I started reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and so far, I am intrigued. I posted the quote, “Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,” as my Facebook status, and I had more than one response that said it reminded them of some evangelicals. This, in turn, made me think about how I present my ideas about theological concepts, or my ideas about anything for that matter. Do I present them as if I have twisted the facts to suit my preconceived ideas, or do I try to let the facts guide me into a new and different understanding? I would hope that I practice the latter, but I am not sure that I always do. I think too many times, as humans, we do not recognize the fact that we actually twist facts and ideas to fit what we already believe. And, I think it is good to know this about ourselves, so we are better able to handle the way we process ideas and engage with other people whose ideas differ from ours.
Yesterday when I was at the bookstore picking up my books for teaching, I saw a book called Now Write! Nonfiction, which is a collection of writing tips and exercises designed by some well known creative nonfiction writers and essayists. The first exercise is to write down moments that stop you in your tracks, then to elaborate on those ideas picking out the common threads. The idea is that you will then be able to chose one or all of those moments to elaborate and make some kind of coherent meaning. I am waiting for my first “stopped me in my tracks” moment. Then I will wait for another, then another. Then I will slowly weave them together into an essay.
Okay. One day. I will do that right after I actually finish reading through the Bible in a year, which I have been working on since my seventh grade lock-in, the first event that I attended at the Wesleyan Church. I think Susan Wolfgang challenged us to do that after one of the speakers talked about memorizing Scripture. She also challenged us to memorize a whole chapter of the Bible. I did end up doing that in seminary. Well, actually I memorized three chapters, but I don’t remember them verbatim, although I did retain their themes and subjects. The three chapters I memorized are Matthew 5,6, and 7, the Sermon on the Mount. The most Buddhist passage of Christian Scripture ever written. Or the most socialist, as a friend of mine would argue. I think it is both somehow.Can you be Buddhist and socialist? Wikipedia says yes.
I just read an article in the Ball State Daily news about Vecino’s Coffee Shop. Guy says it a “third-wave coffee shop.” If that is anything like third-wave feminism, then I am not sure it is going to do much. In fact, I am not sure it will do anything at all. At the very least the article was filled with Guy’s usual coffee-related pompousness. Almost straight up obnoxiousness, but with a little decorative foam in the shape of concentric and contiguous hearts. Fancy. Guy claims that he is only one of two third-wave coffee houses in Indiana. From the what he says in the article, the Blue Bottle does most of the same things: roasts their own beans, grinds their own beans, free pours lattes, and serves well-made coffee. I guess their sin is adding flavors. Shame. they should learn how to make some fig-leaves with their foam and cover their nakedness. Dirty.
Finally, today my students read Emerson. They were supposed to read Thoreau, too, but we only got through talking about Emerson. They did a great job with both exerpts from Nature and Self-Reliance. I think I want to get part of my sleeve tattoo of this paragraph from Self-Reliance:
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Or at least this part of it: “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” But, I want it around the outside or underneath this labyrinth:Or maybe this one because Jane and I walked it together in San Francisco:I think that would be a sweet tattoo. Maybe get it done in bright greens and purples. We’ll see. The first one I am doing, provided I have the money, is my new one on my foot. I plan to do it right after we run the Indy-Mini. I figure I can take a week off after the race. I may do it right before I go to Merideth’s wedding. I may wait. Who knows.
I am thankful for new experiences and learning to love things I previously didn’t (Emerson).
Food: banana, juice, pure bar, chocolate milk, Tootsie rolls, almonds, cheese, apple, two tangerines, vegan lasagna, grapefruit, tea
Exercise: dog walking, ran 30 minutes, swam a mile, walked from Burris to RB