Saturday, July 23, 2011

An AutobiographyAn Autobiography by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fascinating look back at the long ago world of bathing machines (!), travel on the Orient Express, and the family and social life of this well-respected and prolific author. I enjoyed Agatha Christie's thoughts on the not necessarily valid societal admiration of people who keep busy, her unique view point on the changes concerning women's rights, her recognition of the freedoms of maturity, and various other social comments and observations.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

While rereading the saga of Job, I did some quick research into the character of his oft-maligned wife, and found many commentaries making reference to Job's unnamed wife as being used by Satan toward the downfall of Job, or at the least, being no help or support to her husband. But I also found the translation rendered "curse God and die" could also read "bless God and die", possibly being heartfelt advice to a beloved husband not admitting the depth of his trauma by thoughtlessly and perhaps dishonestly offering glib praise to God, thereby putting his integrity and possibly his life into grave danger. Like many Bible passages, much is left to the imagination.

Outside the house, much talking.
Men's voices raised, men's tears falling,
shouting and arm waving, wailing and calling,
arguing, praying, jumping up and walking,
wisdom of ages closely examined,
visions and dreams sought for clarification,
strong accusations and justification,
all in the face of sudden death, loss, and famine.
The women inside sit quietly weeping,
preparing the food for those still living,
a shoulder touched soothingly, hands busy giving,
friends kneading her bread, cleaning, and sweeping,
no words declaring a clear explanation,
sobs of distress into clean offered cloths,
meeting of teary eyes, comfort for loss,
shared pain in each breath, each sighed exhalation.
Blest be the LORD who giveth and taketh
In the LORD's hands the lives of all the LORD maketh.
-HJ, July 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Found while browsing the internet:

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen, and yet my leaves are green,
My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
I saw the world and yet I was not seen;
My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death and found it in my womb,
I looked for life and saw it was a shade,
I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made;
My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

-Chidiock Tichborne 1558-1586
(written on the even of his execution during the reign of Elizabeth I)

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am a blighted leaf.
At best, I could not stay for long
where sun and shade are gleaming.
If I was whole, and green with strength,
the root's life through me streaming,
had spent my time inhaling sun
to build up life around me,
I soon would dry and crumbled be,
return to humus readily,
having given it my all.
But I, I am a blighted leaf,
with doubts and dire infirmity
having somehow taken hold of me,
it stunts me and it binds me.
Yet here's the sun.
And I will let its gentle rays,
its burning rays,
shine through me as it finds me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ecclesiastes 11:10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—

Memory makes skin smooth again
Firms abdomen
Turns salt and pepper to jet black shiny hair
The solidness of him, the muscular strength and keen-eye piercing look of him
The ready smile when motion was easy.
No pain of hinge or heart yet crippled him,
His stride was long and rapid,
Tall and lean.
Could climb a yard pole just with hand and foot
To change the light bulb, and come, safe, laughing down.
If now i ran (could run) to you and jumped
Could you still catch me in your arms?

To keep in shape I walk theoretically
as I exercise my right to a comfortable couch.
I do laps, losing track of time,
on the circular argument of self-centered indulgence.
I try to pull my weight, but it just keeps pulling back,
and I surrender and lay down my tired arms,
giving up the battle for today,
hoping that tomorrow I will have become
the warrior triumphant in victory.
Yes, tomorrow I will surely rise to fight again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted CultureIntroverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. So many descriptions of the introvert personality traits were eye-openers for me. On page 44, the description of physiological brain differences between introverts and extroverts was astounding and validating. Having sometimes felt inferior because of a lot of these differences, it is a comfort to know that my 'slowness' in social situations is sometimes simply characteristic of the way my brain is wired. It also helps me be more tolerant of extrovert type of behavior.
P. 82: "Proper solitude leads to compassion and love for others." P. 84: "People of prayer become people of action." P. 149: "People will watch what we do before they listen to what we say."

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