Thursday, July 28, 2011

to the coast

Going to the beach.

Be back in August!

I'll be doing what the girl
in the painting is doing.

John Stott

A great man of the faith
passed away yesterday:
John Stott.
April 27, 1921 - July 27, 2011

He leaves a legacy for us.

One of my favorite books he
wrote was on Birdwatching.

The Birds Our Teachers: Biblical Lessons from a Lifelong Bird Watcher

I had read his most recent book and I
think his last after hip surgery a year
ago. It is one to reread.

Good article written 7 years ago that
Tim Keller has on his twitter:

There's been a lot of twaddle written recently about the supposed opposition between faith and reason. To read Stott is to see someone practicing "thoughtful allegiance" to scripture. For him, Christianity means probing the mysteries of Christ. He is always exploring paradoxes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Post Office

Have you
ever laughed
in the P0st
Office at
Well, today
an older man

was buying stamps
for his sister:
" I send her stamps because
she will spend that dollar
I use to send her for her birthday. She can't hold on to
one dollar.
She called me once to ask me for money and
I told her to
go over to that gambling place and ask for
her money back!"

Then as I was getting my stamps, another lady was
telling the same PO worker her woes! My PO worker said
that guy could be a psychiatrist!

As we walked out,
Emma said " Just like in Candleford!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a painting does

CM on Picture Study:

“We cannot measure the influence that one artist or another has on the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sight of life..."

Monet Painting in His Garden
at Argenteuil

Galileo by Mitch Stokes

Mitch Stokes always starts his books well. He starts
with a story. For Galileo, it is that he is known by
his first name. Italians gave one honor this way.
Galileo's last name is just like his first: Galilei.
Did you know he was a doctor?
Did you know monks taught him?
He lived in a historic time of invention, poets,
artists in Florence. I thought he only discovered
the telescope but he did so much more. He
discovers the pendulum clock, calculates the
geometry of Dante's Inferno, is visited by John
Milton.( so was there a connection between Paradise
Lost and a Copernicusor Aristotelian universe?
That is something to think upon that we don't

This is an excellent book for high school readers
upward. Good for biography, mathematician,
scientist, man of faith. One man gives his talents
to what he is called to:
" He would apply mathematics to the real world and
replace the wordy fumblings of philosophers
with true knowledge."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lots of patterns at PURLS

Store is in Soho,NYC
and the online blog
is in your home. Times
have changed , haven't they!
Great ideas for
handwork for your kids
and for you:

The Purl Bee
makes linen towels.
Look into the site for
knitting, crochet and
sewing projects.


Clifton Suspension Bridge over Avon Gorge , North Somerset, England
Notice nothing holds it but the two points on land.

Planning School for 2010-2012.
Sometimes it feels like that bridge!

Just give me Living Books for all subjects,
including math!

Principles on which to select School-Books

I venture to propose one or two principles in the matter of school-books, and shall leave the far more difficult part, the application of those principles, to the reader. For example, I think we owe it to children to let them dig their knowledge, of whatever subject, for themselves out of the fit book; and this is for two reasons: What a child digs for is his own possession; what is poured into his ear, like the idle song of a pleasant singer, floats out as lightly as it came in, and is rarely assimilated. I do not mean to say that the lecture and the oral lesson are without their uses; but these uses are, to give impulse and to order knowledge; and not to convey knowledge, or to afford us that part of our education which comes of fit knowledge, fitly given.

Again, as I have already said, ideas must reach us directly from the mind of the thinker, and it is chiefly by means of the books they have written that we get into touch with the best minds. (page 177)

Volume 3: School Education. Chapter 16 (XVI)

"As I have said, knowledge, that is, roughly, ideas clothed upon with facts, is
the proper pabulum for mind. This food a child requires in large quantities and
in great variety. The wide syllabus I have in view is intended in every point to
meet some particular demand of the mind."
Charlotte Mason: A Philosophy of Education

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Keller sermon

Preaching Hell in a Tolerant Age

Understanding Sin

Timothy Keller

( have to download it and read it)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strong Word


strength power, ability
  1. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
  2. power for performing miracles
  3. moral power and excellence of soul
  4. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
  5. power and resources arising from numbers
  6. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, host

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back from the Library

I have been waiting for a few of these
to come on my HOLDS ~~ smiling!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Poetry lines that sink in to prayers

Song of the Angels, William Adolphe Bouguereau

I find myself praying some
lines of poems. The metaphors
go deep. Deep calls to deep.

Rilke's whole poem :

Ah, as we prayed for human help: angels soundlessly,
with single strides, climbed over
our prostrate hearts

And then thinking upon
the morning:

" The morning air is all awash
with angels."

I quote them in conversations
so if you talk to me anytime soon,
a line from the poems may come out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"High Subjects"

Emily Dickinson wrote this poem of
High Subjects

We never know how high we are
Till we are asked to rise
And then if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies—

The Heroism we recite
Would be a normal thing
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a King—

Richard Wilbur, Poet Laureate in 1987,
has this to say about his best poem, Lying. He explains
this poem here and it is an echo of Milton's Paradise
Lost. 4 minutes into the mind of a poet

What I’m sure of is that a high subject, unless perhaps one is writing a hymn, should not be approached with remorseless nobility, and this poem has its comic elements, as many of mine do. Comedy is serious; it is the voice of balance; and its presence in a serious poem is a test and earnest of its earnestness.

by Richard Wilbur
( Read here by the poet)

To claim, at a dead party, to have spotted a grackle,
When in fact you haven’t of late, can do no harm.
Your reputation for saying things of interest
Will not be marred, if you hasten to other topics,
Nor will the delicate web of human trust
Be ruptured by that airy fabrication.
Later, however, talking with toxic zest
Of golf, or taxes, or the rest of it
Where the beaked ladle plies the chuckling ice,
You may enjoy a chill of severance, hearing
Above your head the shrug of unreal wings.
Not that the world is tiresome in itself:
We know what boredom is: it is a dull
Impatience or a fierce velleity,
A champing wish, stalled by our lassitude
To make or do. In the strict sense, of course,
We invent nothing, merely bearing witness
To what each morning brings again to light:
Gold crosses, cornices, astonishment
Of panes, the turbine-vent which natural law
Spins on the grill-end of the diner’s roof,
Then grass and grackles or, at the end of town
In sheen-swept pastureland, the horse’s neck
Clothed with its usual thunder, and the stones
Beginning now to tug their shadows in
And track the air with glitter. All these things
Are there before us; there before we look
Or fail to look; there to be seen or not
By us, as by the bee’s twelve thousand eyes,
According to our means and purposes.
So too with strangeness not to be ignored,
Total eclipse or snow upon the rose,
And so with that more rare conception, nothing.
What is it, after all, but something missed?
It is the water of a dried-up well
Gone to assail the cliffs of Labrador.
There is what galled the arch-negator, sprung
From Hell to probe with intellectual sight
The cells and heavens of a given world
Which he could take but as another prison:
Small wonder that, pretending not to be,
He drifted through the bar-like boles of Eden
In a black mist low creeping, dragging down
And darkening with moody self-absorption
What, when he left it, lifted and, if seen
From the sun’s vantage, seethed with vaulting hues.
Closer to making than the deftest fraud
Is seeing how the catbird’s tail was made
To counterpoise, on the mock-orange spray,
Its light, up-tilted spine; or, lighter still,
How the shucked tunic of an onion, brushed
To one side on a backlit chopping-board
And rocked by trifling currents, prints and prints
Its bright, ribbed shadow like a flapping sail.
Odd that a thing is most itself when likened:
The eye mists over, basil hints of clove,
The river glazes toward the dam and spills
To the drubbed rocks below its crashing cullet,
And in the barnyard near the sawdust-pile
Some great thing is tormented. Either it is
A tarp torn loose and in the groaning wind
Now puffed, now flattened, or a hip-shot beast
Which tries again, and once again, to rise.
What, though for pain there is no other word,
Finds pleasure in the cruellest simile?
It is something in us like the catbird’s song
From neighbor bushes in the grey of morning
That, harsh or sweet, and of its own accord,
Proclaims its many kin. It is a chant
Of the first springs, and it is tributary
To the great lies told with the eyes half-shut
That have the truth in view: the tale of Chiron
Who, with sage head, wild heart, and planted hoof
Instructed brute Achilles in the lyre,
Or of the garden where we first mislaid
Simplicity of wish and will, forgetting
Out of what cognate splendor all things came
To take their scattering names; and nonetheless
That matter of a baggage-train surprised
By a few Gascons in the Pyrenees—
Which having worked three centuries and more
In the dark caves of France, poured out at last
The blood of Roland, who to Charles his king
And to the dove that hatched the dovetailed world
Was faithful unto death, and shamed the Devil.

Living Poet: Richard Wilbur

How could I miss such a
good poet?! I sat in a workshop
last week hearing about this
wonderful wordsmith!

Here is Dana Goia with a bio
of Richard Wilbur.
He was friends with Robert
Frost. Aha..... doesn't that make
you want to hear their conversations!

Poetry is always to be read out loud.
Listen to the poet in this very
dear poem: A Wedding Toast.

About his wife as she is a reader
and a rereader: The Reader.
You as readers will know the truth
of living books and what they do
to enchant.

About waking up and it will make
you smile: Love Calls Us to the Things
of This World.

Melissa , this is for you!

The title "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World' is taken from St. Augustine. "Plato, St. Teresa, and the rest of us in our degree," says Wilbur, "have known that it is painful to return to the cave, to the earth, to the quotidian; Augustine says it is love that brings us back."

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
Richard Wilbur

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks

From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every bless├Ęd day,
And cries,
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”

Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,
“Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Catching up on blogs

Do read Lanier's Books
for her summer reading

Charlotte Mason warned wisely and famously against ‘twaddle’, and I consider it my duty, as writer and bookseller, never to misguide anyone along that line. But permit me to highlight a few volumes and authors which, if not particularly freighted with great moral themes and deathless prose, will at the least prove gentle companions for a slower, lazier time of year. Perfect for reading in a hammock, or tucked in a cool windowseat…

Getting Ready for the Sabbath

Back from out of town
this week . We drove over
the mountains into cool
weather. As we got closer
to home ~~ everything looked
comforting. Home.

Rest. Praise tomorrow!

Emma turns 14 tomorrow.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Artist Retreat .....

I read poetry, even out loud.
I found this wonderful prayerful
poem in Uncollected Poems:
Ranier Marie Rilke. I imagine
Fra Angelico's angels doing this:

Ah, as we prayed for human help: angels soundlessly, with single strides, climbed over our prostrate hearts.

Two artists show in galleries:
Imagining Spring


Another friend paints and plays the cello
and LOVES Rilke. She is the glue for me
with the others. They know each other
from Chapel Hill ~~ we gave each other words
to encourage and inspire. Words from
our distant lives that intersected up
on the lake.

Much needed timelessness.

Now heading up to Jan Karon's Blowing Rock
for our 33rd anniversary tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer settles in

Makoto Fujimura spoke of
"being generative" at Enounters
in March in NYC. So an invitation
came from a new friend who I roomed
with to come for an Artist Retreat up
at the lake.

Heading out with Van Gogh's Letters,
handwork, a new journal and pens and
stationary, and food ! Overnight with
sisters who create. Ideas begetting ideas.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

from the library

The cover stood out from the library shelf.
Isn't it beautiful! Isn't the title!
I don't have an Italian grandmother,
but I wanted to learn from them.
Sit in their kitchens. Hear their voices.
Taste the food!
I opened it upon getting
home from Sat. Farmer's Mkt
and Sat. errands.
There on the first page was a quote from
Laurie Colwin. Her cookbooks are wonderful
to read. I felt like I opened it to a friend speaking.
Jessica Theroux writes so beautiful of simple
generational cultural traditions that are
handed down by those in the kitchen to the table.
Recipes. Cooking. Read the
beginning here.

A cookbook to simmer with!

Finished Island of the World last night.
One of the best books I've read in a very long time.
One I will read again ~~ that means 839 pages.

" Christ, he had learned, always drew his followers
into deep waters, even, at certain points, to the brink
of literal drowning, for this immersion was the
beginning of wisdom. It pulled the soul from the
mere horizontal perspective into the vertical,
the cosmic one, which is so much higher than
it is broad. "