Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dearest Friend


The book I am
reading :
Letters of John and
Abigail Adams.

He was Lysander. She was Portia.
She wrote him : My Dearest Friend.
He wrote her: Miss Adorable.

I adore a book of letters. I adore
autobiographies. We are studying
American History, so when Emma
( who is reading a biography of
Abigail ) said "Abigail loved Shakespeare"
I could show her Abigail's letters that
had some lines from plays and of
course, Portia from A Merchant in
Venice. Today when I asked her who
Abigail loved, Emma said John!!!!

He wrote her at times about the
education of their children while
he was away at the Continental Congress.
Here is when his son John was 10.

" Tell Mr. John ....that the moral
Sentiments of his Heart, are more
important than the Furniture of his Head.
Let him be sure that he possesses the
great Virtues of Temperance, Justice,
Magnanitmity, Honour and Generosity,
and with this , added to his Parts he
cannot fail to become a wise and great

" Does he read the Newspapers? The
Events of this War, should not pass
unobserved by him at his years.
As he reads History , you should ask
him, what Events of this War, strike
him most? What Characters he esteems
and admires? Which he hates and abhors?
Which he despises?

No doubt he makes some observations,
young as he is.
Treachery, Perfidy, Cruelty, Hypocrisy,
Avarice,&c &c should be pointed out
to him for his , Contempt as well as
Detestations. "

June 27,1777 , Philadelphia

Monday, November 29, 2010

Be Still

Sit and be still
until in the time
of no rain you hear
beneath the dry wind's
commotion in the trees
the sound of flowing
water among the rocks,
a stream unheard before,
and you are where
breathing is prayer.
Sabbath 2001, Wendell

Painting by Carl Larsson

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday that is not black

Not much shopping done by those
in this house on this Friday after
Thanksgiving. We seem to like to
hang out together and eat and read
and watch movies and eat! I am so
thankful for my sister and brother
who came ~~ we are the bottom 3
out of 8 children. This was the first
time since our Mom passed away
six years ago that we have had Thanks-
giving together. AND there they were:
Scripture written on a folded card the
size of a placecard. They were from
a Thanksgiving at my mother's or sister's
house years ago. Memories flooded back.

I'm thankful for this legacy: Scriptures
of thankfulness read by those who were
tiny babes when they were written.
I'm thankful for prayers of our parents
and grandparents. I'm certain of God's
faithfulness to us through those prayers.

"God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday before Thanksgiving

Potato Planters 1861

Definitely mean the word THANKFUL
and the word FOOD.
Don't you want to pause and
write down what you are thankful
for in a journal for the grand and great
grandchildren to read in
your handwriting!

We are preparing for a small
crowd of my side of the family
coming here on Thursday.
It will be fun.
Small means 17 people. That
is only 2 of my siblings and their
families ( except one wife, a nurse,
who will be in Op. Room working,
bless her if you need her in the
city she lives in)

What are you making that is a

Thinking about what we will sing
as we start the feast:
Celtic Women singing "We gather
together to ask the Lord's blessing..."

Jean-François Millet was born Oct. 4, 1814. His rural paintings are mostly naturalistic depictions of hard-working peasants. However, his Angelus (c. 1857) has a more overt mystical quality to it… Salvador Dali was fascinated by Millet’s canvas, writing an analysis of it and palimpsesting it in his 1933-5 canvas Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus (located in St. Petersburg, Florida):

paintings by Millet

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Makoto: 4 Holy Gospels

This is what I want for

Read more here.

Reading and Writing: "Q "


Arthur Quiller-Couch, but do not
pronounce it like a sofa!
~~ just call him Q.

“You are indeed the heirs of a remarkable legacy--a legacy that has passed into your hands after no little tumult and travail; a legacy that is the happy result of sacrificial human relations, no less than of stupendous human achievements; a legacy that demands of you a lifetime of vigilance and diligence so that you may in turn pass the fruits of Christian civilization on to succeeding generations. This is the essence of the biblical view, the covenantal view, and the classical view of education. This is the great legacy of truth which you are now the chief beneficiaries.”

Two books that he wrote on the
ART of Reading and the ART of
Writing that were lectures at
Cambridge in the early 1900's.
Both are online and worth doing
both: reading alongside with a
pen and a journal.


The first promise is, that What Is, being the spiritual element in man, is the highest object of his study. 33
The second promise is that, nine-tenths of what is worthy to be called Literature being concerned with this spiritual element, for that it should be studied, from firstly up to ninthly, before anything else. 34
And my two quotations are for you to ponder: 35
(1) This, first:

That all spirit is mutually attractive, as all matter is mutually attractive, is an ultimate fact beyond which we cannot go…. Spirit to spirit—as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
(2) And this other, from the writings of an obscure Welsh clergyman of the 17th century:

You will never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars


Perspicuity.—I shall waste no words on the need of this: since the first aim of speech is to be understood. The more clearly you write the more easily and surely you will be understood. I propose to demonstrate to you further, in a minute or so, that the more clearly you write the more clearly you will understand yourself. But a sufficient reason has been given in ten words why you should desire perspicuity.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading and Writing: Wendell Berry

“What I have learned as a farmer I have learned also as a writer, and vice versa. I have farmed as a writer and written as a farmer.”

"Real reading, of course, is a kind of work. But it’s lovely work. To read well, you have to respond actively to what the writer’s saying. You can’t just lie there on the couch and let it pour over you. You may have to read with a pencil in hand and underline passages and write notes in the margins. The poet John Milton understood that the best readers are rare. He prayed to his muse that he might a “fit audience find, though few.”

"It’s awfully hard to have an idea that somebody else hasn’t already had, you know. The French writer André Gide worried that he wasn’t original enough, and then he finally consoled himself by realizing that the same things need to be said over and over again, because the times change, and the context shifts, and the language changes, and ideas need to be expressed again in new ways, to be submitted anew to the test of sentences. But I don’t have much gift for abstract ideas. I’m usually moved to write by practical problems that I’m interested in.

Read Ann Kroeker on the most recent Wendell Berry: last wee

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reading and Writing : Amy Carmichael

Thou shalt have words
But at this cost, that thou must first be burnt ...
Not otherwise, and by no lighter touch,
Are fire-words wrought.

from Walker of Tinnevelly
(one of those flip the page of the
old book site!)
by Amy Carmichael
( full poem here)

Stuart Blanch, Archbishop of York

wrote in Learning of God about
Amy Carmichael's reading
that influenced her writing:

"She found a strange and surprising affinity with those writers who — so it would seem — floated inconsequentially into her orbit. In her there was, as it were, a cry of recognition: "It is the Lord!" ... It was by a miraculous alchemy that all these seemingly varied experiences of the living God combined in the hidden life of a largely unknown woman, confined to her room in a distant dependency of the British Empire

Frank L. Houghton's Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur quotes Amy in a letter to a friend :

"I feel like offering a slab of chocolate to anyone who will tell me of a superfluous word, i.e. a word that has no work to do." The effort of editing, revising, cutting everything "superfluous" lies at the heart of all really good writing.

From Gold Cord:The Story of a Fellowship:

"It is the eternal in books that makes them our friends and teachers — the paragraphs, the verses, that grip memory and ring down the years like bells, or call like bugles, or sound like trumpets; words of vision that open to us undying things and fix our eyes on them."

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Start of the week before Thanksgiving


The Shipbuilder and his Wife, Rembrandt

They are doing their work.
It takes two of them.

Last week was full of work
that included lots of people.
I am thankful for how I am
energized by the relationships
today. God can fill us with rich
food that way. Sometimes I
become needful of isolation and
quiet but today I am ready to
start again.

~I'm thankful for the two gals I
teach with! Truly a blessing!
~I'm thankful for Nancy who
skyped into a workshop morning
on Saturday. I was in awe at
~The head of this conference came
to give the workshop . I'm thankful
for his calling.
~ Book Club was extraordinary with
a banquet table before us for an
evening discussion of The Prodigal
God by Tim Keller.
~ A young man from New College
came to our class to tell us
about this new college and sat around
the table with 16 students eating pizza!
~ A homeschool meeting of Middle-High
School moms on poetry! That subject
always stirs my heart and mind and
even my soul. I'm thankful for the
faithful women educating their children.
They are passionate and determined!
~And my dear husband went to the
Big Apple for a business trip. Then was
fun to hear from him. He's now texting
all on one trip!Never really did much
before with this " way to
communicate" technology!

I love Rembrandt's light.
Shadows are there from the
daytime light from the window. His
light always blesses those who it falls upon.
That is how my week was.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Prodigal God ...Keller

Book Club tomorrow night
on this book, a reread and a
good reread :


I just did a picture study with my
sibling Poetry class ( Robert Frost now)
on Rembrandt's painting. Makes me
think of Henri Nouwen's wonderful
book with the
painting on the front:


Monday, November 8, 2010

Seeing the best at the Frist

It is an extraordinary collection
in Nashville from the Musee
D'Orsay. Beats a trip to Paris
but wouldn't that be lov-e-ly!
We spent last friday at the
exhibit to see Degas, Monet,
Manet, Bouguereau, Whistler's
portrait of his mother, Renoir,
Pissaro, Cezanne,......it is worth
a trip!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Letter by Makoto Fujimura

Letter to a Young Artist.
Extraordinary letter
A.....Read here.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Squeezing in a Hello

This week is one of those weeks
that is full and could overflow,
but God knows all of that and more.
So I will talk to him and see the whispers
of His Power.

Glorious , joyful time in Franklin
at the Film Conference. The blessing
is always people! I saw a friend who
I taught with. I saw Linda and
Jeannette along with some others
from Charlotte who have migrated
WEST! Of course, the guy in the bow
and others who led a nourishing
film conference. More on that soon.
Emma is singing tonight at a homeless
shelter, tomorrow at a church lunch,
and friday before Chanticleer.
Full. Joyful. Abundant life.