of our conversation:

I think it's an important thing in life to have "something you are intentionally doing".  (And I don't have that something figured out right now, but I'm working on it!)

I recently did the HUMAN NEEDS TEST and I think it's a pretty neat way to access what makes the most sense to "a person" as far as how one does life.  (I'll re-visit that later.)

If what you are intentionally doing supports your top two human needs it seems like you're going to "feel" good about how you spend your days.  Which is what I am trying to think about for myself lately.

When we moved away from the life I was comfortable with (back in 1989) "things" changed.  It was one of those life passages.  We are, well, I am (husband has transitioned nicely to what comes next for him) kinda stuck in my star gate.  I sense, or anticipate, that I'm getting close to what comes next ... the whats, because life is fuller than just one "what" ... for me.

I've noticed this lately (in light of the fact that we haven't found a house to buy yet) ... I wanted to bring my comfort zone with me ... that's doing what I do around the house (puttering and gardening) and flight instructing.  I thought I'd just keep on doing that over here.  I have decided not to continue flight instructing (at least for now).  Living in a rented house doesn't fit with my puttering and gardening.

When we made the huge transition before, it opened new possibilities up for me (and my family).  Good things happened that I was unable to envision at the beginning of that time.  I think that's got to be true now, during this major transition.  I want to "hold on to my old comfy stuff" but that keeps my hands too busy to embrace what's next.

Anyway - walk time now.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It amazes me how little our looks change over the years. This was taken on the 4th of July in 1968.  That year trouble was brewing with North Korea, King and Kennedy were assassinated, Boeing launched the 747, and the American flag orbited our moon aboard the Apollo 8.  (BTW - Hidden Figures - the movie - rocked.)

My family was vacationing in Arizona.  I don't remember this, but the batch of pictures, received this week, show that we were camping out.  I do remember bears coming into our camp once and my dad scooping me up and rushing all of us into the fire engine red station wagon.  I remember them rummaging around our things and moving on - not even a twinkie crumb to be had around our area.  My dad was a stickler for a tidy campsite.  Arizona was one of my parent's favorite destinations and we spent a lot of time exploring the natural beauty of the State.  I'd love to go back to visit several of those places adding Roden Crater to the long list. 
I think it was at the Petrified forest where  a tree had fallen across a gorge ... I might have been six or so when I first read the sign there: Cowboys road their surefooted horses across this natural bridge.  Something like that.  Definitely surefooted (because I didn't know what that meant and had to ask), definitely cowboy on horse back.  I shivered at their confidence imagining the Lone Ranger and Tonto. 
The sign there says Sitgreaves National Forrest ... not near the Petrified Forest or The Grand Canyon where I first thought of being in an airplane.  I wasn't allowed to make the tourists flight with my older brother. I still remember my dad insisting that he would be allowed to go on that flight with our grandparents while my mother insisted I would not be.  I remember watching the plane get tiny.  
Blessed with lots of sweet memories and the wish to see many of those places all over again.  This time I'll probably make the flight! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

the dog update

My dog at about 8 weeks and 10 weeks later.  He'll triple his weigh before the year is over, weighing between 120 and 150 as an adult dog.  If ... !
He is an eating machine.
He is now, for the most part, "house trained".  I can't remember when he had his last accident, but I expect we haven't seen the last of those. He likes to try to empty out waste baskets in the house shredding paper towel and getting cotton balls stuck in his mouth.  He still can't grasp the fact that our shoes are not chew toys.  In the sense of understanding what is okay and what is not okay inside the house we have a ways to go.  Yesterday he began to pull the turquoise pipping away from one of the grey club chairs.  He stretches my patience ... .
He does love to go on walks and does a good job of behaving well on the leash.  Without a leash he loses his ability to hear well.  I really like that he looks up when airplanes pass overhead ... and birds. He is keenly aware of what is going on around him, which is great.  He will sit and lay down on request when properly bribed to do so.  He brings the ball back every time it is thrown.  I had forgotten how much work goes in to getting an animal trained.
It'll be worth all the effort.

On Tuesday he got in the river and found some crawdads ... and I'm guessing ate some ... major allergic reaction apparent a few hours later.  I thought it must be a bee sting because he is always looking for a bee to bother around the glass doors.  Husband sheepishly acknowledged that he saw the dog messing with the mudbugs.  Woke up the next morning with his snout back to normal, it had looked like a horse snout!  He was in the water "fishing" at every opportunity on the next walk.  I understand that allergic reactions become more severe with each exposure so I'm trying to nip his young pup and the river tendencies in the bud.

December 2016

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

bunny (or chinchilla) under an oil derrick in West Texas

Pretty ... this was on my FB feed this morning ... picture taken by a guy I guess I've known all my life.  He was one of Tommy's running buddies, my parents especially liked him.  Probably the only person currently on the planet (other than me) who knows my mom's potato salad was simply the best ever.

This little guy is at an oil rig near Pecos, Texas.  I love the light in this shot, the colors are so West Texas.  I also think it's really neat that these Hardhat/Boots guys have time to tend to a little bunny.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Notes on Physical Presence (and not) from Earthen Vessels/Matthew Anderson and Hiding Behind the Screen/Scruton

Notes on what I marked in my copy of Earthen Vessels - Matthew Anderson -

Physical Presence with people/friends as opposed to online presentations with people/strangers.  
I hesitate to put it so bluntly (because I value the few "friendships" enjoyed because of this blog), but I think it's true that an "online" relationship with a person one does not, can not, share "time and space" with is not the same, can not be the same, as sitting down to coffee or taking a walk while becoming acquainted with a person.  I know part of "it" for me is my love language - time, and by that I mean attention - where I invest my time is where I share myself, my love.  It makes the most sense to "do that" with one's whole self. When it's done entirely in the mediated world I think there must be a lot left to the imagination ... I fill in the blanks left by your physical absence ... I'm probably getting an inaccurate picture of who you are.  I, equally unintentionally, am constrained by bodily absence to under-represent myself as well.  (This is "my font" - the other is copy and paste from the cited sources.) 

We are not present online - we present ourselves.
But in the mediated world, presentation will constantly threaten to overwhelm our bodily presence, invariably pushing the body to the margins. 
When humans gather face-to-face we take emotional (and sometimes physical) risks. Yet in a mediated world, those risks either go away or are significantly curtailed. Philosopher Roger Scruton made this point in an important essay in The New Atlantis. As he puts it:

           To a larger extent, life on the screen is risk-free: when we 
       click to enter some new domain, we risk nothing immediate
       in the way of physical danger, and our accountability to 
         others and risk of emotional embarrassment is attenuated. 

By way of contrast, when we walk in to a Starbucks and see the barista, we risk disclosure - by way of our bodily presence, the look on our face, the habitual nonverbal cue - that he or she will see something of our inner life without our realizing it. ~
pgs. 92 & 93

Physical presence makes possible a true communion of persons, a communion that requires a sharing of space and time.
Yet for us to be present does require something more than space and time. To be present is to be there in our whole person, both our internal and external dimensions. We are, in a sense, present with and towards others.

Scruton again:
What we are witnessing is a change in the attention that mediates and gives rise to friendship. In the once normal conditions of human contact, people became friends by being in each other's presence, understanding all the many subtle signals, verbal and bodily, whereby another testifies to his character, emotions, and intentions, and building affection and trust in tandem. Attention was fixed on the other - on his face, words, and gestures. And his nature as an embodied person was the focus of the friendly feelings he inspired. ~pg. 94

Hiding Behind the Screen  ~ Scruton/The New Atlantis

When I began searching for essays to help me understand "the disconnect" experienced, that I experience, in relationships which are "pen-pal-like", and/or long term-long distance friendships I thought Earthen Vessels may be just what I was looking for.  Instead, I find it to be more of a statement on various topics within transitioning Evangelical Christianity (in the USA).  It reads for me as a set of essays as someone tries to figure this out.  I did find Matthew Anderson's perspective helpful because he is about the age of my older adult children and I think he does a great job of clarifying trends within the culture of "their" faith.

I think I've noticed that some of what/how we believe (to be scriptural) is socially/culturally motivated or supported. Here's a simple example - in Colonial times I imagine tobacco consumption was not frowned on in christian circles as it is today ... or this ... as the author points out, how "the emerging church" (yet to be defined) views tattoos and (lol) loud music is entirely different  than the churches of yesteryear.

Anyway - moving on to a few of the ideas that Scruton puts forth in Hiding Behind the Screen.  And ... it's not that my people are hiding, they are as present as they can be, but the idea of  not entirely "present" is what I'm trying to think about ... because it does inject a unique dynamic into the friendship.

Quotes from his essay:

Human relations, and the self-image of the human being, have been profoundly affected by the Internet and by the ease with which images of other people can be summoned to the computer screen to become the objects of emotional attention. How should we conceptualize this change, and what is its effect on the psychic condition of those most given to constructing their world of interests and relationships through the screen? Is this change as damaging as many would have us believe, undermining our capacity for real relationships and placing a mere fantasy of relatedness in their stead? Or is it relatively harmless, as unproblematic as speaking to a friend on the telephone?
Real friendship shows itself in action and affection. The real friend is the one who comes to the rescue in your hour of need; who is there with comfort in adversity and who shares with you his own success. This is hard to do on the screen — the screen, after all, is primarily a locus of information, and is only a place of action insofar as communication is a form of action. Only words, and not hands or the things they carry, can reach from it to comfort the sufferer, to ward off an enemy’s blows, or to provide any of the tangible assets of friendship in a time of need.
What we are witnessing is a change in the attention that mediates and gives rise to friendship. In the once normal conditions of human contact, people became friends by being in each other’s presence, understanding all the many subtle signals, verbal and bodily, whereby another testifies to his character, emotions, and intentions, and building affection and trust in tandem. Attention was fixed on the other — on his face, words, and gestures. And his nature as an embodied person was the focus of the friendly feelings that he inspired. People building friendship in this way are strongly aware that they appear to the other as the other appears to them. The other’s face is a mirror in which they see their own. Precisely because attention is fixed on the other there is an opportunity for self-knowledge and self-discovery, for that expanding freedom in the presence of the other which is one of the joys of human life. 
When attention is fixed on the other as mediated by the screen, however, there is a marked shift in emphasis. For a start, I have my finger on the button; at any moment I can turn the image off, or click to arrive at some new encounter. The other is free in his own space, but he is not really free in myspace, over which I am the ultimate arbiter. I am not risking myself in the friendship to nearly the same extent as I risk myself when I meet the other face to face. Of course, the other may so grip my attention with his messages, images, and requests that I stay glued to the screen. Nevertheless, it is ultimately a screen that I am glued to, and not the face that I see in it. All interaction with the other is at a distance, and whether I am affected by it becomes to some extent a matter of my own choosing.
There grows between us a reduced-risk encounter, in which each is aware that the other is fundamentally withheld, sovereign within his impregnable cyber-castle.
All those ideas are contained in the term first introduced by the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte to denote the inner goal of a free personal life: Selbstbestimmung, self-determination or self-certainty. Hegel’s crucial claim is that the life of freedom and self-certainty can only be obtained through others. I become fully myself only in contexts which compel me to recognize that I am another in others’ eyes. I do not acquire my freedom and individuality and then, as it were, try them out in the world of human relations. It is only by entering that world, with its risks, conflicts, and responsibilities, that I come to know myself as free, to enjoy my own perspective and individuality, and to become a fulfilled person among persons.
We must come to an understanding, then, of what is at stake in the current worries concerning the Internet, avatars, and life on the screen. The first issue at stake is risk. We are rational beings, endowed with practical as well as theoretical reasoning. And our practical reasoning develops through our confrontation with risk and uncertainty. To a large extent, life on the screen is risk-free: when we click to enter some new domain, we risk nothing immediate in the way of physical danger, and our accountability to others and risk of emotional embarrassment is attenuated. This is vividly apparent in the case of pornography — and the addictive nature of pornography is familiar to all who have to work in counseling those whom it has brought to a state of distraught dependency. The porn addict gains some of the benefits of sexual excitement, without any of the normal costs; but the costs are part of what sex means, and by avoiding them, one is destroying in oneself the capacity for sexual attachment.
This is vividly apparent in the case of pornography...
Just a tiny note here...I'm really not thinking about's a good metaphor for the fantasy aspect, the "fill in the blanks with your preferences" created by physical absence, the potential pitfalls generateded by "not truly present in time and space" relationships.  Benefit without cost, "diminishing" one's need or capacity for more genuine, thus more meaningful, attachment.  As I refine my thinking here I recall "cheap grace"*.
Back to it:
In human relations, risk avoidance means the avoidance of accountability, the refusal to stand judged in another’s eyes, the refusal to come face to face with another person, to give oneself in whatever measure to him or her, and so to run the risk of rejection. Accountability is not something we should avoid; it is something we need to learn. Without it we can never acquire either the capacity to love or the virtue of justice. Other people will remain for us merely complex devices, to be negotiated in the way that animals are negotiated, for our own advantage and without opening the possibility of mutual judgment. Justice is the ability to see the other as having a claim on you, as being a free subject just as you are, and as demanding your accountability. To acquire this virtue you must learn the habit of face-to-face encounters, in which you solicit the other’s consent and cooperation rather than imposing your will. The retreat behind the screen is a way of retaining control over the encounter, while minimizing the need to acknowledge the other’s point of view.
*Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, February 20, 2017

My MacBook Pro seems to be kaput!  I've tried restarting it but ... Nada.  Later this week I'll try to get an appointment at the local Apple Store. (Update on that - after being on the charger overnight the laptop restarted without a glitch.  The battery must have been so depleted that it just couldn't start.  Noted that the green dot on the power connection was very faint initially and became stronger as it charged.  Basically I am just monitoring the power and not allowing it to dip below 30% ... and I think I may be on notice that the need for a replacement device is on the horizon.)

It feels "funny" to tap out notes on my iPad!

Somehow... And I don't know how ... This device has stored the pictures I've used over the years as my profile pic.
It will be fun to look at those in order. I guess from 2009 to current.
IFR (in a C172) with an old school timer on the yoke

Summer Camp "sweetie" pickup

A "right turn" was indicated but I was thinking about "off-roading"

In foyer with "beach" chest
I loved that sweater

Don't remember this pic, but my grey was really starting to shine

Climbing rose bush where the birds built their nest-
this pic was taken bc of that brown dress
delivered that day from bff

don't remember this pic at all

This pic I don't remember either, but I know it was
taken before some la-de-da event in support of husband's career
(University colors for lipstick and necklace)
That is definitely a game face.

just joy (in a lightsport)

Newport Beach
another event related to husband's career
(first cup of coffee smile there ...)

My brother had texted asking for a
"what's up right now pic" - this is that.
This was a before dinner party shot
for husband's career.
I can see the pain in my eyes
(because it was apparent that
my brother was running out of time)

this pic in front of a painting by one of my daughters
I don't actually "like" this pic of me - I think my
upper lip to nose spacing looks really weird,
but I committed to a face shot a month posting on this blog
this was what I had that month -