East Of Eden
My palms from Sunday, twisted into a cross. Please note, I have no idea how to do this and just kept bending until I got this.
On Sunday at church, we read from Matthew 27. Verse 46 always breaks my heart:
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
(Image Source: Youtube)
Happy Palm Sunday! Today's song is Israel Haughton's "Hosanna". I hope you have a blessed Holy Week. Please remember to say a prayer for our Coptic Brothers and Sisters in Egypt.
(Google CC Image: link)
I was feeling pretty low on the general state of humanity yesterday, and rightfully so. Today's Scripture reading of Romans 8:22 shows just how deep our stinkiness sinks: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Yup, ALL of creation is in a perpetual state of labor because... us.
Now if you read the title of this post and got hopeful that I had ditched the Debbie Downer-flow I had yesterday and are reading with a sense of betrayal and dread and you're about to close the tab and head back to Facebook, hold up. Things are about to make a sharp ascent.
This Lent, I'm using Preparing for Easter as a devotional...
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
Ash Wednesday- actually the whole concept of Lent- jolts me. I grew up Holiness/Pentecostal, belonged to another such church during college, and then spent another five years as a member of a nondenominational Evangelical fellowship. So yeah, I always find myself shocked by the starkness of this day.
The verses read, including the one above, are blunt. We're going to die. All of us. And we, as in humanity, really stink. We are the worse. We oppress others, are selfish, and a quick skim...
"Paolo de Matteis - The Annunciation" by Paolo de Matteis (Wiki Commons)
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. For those unfamiliar, from Wikipedia:...
So I am totally being lazy in the Soren Kierkegaard class I'm taking. Assigned to read Plato's "Euthyphro", I haven't been able to read more than a few pages before having my brain scream "Nope" and start daydreaming of how cute K would look in a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.
My daddy passed away today a few minutes after one P.M. Defying expectations, he survived over two days off the respirator, which makes perfect sense knowing how big his heart was and how powerful those lungs, which powered a loud booming voice, were.
I want to thank everyone who's reached out to offer sympathy, prayers and condolences. It's truly appreciated. Please continue to keep us in your prayers....
We sat today, waiting. Waiting for my dad to die.
He was moved to hospice this week, and a little after 11 this morning, they shut off the respirator.
My grandmother, cousin Velvet, her husband Mike, cousin John, brother Joe, his wife Jenny, stepmom Kathy, her sister Monica, K, Z and I all sat vigil. Prayed, sang, talked and laughed. Streamed music through an iPad and sipped coffee and tea.
I was visited again today by Friend 2 from last week. Repeatedly throughout her visit, the conversation veered into some of the more difficult areas of life- illness, breakups and death. I kept responding to her frustrated statements with, "But I can't control that" and "I cannot make people do what they do not want to do". She would agree, only to turn right around and then go into complaints. Exasperated (and my voice going screechily high pitched), I finally declared, "Don't you get it? We aren't really in control of many things in life!"
I said control so many times I started to hear the Janet Jackson classic in my head.
A drawing of Soren Kierkegaard I did yesterday.
I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. My thoughts, during the day and night, are on my daddy, who's been on life support since last week. We- the family- know, but are still grappling with the reality that we are nearing the end.
Have you heard about Robert Durst? There's a lot- and that's an understatement- to tell about the stranger-than-fiction-yet-very-real man at the center of multiple murders. From The New York Times:
Jay-Z in "On the Run" (Radio Lab)
It's been a long, long day. Rainy, gray and layered thickly with foreboding. A real walking in "the valley of the shadow of death". I'm not being dramatic, it's just really been that kind of day.
This morning I began "Søren Kierkegaard - Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity", an online University of Copenhagen class offered through Coursera. It's totally free, so if you're a nerd, and cheap, like me, you can still register if you like. In the "About" descriptor:...
I snapped the picture above while out running errands this afternoon. I spotted what Zoe calls "The sad teddy bear on the ice" set out for trash. Filthy, wet and torn, I felt sad looking at it. Zoe had brought her stuffed Curious George along for the outing, and I couldn't help but compare the two. George, clean and dry in Zoe's arms, her favorite since Christmas, very much loved. I wondered if that bear was once some other little girl's beloved cuddly friend... now discarded.
I spoke to my good friend Kandi who lives overseas a few hours later via video call, catching up on family, career, and Zoe. She talked over the past decade of her life which has seen her move 12 (!) times, change jobs, live in two different...
William Powell (JP Laffont / Sygma / Corbis)
In Harper's there's an interesting story about William Powell, who in 1971 at age 19, "published The Anarchist Cookbook, a guide to making bombs and drugs at home. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print." (H/T: Micah Mattix)
Photo taken by K.
Psalm 19 is an utter masterpiece. C.S. Lewis said "I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world." It was part of my devotional reading this morning, and in a month of arctic temps, icy sleet and far too many gray skies, it was like a lovely bit of Spring.
The first few verses popped out at me (despite the fact I've read this chapter I don't know how many times in the past):...
"No longer shall I paint interiors, and people reading, and women knitting. I shall paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love—I shall paint a number of pictures of this kind. People will understand the sacredness of it, and will take off their hats as though they were in church. I shouldn't like to be without suffering. How much of my art I owe to suffering!"
-Edvard Munch (as quoted in George Heard Hamilton, Painting and Sculpture, 1880-1940, 1967 and Joy Schaverien, The revealing image: analytical art psychotherapy in theory and practice, 2009)
Another day, another stupid celebrity twitter tirade.
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