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Showing posts from December, 2013

Reading in 2013: Capote, Milosz, Lewis & More

Last day of the year. Last books of the year.

Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories - Truman Capote. The only fiction I read during the semester, this was for a book club meeting that I didn't make it to (thanks a lot, winter cold!). However, I enjoyed it immensely. Not only the title short story, but the three others included in this small volume. I would like to read more Capote. And watch the classic film adaptation with Audrey Hepburn.


As soon as the semester ended, I ravenously picked up more fiction. Actually, that's not entirely true. Before I hit up any fiction, on the silent retreat, I leafed (leaved?) through several books in the monastery guest house's little library, skimming a bunch of Nouwen, and ultimately sitting down to read this book:

Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies Throughout the Ages - Ursula King. I enjoyed this and found it utterly fascinating. For one, it features several women of prominence in their own time and culture, women known…

Peace and Joy

Exams are finished, papers handed in.

I am back from the silent retreat where the snow fell softly for 48 hours and I curled up with books and wrote and thought and sat and breathed deeply. We trekked through the snow to the abbey for prayers. We dreamed and we prayed and we thought and we wrote, and I'm pretty sure we heard things in the silence.

My Christmas shopping is one small gift from finished.The first gift has been given and received. After dinner out with my roommate this evening, we exchanged gifts - beautiful, lovely, thoughtful gifts. And cards. Cards with near-matching sentiments of prayerful care and gratitude for one another. I feel a great deal of gratitude this month, one extended sigh of relief.


And yet, as I ponder the concepts of peace and joy, what they mean, and how we live them out, there is much to be somber about.
This afternoon I took photos for a family whose baby was not expected to live two months, and now they celebrate Christmas with her. Her diagno…

Semester 1: The Home Stretch

I have had a cold since last Monday. Today is the first day I can breathe through my nose. On this Monday, I woke up with a stomach bug.

It was not a pleasant day.

But guess what!? I am nearly better and nearly done.

This morning I sent in a take-home exam and wrote the in-class portion. Then I ate some lunch and laughed a lot and then I went to the library. And now, five hours later, I am almost there.

"There" being finished. I have one half of a ten page assignment completed. The difficult half. So I came online and said hi to a friend:

me:want to skim seven pages of catechetical analysis?
ha ha ha ha ha ha wait. only 6 pages. it is supposed to be 4. :S Teagen:catechteticghctall? kitty-catical? kitty, calico?? me:yep. it's six pages of kitty pictures and criticism of them. Teagen:then YES!!! give them here Oh, if only I were analyzing adorable kittens.  Although I am also enjoying this assignment. But not as much as I will enjoy no assignments, for almost a month. A MONTH!
Ok. B…

3 Thoughts & A Poem

Last week of classes. I feel a bit bittersweet. Like I haven't learned enough to earn any credits. There is still so much that I don't know; I wonder how I will feel at the end of the degree and whether it will still seem like such a tiny fraction of the things that could be known.

Next week is exams, and then I'm going to get out of Dodge (Ford) City and have a silent weekend of thought and writing to see what to do with all that this fall has held, in and out of classes. I'm quite excited for a getaway, the friends coming along, and what it means to be together without speaking. No, seriously - speaking is not allowed inside the monastery we're staying at.

I've started reading poetry before bed. It helps me unwind and encourages me to think creatively. I am almost finished a volume of Czeslaw Milosz' work that I started 18 months ago. Here is one I particularly liked last night:


VOICE

It was in hospitals that I learned humility
and I walk, listening to a …