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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Atomic Red and ki yi yippee yippee yay

We, Four and I rounded up this fabric yesterday ... earlier this morning I finished two of these chairs for her room ... and I thought I had today's project all worked out.  That old chair, bought at a yard sale last month ... I've been having fun shopping for fabric for it, and had decided that it would look just right with basically any thing.  When I saw the fabric in my closet it seemed that a match was made ... I thought maybe some funky paint and settled on this chartreuse color ... kinda settled, when I sand the old varnish off, there's a chance that staining the wood will seem more to my liking (sometimes when I handle the wood it just seems to not want to be covered up in paint).  That combination recalled Spring's Shasta daisies.  

So ... I set about taking the chair apart and I have to say, I'm a big fan of old metal hardware.  We are just not manufacturing the same quality product.  I'll clean those nuts and bolts up and they'll be good to go for another several decades.  This chair is skimpy on cushion, and after the second layer of fabric came off this red vinyl was exposed.  I knew it was there when I bought the chair, but I expected it to be badly worn ... it is in perfect condition though.
I'm not an expert on anything about dating furniture, but I thought the striped fabric might be from the fifties. Turquoise and olive green used together just seems fifties to me. This was put on well, but not professionally ... those tacks were holding a dressmaker like slip cover neatly in place and the one hand-stitched seam was done with embroidery thread and a straight needle.  There was actually a zipper in back just like a old dress zipper ... beautifully done, but odd for an upholstered piece.
The tag, original ... says the chair is from Viking Artline Corporation in Eldred, Pennsylvania.  I am very reticent to remove this original finish ... jeepers!  I'm going to wait on this ... thinking time.  Just a quick glance on-line and here is the exact same model chair sold last week on Etsy.  idk ...

A Mid Century Modern vintage 1950's red vinyl slipper chair by Viking Artline Corporation.

and, now it's all cleaned up ... bolted back together and cute as can be sitting in the den
... gonna keep it.  It's just beautifully constructed and it reminds me of Roy Rogers for some reason. 

The Chisolm Trail
(traditional song)

Foot in the stirrup and my hand on the horn
I'm the best darn cowboy ever was born

Singing ki yi yippee yippee yi yippeo
Singing ki yi yippee yippee yay
Well, I started up the trail October twenty-third
Started up the trail with a 2-U herd

Up every morning before daylight
And before I sleep the moon shines bright

With a ten dollar horse and a forty dollar saddle
I'm going down to Texas for to punch them cattle

Well old Ben Bolt was a fine old boss
And he went to see his gal on a sore-back hoss

There's a stray in the herd and boss said kill it
So I shot him in the rump with the handle of a skillet

And I went to the boss to draw my roll
And he had me figured out nine dollars in the hole

Ropin' and a-tyin' and a-brandin' all day
I'm a-working mighty hard for a-mighty little pay

Well I went to the boss and we had a little chat
And I hit him in the face with my old slouch hat

With my foot in the stirrup and my hand on the horn
I'm the best danged cowboy ever was born

Well I'm gonna get married just as quick as I can
And I won't punch cattle for no darn man.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

bet I could do better

I'm bored ... the house is clean ... well, pretty much so, there's always stuff that could be done or re-done.  This morning I refolded sheets in the linen closet ... restacked quilts , gotta get 'em ready for easy reach, flipped the thermostat to "heat" yesterday .  The house is that kind of tidy, where one has to go looking for something to do.  I noticed that the inside of the door to the linen closet was not painted when I painted most of the doors in my house.  I need to get that done, but ... not today.  I also found a couple of yards of upholstery fabric which I bought from a remnant pile just because I really liked it, still do ... perfect amount of fabric for that little garage sale find which I might go find in my garage today.  I just don't feel like doing anything and ... least of all I feel like doing nothing.  I feel bad that I am bored ... with so many cool things to read and so many cool things to find to watch ... or, I could mow the yard ... or finish the weeding that I almost finished last week.  I know, because I know how I am, that I really need to find a project ... something challenging that makes me smile when I first wake up in the morning.  Would you believe I am still walking around in my pajamas?!  Sitting around.  Coffee ... doesn't taste good ... I could be planning a Thanksgiving feast or at least the table setting ... not interested.  I made the mistake of reading a study guide on that book, PHANTASTES,  now I'm not interested in reading the actual text, though I know I  loved seeing his words and the old style of putting them together, it felt like a dance ... hmmm, like a waltz ... how often does one feel a connection via words alone to another person?  I liked Mr. MacDonald ... now I feel disinterested in being interested.  I feel like I should save the pages for when I'm more ... me.
So ... I'm looking for a way to re-boot myself.
This morning I thought to meander through PINTEREST maybe make a little pile of the most interesting stuff and come back around to see if there was some sort of common thread ... something to peak my interest.  I noticed that I like pictures like the one above.  I have never seen anything like that with my own eyes and I think it's very cool.
I saw this:

Probably exactly what I should do, 'cause other then cook and clean and do homework with my youngest yesterday ... I don't remember what I did.  I forgot it as I did it ... I didn't think about it as it went by.  Really not good enough.  Not good enough for a day spent. Just like at the football game thinking about cake to build ... I'm usually a lot better at staying where I'm at!
I can't see a piece of the Milky Way like they do over there in Ireland where this picture was taken.  The note said it's called Heaven's Trail ... and that it lines up with that boardwalk every two years during June.   This one, similar, taken (by someone in) in Montana

but, my point to myself is just 'cause I can't see it from here doesn't mean it's not there ... cause I know it is.  Just like I know there's cool stuff visible right here and I'm just not looking right.

Monday, October 29, 2012


The clouds were flying fast, the wind was coming up in gusts, banging some neighboring shutters that had broken loose, twirling the rusty chimney-cowls and weathercocks, and rushing round and round a confined adjacent churchyard as if it had a mind to blow the dead citizens out of their graves.  The low thunder, muttering in all quarters of the sky at once, seemed to threaten vengeance for this attempted desecration, and to mutter, "Let them rest! Let them rest!"  ~Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit

Sunday, October 28, 2012

 not in another place but this place...
not for another hour, 
but this hour.” 

I love to go to college football games ... this one Auburn vs. Texas A&M ... the pre game activities were the highlight.  Pretty soon I started thinking about four layers of cake left cooling in the kitchen, thinking about "gluing" kisses to nutter butter bites with peanut butter ... acorns.  Somebody in my home loves 'em some peanut butter cups ... hoping this will be yummy.  That's chocolate icing with melted Reese's peanut butter bits, the chocolate cake is resting on a bed of cookie crumbs.  She will like it.  I bet she does!

Whitman offers a good insight ... Happiness here, happiness now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Sail Forth - Steer for the deep waters only.  Reckless O soul, exploring.  I with thee and thou with me.  For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go.  And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all."~ Walt Whitman

"When I give, I give myself." ~ Walt Whitman

Looking in on some Whitman quotes earlier this morning ... very soothing reading for me when I get aggravated about something.  I have already noted several of his quotes, but particularly enjoyed seeing these today ... I really like Whitman.  
Also sweet today ... I'm beginning to see Cardinals about and I remembered a whole bunch of them, plumbed with pregnancy, feasting on our front lawn ... can't remember what time a year that was but it was kinda wonderful.  Squirrels have begun to scamper on our roof ... you can hear them practically galloping across the front of the house and now I know why!  When the barometer fell and broke I moved this little bird feeder to it's spot ... perfect situation for the squirrels.  They tap in to the rose vine and position themselves for an easy feast. Little scamps! 

 “They do not sweat and whine about their condition, they do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, they do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago.” ~Whitman ...
Going to have to run this one down a bit for context ... interesting.

and here we go ... from Song of Myself ~WHITMAN
I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition.
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins.
They do not make me sick discussiong their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.

...sure, it had to be about wildlife and it makes me wonder how differently we might live then piled up on one another ... wonder if we'd all chill out.

Friday, October 26, 2012

And they are out the front door with a final spritz of FOREVER RED (I didn't know, but walked across the room to examine the garnet colored bottle laying on its side on the side table where it was dropped on the way out ... yesterday the dermatologist asked me "which is easier to raise...?"  I might have told him that girls smell bunches better!) ... "Hurry up you're making me late" "Where's my phone?" "Good grief, you just dropped in in your bag, I love those shoes." "I know, right?! This cardigan works, doesn't it?  They have no idea (yet) how precious they will be to one another as they journey through life ... but I do.  I understand the gift of family woven close with love, the warp and weft of times shared will offer shelter during life's storms.  They see the sacrifices, well, they see some of them ... they're too busy being young to see to understand what it takes to keep a loom steady. "Where's the curling iron? Is that red wine on my brand new shirt, I haven't even worn that yet! I'm sick and tired of finding my boots hidden in the back of your closet!!  Moooommmm!!!!! I'm tellin'... MOMMA!"  (I might have told him that girls are bunches louder!)
L usually leaves early, breakfast meetings and all that ... I actually enjoy watching them ... and just now I'm thinking about how easily the boys worked around them.  Three "hogged" a bathroom (and all the hot water as I was often informed) smoothly snagging his backpack, equipment bag and a pack of crackers on his way out, stopping only to offer a hug for me and a smirk at the girls, he executed a well planned exit strategy. One, as I sit here reminiscing, never participated in the morning flurry either ... he was quietly ready, sipping morning coffee and maybe reading a book at the breakfast table. Sometimes drumming his fingers and plugging his ears with iPod induced relief.

I might have told him that the biggest treasure of my life has been the joy of participating in the lives of my babies ... all grown up now.

Well, it's Friday ... today I put a big pot of vegetable soup on early (smelling pretty great now) ... I still have some bulgar wheat to prepare and pack up for the Korean ladies.  I better get cracking.   All that thinking about the kids is really about seeing how Ms. Ruth wears "old lady" and thinking also about my mother-in -law fretting about losing her driving privileges, etc. ... my kids are staring to tease me around about how it might be for me when the tending shoe is on the other foot (or in our case ... feet, and lots of them!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

sticker burrs and crochet

Working out in the front flower beds this morning
I found my marble > lost this summer
these cockle burs found me ... all over pants and sweatshirt cuffs!
“Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.” ~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I'm hanging out in my den having lunch and thinking about pretty linens and crochet ... I know H is very interested in yummy salad recipes so ...
2 hand fulls of baby spinach
blueberries (these are frozen)
red onion
Newman's own Balsamic Vinaigrette
(Because not only is he a sweet talker ...  he knows salad dressing ...  totally rocks)

C is getting new bed skirts along with her new headboards ... like me, she loves the bella notte linens.  Pictured here a few inspiration photos ... and this ... satin (also bella note) ... it hangs so nicely.

Think I'm gonna haftah remember how to crochet!  So ... these last few days I've been looking at and thinking about fabric for her project.  Then I'm going to do some sweet work for my other two daughters ... then for myself if L doesn't mind a bit of lace. I have a lot of inside stuff saved up to do and I think my sewing machine is itching to get out!  

That and to save this which I came across last night ...
"I form the light, and create darkness."—Isaiah 45:7
from Spurgeon's sermon: The Solar Eclipse  .  Still looking at that one.  I haven't really been thinking about "God creates darkness" ... just haven't thought about it till now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This is the day which the Lord hath made;
 Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
~ Ps. 118:24

I was surprised to see the above bit of scripture inked right inside the egg container.  Is it always there and I just haven't noticed?  I do drop eggs into the poaching cups before coffee ... and I'm probably not that thankful before the first shot of joe ... .  This morning I dropped one perfectly poached egg, cup and all, it was an unsuccessful transfer from boiling water to the plate - giving even Sammy something to be thankful for.

Today I'm going to take Ms. Ruth flying.  I'm guessing she is in her late 80's.  She is a delightful woman ... one of my absolute favorites.  This little flight is a bucket list item for her.  She has always wanted to skydive and has settle on this as the next best thing now.  I am toying with the idea of telling her about the instructor "piggy-back" method of jumping, 'cause I'm pretty sure that isn't how she thinks of parachute stuff ... essentially a ride down.  I think it would be physically doable for her. This lady is the consummate Southern woman having devoted herself to her physician husband and their little family ... later, as time became available she focused her efforts on sweet causes.  The woman has saved the one mean bone in her body in support of shedding the light ... uh, that is the Republican light ... on all things damning in the Democrat's nefarious agenda.  She's an angel who spits fire on those rascally cowards!  ... All 4'4" of her!   
She will love the flight ... it's a perfect day for it.  I feel fortunate to be able to do this for her.

Monday, October 22, 2012

You don't see squirrels or chipmunks down in South Texas.  There you will see black, hairy, tarantula spiders marching up the sidewalks, like school children on their way to a day of learning.  South Texas is largely below sea level and the spiders are genius at predicting floods.  I thought the nicest thing about Ft.Worth just might be it's hospitality to squirrels, they would eat right out of my hand at the zoo where I stopped almost everyday on my way home from classes.  Squirrels are fun to watch.  Then we moved here.  Our house is in a neighborhood, but the abounding wild life hasn't gotten the download on that yet.  They think it's a forest.  There are birds everywhere.  Pleasantly so.  I remember how rare it was to hear a bird from our home in Ft.Worth ... here, all I have to do is listen.  We have foxes, raccoons, something called a fox squirrel, used to have flying squirrels in the back yard, but they have moved on (along with the owl whom I miss).  We have deer, who I see less and less and only when there are babies ... sometimes they come away from the woods (zig-zagged with creeks) and meander on the big open front lawns that are usual in this development.  I've seen coyote and my son said he saw a wolf (in our driveway!).  When Sammy barks, I believe him.  Of course there must be tons of snakes,  I'm always looking for them, but thankfully, they are rarely seen.  This time of year we are over run with chipmunks.  I've never seen them any where else I've lived and I really enjoy them ... probably left over fun from the Chip and Dale days of my childhood.  Yesterday, as Four and I came out through the front door, my wonderful glass barometer fell from it's sturdy leather strap and shattered in to a gazillion shards ... and a tiny ball of fur hurled itself from the rose vine into the shrubs below.  I think I heard him say "Uh oh."  The strap was gnawed through.  Bummer.
I knew it was "chance-y" when I took it from it's protective case ... down from the top shelf ... I remember thinking, there is no pleasure in having something wonderful like this wrapped up and tucked away,  I encouraged myself to put it out there where I could enjoy seeing it everyday.  Those little bastards!  I laugh as I write those naughty words ... yes there is a more acceptable way to say that, but none so appropriate it seems to me this morning.  That's me.  I adore the chipmunks and then ... I don't.  I have a lot of sharp pieces to pick up today.  As soon as that's done I can go back to being mostly amused by their silly antics (they are pretty cute).  The flower bed that  meanders gracefully away and back along the front of the house has been shamefully neglected ... I didn't want to water every night this summer so I skipped planting the perennials ... I skipped planting, so I also didn't do any weeding ... it looks pretty rough!  Getting that lovely is my big job this week while I wait for my husband to build the headboard structures.  If he doesn't do that this week then I will give it a go next week.  I don't build things as well as an engineer, but I do have more time to put to a project like that ... and I am bothered by the roll of fabric leaning in the corner of our breakfast room.  I am feeling ... aggravated this morning ... I'll blame it on a sinus infection, but it's really just something that some serious weeding will probably fix.  The local nurseries are beginning to set out Pansies.  I think we need some sweetness planted in those front beds.

What else?  A sentence I've love to see these past few days:

I pressed this repeatedly and hard with the point of an old tool that was lying near, till at length it yielded inwards; and the little slide, flying up suddenly, disclosed a chamber - (here is my favorite part) empty, except that in one corner lay a little heap of withered rose-leaves, whose long-lived scent had long since departed; and, in another, a small packet of papers, tied with a bit of ribbon, whose color had gone with the rose-scent. ~ MacDonald (PHANTASTES)

And ... a couple of related ideas that I'm thinking about ...

"I am part of the part, which at first was the whole." ~ Goethe

"So, then, as darkness had no beginning, neither will it ever have an end.  So, then, it is eternal.  The negation of aught else, is its affirmation.   Where the light cannot come, there abideth the darkness.  The light doth but hollow a a mine out of the infinite extension of the darkness.  And ever upon the steps of the light treadeth the darkness: yea, springeth in fountains and wells amidst it, from the secret channels of its mighty sea.  Truly man is but a passing flame, moving unquietly amid the surrounding rest of night; without which he yet could not be, and whereof he is in part compounded." ~ also PHANTASTES from MacDonald
This is a story told by one of the (dark) characters in the book to the main character as he journeys along.  I note it because I'm thinking about light ... and so, necessarily, also of darkness.  I like seeing a picture like this one(following) in the context of light and dark.  I like how the presence of a star pushes against the dark, how the heat of it warms the cold of dark ... I like that as I look out from here I can see light and I see dark only as it references or frames ... light.
"Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes."
~ Walt Whitman

all three of the photos I selected today were sourced from Pinterest ... posted w/o credit

Friday, October 19, 2012

"How to make Kim-Bab"

sweet radish (yellow color, you can buy at Asian market ... sweet and crunchy... maybe pickled)
crab meat
spam (!)
egg scrambled
burdock (brown color fry with soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey ... looks like long brown carrot)
spinach (fry with sesame oil, salt, and soy sauce)

rice ... with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sesame seeds ... very sticky

sea weed paper (shiny side down)

 Spread rice over most of the sea weed ... we left about one inch clear at the bottom where rolling began.  Line up the chosen ingredients.  Roll and press firmly in to tube shape. slice with sharp knife.
This is the group I get to learn with and from.

So ... this was dinner last night (22nd) ... the big deal on this is preparing the "right" rice ... I found it at the Korean market, that and sushi vinegar.  We followed directions found on line for preparing it in a pan atop my gas stove ... no problem, it was sticky-licious.  There are more ingredients in these then I will use per roll next time, everyone in our house has a favorite idea to try out ... now to find eel sauce.  Next time I make these I will also make the soup that the ladies taught me how to make.  It's mainly the strained  broth rendered from dried anchovies with tofu and miso paste added.  I have an adversion to fish with eyes still in, head and tail intact, ummm ... anything not filleted ... but the soup was delicious.  I'm going to go for it!

Rice recipe:

2C Sushi rice
3C Water
1/2C sushi vinegar (which is rice vinegar with sugar, salt and seasonings)

  1. Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander until the water runs clear. Combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed. Cool until cool enough to handle.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. (Or ... have sushi vinegar on hand!) Cool, then stir into the cooked rice. When you pour this in to the rice it will seem very wet. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools.

This worked perfectly on my gas stove top.

~photo via Pinterest

Somewhere in his book, The Great Divorce, Lewis notes his view, I paraphrase...  the damned as "turned in on themselves".   I've been thinking a bit about that and it seems genius from so many different views.

I have begun learning how to throw pots ... on a wheel ... and one of the things I do sometimes is accidentally  collapse a pot.  I'll have something pretty good spinning around and I'll let my hand linger too long here, or maybe  my hand dries and the clay doesn't slip as it best should through my hands ... maybe a blemish in the clay snags ... any number of whatevers waiting to present themselves to novice me ... sometimes the pot turns in on itself.  No big deal, we begin again.  I make mistakes with my clay that a master potter would never make. ... and ... my teacher has set down with one of my mistakes in the making and deftly reshaped the weak spot out.  So cool to see how it's done when it's done well

I'm thinking about places in my own life where just life spinning me round and round has, or had, turned me in on myself.  Places where this or that aspect of the essential me had begun to collapse inward or ...  maybe had ... and that part of me just set there in a heap ... like a mess ... like, not how it was supposed to be ... like not really good enough for what it potentially might be.

“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, 
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” 

Last night, Two and I visited about how usual is the track for a young woman around here to marry young, very likely to a very young man who has enlisted and is sending his pay check home ... home to a trailer parked somewhere in the middle of nowhere ... supporting a bride who spends her days in bed eating pop tarts and shopping on line.  My girl will have a birthday soon and I think she is starting to hear the local buzz "poor child looks like she's well on the way to being an old maid ... " yesterday she told someone that she'd like to take her chance at doing something with her life, she is figuring it out ... I see her doing it, growing in to the life she will be happy to live.  It's not easy ... not a pop tart life.  She says she would like to contribute rather then simply consume.

So, that with the exhibition yesterday ... looking at those "bodies"  I see how similar we all are ... the earth suit is pretty standard issue,  one of those, two of these, miles and miles of that, a bazillion tiny pieces that "I" can't see without the aid of something "We" created. And what I wonder makes us different ... it's really sort of amazing that different is such a universal component of us.  You couldn't lay your hand on "different" yesterday like you might a liver, an artery, a heart.  And I wondered as I marveled at the beauty of these pieces of shell ... this one birthed a child, her hip bone worn milky-transparent thin by osteoporosis, who was she, what became of her life ... how did she come to choose to send this gift from herself.  I really don't know yet how to phrase that question.  Every thing I saw there yesterday was once "alive" ... a soul lived wrapped in "that".  It seems indescribably generous to me that they chose to let whoever see and make what we will of what we saw ... how we are the same ... hints of how we are unique.

saw this early this morning:
"Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I am yours forever."
It's supposed to be romantic ... per the comments attached to the "pin".  At first I didn't feel very good about it ... it seemed a bit flippant ... pop tart like ... like disregarding  the hugeness of sharing oneself with another person ... and ... I personally don't believe my soul is mine to give away like that.  But then I started thinking about those relationships where my soul was found.  I know some of my people have come in to my life via my mind and I share with them things my body can do, you know, not sex like this quote seems to imply, but ... tending ... caring about or for which is somewhat superficial.  And then there are those with whom I share or have shared the concerns ... joyous or otherwise ... of my soul, and that is something that seems to have "forever" type resonance ... soul expanding in a way opposite of turning in on oneself.  I have experienced my "shared soul" opening up away from where it was closed and felt "damned".
The soul goes where the body takes it ... the body goes where the soul allows it to go (when choices can be made).  I think it must be the work ... the doings of the soul ... which make one feel as though their life has "made a difference".  I'm coming to that conclusion.  My body pulls weed which will grow back.  My soul pulls weeds which allow me to see more clearly in to the garden.
~ photo ia Pinterest

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Field trip!

An early start ... 
one cup of coffee and on to a tour bus full of middle school girls ... 
the sun hasn't risen yet in that time zone behind the virga ... 
This is the sky just West of ATL ... I'll be seeing big planes soon.

link to a video preview of exhibit in Las Vegas

 ... I didn't know quite how I would react to this exhibit, I mean, I'm curious about stuff but ... well, I wasn't quite sure.  Some how, the presentation of this wonderful look under and in ... it fills me with awe, I had no idea we were so very beautiful.
Today my finger touched the aneurysm that claimed a man's life, i saw the bulge and felt the tear.  The docent said I could ... and I feel deep respect and gratitude for these people who decided to share their bodies in this way ... to touch lives that they could never know ... reaching beyond their time to fill us with awe ... to touch me.
Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well.

yeah, now I do ... now I see it, before today I just thought that was a neat little verse ... today tears pushed at my eyes as I studied these marvels ... absolutely amazing, and did you know that there are more cells in my body then there are stars in the Universe?  I don't know about that, but ... that's what a sign at the CDC museum proclaimed.

"And your very flesh shall be a great poem."
~ Walt Whitman
This photo taken outside the CDC Museum on the campus in Atlanta 
... very cool visit there as well.

The CDC does a lot of really cool stuff that the Hollywood face doesn't begin to hint at.
And here we are riding home ... my girl konked out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Potato Soup

10 pounds (Full bag) of peeled potatoes
Swanson Chicken broth ...I used 9 - 14oz cans
12 cooked slices of thick bacon cooked before chop and add
2 cups sour cream
1 stick of butter
3 cups of coarsely grated cheddar
all the green ends of one bunch of green onion
salt and pepper
yep ... initially two pots, and ... stir stir stir ...
it tends to want to burn!
Fixed position photograph of the sun,
taken at the same time of day over a year. 

~ via Pinterest

my notes on THE GREAT DIVORCE ... a dream

~ Henry Domke

The Great Divorce ~ C. S. Lewis
and Lewis begins his preface with a quote ...

'No, there is no escape.
There is no heaven with a little hell in it - 
no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets.
Out Satan must go, every hair and feather.'

To chose to empty one's hand and heart of Hell that Heaven might  be embraced ... That's what I'd say the book said to me.

Some quotes from the book:

"You cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys ... "

"Good as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good."

“I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put right: but only by going back til you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot 'develop' into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, 'with backward mutters of dissevering power' --or else not.”

"If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell." 

"When in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur?  When did we put up one moment's real resistance to the loss of our faith?" 

"'Son,' he said, ' ye cannot in your present state understand eternity: when Anodos looked through the door of the Timeless he brought no message back.  But ye can get some likeness of it if ye say that both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective.  Not only this valley but all their earthly past will have been Heaven to those who are saved.  Not only the twilight in that town, but all their live on Earth too, will then be seen by the damned to have been  Hell.  That is what mortals misunderstand.  They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into glory.  And of some sinful pleasure they say" Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences': little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of sin.  Both processes begin even before death.  The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven:  the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness.  And that is why at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say "We have never lived anywhere except Heaven,' and the Lost, 'We were always in Hell.'"  And both will speak truly.

I note this lengthy passage because it supports one of the main (for me) premises of the book.

"'Milton was right,' said my Teacher. 'The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words "Better to reign in Hell then serve in Heaven."  There is always something they insist on keepingeven at the price of misery  There is always something they prefer to joy - that is, to reality.   Ye see it easily in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper then say it was sorry and be friends.  Ye call it the Sulks.  But in adult life it has a hundred fine names - ... .'"

"The sensualist, I'll allow ye, begins by pursuing a real pleasure, though a small one.  His sin is the less.  But the time comes on when, though the pleasure becomes less and less and the craving fiercer and fiercer, and though he knows joy can never come that way, yet he prefers to joy the mere fondling of unappeasable lust and would not have it taken from him.  He'd fight to the death to keep it.  He'd like well to be able to scratch, be even when he can scratch no more he'd rather itch then not."
“The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.” 
I think lust has become a powerful religion since the the times in which Lewis lived and wrote ... it is baser and seems intent on consuming the flesh of innocents debasing hearts, homes, and entire cultures.

"There have been some who were so occupied by spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ."

"For to be afraid of oneself is the last horror."

"Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about light." ... and this companion bit " Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is always drawn from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling, down in deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him."
 This part was especially interesting/meaningful to me heard as this; "flight itself was your first love; you loved 'flight' only as a means of hearing about God." ... aviation is my most intimate metaphor ... I think we all must have then, a language which develops where we can see God's hand and from there see his presence in other and hopefully eventually all areas and later he writes this: 
"You enjoy them just as if they were someone else's: without pride and without modesty."
And ... I have noticed that is precisely how many things feel to me now.  It is liberating ... without a sense of competitiveness or wistfulness or ... any gunkiness ... just joy.  I think I understand what Lewis is expressing. 

"But the whole thickening treatment consists in learning to want God for His own sake."
Another main point of the book, I'd say. 

" No natural feelings are high or low, holy or unholy, in themselves.  They are all holy when God's hand is on the rein.  They all go bad when they set themselves up on their own and make themselves into false gods."

"We've all been wrong!  That's the great joke.  There's no need to go on pretending one was right!  After that we begin living."

"For all I ever did wrong and for all I did not do right since the first day we met, I ask your pardon."  
 Love that ... favorite quote.  

"'Stop what?' ... "Using pity, other people's pity, in the wrong way.  We have all done it a bit on earth, you know.  Pity was meant to be a spur that drives joy to help misery.  But it can be used the wrong way round. It can be used for a kind of blackmailing.  Those who chose misery can hold joy up to ransom, by pity." and this down the page: "Can you really have thought that love and joy would always be at the mercy of frowns and sighs?"
Thinking about pouting and emotional bullying to get one's way ... stinker-ness.  We see it in our homes and so easily also to see it in the entitlement programs gone wild.  we manipulate and are manipulated ... to everyone's lessening.  And a companion to the above quote:

"'Hell ... seems big enough when you're in it, Sir.' ... 'And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies and itchings that it contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of joy in Heaven, would have no weight which could be registered at all.' ... 'For a damned soul is nearly nothing:it is shrunk, shut up in itself." 
 Here he is alluding to a size comparison, smallness of Hell against the expansiveness of Heaven and I thought about the size of the known Universe and how someone observed that the whole thing is too big for us ... mankind ... like, why would your God create such a huge place, like it's ludicrous really and therefore the whole idea of a creator is silliness.  And someone else answered ... maybe it is scaled towards God-sized ... marvelous on a super-natural scale ... for the very reason of trumpeting His awesomeness on a billboard impossible to miss ... my words, someone else's observations. In another place in this book Lewis describes things as heavier (golden apples which a ghost, invited to stay and learn to partake of, instead strains to steal just the smallest one, he wants to take it back to earth.  I think Lewis wants to recall to us a garden and a stolen bite of an apple ... and I think he wanted to underline in my mind the idea that we still want to steal little bits of Heaven not for nourishment, but for our own mis-goded devices.  Here's a cool idea (and connected to the idea expressed in Four Loves ... nearness by inherent created likeness): 
"But what we called love down there was mostly the craving to be loved." "The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven." "... - something that would otherwise be too big for ye to see at all.  That thing is Freedom: The gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker and are yourselves parts of eternity."
... Freedom to choose ... and yet we tend to be "en-slaved" on our own choices.  We chose.
Henry Domke
On the scale, as in size or weight, Lewis helps me see the Fall ... a fall to tiny-ness (where we are yet significant to God ... amazing ... significantly insignificant) we are insubstantial and an important take away from this book for me is the walk/journey towards the high country of Heaven hurts our feet ... hurts our "us-ness" ... the magnificence of even the foothills is too much ... because of how we are ... and ... in the book helpers come along side of the souls helping with the journey, helping with the choices.  To reach towards God is hard.  It's just hard. You can step in to it at any moment, but ... it's gonna hurt tender wimpy feet ... until it doesn't. The very grass on the higher ground of it initially pierces one's feet.

 "Then do. At once.  Ask for the Bleeding Charity.  Everything is here for the asking and nothing can be bought."  

He seems to be referencing the thief at the crucifixion here ... also Charity  used in this quote as it was developed in FOUR LOVES.   

“I wish I had never been born," she said. "What are we born for?" "For infinite happiness," said the Spirit. "You can step out into it at any moment...”

“Good beats upon the damned incessantly as sound waves beat on the ears of the deaf, but they cannot receive it. Their fists are clenched, their teeth are clenched, their eyes fast shut. First they will not, in the end they cannot, open their hands for gifts, or their mouth for food, or their eyes to see.” 

“Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it, or else, for ever and ever, the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves.” 

“You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God.”

“There is but one good; that is God. 
Everything else is good

 when it looks to Him 
and bad when it turns from Him.” 

“I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in 'the High Countries'.”

“Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.” 

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened. ” 

Great book!  The working title was "Who Goes Home?" ... who would choose to get back on the bus and return to a world of Hell when Heaven is so compelling presented? Companion book to The Screwtape Letters.