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7th-Feb-2016 03:12 pm - yearning across the centuries
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More often than not, it cheers me up when a Vaughan Williams setting is included among the opening hymns. This morning started with the Down Ampney tune, with verses by Bianco da Siena (died c. 1434), translated by Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890) with further alterations by the hymnal editors:

Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let its glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

And so the glory strong,
for which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;

for none can guess its grace,
till we become the place
wherein the holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

First UU Nashville sanctuary, September 2015

The Story for All Ages featured Moses arguing with God about returning to Egypt, and the pastor spoke at length about astronaut Edgar Mitchell during her sermon. Between those two points, the worship associate read Neruda's Keeping Quiet and the chamber choir sang Malcolm Daglish's setting of Wendell Berry's "To the Holy Spirit":

O Thou, far off and here, whole and broken,
Who in necessity and in bounty wait,
Whose truth is light and dark, mute though spoken,
By Thy wide grace show me Thy narrow gate.

Cheekwood, December 2015

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/126527.html.
31st-Jan-2016 10:42 pm - delightfully amiss
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heedless of
the hockey down the street
crocus shoots

The same yard, a week and a day earlier:


It was rather creepy hearing the branches creak and groan under the weight of so much snow.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/126299.html.
21st-Jan-2016 07:31 am - keeping something alive
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at least for a while longer:

hollyhock seedling

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/126021.html.
17th-Jan-2016 05:18 pm - a vocation of agony
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At church this morning, div school student Sara Green read some passages from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech, delivered in 1967. Two excerpts:

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy...

This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/125873.html.
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My parents' wedding album:

100 untimed books - haunting

100 untimed books - haunting

Lynda Hull's poetry:

100 untimed books - haunting

Oh phantoms.
Oh the many lives that have fountained through
my own. Soon, soon, I shall stop upon that platform

& you will meet me there, the world rosegray beyond
the scalloped tops of buildings & we shall seek
that thing which shines & doth so much torment us.

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Prompt 51: another country

The stamp album I kept as a kid:

childhood stamp album

These stamps came from pen pals, I think:

childhood stamp album

Unrelated: headline glimpsed on MSN/NYT a minute ago -- "Socialite Murder Inquiry Reveals Black Market in Hay"

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/125436.html.
6th-Jan-2016 07:57 am - putting teeth onto/into things?
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100 untimed books prompt 50: no idea how I feel

Well, I have mixed feelings about Bobby Flay. I viscerally dislike the whole Throwdown caboodle.

That said, the man likes horses, he seems to support progressive candidates, and I like what I've read about him as a working chef and talent assessor.

For that matter, I have mixed feelings about the Great Chefs--Great Cities book. It was comped to me around 20 years ago, and I've used it more as a flower press than a cooking reference. Most of the recipes are fussier than I'll ever bother with even on a weekend. But I enjoy reading the chef bios, and sometimes looking them up on the net to see where they are now (Jody Adams in particular).

prompt 50 prompt 50

Prompt 52: biting
prompt 52

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/125140.html.
5th-Jan-2016 08:08 pm - some splooshes of Amontillado
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That's what went into the version of wild rice and mushrooms (recipe by Shellie Holmes, adapted by Ligaya Mishan) I cooked tonight. I used half the mushrooms and butter specified and added onions.

For the tuna steaks, I used a Bobby Flay recipe as a starting point for the marinade/sauce, simplifying it to what I had in terms of ingredients and energy: about two cups of red wine, a tablespoon of ancho powder, salt, pepper, allspice, honey, and garlic. I also ladled some of the sauce over the steamed broccoli.

100 untimed books prompt 49: closer

prompt 49 - closer

On page 25, there is a list of common salamanders. There's a poem or three lurking within the names: Smallmouth. Tiger. Hellbenders. Mudpuppies. Dusky...

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/124794.html.
4th-Jan-2016 10:07 pm - hauling (gl)ass
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I was not the only Nashvillian who decided to haul their past weeks' worth of glass to the East collection center this morning:

East Recycling Center East Recycling Center

In my case, it was imperative that I make room in my car for a present waiting for me at Woodland Wine Merchant:

from Woodland Wine Merchant

#100untimedbooks prompt 48: shovels

prompt 48: shovels

"There is the question of individual mining, by which farmers can mine some minerals by truck and shovel..."

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/124453.html.
2nd-Jan-2016 09:03 am - haunted by both high and low
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Put mildly, 2015 was laden with its share of grief and aggro. It also contained a good deal of fun and wham boomery.

Two things that happened that made me happy: I finally tracked down Danny Spanos's "Hot Cherie," a raunchy song I'd heard on the radio as a teenager. Having heard both the name and title wrong back then, it's taken me this long to tunnel back to that earworm. (That metaphor doesn't quite work, does it. Story of 2016 so far...)

I also tracked down a copy of a portrait in the Boston Public Library that doesn't seem to be published anywhere else online: Irwin Hoffman's painting of his wife, Dorothea. I've had a crush on this painting since I first saw it over a decade ago in the library's reading room. The combination of elegance and strength is, as we say in fandom, one of my bulletproof kinks.

For the second day in a row, the urge to return to bed mid-morning is strong. There are, however, plays to read, plants to water and/or transplant, dishes to wash, vocabulary to memorize, brackets to dissect, and figures to tally. Onward!

the tomato loves the wineglass

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/124342.html.
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