the most beautiful thing

Bloged in community, friends, luna see, metaphor by rod Thursday March 8, 2007

Last night when I started home from the gym, the moon was just rising. It occurred to me at first glance that the moon is the most beautiful thing. I had to ponder for the rest of the evening whether it was actually a beauty that it contained in itself. After all, it’s just a big round rock in space. It gives off no light of its own, it has no colorful atmosphere, and its complexion is quite pockmarked and scarred. To call it “crater-face” would be no cruel exaggeration.

So how is it that a round, gray rock is the most beautiful thing?
moon of winds
The whole “most beautiful thing” thought occurred to me because at that moment of first sighting, it was the only thing I could see, save the roof of the Piggly Wiggly that was serving as a flat, tar-covered horizon out of which the moon was emerging. So it’s just the moon, no terrestrial accessories to spice of the beauty. No, come to think of it there is a diffuse mist causing a soft, out-of-focus glow around the moon that even spills onto the tar horizon of the PW.
When I drove down our own street, it had risen above the mist, and shone clear and brightly and unobstructed. Still beautiful, alone in the sky. But wait, by herself, I’d not see her at all. There’s that sunlight splashing off her face at such an angle as to shadow her top, right corner, and cast shades of designs across her scarred face.
When I reached home, she was shining through the trees in the back yard and was more beautiful than before. I realized that she truly is dependent for her beauty. Her beauty is found in her interaction with an infinite array of other beautiful things.
It’s a give and take relationship. She causes the tree limbs to shimmer light and cast streams of shadow on the ground. The tree limbs playfully obstruct her visage and create a flirty glance as she peers down. She perches atop a mountain peak, spills reflected sunlight on a lake that illuminates the undersides of trees on the bank, peers between two buildings, shines upon the soft face of beautiful girl illuminating a cheekbone, and shadowing a slender neck.
Perhaps she’s the most beautiful thing because she’s the common denominator among so many beautiful things. Back home in the mountains, by the river, a Caribbean beach, in the Grand Canyon, the Arizona desert, my backyard – she’s the common beauty. Stealing beauty, adding beauty, interacting with beauty. Reflecting the light of another, and spreading it all around.

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cup o’ community

Bloged in community, friends by rod Monday July 24, 2006

Members of Allison’s Sunday School class have been gathering around the coffee bean at Barnes and Nobles on Wednesday evening’s for a long time now. They gather while I’m at rehearsal and after I’ve gone home, settled the kids, and visited the gym, I crash the remnants of their gathering to enjoy a cup of the black stuff and hear the summation of their world-correcting banter. Though in over a year, I’ve been the only testosterone to violate the sanctity of their gatherings, they’ve always welcomed me with smiles and even open arms at 10:15pm after the gym has closed, and I have to admit that I’m not actually fit to be seen in public at that time.


Leah

Gatherings of people around coffee cups are terribly alluring. Coffee creates its own atmosphere that seems to soften whatever non-personal, non-community atmosphere that may be the reality in any given space. The knit that has taken place in these girls’ gatherings is beautiful. I have watched it with a happy heart as they gather simply to be together.


Bug

At some point, one of them (lmb) shared a dream of opening her own coffee establishment, and with the unfettered support and egging on of the others, began taking steps to make a dream a reality.
A reality it has become. On Saturday morn, lmb had a private tasting, which I attended, having been told that she would serve Sumatra especially for me. As it turned out, for the first 2 hours, I was not only the sole male in the crowd of supporters, but as you might have guessed, the only partaker of the black, extra bold Sumatran blessing. Later, /sp’s My Mike showed up and helped me with the Sumatran.
I am ever so happy that this is happening, and I pray that deep and beautiful relationships are formed around the square tables and round mugs of fancy flavors.

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divisions

Bloged in friends, metaphor, random by rod Tuesday May 16, 2006

The indiscriminate choices of children provide promise of a hopeful future to forward-thinking and tolerant parents. Kids seem not to have any prejudice at all. They accept what they’re given, work with what they have, and their imaginations fill in all the gaps. One is as good as another in their eyes.
When the world turns out to be different in some aspect from what they’d expected, they quickly adjust their expectations to match reality, rather than tweaking their perception of reality to validate their expectations.
No doubt, regardless of how promising the attitude and tolerance of the child seems to the parent, as they grow, they encounter prejudice in their friends and classmates, unfounded preferences arise, and perhaps hidden feelings in the parents themselves emerge and are voiced by the children.
Whatever the cause, as we grow up, the realities of the world emerge, and divisions become evident where they didn’t seem to matter before. The differences in our own little homes and the larger world become apparent, and familiarity begins to feel like superiority.
It happened last week in my own home from my very own son. He had been working on a homework project at school with some classmates. He emailed a file to himself from his friend’s computer. When he attempted to open the file, his prejudice was manifest in his frustration.
“STUPID WINDOWS COMPUTERS!!!!”

i’ve got a message to bring

Bloged in church, community, friends, prayers by rod Wednesday April 12, 2006

Today, I was licensed to “Preach the Gospel as I might have occasion.” This was something that I asked of Pastor Don, and he in turn, asked the Board of Deacons who would approve or disapprove the licensing. I was asked to come to the Deacon meeting and give my testimony concerning why I would like to be licensed, what I’m involved with, etc. This, I did. I shared how over time, one begins to notice how he is being used by God and begins to work at being more available in those areas. I shared about worship leading and speaking that I’ve been doing. I shared about how last summer, through some prompting by Eugene Peterson, I began to recognize my pastoral role among a growing small group of students.
Years ago, when Allison and I began to talk about marriage, I realized that to make the whole thing official, I was going to have to muster the courage to “ask her dad.” One may think that this is a silly formality, because it is hard to imagine not marrying her had her Dad told me I couldn’t have her. But in reality, I told him about our relationship, about how we’d grown together, and that we’d been talking about marriage. Essentially, I asked him for his blessing on something that was already developing.
That is really what my meeting with the Deacons was about. I had come to realize where I was being used, was making my self more available and would like to do so knowing I had the backing and prayer support of my church community. I was asking their blessing. And bless me they did. I told them about how when the band began to stretch out a little and seek to go where we felt we were needed, I’d asked some Deacons for their blessing, and one night we were playing in a “scary” place and looked back from the stage to see Pastor Don, standing in the back. Don assured the deacons that he’d come to support us, and that we’d not merely “caught” him there when we showed up.
Today, the deacons supported me unanimously, gathered around me and prayed for my availability, obedience, purity, ministry, etc. It was a really good thing. It is always encouraging to know that you are going about with the support and prayers of others.

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up close

Bloged in friends, luna see by rod Monday January 9, 2006


I took Dan out to show him the moon. Up close. We couldn’t bear the fact that we didn’t have the camera adapter yet, so decided to try to get a shot anyway. Tonight was the first night that there was enough moon for the camera to see through the eyepiece, and enough light to use a fast enough shutter speed just to free-hand through the eyepiece. It took some shutter speed experimenting, and manual focus, but not bad for a rigged up photo without a camera adapter.
We also looked at Mars, Saturn (with rings), and the Orion Nebula. Gotta wait for the adapter for pics of those things though, because the shutter has to stay open, and I can’t hold the camera. I’m trying to be patient.
So here it is - the first pic taken from the new telescope. They’ll get better, I promise.

elle

Bloged in community, friends, poems by rod Tuesday December 20, 2005

Elleiden walks on future paths
paved with prayers of the past;
beyond the imagination of
those who pray in the present.

sub rosa

Bloged in friends by rod Friday December 9, 2005

It’s 1:00 am and my buds are at La Zona Rosa in Austin. I know because I’m being included via cell phone. I don’t know if they’re really allowed to do that, it seems that whatever happens under the rose, is supposed to stay under the rose, but I won’t tell.
A phone call, no words, just the chanting from an invisible stage, “there is no room inside a box, there is no room inside…” says, “thinking of you Rod, know where you’ve been, being there with you.”
When you’re having fun, hangin with friends, hearing great music, do you know how much a phone call means to a friend a thousand miles away unwinding at the kitchen table?
I think you do.
Gracias Amigos

bloating the blogosphere

Bloged in culture, family, friends by rod Tuesday November 8, 2005

This evening, before I came home from work, I got a call from a far-away-friend, who due to the time difference was on her lunch break, while it was supper time here. She was talking about friends’ blogs and mentioned that she’d given me props on her own xanga. She said she’d never heard of a blog when she first started reading mine, and that when she mentioned it to friends, they had no idea what a blog was either. Interesting, I thought, because I’ve only been blogging for 2 years. How could I get into something on the very front end, ahead of my students, that has in only 2 years become a phenomenon, a household word, and has made it into the dictionary? (no, of course it’s not yet in the Microsoft Office “tools” dictionary, don’t expect a miracle.)
I’m really not that technologically cutting edge, except that in my sphere, I seem to be way out ahead. I remembered that 5 years ago, I was distributing assignments to my classes on-line using PDF files and that I had to stop, because the students were complaining that they couldn’t access the files because they had no internet access, or their computers wouldn’t run Acrobat Reader. Sheesh. I could get no support from other faculty and administration because none of them had a clue what I was talking about. Now they are practically begging the faculty to have course materials available online.
As my students now begin to realize how duped the dude who delivered their dell was, they are oohing over Apple products, but I have to point out that I have used nothing but Macs since 1988, hmmm, come to think of it, that’s all I’ve ever used. But we were talking about blogs weren’t we. Weren’t we?
So after our conversation, I thought I’d see how cutting edge I actually was back in the fall of ’03. So I googled a bit and found a technorati report that showed just over 500,000 blogs in Oct. ’03. Wow! I did feel a little special then, especially since I know so many who have been blogging for much longer than I have. So I looked at the report again, and saw that in March, ’05, technorati was tracking 7.9 million blogs, and that showed that the blogosphere was doubling every 5 months. If you go to technorati now, you’ll see that they are tracking 21 million blogs, which means it’s tripled since spring.
A new blog created every 2.2 seconds, and 500,000 new posts every day.
Who are all these new bloggers? I thought you’d ask. Of course I don’t know, but I do know of a few. Three of them live with me, and I have no doubt that another under my roof will join forthwith. One you’ve met, another, some of you have found, but the latest sneakily built a blog and started posting completely on his own, so none of us knew of him, except maybe technorati.

connecting some more

Bloged in community, friends by rod Sunday October 30, 2005

We had all day to anything or nothing, whichever won the battle of “whatya wanna do?” “I dunno, whatchoo wanna do?”.
I woke quite a while before Allison and decided to let her sleep, so I alternated between roaming about the room and climbing back in bed. When she finally woke up, we couldn’t figure out which of the clocks were right, but eventually were delighted to realize that the earlier time was correct.
We decided to take a trek down to Austin for a short visit to the Abbey and hello to soul friends, and the possibility for the Elvis Fried Chicken. We were greeted with extremely sad and disturbing and frankly, anger inducing news that Kyle Lake, the pastor at UBC, Waco had been electrocuted a few hours earlier while performing a baptism.
After the Elvis chicken, we participated in some of the Sunday evening Abbey activity, in a rather emotionally disrupted atmosphere, and said our goodbyes, for the drive back to Dallas.
On the way home, we entirely unintentionally stopped at the same two exits we’d visited on the way down – something we always seem to do, no matter where we’re going or from whence we’ve come.

connecting

Bloged in community, friends by rod Saturday October 29, 2005

This morning, I looked at a map and figured we couldn’t be more than ten minutes from the Margraves, (gypsy traveler, and Bruce, the Bruce), so we called Chris to see if he knew what they were up to. Chris called them to make sure they were home and then kept them on the phone so they’d not run off while we make our way to their house. Bruce answered the door because famil was talking to Chris on the phone. They seemed aptly impressed that Chris could talk about nonsense for long enough for us to get there, but that’s really not that impressive if you’ve ever read Chris’s blog. They took us out for Indian, and we spent the next 2.5 hours relaxed in conversation.
Allison and I found a mall, bought some new skinny clothes for her, and headed to the American Airlines Center.

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