daily discovery 2007.08.31

there's really only one thing I want to share from my morning walk this morning, the last day in August. here it is:

From Daily Discove...

I walked by this tree, and the squirrel was making these horrid noises, and scurrying all over the underside of that branch. After a little bit of further inspection, I noticed the cat up in the left corner of the picture sitting in the tree peeking down at the squirrel. They must not have liked each other much.

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday :)


daily discovery 2007.08.30

Click on the slideshow to view the album in picasa. Sorry that you have to have a picasa account to make comments, I wish I could change that. But if you have a google account, you can get a picasa account just by signing in at http://picasaweb.google.com. Cheers!


joy and sorrow...

I am joyful that God has blessed me with sorrow.

How's that for a statement?

daily discovery 2007.08.28

Click on the slideshow to view the album in picasa. Sorry that you have to have a picasa account to make comments, I wish I could change that. But if you have a google account, you can get a picasa account just by signing in at http://picasaweb.google.com. Cheers!

pasta slideshow...

last night we made lasagna with fresh pasta, and then we played with the scraps. theresa made a nice little slideshow :)



in celebration of my new camera, get ready for my first daily visual discovery tomorrow (assuming that I manage to get up early enough to take a walk in the morning) :)


a sickness unto death...

I'm reading "The Sickness Unto Death" by Søren Kierkegaard, in which he talks about the sickness which leads to death as being despair - and specifically despair at being yourself - that is, desiring to be someone else. There are two quotes I'd like to share:

"This then is the formula which describes the condition of the self when despair is completely eradicated: by relating itself to its own self and by willing to be itself the self is grounded transparently in the Power which posited it."

"for to will to be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of despair"

Essentially what he is saying in the first quote, as I understand it, is that if a self (a person), is in relationship with itself - that is, if it is getting to know itself (because oddly enough, we have to do that) - and if it desires to be that self or person which it truly is - then that person is grounded in relationship to the power which created this three-fold relationship (the person to itself to the creator). Basically, to make it personal, if I make effort to get to know myself, and I desire to be the person who I really am, then I will be grounded in relationship to God (from the context of the rest of the chapter he is referring to God by saying "the Power" here), who created me to be in relationship with myself and with Him. That each piece of the relationship is dependent on the others and I cannot be stable on my own without the relation to self or the relation to God.

The second is just kind of a paring down of the same idea - that because the eradication of despair means that one is in relationship with oneself and with God, and desires to be that self that it actually is - then to not be in despair means to desire to be the person you actually are.

I just found this idea really compelling and interesting - that the journey to discover oneself and to be the person you were intended to be is a fundamental key in both a relationship with God and spiritual health. I see this practically in my own life, in that as I learn more and more about myself, as I dig deeper and peel off layers of cruft that have been piled on by myself and others, and I come to see more and more of who I am really, I find relationship with God changes drastically. I find that I start to connect with Him much more deeply because I can do so in the ways which He specifically intended for me to connect with Him, rather than the ways someone else decided are acceptable or valid. I find that I hear direction from Him more clearly and more often because I start to understand how to listen and again the particular ways in which I hear best.

I also have found practically in my own life that as I discover more and more who I am, my spiritual health improves, partly because of the change in relationship with God and partly because as I get to know who I am, I can actually say something about what that person was meant to do here - I am able to begin living my purpose.

He talks about the universality of despair - that is that very very nearly every person, to some extent or another, despairs at being themselves. They desire to be someone they are not, to be rid of themselves in one way or another. I certainly find that to be true - there are certainly things about myself that I would give away if I could. But I'm working to find out and accept who I am, and to leave behind those things that I thought were part of who I was, but were just layers of paint on top of the sculpture.

It reminds me of another quote from Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness." When only the essential is left. When we are exactly who we are, and no more.


finding yourself...

this is a passage from a book called "Warrior of the Light: A Manual" by Paulo Coelho. it's one of my favorite passages from the book, and it has significant meaning to me, because I relate with these words very closely, and have felt this way often in the journey of finding myself and figuring out what I'm doing here.

Warriors of the Light always have a certain gleam in their eyes.

They are of this world. They are part of the lives of other people and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals. They are often cowardly. They do not always make the right decisions.

They suffer over the most trivial things; they have mean thoughts and sometimes believe they are incapable of growing. They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

They are not always quite sure of what they are doing here. They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning.

That is why they are Warriors of the Light. Because they make mistakes, because they ask themselves questions, because they are looking for a reason they are sure to find it.

because they are looking for a reason they are sure to find it. ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will open.

there is hope beyond measure.



"...believe that life can change, that you're not stuck in vain..."

even when it's really hard.



I really want to write kind of a treatise on community... however I don't have great confidence in my prose-writing skills... I always seem to leave out important ideas or chunks of thought. I think I'll write it and just have several people go through rounds of proofreading so that it comes out coherent eventually. Then I'll let you all read it :) Whee!



do you ever feel
as in the middle
of a cosmic game
of tug of war?

i do

on the one hand
there are the
sort of eternal

anything phrased
as "why...?"

"...am I here?"
"...is anyone here?"
"...is the world this way?"
"...do we hate so much?"

feels cavernous and menacing
enigmatic at best

there is mystery, yes
but not the bright, shining
mystery of
a fairy tale, fantasy

on the other hand
is our experience
the details
our senses

the smell of lavender
the feeling of skin
gazing up at mountains
or down into a person's soul

this is where the brightness
explodes from everywhere
and somehow...

the eyes of a friend
the caress of my wife
the splendor of mountains
the scent of a single flower...

truth comes not as an answer to a question
but as an annulment of the question



I believe that certain people are given exceptional tragedy, because they have also been given the ability to transfigure it into exceptional beauty.


Daily Discovery: The Morning Walk

Today on my morning walk, I found the following:

  • 3 different perfectly formed spider webs with rather large spiders sitting right in the middle

  • some giant thistles - the heads were probably 4-5 inches across

  • a really pretty willow tree

  • a backyard with bamboo growing and paper lanterns

  • a chipmunk chewing on the wooden pole of a power line

  • a rather large tree that looked like it recently had a large piece of the trunk basically shaved off, or sliced.


going home...

I'm so genuinely excited every day to go home at the end of the day and spend the evening with my wife.



"...don't lose the dreams inside your head, they'll only be there 'till you're dead... dream..."


laptop woes...

So, I sent my Aluminum PowerBook G4 in to Apple to have the main logic board replaced, as well as the optical drive (they have a flat rate $310 repair fee where they will repair anything that's wrong with it that isn't incidental or directly caused by misuse or that kind of thing), and it came back the first time after 3 days, and the optical drive was replaced, but the main logic board was still having problems. So, they sent it back again, and this time the repairs took longer, and then I just found out today (the day it should have arrived in Portland), DHL shipped it to their warehouse in Longview, WA instead of to the Apple Store in Portland. They have now forwarded it to Portland. If it comes back this time and it still doesn't work, I'm going to request a pretty hefty discount on the repairs. Bluh.

daily discovery: 08/07/2007

I took the long way to work today... and while I again didn't have a camera with me, here are some of the things I discovered:

  • a light, refreshing mist hovering over the city that felt so good as I walked along... almost like a divine caress...

  • a squirrel running along the power lines above the street

  • a crow cautiously crossing the street

  • a lady walking her dog

  • a beautiful, somewhat wild looking garden

  • 3 police cars, the occupants of which were all in the coffee shop I went to

  • lovely Stumptown coffee from Haven, and a blackberry muffin.

  • an older guy kissing an older lady goodbye as she got on the bus

  • a girl reading the 7th Harry Potter book on the bus

Well, there you have it... Happy Tuesday everyone!


it's much more REAL
than real, life
restless poppies
blooming rumpled and beautiful
growing in fields
choked with thistle
beautiful in its own way
though not accommodating
when the soft, sweet
breeze blows...
the rumpled petals
breathe a sigh of relief
feeling in its caress
an intimation of hope


the weekend...

sorry I've been so blatantly absent from the blog world this weekend... however, there was a very good reason. and I've created a bit of a photographic report of what was going on for you. so, I hope you didn't all miss me too much, and I promise I'll be commenting on your blogs again starting today. cheers!


morning wonderfulness...

we just had the most amazing cucumber and snap peas from our garden this morning... mmmmm


Daily Discovery

Today I decided to take a bit different route to work... so I took the 10 minute walk over to Division ST from our apartment, and on the way I saw two puppies frolicking together and some sweet yellow wildflowers (I wish I had pictures, but I didn't have a camera with me). I stopped at Haven and got an 8oz mocha (yum! happy for well-brewed Stumptown coffee) and then caught the number 4 bus to downtown Portland. I got off at 4th and Taylor and then walked up to Broadway, saw a whole bunch of construction and the new MAX tracks going in, as well as the funny guy in front of the Heathman Hotel, then walked down Broadway to Lincoln Hall at Portland State University, and caught the number 8 bus up to work at OHSU.


élégie pour un ami de papier

dear friend
first let me say
I'm sorry

I am inconstant
and as such
I forget

I hope you will forgive
my temporary
lapse of reason

and see fit to forgive
a forgetful
regretful human

I hope that whoever
picked you up
will love you as much as I

but don't forget me
mon ami de papier
you were a good friend