Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer cont.

The summer is lovely.  We have had a lot of rain showers, now, and all the world looks like a paradise of green with flowers, leaves and growing vegetables, in my town.  In nearby areas, however, the harvest is already declared a disaster because of the delay of the rains...

We cycle and walk and check over our plants.  The zucchini has begun delivering the expected oversupply.

The grandbaby is in the third trimester.  God bless it, and its mom and dad. So things about his or her arrival are getting serious.  I finished the blanket I was working on and have decided the next blanket will be of a more simple design.  I am favoring the Old Shale stitch, for next time where counting is needed in only one of the four repeating rows.  It should knit up more quickly with a similar scalloping effect.

I finished several books and watched a few videos, mostly on Gnosticism and related heresies of old.  This really clears up some things but also confuses others.  The deeper you dig, the more into a hole you get.  Time to climb out of it, almost.  I feel  like first I want to write about what Luther has to say about the "devil" and what we meet in the marketplace of ideas, these days.

Yesterday, CBC news informed us that the Satanic statue was finally unveiled in an industrial area of Detroit.  --What an ugly thing it is.  It makes you wonder what would drive someone to go to this sort of imagery.  And the poor little children are worshiping this beast.  In any case, I can't see how this would increase Satanism's appeal.  The "Friendly Atheist" wrote about the poor Satanists and how they had to defend themselves against Christians to stage their event.  Everyone had to sign over their soul to the devil.  Seriously.  On paper.   At least, that kept the protesters away, was the reasoning.  OK.  Obviously, we will blame whom ever we will.  You might have thought that the Friendly Atheists is equally opposed to the statue.  But consistency is no longer considered logical or a virtue.  What a world we have come to live in.  These are the "reasonable" people.

I am finding that knitting is a great antidote to all this stress.  More people should get into it.  It could solve a lot of problems.  Knitting and singing.

See the Old Shale:  Knit a row, purl a row, counting row, knit a row.  /  The counting row is:  knit two together three times, yarn over, knit one, six times, knit two together three times.  (In the flat not round.)

Isn't it the perfect blanket stitch for a baby blanket?  I met a little baby boy who had one, the other day.  His name is Axel.  His blanket was in blue tones.

Old Shale Stitch

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Classical Virtues, Religion, Socrates


The thing about the Christian and conciliatory spirit is, however, that it emerges from the gospel of mercy for a sinner like me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Days / Grief and Reason

Last night was wild.  We had a party, for one thing, a baby shower, in the evening, people crowded into a little house, food, drink, babies, husbands, all together.

Just after bedtime, we had a thunderstorm sending some metal flying in the neighborhood.  The rain was strong.  I thought about my most solid memories of thunderstorms:  being afraid of fires in childhood, some incredible ones while visiting Frankfurt area, the lightening over the Alps, in the evening.  Then I couldn't sleep.

So, I finished Brodsky's book of essays on "Grief and Reason" --by around 3:00 AM.  It was not putting me to sleep, as I had hoped it would.

I like the essay format.  You can read a bit and be done with a section--the same as with a short story.  Closure.  Done for today.  Satisfaction.  Lay the book aside.

But in the middle of the night, I read the discourse on Rainer Maria Rilke's "Orpheus.  Eurydice. Hermes".  Rainer Maria Rilke always sticks in my mind for having "Maria" as middle name.  In any case, it went on for quite some time.  Eurydice dissolves in the end which sounds a bit like Buddhist extinction.  It seems not so very comforting, though Brodsky thought it was a nice ending.

Then, I read the "Letter to Horace".  It seemed a little coarse; no doubt, the whole thing is an extended metaphor about time and space and Pax Romana, and Brosky's favorite things.

After that I read the last essay in the book:  "In Memory of Stephen Spender".  (I had never heard of Stephen Spender.)

After all that, I was just agitated.  Poetry does that to me.  It is like a slap up the side of the head, to put it bluntly.  It tends to hit you out of nowhere.  Some call that the revelation.  By the end of it I wowed to leave all poetry and philosophy behind, never to touch any of it again...

I have sympathy for Brodsky, and I translated a poem of his from the German, illegally.  When someone complains about it, I will take it down.  It is a very good and lovely poem, deep, and earthy, and spiritual.  He had a tough life.  He was exiled and his Jewishness did not seem to extend to the religious.

Maybe, I'm just really tired, today, but it seems to me that poets are very male.  They write from their own perspective and feeling and must share with the world--or burst.  But.  It's only half the story. They think they sail above the fray, but they don't know their limitations.  If we told them, they would just tell us to write our own poems.  I suppose we could or should.

There is so much feeling but the woman stays one-dimensional. She may be adored, desired, even comforted, but who is she?  At least Solomon's book gives two perspectives.

Twice I was up, once for cheese and once for milk.  After the milk, I could sleep.

Image result for song of solomon

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Days: Hot and Lots of Fires

We are having a really hot summer, and I can't say that I like it overly much.  It does make me wilt as we refuse to get air conditioning for the few hot days of the year.  Canada also seems to be on fire, literally.  There has hardly been any rain, so that forest fires have become a huge issue.  Makes you want to stay at home.  Actually, getting to a lake would be wonderful, but no such luck...

I read today that Putin met Modi and told him that he would like to try Yoga some day.  This comes on the heels of the international Yoga day, on which we could see picture of the Prime Minister of India performing his Yoga poses.  They said that Yoga was India's gift to the world.

Too funny, though about Modi and Putin talking about it.  Personally, I have blogged about Yoga several times.  It is a border issue.  For some Christians there is a strong association with yogis and gurus and Hindu doctrine, reincarnation, works-righteousness and what all not else.  This could be very valid for some.  For me, as I live in a suburb type situation with no real yogis and gurus around and the local yoga teacher being a committed Roman Catholic, I don't worry about that Hinduism aspect much, as no one has pushed it.  Generally, I feel Christians could benefit from more physical exercise, as the whole society is sliding into obesity, no longer living on the farm, but always commuting by car and sitting in front of computers.

Lately, we have started walking much more with the help of the Fitbit and a Fitbit friend I have.  My husband has been walking with me, and we realized that we have been biking because it is easier than walking.  With walking you get hot and your feet hurt, and so on.  But walking utilizes different kinds of muscles and maybe it really must be the foundational exercise.  Walk lots, do your stretches and then add in the rest.  Anybody want to be my Fitbit friend, let me know.

About Yoga, also, it is a good poor person's exercise, as you don't have to get to the gymn or need any equipment.  As such, it is very frugal and portable.  In addition, it is good for hot weather, as you don't have to bounce around all over the place.  Some people even insist on doing "hot yoga", performing the exercise in a hot room.  I think I'll skip that particular version.


Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ufa, Russia, July 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS