Sun. 04.09.17 – The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth – photo by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950
Tidbits for a Sunday afternoon’s reading:
The Art and Design of End Papers
The beautiful choral music of Suor Leonora d’Este
Thinker, tailor, soldier, spy: The extraordinary women of Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji’s harem
Erica Wilson, The Julia Child of Needlework
Which led to the Queen’s Coronation Gown and her Maids of Honor, then and now:
A book review that is a good read in and of itself:The Souls of China by Ian Johnson – the resurgence of religion after Mao
“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””
Note to Self: Go on one of these UK walks
It’s blooming spring! 22 great UK walks
After spending so much time in Arizona the past two years, this article on living in Arizona is spot on.
Mike Powell : Why I live Where I liveZonies: Part 7
with a link to Walter Percy’s Why I Live Where I Live
Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week : This storm was fun. I spent it up at Mammoth. My Instagram documents: 1, 2, 3, 4
Be you a-theist or a theist, three great links were found on the Inter-Tubes today, one is on Anne Hutchinson and the other two are on the recent archaeological find of an 11,000 year old Turkish temple complex.
It appears that religion started before the villages, agriculture, and cities did, rather than the other way around. More importantly is how advanced the sculptural art is on the T-shaped temple lintels, the photos are truly gorgeous. For as much as we love to think of ourselves as the only era who makes art and creates systems, humanity has been doing both and more for far longer than our systems of history and archaeology have accounted for:
The new discoveries are finally beginning to reshape the slow-moving consensus of archeology. Göbekli Tepe is “unbelievably big and amazing, at a ridiculously early date,” according to Ian Hodder, director of Stanford’s archeology program. Enthusing over the “huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art” at Göbekli, Hodder–who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites–says: “Many people think that it changes everything…It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong.”
Schmidt’s thesis is simple and bold: it was the urge to worship that brought mankind together in the very first urban conglomerations. The need to build and maintain this temple, he says, drove the builders to seek stable food sources, like grains and animals that could be domesticated, and then to settle down to guard their new way of life. The temple begat the city. – Newsweek.
History in the Remaking: A temple complex in Turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution.
Smithsonian Photo gallery on Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?
And then let’s move the the new world and to America’s first public heretic (not really) and feminist (yes, really, 15 kids & was willing to go out on her own and stand up to the authorities in 1630s Boston!), Killing the Buddha parsed out what it heresy means and Anne Hutchinson’s wonderful defense for any person’s direct connection / petitioning of the Divine without the need of the clergy. She out-Protestanted the Puritans:
Where had Anne Hutchinson learned such an outrageous idea–that a person can be in direct communion with God? From the Bible; from the promptings of her heart. Minister John Cotton–who would later condemn her so severely–had taught her that the inward dwelling Spirit of Christ was more than a mere metaphor or abstraction. “It is not you that speak (and consequently not you that think or do),” he had written, “But the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.”
Just as Antinomianism wasn’t something that Hutchinson had cooked up on her own, but an ineluctable (if morally and philosophically problematic) corollary of the doctrine of Justification by Grace Alone, there was ample biblical precedent for Hutchinson’s conviction that she could hear God’s voice. When the court demanded that she tell them how she knew that it was God who spoke to her and not the Devil, she answered with a question of her own: “How did Abraham know that it was the voice of God, when he commanded him to sacrifice his son?” – Killing the Buddha
The best part is the the two sets of folks that I know who descend from Anne Hutchinson are also bold, outspoken, creative people of (non-conformist) faith.
All day today, as I wrapped up working in the PHP Salt Mines, I had tons of ideas for good and scintillating blog posts, but soon as I sat down to blog all of the ideas fled to someone else’s brain.
Instead, I will tell you about the new dog religion or ritual practice I have observed lately. For over a month now, whenever I take Scruffy out for a walk, I have noticed that Scruffy always wants to do his dog-ly business in front of someone’s door or at the entrance of their walkway. If I drag him off to find another spot, like a lawn, before he makes his deposit he will hold it until we are in front of another doorway or walkway.
I have decided that Scruffy must be participating in some obscure dog cult of the Portal Poopers.
Fast forward to this last week when Belle was visiting, several mornings in a row as we went to leave for our walk a pile of dog poop would be blocking our way. Cold dog poop. Not Belle’s. Not Scruffys. Not fresh, but cold.
What other dog had entered the breezeway to participate in the Portal Pooping ritual?
Tonight, I found out who, as he was portal pooping in front of Earl & Sharon’s doorway before he came over to visit with Mr. McDoglet…
Yes, Magnus & Scruffy must both belong to the PP dog cult!
Tues 10.06.09 – Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan conducted an interview to talk about Ideas | Life | The World | Etc a week and a half ago, and since both have released video snippets on their blogs that have been very intriguing. I hope that the Atlantic will post the whole of the interview on their website – Look! They have, in pieces.
Today’s snippet, above, deals with war, innocence, gay rights, sacrifice/transcendence , Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Good stuff.
Here are a few of the other video snippets:
Touching The Void
Obama, The Tory
On another note, Sullivan does some great Dog Blogging this past week.
Photo of Grazyna
and a Communist Flag in Kerala taken by Ms. Jen on Thurs. Feb. 14, 2008, with a Nokia N82.
One of the best parts about the Indian state of Kerala is all of the signs, esp. in tourist frequented locations, that state “Kerala : God’s Own Country”. Of the three Indian states, that I have been too so far: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, the last one has the most amount of religious edifices. Christian edificies at that.
In the 1.25 hour drive from the airport to Fort Cochin, I counted no less than 20 Christian churches of all stripes (Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, and plain ole Protestant), 2 mosques, and only one Hindu temple. This seemed to be the pattern when we drove the 45 mins. to the Backwaters boat tour.
Then there is the beauty of the place. Coconut palms everywhere. Wide streets. No where near the trash on the streets as the other two states. etc.
And best of all, the 2 days I was in Kerala coincided with the annual Communist Party Conference (Feb. 11-14, 2008). Everywhere, except in Fort Cochin, all the towns were decked out in red finery: red flags, big decorated arches welcoming partisan politicians, big posters of the local Communist politicos. According to the Lonely Planet “South India” and other sources, Kerala is the only freely, democratically elected Communist state in India.
Kerala, possibly the only place on earth to freely and with abandon mix Communism and the love of Jesus, Allah, and [insert name of fave Hindu diety here]. God bless ’em.