Friday, January 29, 2010

While I only got through half of 'The Catcher in the Rye' (I honestly felt like I was going crazy), the character of J.D. Salinger is fascinating. I wonder what it would have been like for his wife and daughter to know why he was choosing to be alone, to be a recluse, and wonder why the world couldn't leave him alone. Maybe they wanted to explain it to everyone and tell them to back off.

This is from an Esquire article from 1997 where a reporter found Salinger's house and went there:

"There's a line in Mao II, Don DeLillo's novel about a Salinger-like reclusive writer who wonders: Why are so many so obsessed with my invisibility, my hiddenness, my absence?

"When a writer doesn't show his face," he answers himself, "he becomes a local symptom of God's famous reluctance to appear."

The silence of a writer is not the same as the silence of God, but there's something analogous: an awe-inspiring creator, someone we believe has some answers of some kind, refusing to respond to us, hiding his face, withholding his creation. The problem, the rare phenomenon of the unavailable, invisible, indifferent writer (indifferent to our questions, indifferent to the publicity-industrial complex so many serve), is the literary equivalent of the problem of theodicy, the specialized subdiscipline of theology that addresses the problem of the apparent silent indifference of God to the hell of human suffering.

And when a writer won't break his silence, we think of ways to break into it. We think of knocking on his door or leaving messages in his mailbox."

Read more:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"He admires as a lover, not as a connoisseur. To satisfy me, those characters must be united. I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings. The same books, the same music must charm us both."

- Sense and Sensibility

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Artifice did not stand a chance in that atmosphere, which was why I focused on people's hands instead of their faces. An unguarded face is a deep well; you don't go there casually, without ropes or lamps. So I practiced what some religious orders still call 'custody of the eyes,' not only because eyes are portholes, but also because one does not gaze directly upon the Holy and live."

- Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church, talking about when she would give communion

Armani Prive (link)

I think this actually looks really cool.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

from fashion is poison

"In the bay, there are two rocks sitting side-by-side, one large, one smaller- known as Meoto-iwa (the Wedded Rocks). Two rocks are tied together by shimenawa, ceremonial rope that is made of entwined and twisted rice straw and is used to mark off sacred or purified areas, and you can often see it on the gates of shrines. One of these ropes is suspended between the rocks and serves as a torii, a type of gateway that demarcates the precincts of Futami Okutama Jinja."

wikipedia article on shimenawa (here). there's a cool picture of shimenawa in a temple on the cover of a smithsonian magazine that has been in my counselor's office for months. it's gorgeous.

Another Illustrated Missed Connection:

Thursday, January 14, 2010
-m4w - 28
Not only did you introduce me to the wonderful world of knitting, I quickly found myself smitten with you after chatting for a few minutes. Despite you mentioning you had a boyfriend, I can only hope he is terminally ill so that I'll get a shot at knitting something for you one day.
You were one of the warmest people I've met on a subway at 2am, and a reminder why I love this city.

perfect dream room:

ffffound via etc.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

apple clouds!

so cloud computing is pretty interesting and i'm pretty sure it's the future. (wiki: cloud computing). basically all this means is that one day we'll all have super-slim laptops which are made for connecting to the internet only. all of our files will be located on the internet so we can access them from anywhere. many obvious benefits to this. being of my generation, i am not scared of infringements on my privacy or losing files, so cloud computing is not scary at all.

apple bought lala (which has replaced the imeem hole in my heart once they went to myspace - which is dumb) and now there's this thing called music mover. it takes all of your itunes music and puts it on the internet only for you (i think).

here are some articles about it:

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Over the last three fill-ups, I have gotten an average of 23 miles per gallon in my volvo s40. lame. I heard about hypermiling for the first time on one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Should Know. this guy thinks he can fix my mpg problem:


sometimes I don't know what to do or say to youth group kids. sometimes i don't know what to do with relationships with people my own age. why love? why not power, or diplomacy, or equality, or charity? love above all. because love is all of those things, except in different times. suckers.

Women is a band. (Here), you can listen to them on Lala. I saw them on meredith's thing on lala.

Friday, January 8, 2010

welcome, elsie.

My best friend from high school, Nina, had a baby girl today. Her name is Elsie Grey. Tonight I listened to the most recent episode of This American Life on its podcast. This part of the episode made me think about the hope and longing that parents have for their kids. Welcome to the world, Elsie.

From This American Life, "2010" -
A man and his wife nicknamed their fetus POTUS (president of the united states), and dreamt about what she would look like. One day Jonathan Menjivar, the dad, who is one of the producers of Fresh Air, saw a girl on the street who looked exactly how he imagined his daughter would look. He wanted to stop and ask her questions about her life, like...

"what do you like more, seeing fireflies for the first time in the summer or the first fat snowflakes in the winter? really though, every question was some variation one the one big question I'll try my whole life to make POTUS answer 'yes' to: Are you happy? It's also, I realize, the question I can't predict the answer to."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the seventh seal and bazan

I've been a consumer of media all winter break so far. I love it, but what am I doing, really?
I looked up the Criterion Collection and requested a few from the library. So far I have watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (terrifying and wonderful) and parts of The Seventh Seal (hey marta, wanna come out to a jazz bar? yes. click.) I have really enjoyed both, but not in a Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights type of way. They're so interesting.

Here are some quotes from The Seventh Seal:
Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one's senses? Why does he hide in a cloud of half-promises and unseen miracles? How can we believe in the faithful when we lack faith? What will happen to us who want to believe, but can not? What about those who neither want to nor can believe? Why can't I kill God in me? Why does He live on in me in a humiliating way - despite my wanting to evict Him from my heart? Why is He, despite all, a mocking reality I can't be rid of?

Faith is a torment. It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call.

Both quotes are from Antonius Block, who is a knight just back from the Crusades in the middle ages. At the beginning of the movie he is approached by Death. Block challenges Death to a chess game, thereby delaying his death. In the meantime Block and his squire travel around and meet people. I didn't get to the end.
The movie was made in 1956 by Ingmar Bergman and speaks to the idea of the times that life is full of absurd events and is overall meaningless. The way it interacts with religion is fascinating. I dig the quotes.

Especially the first quote reminds me of David Bazan (former singer of Pedro the Lion). A friend of mine saw him in a house show last month and has been haunted by his humble approach to doubting his faith. Here you can see it in his song "Stitches," which has haunted me as well.

I need no other memory
Of the bits of me I left
When all this lethal drinking
Is to hopefully forget about you

I might as well admit it
Like I even have a choice
The crew have killed the captain
But they still can hear his voice
A shadow on the water
A whisper in the wind
On long walks with my daughter
Who is lately full of questions about you

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It's been interesting as my friends and I have become more and more interested in the spiritual disciplines to think about why we are interested in it. We obviously believe that there is a need in our individual spiritual lives for more discipline. We must feel this way because there seemed to be a lack of it in what we were taught.

I was thinking about this as I was talking with my boss today at the florist shop, who is a Christian and about my parents' age. It seems as though my parents' generation reacted against the spiritual disciplines employed by their parents' generation (my grandparents) version of Christianity. It seemed like works-righteousness. So my parents' generation reacted and pushed a grace-centered faith-based religion. My boss confirmed this.

So my generation is again seeking balance by swinging the pendulum the other way, back toward spiritual discipline. What I really want to do is be aware of and involved in the full spectrum of Christian spiritual expression.

meredith, sharon, and i are looking for a monastery near st. louis where we can go for a day or two and participate in praying the hours or silence or something.

Brian McLaren (famous for his Generous Orthodoxy and the emergent church movement): Finding our Way Again: The return of the ancient practices