...Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything—God and our friends and ourselves included—as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

from Mere Christianity, Part 51
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins 2001) 118.

Musings on DHL

To consider: in my old life, if I were sick and spending a day at home, a knock from a courier usually meant something exciting was about to happen. A book I ordered two weeks ago? A replacement part for a nearly-abandoned project being shipped from Hong Kong ($0.99 and Free shipping!) via the slowest route possible? In my new life, packages I order come from "the Amazon" and arrive a few days later, with barely a knock on the door; the courier who knocks on the door is delivering a priority-express-document package from some third-world country with important documents for my wife to look over (pertaining to the immigration case of some desperate individual.) [sigh]

Friday, the 13th (part n.)

The thirteenth is a day of Christmas choir performances, half-watched DVDs, and reading obscure novels during long drives.

It is a day of not-quite-functional washing machines, gas heaters that blow themselves out, and toaster ovens that don't quite hold all four slices of pizza at once.

The thirteenth is a day of leftover pizza, stolen french-fries, and chocolate chip cookies that were freshly-baked when you left home and invisible by the time you go to bed.

It is also a day of "I'm tired let's sleep in", of "it's too cold for t-shirts but much too warm for sweaters," and of "I think I might still be fighting off that stomach flu, maybe the pizza was a bad idea." 

The thirteenth is, in short, just another Friday. But *what* a just-another-Friday it is.

Posted via Blogaway

Posted via Blogaway

22 November

It's been 50 years since Jack said farewell. He was 64.

Arise my body, my small body, we have striven Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven. Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go, White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow, Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light, And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night, -A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up, Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness. Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent To weariness' and pardon's watery element. Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death; Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath.
Professor Lewis was granted a space in Poets' Corner today; while some think he's not exactly a poet, I think the description is just fine.

Tradeshow Games

Making it through the not-terrible eggs, half-decent sausage, and really-nasty hashbrown without getting ketchup on anything while at one of those standing tradeshow-floor tables feels like a real accomplishment.
Proceeding to the post-breakfast-coffee tables and getting your hands sticky from the quite-good danish, now without recourse to the paper napkins you felt so good about not needing only moments ago, feels a defeat worthy of Sophocles.


Although I walk in dead of night
My mind in places far away
The snowflakes glint in pale moonlight
Now absent fear, joy remains

To Thine Own Self Be True

Alone, in the dark, far from home.

Definition. The last bastion against meaninglessness. When all seems upended, perverted, and mistaken, we define our world with defensive reflex, write a song of lament for what is, was, could have been.

And so, in throes of desperation,
When all else resists my definition,
I turn my weary words inward
And cry out to define myself

Alone, in the dark, far from home.

"Above all beware of excessive day dreaming, of seeing yourself in the centre of a drama, of self pity, and, as far as possible, of fears." The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis V1: Family Letters 1905-1931

in lieu of originality

IF you were coming in the fall,
I ’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I ’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I ’d count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

-Emily Dickinson