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Adjectives, Like Junk Food, Should Be Limited

There was (probably still is for all I know) a sub-current in Evangelical Christianity that derided using “Christian” as an adjective. Looking around the ghetto that Evangelicalism created for itself one could find “Christian’ magnets, movies, and music, ”Christian” t-shirts and toys, “Christian” books and baubles of all kinds. The problem was baptizing and separating things that didn’t necessarily need that kind of labeling.  So a friend of mine sent me the link to a podcast episode about Christian Animism. Christian Animism? What is that? Noel Moules explains on the Nomad February 2020 podcast. To start with, what is Animism? Many indigenous religions can be seen as Animist. Moules cites Graham Harvey, a British professor of Religious Studies, who says Animists are people who recognize that the world is full of persons, but only some of whom are human and that life is to be lived in relationship with others. That leads to the question of what is a person? Online dictionaries aren’t
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Worth Quoting

 Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.                                                                                                             --Simone Weil      Man, is that hard to do. I don't know about you, but even the most interesting and enriching conversations' spells can be broken by some flash of something that catches my eye.   

Another Publishing Triumph 2021

 Here's the first one for the year. What's cool is it's being picked up by the Planet Detroit newsletter . Anyway, this piece is a bit of a love letter to my friendly-neighborhood river.

2020 Reads O' Mine

      Aside from a plague, 2020 turned out to be a good year for reading, what with the abundance of time on my hands. All books are listed in order of being read, not necessarily in ranking of quality. Methodical Realism * Etienne Gilson--a short, relatively accessible primer on philosophical realism. Parts of this were interesting, others, not so much. Ian Pollock's Illustrated King Lear by William Shakespeare --While I didn't appreciate Pollack's illustrative style, I did like that the play was visually presented with the unabridged text. Essentially, this was a graphic novelization of Lear. This was better than just reading the play, though without helpful notes, it still falls short of experiencing the play live. By the way, did anybody catch the Stratford Festival of Canada's streaming of many of their productions in late spring through midsummer? Lear happened to be one of them and it was the first time I saw the whole piece. Gravity and Grace * Simone Weil--Ye

Adventures in Social Distancing 4: Holy Week

Spring ephemerals began their yearly appearance during Holy Week. The lock-down had afforded me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with some species that I hadn't seen in several years. I allowed my time for wildflower viewing to be restricted to the weekends for far too many years. Time is gift so easily squandered, isn't it? The following photos were captured at Maybury State Park in Wayne County and Oakland County, MI (which incidentally contains the highest point in the Rouge River watershed). Pre-blooming trillium (probably Trillium grandiflorum ) Early stage of May-apple ( Podophyllum peltatum ) Blooming bloodroot ( Sanguinaria canadensis ) Cutleaf toothwort ( Cardamine concatenata )   More bloodroot ( Sanguinaria canadensis ) Hard to tell, but I think this is a wood frog. I haven't ID'd this one yet. Bueller?...Bueller? Anyone? Mourning cloak ( Nymphalis antiopa )

Adventures in Social Distancing 3

The following photos were taken on 10 April 2020 at Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County, MI. That day was the first warm day this spring as evidenced by the insect and reptile activity. I had been to the marsh before, but I had only explored some of it by water as my son was earning his canoeing merit badge with his BSA troop there. I was impressed with the size of the property, though work is needed to rid it of massive amounts of phragmites and to a lesser extent, common buckthorn and autumn olive. The marsh only exists because when Detroit Metropolitan Airport expanded they drained some wetlands that were located on the proposed expansion. So, in a wise program of replacement, Crosswinds Marsh was created about 10 miles SE of the airport. Given that it was the Friday before Palm Sunday, and not expecting to have any palms for the celebration, I found many salixes growing around and cut about two dozen branches for their pussy willows in solidarity with the Eastern European tradi

Textures of a Pandemic Spring

This moss and the deer fur images were taken in Grand Ledge, MI This prickly cucumber husk and the images that follow were taken at Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County, Michigan.