Saturday, July 18, 2015

7 quick takes on 7 links I can't stop thinking about this week

One of my favorite Frederick Buechner quotations.

| 1 | Nicholas E. Booth, 35: Sugar Creek, MO by Ahna Phillips at Lament for the Dead 
"All I can do is pray
that now you rest,
worn, worn-out man
in the able Hands
that eagerly cast on
again and again."
"Lament for the Dead is an online community poetry project which will mark the death of every person killed by police this summer, and every police this summer, and every police officer who loses life in the line of duty, with a poem."  So glad for this meaningful project and so impressed with my friend Ahna's thoughtful response to Nicholas E. Booth's life and death. 

| 2 | Solidarity with Greeks by Patrick Comerford
"Eating in Greek restaurants is a gesture of solidarity with the Greek community in any town or city. The restaurant probably sources much of its food locally, but wine, spirits and coffee may be imported from Greece, so your custom helps support Greek exports, and your custom helps a family here to send back money to Greece."
I read Patrick Comerford's blog for ideas about Ireland and Anglicanism so his mini-series on practical ways to support Greece totally got my attention.  Also, if eating Greek food helps anyone, I'm all in.

| 3 | I, Racist by John Metta at Medium 
"This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings. 
White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.
John Metta's words are helping me toward even better understanding and reminding me again that, more than ever, we have an opportunity to repent.  By "we", I mean me and you. By "opportunity" I mean a charge for right now.  Will you join me?

"We stood amazed as dozens of dragonflies zipped from one leaf to another, their iridescent wings glinting in the sun. They ranged from cobalt blue to malachite to charcoal black. We wondered whether the insects changed color depending on the angle of the sun, or whether there were actually three different varieties of dragonfly dipping in and out of the shadows."
I'm always a fan of Michelle DeRusha's photography, and I'm looking forward to digging through the Literary Tour archives at Tweetspeak.  

Of course, this reminds me of our own series of (international) neighborhood notes this year when a dozen of you shared your own local ground:  Walking Epiphany  

Brian and our scaredy-dog Leopold on a neighborhood tour, January 2015.

| 5 | 
Harper Lee's new novel: read the first chapter at The Guardian
"Jean Louise Finch always made this journey by air, but she decided to go by train from New York to Maycomb Junction on her fifth annual trip home. For one thing, she had the life scared out of her the last time she was on a plane: the pilot elected to fly through a tornado. For another thing, flying home meant her father rising at three in the morning, driving a hundred miles to meet her in Mobile, and doing a full day’s work afterwards: he was seventy-two now and this was no longer fair."
I can't decide yet if I'm going to read the new release.  Some things are best left unfinished, am I right?  Still I enjoyed the guilty pleasure of this gimicky animated first chapter narrated by Reese Witherspoon.  It kinda worked for me.
You guys!  Why didn't I figure this out ages ago?  I literally can not deal with the herky-jerky of an untended FB news feed.  I can not watch a video of a sleepy meerkat in one second and read about a refugee crisis the next.  And, Lord have mercy, the photographs some of you people choose to share!  I'm so sorry you broke your toe, but I don't, for the love of God, want to see it! After reading the tutorial (with screenshots!) I made the following lists:  

  • The Fam 
  • Kindreds (by this I mean those who share an aesthetic je ne sais quoi, and as far as I know have never published a photo of broken appendages or the like.)
  • Chrish Church (so I can stay up to date with the daily comings and goings my church community)
  • Favorite Pages 
  • Prayer list (At any given time, any number of friends are walking through a difficult journey in which they share updates via social media.  I try always (and fail often) to be in a prayerful mindset, but when I click this list I am especially intentional about praying through the updates posted.)

(I wish I could remember where I learned about this post.  Hat tip to someone!)

| 7 | Democracy's Messengers 

"In 2011, the House of Representatives made a controversial decision to end its 200-year-old "Page" program, which brought young Americans to Congress as messengers.  With a fly-on-the wall perspective, Pages witnessed the most extraordinary events in U.S. history.  Many have gone on to become senators, congressmen, presidential advisers, civic leaders, and successful entrepreneurs.

We're telling their story for the first time."
In the spring semester for 2011, our son Alex was part of the Congressional Page Program.  He lived in Washington, D.C. for six months and we're still pinching ourselves about the whole experience.  We didn't know it then, but his class would be the last after a 200 year run.  I'm so glad that someone is making a documentary about the quiet history of this extraordinary program.  

We found Alex a few places in the trailer!  

Alex's Page class with then newly-minted Speaker of the House John Boehner

The hand reaching into the shot to meet President Obama just before his 2011 State of the Union address.


Hoping for a good and content weekend for us all, friends.


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