Bloggerhood Etc. 6/30/14

Reflecting trees in lake

Photo: Jon Eben Field (CC BY 2.0)

Maybe it’s because my dad is visiting us this week, but the posts I liked most seemed a little more reflective than usual. There’s an abundance of self-reflection, lots of looking back, and a little bit of silliness to break the serious stuff up in this round up of my favorite posts of the week.

Best Parenting Post.Why I’m Fine With My Kids Growing Up So Fast” by Aaron Gouveia at The Daddy Files.

Best Reflection.The Pressure of Definition” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Self-Analysis.A Generational Faith Journey Told by a Fortysomething GenXer” by Carmen Andres at In the Open Space.

Most Inspiring.This Beautiful Bride Wasn’t Going To Let Anything Stand In The Way Of Her Wedding — Not Even Cancer” by Cavan Sieczkowski at Huff Post Weddings.

Best Boast.I Ate the Rangers 2-Foot Korean Beef Sandwich and Lived” by Marc Normandin in SB Nation.

Best Milestone Post. “What Turning 40 Means to Me” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best List.The 7 Biggest Mistakes of My Twenties” by Lindsay Morris at Relevant.

Best Special Needs Post.Privy to Joy” by Kara Dedert at Not Alone.

Best Spoken Word Poetry.You Can’t Keep Me Out” by Tamára Lunardo at A Deeper Story.

Best Advice.How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket” by The Rookie Dad.

Best Guide to Prayer.How a Protestant Learned to Pray Like a Catholic (and actually started LIKING prayer)” by Elisabeth Esther.

Best Video.This VIDEO will BLOW YOUR MIND and be the BEST PART OF YOUR DAY!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

You won’t believe what happens next!

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Bloggerhood Etc. 4/28/14

Redskins and Dolphins in SB VII

The Redskins of my childhood (Photo: Getty Images)

Happy Monday! Wait … is there such a thing?

Here’s the best of week …

Best Article.A Decade Without a First-Round Pick” by Mike Tanier on Sports on Earth.

Most Honest.Infertility Awareness Week: A Catholic Perspective” by Aimee Murphy (and numerous contributors from a Facebook infertility support group, some of whom chose to remain anonymous) at Ramblings of an Interested Party.

Most Poetic.The Popular Poet” by John Blase, guesting on Addie Zierman’s How to Talk Evangelical blog.

Best Reflection.Shared Sacrifice” by Msgr. Micheal Heintz at America.

Best Photoblog.Pattern” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Biggest Blowout (in any sport, ever).NBA Y2K: OutKast’s quest for 404 points in one game” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Best Special Needs Post.3D Printers: The Future is Now” by Jolene Philo at Not Alone.

Best Guest Post.In which we’re telling a new narrative about gender roles and racial reconciliation” by Osheta Moore at Sarah Bessy’s blog.

Most Thought-Provoking.The Day the Place Cards Were Burned” by Natalie Trust.

Most Nostalgic.Traveling the Oregon Trail” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best List.Top Ten Ways to Misuse the Bible {from an ex-fundamentalist guilty of ALL ten}” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Video.Play House” by Alex Allmont on Vimeo.

If only LEGO did that when I was a kid!

Bloggerhood Etc 2/3/14

Super Bowl Champions!

Photo: Mike Siegel/Seattle Times

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks. My daughter’s favorite NFL team are World Champions! Now on to a post-Super-Bowl best (and worst) of the week.

Biggest Blowout.Breaking Madden: The Super Bowl in which the machine bleeds to death” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

For this, the season finale of Breaking Madden, there will be bitter cold and heavy snowfall. There will also be, Lord willing, the most one-sided result in the history of sports. In the greatest American football rout of historical record, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College, 222-0. I want to multiply that. I want a thousand points in one game.

This is how we’re going to try.

The Match Up?

Breaking Madden

Image: Jon Bois/SB Nation

The result?

THE HORROR!

Image: Broken Madden

“…the machine bled to death.”

And you thought yesterday’s game was bad. Now on to some good stuff …

Best Story.Of Clouds, Quiet Tears, and Sunrise” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

Best Article.Rise of the Lean Artist—the Birth of Musician 2.0” by Michael Cheng at Medium.

Best List.The 23 People You Meet at Every Super Bowl Party” by Spencer Hall at SB Nation.

Best Cause.Saint G.K. Chesterton” by Dale Ahlquist at Catholic Exchange.

Best Parenting Post.Having a Son Has Ruined Football for Me” by Scott Benner at Huff Post Parents.

Best Question.Who is My Digital Neighbor?” by Stephen Okey at Millennial.

Best Poem.Final Request” by John at The Beautiful Due.

Best Video.Johnny T’s Guide to Attending the Super Bowl” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“So you see a Jets fan, you be nice! You say ‘I’m sorry … that you’re a Jets fan.'”

What if it’s all Rhythm?

Open score.

J.S. Bach, Mass in B Minor, vocal score (Photo: Claire Stewart)

I saw poet Phil Long perform at the Faith and Culture Writers Conference last April, and amidst the torrents of words and images that flowed from his heart and through his lips surfaced a question about life that became the focus of his poetic whirlpool.

“What if it’s all poetry?”

I thought about that question tonight as I finally sat down after a long day to clear my thoughts and tackle this week’s Five Minute Friday. And soon, another question arose in my mind.

“What if it’s all rhythm?”

Rhythm, along with language, is the essence of poetry. Rhythm is what gives poetry its structure, its drive, its emotion and often even some if its imagery.

That’s why a line like “Seagulls swooped overhead, periodically pausing to punch holes in the surf” creates an visual image beyond the meaning of the words. Alliteration, onomatopoeia,  and the length and pacing of words gives the sentence a rhythm that matches the movement within the scene.

Rhythm is also the essence of life. We exist in time. Our hearts beat at a regular tempo. Day and night cycle regularly and our biology cycles with it.

Us and all living things.

So maybe the question is this. What if we—and just we—are both rhythm and language, the essential elements of poetry? And what if we—and just we—are both because we alone are made in the Image of God? What if the whole universe is a symphony composed and conducted by God, and through us what was once the inexpressible beauty of the divine has become known as God set words to the music?

What if the universe, the whole of creation, is rhythm and melody and harmony, and it is we who are the poetry?

And what if that is what makes us uniquely in the Image of God?

Five Minute Friday

Quote

A Poem for Today

Robert Frost in 1910

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost, Mountain Interval (1916)

Quote

Mary, May, and Mothers’ Day

Icon of the Virgin and Child surrounded by flowers

The Virgin of Zirovitskaya (Reproduction by HolyTrinityStore.com)

“The May Magnificat” by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunist
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question : What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

May God bless all mothers today and every day. Amen.

Quote

A Poem for Ascension Day

Monarch Butterfly

Photo: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“Easter wings.” from The Temple by George Herbert (1593 – 1633).

Lord, who created man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poor:
With thee
Oh let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did begin:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Most thin.
With thee
Let me combine
And feel this day thy victory:
For, if I imp my wing on thine
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

The first graders at Anna’s school are releasing their butterflies later this morning, and while the choice of today is a coincidence, they couldn’t have chosen better.