Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
When I think about the situation of the world, the complete darkness over our personal fate, and my present imprisonment, then I believe that our union can only be a sign of God’s grace and kindness, which calls us to faith…. Jeremiah says at the moment of his people’s great need “still one shall buy houses and acres in this land" as a sign of trust in the future. This is where faith belongs. May God give it to us daily. And I do not mean the faith which flees the world, but the one that endures the world and which loves and remains true to the world in spite of all the suffering which it contains for us. Our marriage shall be a yes to God’s earth; it shall strengthen our courage to act and accomplish something on the earth.
Bonhoeffer’s last words to a fellow inmate, upon being led away to the place of execution, were, “This is the end, for me, the beginning of life.”
Sunday, March 30, 2014
|Olive Nelson Nasby|
Would you tangle with this woman?
*I am aware of important recent reports about the dangers of too much sugar; Caryl and I have changed our habits somewhat, and try to help our grandkids with theirs. But this isn't a story about nutrition. (Although I should point out that the same studies have restored to some degree the reputation of cream!)
Friday, February 21, 2014
We joined the weltering mass,
Clamoring over their outfits,
waiting to climb the pass.
We tightened our girths and our pack-straps;
we linked on the Human Chain,
Struggling up to the summit,
where every step was a pain.
~The Trail of 'Ninety-Eight ,
by Robert Service, "The Poet of the Yukon"
|Up the Chilkoot Pass, Winter, 1898|
Looking back, my memory produces dozens of Chilkoot vignettes. (I just might share many of them with you, dear reader.) Here’s one:
Now the trail, already rugged, became… really rugged, and an uphill trudge (in the rain). We ascended quite steeply, and suddenly, on the third day out, the rain turned to white-out snow. We were at the base of the famous Chilkoot Pass. This is the one illustrated by the iconic black-and-white photo of the long line of single-file gold-rushers trudging steeply upward through the snow. We were there in August, so, instead of snow-pack, we looked up—through a white haze—
|Chilkoot Pass, Summer, today|
|One of many glacial streams on the trail|
|The salvific North Face Polar Fleece pants|
My memory is fuzzy here (I recall that Beret was near tears with concern for her mother), but the situation was well-in-hand enough that I sent the rest of the party (with leaders) on ahead and said that Caryl and I would bring up the rear. We probably did this so that Caryl could get out of her wet clothes. In my backpack I had a pair of North Face Polar Fleece pants (then a fairly recent invention). She put these on, along with a dry sweatshirt under her mostly-dry parka, and we started up again. (I still have these pants; they are still the height of comfort and we think of them as a holy object.)
We did indeed bring up the rear. The crisis had passed, but those boulders—and that false summit—presented obstacle after obstacle, and we were dragging. (I think the indefatigable Chad Winsell dropped back to lend us moral and physical support.) Our group up ahead was almost out of foggy sight when we heard a bright voice behind us: “The sun’s a-coming!” I recall that I turned slowly around and, slack-jawed, actually uttered a weak, “Whaaa…?” We heard again the announcement, “The sun’s a coming,” as we saw, emerging into view, a lone hiker, a man of about fifty-five, stepping along quite jauntily and carrying (compared to our 25-50 pound backpacks) a small teardrop-shaped rucksack. More to the point, we looked beyond him, back down into the valley we had been climbing out of for the last two days, to see that… the sun was coming! My descriptive abilities fail me here, but the sunlight was almost racing up the valley—a wide and deep expanse bounded by rocks and glaciers
|The valley behind us. "The sun's a-coming!"|
|The Canadian Ranger's hut appearing in|
the fog. (You have to imagine the angel
in a ranger's uniform beckoning to us.)
|Caryl's boots, Raichle "Bambinos,"|
at the end of the trail.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
That’s the Church. Thordis and Vi: The Church.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
* For those who say, "C.S. Who???" A primer: C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, born in Belfast in 1898, entered his adult life as a confirmed atheist. By the time he died in 1963—a highly revered professor of English Literature at Oxford and Cambridge and an internationally acclaimed author of Mere Christianity and the classic Narnia children’s series—he had become one of the most influential proponents of Christianity of the twentieth century. Fellow-professor J.R.R. Tolkien was a significant light in Lewis’s journey from atheism to faith.
**Yes, "Man." Although Lewis can be excused for being a product of his times, his writings do reveal, it must be acknowledged, a streak of masculine-centered sexism.
Good Books: C.S. Lewis: A Life, by Alister McGrath; The Inklings, by Humphrey Carpenter