Saturday, January 13, 2007


1. It's good to take a few days off.

2. I took the time to read a number of blogs which I seldom reach. I rediscovered a few that I've overlooked for a long time. I'm going to continue updating my link list, which I use to make the rounds. (I subscribed to bloglines months ago, but I never could figure out how it works.)

3. I read a number of conservative Presbyterian blogs. There is so much anger and vituperation out there. I guess I'll keep reading them, because they open the window to a world I seldom encounter in my real life Presbyterian church, but I'm going to cut back considerably on the time I allot to them.

4. I read Chaim Potok's The Promise. I had no idea that there was a sequel to The Chosen until I found it lying around at school the other day. I first read The Chosen when it came out in 1967; I would have been 13 or 14 and I recall the hardback, new from the library, lying on the hall table. As a girl from the rural midwest, I read it for the the story of Danny and Reuven growing up; the Hasidic and Orthodox worlds it portrays and the complexities of Zionist politics it debates went right over my head. Today, as a teacher in an orthodox Jewish school, I read Potok's books differently (and I pronouce the names of the characters correctly). Ironically, it has been my reading of The Promise over the past few days that has cracked open my understanding of the rage expressed by so many of the conservative branch of my own church.

I started reading The Brothers Karamazov. I am embarrassed to admit that this is my first time through. Not a book that any Christian, or any person at all of any belief or no belief should pass through life without at least encountering. And, preferably, embracing.

6. And I started reading a book on the spirituality of John Calvin. Didn't know he had any, did you? That's why it helps to have Jesuit friends; they've read everything. The slender volume cost me some effort and a pretty penny to obtain, and it's tough going, but I figure that after three or four times through, I should have a beginner's undertsanding.

7. The Lovely Daughter and I went out yesterday and used up her gift cards (and then some) and went to see The History Boys. Great movie. Great play.

8. And I discovered a new form of online entertainment: the 365 Project. In its original form, you post a picture a day and ~ voila'! ~ at the end of the year, you have a mini record of what you've paid attention to. More importantly, you do pay attention. Some people are posting short reflections instead. I suppose that I will make my usual muddle of things by starting nearly two weeks late and posting an amalgamation of photos and words. I debated for a few moments about whether to start a new 365 blog, but I have restrained myself. I'll just toss the entries in here. And as I update my links, I'll point you to other 365s as I find them.

9. P.S. (after the mail arrived): I've been admitted to both the Presby seminaries to which I applied. The Lovely Daughter returns to College Far, Far Away tonight so I have her on my mind right now, which means that I can circle around my own decision process from a distance and on tiptoes.


thechurchgeek said...

Great to have you join in on project 365! I started this on Jan 1, but it gets harder every day to post a new picture.

I've debated also about separating the photos into a new blog. So far I've decided to keep them together. Mostly because I'd rather not work on two blog interfaces.

Also, because I've discovered that the photos bring a bit more traffic and a different group of folks to the blog; i.e. more exposure.

ppb said...

I'm doing 365 in words. Mostly as a writing discipline. I'm not even advertising its location....yet. who knows. I may get lonely and bored and beg for comments.

Re: bloglines. I'm just now quitting bloglines for Sage--Sage is just a very happy mac combo. But if you're having trouble with bloglines, let me know. It's been a godsend to me! h

Jodie said...

Hello Robin/Gannet Girl,

You left a lovely comment for me back on another blog, so I thought I’d come over and say thanks. Not much middle ground over there.

No, I don’t have a blog of my own. Been thinking about it.

You are right about the anger and vituperation out there. I’ve been exploring it with a kind of morbid fascination that can’t be healthy in the long run. I keep trying to reach the source of the angst, but it’s like a vision in the fog; just when I think I start to see it, it disappears again. I tried once before many years ago in college in Kansas and failed miserably. My current interest is sparked by the realization that the secular neo-cons are exploiting the sentiments of conservative Presbyterians for their own geo-political benefit and literally financing an attempt to break up the PCUSA from the inside. It’s one thing to let sleeping dogs lie; it’s quite another when the neighbor bullies rattle their cages for sport.

Theologically I think there is a crisis of faith among our conservative brothers (some sisters too). I have a fantasy that I can help.

So you are going to seminary? I am a Presbyterian PK and MK on both sides of the family. To some extent it is my “family business”. I escaped, sorta. Three generations would have been too much, but it’s in my blood anyway.

Anyway, it is nice to read your healthy posts. Centering and pleasant. I’ll be back.


Carol said...

Congratulations on your seminary acceptances! Let us know how the decision making process is going. Your week's rest sounds totally rejuvenating for the perspective and experiences it allowed you. I think I'll have to pick up The Chosen and The Promise again myself. And I've never read The Brothers Karamazov; perhaps I should add them to my lengthy list. No words of wisdom on the 365 blog other than the fact that it could give you some discipline. Then again, I hate "have to's" and that sort of thing so fear I'd wash out quite quickly causing me to feel like a failure.

Quotidian Grace said...

So, accepted to BOTH seminaries? I'm not surprised. Let us know where your discernment takes you. This is very exciting!

Lisa :-] said...

BIG ole high five on the Presby Seminary acceptances. Now comes the really tough decision (one of a chain thereof?)

The 365 project sounds interesting. Wish I had the time, myself...

Cynthia said...

I am so excited that you have been accepted into both seminaries. I hate to admit that I've never read The Brothers Karamazov either.

sunflowerkat119 said...

What wonderful news....that you were accepted at both seminaries. Decisions, decisions!

I recently encountered project 365 and I know I should participate....but I feel pressure just thinking about it. Isn't that absurd?

Paul said...

Well, congratulations on the admissions. I guess I wasn't enough of a bad influence.

Kathryn said...

Lots more on my reading list now. Congrats again on the acceptances!

Bedazzzled1 said...

I read both of Potok's books so many years ago that I cannot even recall what they were about. Time to dig through my books and find them.

The daily photograph idea is a great one. How neat to have what will essentially be a photo album. I think that is so neat.

Virginia said...

Congratulations on both acceptances!

Peace, Virginia