Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Lookin' Good!

Who ever decides what looks good as a haircut and what doesn't any way? One day last week I woke up to the most unruly head of hair known to restless sleepers. Had no time to mess with it other than put a little de-frizzer on it lest it remind someone instantly upon sight of me that the Einstein look is still fashionable. During the course of the day I received more comments on how cute my hair was since the time I first had my long wait-length locks of brunette hair chopped off as a senior in high school. What gives? I mean, granted, some people could have secretly been harboring the all too honest thought of, "Poor child, looks like she had a long night", or "Guuurrrll...you were on your way to lookin' good when you got your hair cut, now you just need somebody to help you out with the stylin' and profilin' part!" But honestly, I think most people really liked it. Don't get me wrong, if less stress and a little mess get me by then I say "Lord bless"!

But then there was today. Ten people--I kid you not--said my hair looked real good and asked if I had gotten it cut. After number four I wanted to release my inner child and scream out, "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!", but figured that would not be appropriate given 1) my age, and 2) the simplicity of the topic at hand. Once again though, the hair decided to do its own thing. I didn't tweak it. I didn't argue with it. I even let it part a little more down the middle than to the side in memory of the fact that my father no longer even has hair down the middle. It did its little curl under thing without aid or assistance and without ever even asking me if that's how I like it done or bothering to let me know whether this was a once in a lifetime look or if it might actually decide to be accommodating for a change. I think all the attention kept it in its place.

Today was a more orderly traditional look. Last week was going for the wind-blown-I-paid-a-lot-for-this-look look. Both received complements. I wonder if they were from the same people. If so that might be a personal issue! I think I'll work on a mullet look and see what snide remarks--if any--or inquiring acknowledgements--if any--I get from that. Then again, may be I should just learn my lesson and let nature run its course! Hmmm, what will tomorrow's hairstyle be....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Meet Me in London in Twenty Dayes!

Preface to The Pilgrim’s Way
By Arthur Quiller-Couch

It is a disease of us English, and I think a reproach to that reformed religion which most of us profess, that we no longer go on pilgrimages. We travel more furiously than ever, and our propensity for it has passed into a by-word among the nations: but we travel among phenomena, and either in that rage for sight-seeing which Matthew Arnold summarized once for all, or in pursuit of bodily, not spiritual, health. Yet we were once a great people for pilgrimages for our spiritual health; and the roads along which we tear in motors or on bicycles intersect and sometimes follow for miles the tracks whereby the Englishman used to ride or trudge—once in his lifetime, perhaps, but for his soul’s great benefit—to Canterbury, Walsingham, St. Michael’s Mount. For most of us the frequented stretches of these old roads have had their significance rubbed out of them: it is where the track diverges—where the rider on his way home from the hunt crosses a ribbon of short turf winding over the downs—that the lesson is more likely to be read: and this is a pity, for it effaces by a foolish antiquarian interest what should be a present practical one. If the new road lead us better to Walsingham than the old, by all means let the old be superseded. But does the new lead to Walsingham?

I want to urge here a reason or two why this good custom of our fathers, of going on pilgrimages, should not be discontinued.

In the first place, a man ought, at least once in his life, to commit himself to some great undertaking such as a pilgrimage; for a man has only one life to live. Also it will help to make him an agreeable fellow. He will derive an astonishing amount of amusement from planning the cost, pouring over maps, and discussing the adventure beforehand with his wife; and afterwards he can tell his neighbors about it.

Next, although a holiday is good, a pilgrimage is better; for it proceeds from those impulses which, though he repress them by daily work, still intrude and whisper that he was born for higher things. Almost every man feels that his fate holds him down to a rut; that, though he love his wife and children, he has missed for their sake to do God (whatever his God may be) some service which had been within his free capacity. Therefore his release upon pilgrimage offers him something which is more than a holiday, and at the same time something which is better, being less. It has not the dissoluteness of a holiday, which so often disappoints because the holiday-maker has cut himself off from his interests, and changed them for

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,

Whereas the pilgrim is one who has made an appointment with his higher self, to meet at some distant date and place. As Donne says—

Meet me in London then
Twenty dayes hence, and thou shalt see
Me fresher and more fat, by being with men,
Than if I had staid still with her and thee.

“By being with men”—that is another gain of the pilgrim’s. He not only, like Ulysses, visits cities and foreigners, and learns their minds: he makes acquaintance, among his fellow-travellers, with men at once “practical”, taking the day as it comes, and congregationally bent on bettering their souls. Their sociability (you may note this in Chaucer’s pilgrims) does not hide their serious common purpose, but rather takes it for granted, and so makes it more real.

Again, the pilgrim is doing what the race has done constantly for many thousands of years; and to any one with a catholic mind (no matter what his creed) this ought to be a tremendous argument.

Lastly, he is putting into drama and acting for himself that parable which—so true is it—has in one way and another inspired the very best books in the world—among them the Odyssey, and Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, Don Quixote. All these are but different versions of the Pilgrim’s Progress: and if this little book dares to follow the parable, it is because a truth so universal covers the small equally with the great.

We are all on pilgrimage here: and though to beguile the road I have sung a song or two, and told perhaps too many stories, there has also been time to make a notebook of a few good thoughts I met on the way and pondered and sometimes took to rest with me. Perhaps the best of all, for all weathers and for every business, is the following of Fenelon’s, which I have kept for my preface:

“Do everything without excitement, simply in the spirit of grace. So soon as you perceive natural activity gliding in, recall yourself quietly into the presence of God….You will find yourself infinitely more quiet, your words will be fewer and more effectual, and, while doing less, what you do will be more profitable. It is not a question of a hopeless mental activity, but a question of acquiring a quietude and peace in which you readily advise with your beloved as to all you have to do."

A.T. Quiller-Couch

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jayme Tagged Me...

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Church Janitor
2. Farro’s Little Italy Official Dish Washer
3. Admin. Assistant for King’s Meadow
4. Logic Teacher at Franklin Classical School

Four Goals I Set This Year:
1. Finishing my Bannockburn Degree—all I lack is…and yet...
2. Get My Knees In Shape Enough to Run for the FCS Fundraiser
3. Remember More of What I Read
4. Keep Breathing

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
I typically do not watch any movies over, much less over and over. So here are movies I have watched more than once.
1. Steel Magnolias
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. Harry Potter
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Four Places I've Lived:
1. Hammond, IN
2. Kernersville, NC
3. China Grove, NC
4. Franklin, TN

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
Given that I do not have a TV I hope that past shows will suffice.
1. MacGuyver
2. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation
4. American Idol (on occasion, and with people like Mr. Wilbur)

Four Vacation Spots:
1. Vacation? What’s that?
2. Home
3. Romney, WV
4. Cambridge, England

Four Websites I Visit:
1. Blogs
2. Google.com (many times daily, especially used as a spell check)
3. Gardner-Webb.edu
4. Titansonline.com

Favorite Foods:
1. Avacados
2. Strawberries
3. Meat (Fat Moe’s burgers, Mickey Roo’s bar-b-que, Ronnie’s buffalo wings)
4. Guacamento with Bacon sandwich from the Franklin Mercantile

Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
1. Any where but Vanderbuilt hospital
2. Home reading my soon to arrive copy of Sophie’s World
3. Driving across Kansas where all I can see for miles in every direction is flat land
4. With friends singing from Arrayed Before the Throne

I tag:
1. Brianna Bleymaier
2. Greg Wilbur
3. Kelly Scherrer
4. Bonnie Buckingham

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day by James Taylor

Beneath the tide the fishes glide
Fin to fin and side to side
For fishy love has now begun
Fishy love, finny fun

Paper moon, paper heart
Pink balloon, work of art
Al Capone, Bugs Moran
Valentine's Day

Bootleg gin, porkpie hat
Dew Drop Inn, dirty rat
Through the heart, Cupid's dart
Valentine's Day

Day to repay the one that you love
Gentlemen take off your hats as I speak thereof
Just a brief break from the push and the shove
We may go a few rounds without boxing gloves

Land your punch, I stand my ground
We break for lunch and a second round
We set them up, we knock them down
Valentine's Day

Me and you, you and him
Him and her, us and them
We keep score, love as war
Valentine's Day

I lost my teeth, I lost my hair
I lost my mind, you don't care
Love is war, all is fair
On Valentine's Day