life inverted

Bloged in apprenticeship by rod Sunday October 31, 2004

The meek shall inherit the earth.
I love a good paradox. Mystery. Some things just can’t be explained. As The Homestar Runner would say, “I don’t think that is scientifically possible. Just doesn’t make sense. The first will be last and the last, first? What kind of kingdom is this that is gained by making peace? By becoming like a child? Available to the poor in spirit? The attacked?

life inverted, apt core

kinetic

Bloged in life by rod Saturday October 30, 2004


Stacey took this pic from the back of Dan’s bike as we were coming down Broad River Road at about 6:30 this evening. Of course, I’m standing still and the road and trees are passing quickly. At least that’s what life feels like. Think I can catch up tonight when we fall back?

Well weathered leather, hot metal and oil, the scented country air. Sunlight on chrome, the blur of the landscape, every nerve aware - (neil peart)

unseen reality

Bloged in apprenticeship, luna see, metaphor by rod Friday October 29, 2004

The real eclipse on Wednesday night was an elusive sight. As I rode my bike home at about 9:15pm, the bottom corner had been bitten from the giant disc of cheese. By the time I got home, clouds had entirely eclipsed the eclipse. I sat on the deck and periodically caught a glimpse of what was happening. Dan came over at about 11:00 and we sat it out until it was over. Call me silly for sitting under cloud cover for a non-observable lunar event. We did the same thing for the meteor shower in August. Nothing but clouds to be seen. But just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It’s going on up there just as spectacular as if we could all watch it.
To sit under a meteor shower or view a total lunar eclipse on a clear night is a beautiful, awe inspiring thing. To sit under cloud cover knowing that it is happening beyond your ability to see is humbling. There is a deep spiritual lesson in knowing that the reality of something is in no way contingent upon my knowledge, understanding, observation or even belief.
Lunar eclipse, go on with your bad self. Perseid showers, rain above the clouds.
Sometimes we’re given a fleeting glimpse. A clearing, if you will. But I believed there was an eclipse last night, even before the clouds thinned out.
I took this pic in one of the breaks in the clouds as they zoomed over head. I had the camera trained on the sky, where the moon would be. I needed 2 seconds of open shutter plus focus time. I couldn’t get the focus right as I hurried capture the moment before it was gone, but the result is an interesting visual memory.

swept!

Bloged in life, luna see by rod Thursday October 28, 2004

So now we know what it takes to break the curse. Has Boston ever been in a world series during a full moon AND a full eclipse? It was just too much for the cardinals.
did anyone see the eclipse last night?

sweep?

Bloged in random by rod Wednesday October 27, 2004

Of course we know that no team can possibly come back from a 3 game deficit - right?
For some strange reason this morning in my twilight world of waking/sleeping, my mind was playing games with games. Tournaments, deficits, handicaps, point spotting, series, sets, matches. Baseball is a strange sport to try to determine a team that is better another. At best this determination can be made concerning a given game. Thus the “best of” series. But in reality, we could have a series of best of seven series and each one would turn out differently. 49 games to determine the champion. “they won 4 series to 3.”
I don’t know why, but I also thought about evening out inequality among teams and players. Remember when a friend would try to entice you to a game of one on one, or a wiffle ball game? “To 11, win by two, make it take it, I’ll spot you 5.” Or, “3 innings, you start with the bases loaded and 2 runs.”
I never understood golf’s handicap system. I always thought that I should play in a threesome and my score should compete against the other two guys’ combined. That way, I’d win by 36 strokes, which is precisely how many I lose by when we play fairly.
Anyway I don’t know why a prayer for a series sweep made me think about point spreads and handicaps. I’m certainly not ready to spot SL any runs tonight.

deep focus

Bloged in apprenticeship, worship by rod Tuesday October 26, 2004

I took this pic last week when the kids and I were hiking through the swamp. By the way, yesterday was the official, ceremonial designation of the swamp as a National Park.
The kids were running ahead of me all day long. They’d get out of sight and then wait for me to catch up on the trail before taking off again. Once, I was watching them up in the distance and as they turned around a bend in the path, my eyes focussed on the kids, through the scene in the picture. As soon as my attention was drawn to the beautiful out-of-focus scene, of course, I focussed on it and the scene was no longer what it had been. But in that split second of confused brain and eye muscles, I saw the drab pine tree clearly, completely surrounded by floating colors and shapes. When my brain had made sense of the vision, I figured I’d better try to re-create it with a photo. I don’t know how well it was done, because now my memory is affected by the picture itself.

flush the fashion

Bloged in culture by rod Monday October 25, 2004

I am a wardrobe pack rat for several reasons. I am most comfortable in old worn-out, familiar clothes. Often, my need for new threads is caused by my increasing girth, and I hang on to that which I’ve grown out of so that I’ll have it when I grow back into it. In fairness to me, I do recognize my increasing condition, usually because I’ve had to buy new clothes, lose weight, and then depend on my old clothes once again. So my closet is crowded with pants and shirts that I’m either waiting to shrink back into or dreading to fill out again. It is amply supplemented by things that still fit, but are worn entirely to ratty to wear in public (though I still do), and by things that have been hanging there since they went out of style 10 or 15 years ago.
Saturday, I was splitting firewood in the back yard when the sole completely came off my boots. The shoes I wear to work got stuck on the clutch pedal of my truck because the pedal found its way through the sole of my shoe. While doing laundry, my dear wife was embarrassed by the gaping hole in a pair of pants I wear to work regularly, and by the fact that I can’t carry anything in the pockets of another pair because the pockets have no bottoms.
So today, Allison made me accompany her to the mall to alleviate some of the problem. She said, with hope in her voice, “We’ll get you some new things and maybe you can clear out some of the clutter in your closet.” When we arrived at the store, what to our wondering eyes should appear? Lo and behold, there were the contents of my closet. There were all those old out-of-style shirts that I haven’t worn in 15 years. There were, and I’m not lying, two shirts of exactly the same fabric, color, print and cut as two ancient shirts hanging on my rack. Many other shirts of the same late eighties and early nineties fashion that we so happily watched wane. Allison said, “silly me for thinking that you needed anything new”, and we made our way to A & F. As we browsed through pants and shirts that looked like they’d been dragged behind a dump truck on a cross-country trek and then left out under the porch through fall and winter, Al found a pair of pants that looked exactly like the ones that had prompted her to bring me to the mall in the first place. “Look,” she said, “here is a hole of the exact size and shape and in the same location as the one in your brown pants!”
We returned home with only a new pair of fresh kicks to replace the ones whose sole is laying under a log in the back yard. No new pants, no new shirts. There is nothing new under the sun. What goes around, comes around.
Now please don’t think I’m bashing current fashions. This is how I’ve dressed my whole life. I feel very affirmed and validated. The whole ordeal made me feel very hip and in. Even the music and video playing in the stores was familiar. I tried on my shoes beneath a monitor blaring scissor sisters whose song sounded like a strange melding of Elton John and the Black Crowes, and whose video looked curiously like a cross between the artist formerly known as prince and the B52s. Really good music.
Spinning wheel goes round and round.

vanity

Bloged in apprenticeship, community, poems by rod Friday October 22, 2004


One among a million.
Shadowing some,
shadowed by others.
Well fed and healthy.

Do you know who stands beside you?
Do you look from side to side?
Or do you bask in strength and beauty by the mirror -
the center of your own attention?

against the grain

Bloged in apprenticeship, life by rod Thursday October 21, 2004

against the run-of-the-mill
swimming against the stream
life in two dimensions is a
mass production scheme

against the run-of-the-mill
static as it seems
we break the surface tension
with our wild kinetic dreams

curves and lines
grand designs…
- neil peart

talk stuff while ya can

Bloged in random by rod Wednesday October 20, 2004

I’m not Dave so I’m allowed to blog. Ok, may I refer you to my comment from Thursday? If I had a nickel for everytime my team has been down by 3 games, and I’ve said, “well, they won three in a row, why can’t we? Shouldn’t even be surprising. Momentum? Schmomentum! That’s just a word that sports figures are taught to throw out there in post game interviews, win or lose. Remember Costner’s advice to Robbins? I learned all those lines too when I coached Girls’ HS Basketball in PA. I’d give the same two paragraphs to 3 newspapers after every game, didn’t matter, because they’d print something completely different anyway. “Coach Lewis of the Lady Blue Devils says, “our girls kept their momentum despite the fact that their shoes laces were tied together.”
So in the world of sports - especially in post-season hardball - I’m sure that momentum is just a word, and just as easily as one team can win the first 3 of a best-of-seven, the other team can win the next 3. Except for one thing, regardless of how many times I’ve said it, it has never happened. Until tonight.
So as the prophecies begin to come true, some of you should spend a little time thinking about other predictions I’ve made that you thought were ridiculous.
Billy, remember when I, as your teacher, predicted that if you didn’t come to class you wouldn’t pass the course? Kids, remember when I warned you that you could put someone’s eye out with that thing? And I told you if you don’t stop making that face, you’d get stuck like that? Well who’s crazy now? Huh? And tonight in class, Mr. B.J. Smith, sitting there all smug with your NY cap on. Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t play a E7#9 chord with that non-sense perched on your head? Maybe that’ll teach ya some respect for teacher.
Hang in there Dave-O, you can blog tomorrow night.
Here’s a big Bronx cheer…

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