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Showing posts from August, 2008

Two questions of the month

1) I picked this up from somebody but I can't remember where I saw it: why does it cost $500 for an abortion and $25,000 for an adoption?

2) What happens when the party of radical autonomy of the body battles the party of radical autonomy of the wallet?

Four more years of the same crap!

Surprised by Wonder

Our guest preacher this morning commented on how, during a retreat, she began to notice herons and cicadas and wildflowers and all of God's handiwork. I sat there thinking--are you kidding? When I'm driving and I spy a turkey vulture or a hawk sailing in the sky I whip my head for a better view, much like a third grader rubber-necking for a speeding, wailing fire truck. It boggles me how you cannot notice these fellow creatures. What's that 90's tune? "Where's your head at? Not to mock anyone, but seriously. . . are your eyes that filmy? Your ears too waxy?

I discovered in Last Child in the Woods that Howard Gardener (of Multiple Intelligences fame) posited that some possess a "Naturalist Intelligence." Something along the lines of having a keen awareness of the life outside our offices, shops, schools, and homes. Wanting to know how to match the words "Spotted knapweed" with the actual flower. Things along those lines.

I try not …

Real Community

I'm incredulous as to why I blew off Lars and the Real Girl for so long. Maybe it was the premise: lonely guy falls for sex doll. It sounds crass, but the movie is very sweet and Lars, played by Ryan Gosling, is ubersympathetic. Here's a character so emotionally crippled that human touch hurts him.

Even more amazing is that the community he lives in, some unidentified northern Midwestern town, goes along with his delusion, he treats Bianca, the doll, as if she were real, out of love for Lars. They create a convincing, though it would have been as tough as hell to actually live that out, beloved community. They allow Lars to work through his problems without judgment (for the most part) until he is ready to rejoin them. And yes, a church is part of the heart of this town. The writer and director create a world that is preposterous and real--and desirable! I think why can't I live in a town like that, better yet, what am I doing to create a town like that?

Oh yeah, L…

Will the last child in the woods please turn out the fireflies?

OK, so nearly everyone has already read this book.

Anessa picked it up last year at either the Sleeping Bear Dunes gift shop or the big bookstore in downtown Traverse City. Essentially, Richard Louv makes the case that all of us need direct contact with the outdoors, not just soccer fields or mowed urban parks, but nature (not necessarily red in tooth and claw). Children even more so. It helps physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to move about in the woods, around the edge of a pond or marsh, touching the rough bark of a red pine, glimpsing the flap of a heron as it takes off. Children thrive in this stuff. I know I did. I still do. I'm attempting to pass that on to the terrible two I care and feed.

Anyway, a good read. Pick it up sometime.

Back from Penn's Woods

This posting is a bit overdue as we arrived backed from Mr. Penn's woods a week ago today. We stayed at Cook Forest State Park. A good-sized park in the Allegheny mountains, which included an old growth forest. One morning I took a walk before the family was awake and found a large fallen tree. I know I didn't count correctly, because some of the rings were obscured, but I did count 216 of them. That places the tree as a seedling around 1792. Not bad for a plant.

Overall the trip was pleasant, the first two-and-a-half days it rained on and off--so much so that we were visiting the crappy souvenir tourist traps, but we also, out of desperation visited Punxsutawney, you know, of groundhog fame(see the last photo). A pleasant small burg with an embarrassingly tiny library.
So we hiked, fished, canoed, built fires, harassed chipmunks (which, BTW, if they would organize I think they could take over campgrounds around North America, but alas, they live up to Darwinian expectati…