Wednesday, February 27, 2013

He forgot SUNSETS!

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Two days ago I clicked okay on a facebook "friend" request. He was someone I didn't know, but I thought, perhaps he knows me - parts of our lives are a bit public. Is that the polite thing to do? Some of my "friends" are very careful. I am less so. They do not "friend" anyone they don't actually know, some have blocked "friends" and even left facebook because of "friends." Yesterday, "Dave .J. Mills!" aka old-lady-predator? sent me a message. I've since blocked him, deleted him, reported him, and shot him to outer space. 

I suppose this has happened plenty to you? This is my first. I'm a little naive. However, it struck me as so ridiculous it was funny.  There is only one thing I admire about him as an English-is-not-my-first-language person - he must have used spell-check. Not a single spelling error! "LOLL."

On this blog I have said my purpose is finding in life the sacred, the ordinary and the funny. This, to me, is a funny. So here: for you.  

Hello Pretty,
How you doing, nice profile you've got there and a beautiful person, one thing I know for sure about the beauty is that ; beauty is skin deep not all about the physical appearance and what I've read on your profile you're a very beautiful woman in all ways, well I think I better introduce myself before getting talks out, LOLL. I'm Dave .J. Mills! ,in my profession i am a sale personnel, i am new to dating online I just thought I'd give it a try and I hope it works out for, I've seen a lot of testimony that really encouraged me but I think starting up friendship is a good idea. I'm seeking for a trust and honest woman, I want a woman that I can trust without question and who can trust me the same. I am a confident, articulate, educated, successful professional that is seeking the exceptional partner. Athletic, Adventurous, and Romantic individual that enjoys walking out, music, movies, laughter, dining out. I have not found that yet, but I am eternally hopeful. i am a very easy going person, a very emotional man, who likes swimming, music, camping, shopping, and lot of funs, i want to be loved and treated right, its really hard to find true love and serious relationship, just want to give it a try, and see where this end but i believe it gonna end in a good ..way. am.. some one who is very concern and open minded man love to kiss my woman deeply and make her happy i bet with the good scene of humor with me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rembrandt's Dog

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Our book group recently read Stealing Rembrandts – an entire book tracing lost and stolen works by Rembrandt. One of the etchings that was missing for years and then turned up was The Good Samaritan. (1633)

We own the Time/Life Library of Art Series. One of the volumes is The World of Rembrandt 1606 – 1609 where I found a copy of this etching.

What drew me first was the topic: Prodigal Son. How could he portray this subject that has so exhaustively, and sometimes dead boringly, explored by generations of artists and Christians? I was curious to see whether it could speak to me.
I first noticed that the figures were ordinary in stature –  thick-fleshed and lumpish. They were working-class folks. Rather like the people I come from – hard-working Norwegians and Swedes – our bodies made to plow and milk cows. During Rembrandt’s time it was customary, in fact, considered proper, perhaps mandatory, to depict the human body as idealized – the classical Greek-look. Muscular, lean, tall, perfect, god-like. (Today, advertisements daily remind us of the 21st century impossible classic: long, thin, lean, corded thighs and six-packs.)
So his viewers must have been a little uncomfortable looking at themselves, ordinary as they were, as we all are.

What captured my imagination (if you allow me) was the mangy dog in the foreground of the etching. A defecating dog. It is impolite to look at such things, much less write about them, and yet he forces us to look because it is a right up-close, in-your-face focal point. What could he mean by including what seems disgusting to us?

Then I read the following explanation:
Rembrandt’s point – which seems not to have been recognized until Goethe took note of it in an essay almost two centuries later – is that true Christianity is active, not passive. It is all very well for the Samaritan to help the wayfarer; in fact, it is his duty. But if the Creator chose to put into the world people whose bodies fall short of the Greek ideal, man is not to quarrel with this or be revolted by it. Further, if the Creator also saw fit to give life to ugly dogs who are under the same necessity of relieving themselves as a Prince of Orange, man cannot quarrel with that, either. A Christian must have reverence for all life, even if aspects of it occasionally disgust him. This seems to be Rembrandt’s understanding of Scripture.  (p. 66)

I cannot argue with this. In fact, I like etching the more because of it and would like the Truth of this to be “active, not passive” in my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Pessimist's Daily Calendar

This  past Christmas I gave Denis The Pessimist Daily Calendar an almanac of gloom and woe, thinking it might cheer him up each day. Today he shared this nod toward improving my vocabulary.

Wednesday, February 13
Banausic (adj.)
Uninspired, ordinary, or utilitarian, rather than being imaginative.

After rereading the poems, I had to admit that she was right – they were embarrassingly banausic and trite. I still think it was kind of a harsh thing for my first-grade teacher to tell me, though.

My Puppy Pete
My puppy Pete is my very best friend
And he’ll stay that way ‘til the bitter end-
Which Mommy said is coming soon,
“His train to Heaven leaves Friday at noon.”


Thursday, February 14
“I lied about Pete, son. We put him to sleep because he peed on my fur. So don’t write any more awful poems about him. Yes, I lied about Dog Heaven, too.”
            - My Mom, That Saturday

Jamaica, my long-gone (in Dog Heaven, I hope) all-time, puppy fave.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Hope someone who loves you brings you a new puppy or if not, then chocolates and a warm hug. Hey, I’d take chocolate from someone who doesn’t love me.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February Blues

We waited weeks for six days last October when we could spend time at a quiet place on the north shore of Lake Superior. Finding time to rest, taking time to come apart for renewal and refreshment has been one of my long-winded topics. I tire of too much muchness. I don’t think it is just me, I suspect many of us suffer want in this area. Sometimes we need to be way away.

Back of Morning Light
We have been at this place before and I long for it. Long to be away from the busyness of my life. Selfishly, in the days preceding, I hold my breath and pray that no one will die, forcing me to cancel plans. We arrived at “Morning Light” late in the day and turned down the track that winds through birch and bracken, scattered black spruce and fir, tawny grasses growing thigh-high right up to the car doors and up to the back of the simple cabin which is all dark and closed. The air is filled with the resinous scent of pines and poplar trees that have dropped their leaves in drifts. Only one small window shows on the second floor, but when you walk through the back door, through the darkened entry hall, it opens to a view of the entire horizon from east to west. Light floods from skylights and the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows across the front. Even gray days cannot staunch the light.

Morning is breaking
The first morning, as I woke, from our bed I could see a faint, faint line of light on the other side of the world and quietly moved to a living room chair with a cup of hot tea to wait for dawn. The morning stars were still visible. How to describe this, this pre-historic daily show with colors that flare and spread? If you name them they sound commercial. Artificial. Yet they pre-date the earth. God-made lemon-yellows and melons began pushing against the dark-violet sky. They stain and slowly creep up the sky like water-color paint seeping across paper. Then, suddenly fire appears – the bright oranges and reds of a blast furnace burns under the line until the round globe of sun springs above it. It’s rays blaze my retinas. I close my eyes and still see it clearly. Now it touches my face and how is it that it does not burn but only comforts?
 
Lake Superior is cold and empty. This is its appeal. Nothing. Nothing. No boats, no yachts, no humans, only an eagle drifting and a few low-flying ducks pumping past inches above the waves. Sky and water framed by a tortured spruce and the shoreline of boulders and rock cliffs. No distractions, just the endless rollers, breaking, breaking, breaking. My mind and heart feel scrubbed. Scoured. Cleansed.
Warmed by the sun
video
 
That night a storm blew in and the next morning I couldn’t see beyond the white foam of the first breakers. The wind blew and rain beat against the windows. God, tracking me through storms. I could stay here forever. I think.