Thursday, August 26, 2010

Morning post

Perhaps I need a vacation from screen time.

Too many ideas? Too few pursued and incorporated into my own? Too much abstract back and forth and not enough solid imagery that connects with the heart as well as the head--even if that heart, logically, must be located in my head.

Blog posts here often begin with an image--physical, or at least a moment in time or a specific interaction. Blog-reading, website-reading leave impressions that come and go too quickly, as soon as you click the link to the next item.

I've stayed home at the computer to listen to Carl Grapentine on WFMT, Chicago's classic radio station. Carl is a friend from church and I've been informed that between 8:00 and 8:30 this morning he's playing a recording of the Grace Senior Choir singing a piece by Paul Bouman that I wrote about on this blog a couple years ago.

Here it comes: strings introducing "Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow." It's Paul's birthday. The sopranos have the first stanza. Oooh, a little flat over the top. Better at the second shot at that melodic line. One could wish for a little less violin and a little more choir, 'cause it's the melody line that's lovely: "Let praise to your Creator rise."

"Lord Jesus, since you love me." Good job tenors. This is the verse Paul made much of in his setting--a prayer prayed through a long life, from childhood to deathbeds. all the counterpoint coming to rest in Jesus with  "I rest in your protecting arms."

And then there's a choral setting of stanza three. Not heavenly-perfected chorale singing. The sound is not quite together--perhaps mostly because the congregation is singing along and there's lag time in the building acoustics and recording. But that imperfection that includes everyone--surely that's more like the kingdom of God than exclusive excellence.

There's my image for the day. Put that on a sampler.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Came in from a 45-minute walk thinking about having a beer--just a beer--for supper. Guess I didn't come back in a significantly better mood than I was in when I left. I had Ella Fitzgerald singing Cole Porter on my iPod, which set a pretty good pace. But I walked directly west for the first 20 minutes, right into the sun. The afternoon's scowl from looking into the computer screen was heat-set between my eyebrows by the light of the sun just above the housetops.

That's the same sun whose setting I enjoyed so much last week on vacation.

But sitting and watching and talking--or not--to my kids is not the same as trying to walk off the piling-up anxiety and pressure of being back at work, getting ready for a new school year, and wildly thinking of more things to do than can ever be done in the time there is to do them. Where will my effort go? To the low spot in the ground to which it will most easily flow? Or will I dig some new channels, find new things to do, new ways to publish and present them? Will I keep on caring?

 What's the trick of living one year after another?

Not beer for supper. I had a salad--organic greens, cottage cheese, carrots, sweet peppers, and some green grapes.

Maybe a glass  of red wine for dessert?