Thursday, June 21, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Hygieia (Gustav Klimt)

Gustav Klimt, Hygieia (from Medicine mural), 1899-1907,
University of Vienna ceiling, destroyed, 1945
I don't usually love Klimt, but I totally love this.

Well Said: A Poem About Fire Ought to Burn

It is the crowning virtue of a work of art, as it is of a man, that it should be an example of its own doctrine, an incarnation of its own main symbol. A poem about fire ought to burn. A poem about a brook ought to flow. A poem about childhood ought not just to tell about children but ought to be like a child itself, as are the best of Blake's Songs of Innocence.
Harold C. Goddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chris Pratt's MTV speech: "God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that, I do."

Nobody is perfect. People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are, you are not! You are imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. Like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else's blood. Do not forget that. Don't take that for granted.
Chris Pratt received the MTV Generation Award and took the opportunity to speak to the next generation as an elder. He mixed toilet humor (literally) with straight talk about soul, God, prayer, and more. I know Pratt is a Christian but I was surprised at how many of his 9 rules for life spoke directly about God.

Worth a Thousand Words: Father Time

Edmund Dulac, Father Time, 1906

Well Said: "Come on, you Christians, be a little more normal..."

“How many times do we hear: ‘Come on, you Christians, be a little bit more normal, like other people, be reasonable!’ This is real snake charmer’s talk: ‘Come on, just be like this, okay? A little bit more normal, don’t be so rigid ...’ But behind it is this: ‘Don’t come here with your stories, that God became man!’ The Incarnation of the Word, that is the scandal behind all of this! We can do all the social work we want, and they will say: ‘How great the Church is, it does such good social work.” But if we say that we are doing it because those people are the flesh of Christ, then comes the scandal. And that is the truth, that is the revelation of Jesus: that presence of Jesus incarnate.”
Pope Francis, Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday
Do we choose the approval of society, of the world? Or do we choose the scandal of the Cross? It's actually funny that we can be approved of for helping others, but once the reason behind it is revealed, then it's all a bit suspicious.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pistachio and Yogurt Chicken Curry

Another home run from Made in India by Meera Sodha. This is a rich, spice-filled, flavorful chicken curry which fills the house with a tempting aroma. I can't stress how much we all loved this.

Get it at Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen.

Worth a Thousand Words: Maiden with a Laurel Wreath

Henry Ryland, Maiden with a Laurel Wreath
via Lines and Colors
This picture was so arresting when I swung by Lines and Colors that I just had to share it here. Be sure to follow the link and see the other Henry Ryland paintings featured.

Well Said: I ask forgiveness ...

I ask forgiveness of anyone I have offended, but especially from those I have not influenced for good.
Pope John XXIII
Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fish or Cut Bait - Thank You!


My sincere thanks for the wonderful surprise when I opened my mail today and found this from my wish list! I've been enjoying Cool and Lam as perfect summer reading and they are just obscure enough that it is hard to get your hands on many of them. Thank you!

Worth a Thousand Words: The Sea View of Cliffs

Guy Rose, The Sea View of Cliffs
via Arts Everyday Living
This just looks so refreshing to eye, ear, and soul. And it makes me think of summer travel somehow. Probably because I've never been to the ocean in winter. Growing up in the midwest and now living in Dallas, I've only traveled to the ocean on vacation.

Well Said: ...happy and confident, as if the dead were waving goodbye and smiling as they left for a journey...

The atmosphere [in the catacombs] is one of faith and trust. The epitaphs carved on the tombs are happy and confident, as if the dead were waving goodbye and smiling as they left for a journey. The words "rest" and "sleep" are everywhere. I could not remember once having seen that word "farewell" which sighs its hopeless way through all pagan cemeteries. As I remembered the dark galleries, the mage came into my mind of a troopship in the dark, with its rows of bunks, their occupants sleeping, confidently awaiting the light of a new day.
H. V. Morton, A Traveller in Rome
I love this so much!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Sunflowers on the Banks of the Seine

Gustave Caillebotte, Sunflowers on the Banks of the Seine, c. 1885-1886
Somehow I always think of sunflowers on the plains, being from Kansas. Not in France on the banks of the Seine!

Lagniappe: At the Papal Farm, Meeting the Papal Bull

A bit of H.V. Morton's charming A Traveller In Rome, first published in 1957. Morton's driver "knows someone" who will let them onto the papal farm. Here's a bit.
The Pope walks for an hour or so on the terrace, admiring the gardens, which are those of the Villa Barberini. He arrives by car along a special road built to link the palace with the villa, and I was told that he usually leaves his car on the terrace and walks about, sometimes never lifting his eyes from a book. We entered a little giardino secreto enclosed by hedges, where a statue of the Blessed Virgin stands beside a fishpond.

'You notice that Virgin is holding a little bunch of flowers,' said the driver. 'The Holy Father picks them for her.'

She was holding four or five small yellow flowers of a kind that I had noticed growing on the banks round about, and they were fresh and had been recently picked. What a beautiful moment this must have been: the old pontiff all alone in the garden in his white caped soutane and his red velvet shoes, looking about among the hedge banks on a quiet sunny morning for wild flowers to give the Madonna.

[...]

We passed a number of henhouses, each one thoughtfully decorated with a mosaic above the door depicting some incident in hen life. ... I should like to have stopped to examine the hen mosaics, but the driver dashed on towards the dairy. There in a cowshed lined with blue tiles, we saw forty fine Friesland cows being fed in the most modern surroundings. The names, milk yields and maternal particulars were recorded above the mild faces. I was at last able to make the pun that had to be made and must be made by everyone who visits the Pope's farm.

'Where is the papal bull?'

I was led to an adjoining paddock, where an immense, low-slung black and white animal named Christy, the gift of an American to the Holy Father, paused with his mouth full, and gazed at us angrily. He had the bloodshot eyes of an assassin and the lashes of a film star.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Copper Mine

Copper Mine, Belinda Del Pesco

Well Said: The problems you must overcome make you stronger in overcoming them

“It is hard to make that boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of men and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them." — George Yeoman Pocock
Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat:
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for
Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lagniappe: The cover of the book Freddy was reading

The book the Honorable Freddie was reading was a small paper-covered book. Its cover was decorated with a color scheme in red, black and yellow, depicting a tense moment in the lives of a man with a black beard, a man with a yellow beard, a man without any beard at all, and a young woman who, at first sight, appeared to be all eyes and hair. The man with the black beard, to gain some private end, had tied this young woman with ropes to a complicated system of machinery, mostly wheels and pulleys. The man with the yellow beard was in the act of pushing or pulling a lever. The beardless man, protruding through a trapdoor in the floor, was pointing a large revolver at the parties of the second part.

Beneath this picture were the words: "Hands up, you scoundrels!"
P.G. Wodehouse, Something Fresh
Oh, how many books I've enjoyed which were decorated in similar style.

Blogging Around: Suicide, Lost in Space, Harry Dresden

THE RED DOOR FOUNDATION
A worthy ministry intended to provided practical support to families grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide.
The Red Door Foundation is a charity that my living children and I want to set up and run in memory of Anthony, my oldest son who died by suicide on March 8, 2017. These are our first objectives:
  • pay for 6 therapy sessions for each member of the immediate family of someone who has died by suicide in our community right after the death.
  • give children who have lost a parent to suicide a build a bear certificate
  • work with victim services of our local police department to offer dinner/food/hotel for families who lose a family member to suicide the day of the death. (this was a lifesaver in my family’s life since we lost Anthony in our home)
  • the big goal is to open a free mental health clinic in our town preferably at our parish and expand into the surrounding areas and as far as we can manage.
This is the dream and the idea. What we need is about $1,000 to set it all up. That includes getting a logo, a website, 501c3 status and a CPA to make sure everything is legit. We will be working to raise the money to set up as well as to cover the expenses for up to 6 families. Since Anthony’s suicide, there has been five more in our immediate community.
Find out more here. Via National Catholic Register which has an interview with founders Leticia Adams and Gabe Jacobs.


LOST IN SPACE — NOT WESTWORLD, BUT NOT BAD
Lost in Space is not likely to be a show like West World, which deliberately probes the roots and meaning of consciousness in a way that at least tries to be philosophic. Instead, Lost in Space tackles what it means to be a person by approaching the matter through morality and friendship. What is important about the Robot is not really how he could be a moral agent, but, as with the Cylons in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (to which Lost in Space bears some similarities), that it is a moral agent. By examining the Robot’s moral awakening, Lost in Space actually has something to teach us about moral education...
I hadn't paid much attention to Netflix's Lost in Space reboot but this commentary makes me think I'll give it a try.

HARRY DRESDEN — BELOW THE SURFACE
Melanie Bettanelli's been writing some thoughtful pieces about the most recent developments in the Harry Dresden series. I’ve really been enjoying them. I really disliked the book right before Harry reappears as a ghost and so was over with the series. But I like seeing what’s going on below the surface since I’ve been gone. 🙂


NEUTRALITY AND ASSISTED SUICIDE
At its recent House of Delegates meeting, the American Medical Association voted to continue to study the principled stance against physician-assisted suicide that has been part of its Code of Ethics since 1994: “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Advocates of assisted suicide have tried for two years to change this stance to one of “neutrality.” With this vote for delay and further review they will surely continue to do so. But as the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) rightly said after an intensive study of the issue, such “neutrality” can be read as “little more than acquiescence with the contested practice.”

It has been read exactly that way wherever a state medical society has decided to go “neutral” on a proposal to legalize the practice. It sends the signal that there is no serious problem with doctors prescribing lethal drugs so their patients can kill themselves.

At a personal level, neutrality means indifference. As a patient, I’m not sure which statement from my doctor would be more upsetting: “In case you ever ask, I’m willing to help you kill yourself,” or “I simply don’t care whether you kill yourself or not.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has much more to say and it's all good.

For my part, I think this is a good reminder that when we appear neutral about some evil then that neutrality is taken as assent or, at the very least, indifference.

It is certainly ironic that in a world where we are decrying several recent celebrity suicides, we also find people fighting so hard for the right to help people kill themselves. There is a disassociation between the two that isn't being pointed out.

INCREDIBLES 2
I've just got to say that our whole family is excited to see the great reviews that are showing up for this movie. The first was one of the best Pixar gave us, and that's a very high bar. It looks as if this one is in the same league! Can't wait to see it ... though we probably will let the crush die down for a week or two before we get to the theater.

Worth a Thousand Words: Nimitz, Grandfather and Grandson

Captain Charles Nimitz, the founder of the Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg (left)
and his Grandson Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during World War II
Via Traces of Texas which always has something good in the pipeline, both photo and facts, as you can see below.
Captain Charles Nimitz, the founder of the Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg (left) and his Grandson Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during World War II (right), when Chester was a young man. This remarkable photo was taken in Fredericksburg in 1905, where Chester had been born in 1885. Chester's frail, rheumatic father died before Chester was born, but Chester was significantly influenced by the grandfather shown here, who was a former seaman in the German Merchant Marine. I always thought it ironic that the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during the greatest military conflict in history was a Texan who was born and raised in a place as dry and as far from the ocean as Fredericksburg.