No post today. Under the weather. Hope you are all staying warm and safe.

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A Poem for Autumn

One of the magical things about poetry is it’s ability to both paint a picture and capture a feeling, shared across varied human experience. A few weeks ago, my friend Chris built some of us a fire in his back yard, complete with s’mores. He couldn’t have known how much it was cherished, both for its current experience and the nostalgia of fires past.  There is even something pleasant about the way wood smoke lingers in the clothes and hair, I think.

Whether it’s around a camp fire, a hike to take in the colors, or nestling in with a good book and a spicy, warm candle, I hope that the spirit of autumn sings to your soul this week.SAMSUNG

Web Stuff Worth Checking Out

Running a business online, working online, and blogging means that I spend a considerable amount of time on the interwebs. On days like today, I intend to slack off, but check work email and end up working for hours and hours. Other times, I need to work, but YouTube sucks me into it’s siren-singing, black hole of a time-sucking vortex funny videos.

Now that we have the confessions out of the way, here are a few of the most fascinating things I’ve found online this week.  Let me know what you think about these, or if you’ve found a can’t miss curio, mention it in the comments!

What they say: “Co-founded by postdocs from MIT, pymetrics is driven by the idea of using neuroscience to reinvent career search and hiring.

Over the last two decades, neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the brain and given us novel ways to assess cognitive and personality traits. We apply this to helping people find their optimal career path, and help companies find ideal candidates.”

What I say: I don’t know how effective this website it, or whether it delivers what it promises. The games are interesting, and while it doesn’t feed the need to conquer, since you can’t play and play to improve your score, it does give interesting insights. Plus, it makes your brain feel like it’s getting a break from work, while being at least somewhat productive. I’m intrigued, if not entirely sold.

  • Porcupine Eating a Pumpkin

Don’t judge until you’ve watched. It’s overwhelmingly cute. Who knew?

  • King, St. Louis based outsider artist working towards the creation of a spiritual and monumental art.

There’s a ton of great art in the world, but I encourage you to like King’s Facebook page. He shares works in progress as well as details about how he’s moving through stages. The only downside is wanting more art than your budget can bear. You can also find King on his blog. After you do, let me know which is your favorite!

King

What are your favorite things on the web this week?

 

15 things that ought to be more common

1. real and good hugs

2. leisurely walks with someone who instinctively knows that picking up interesting leaves and stepping on crunchy ones is part of the rhythm

3. camp fires

4. long talks about nothing in particular but so good you are sad to see them end

5. watching a good movie like High Fidelity with a friend who doesn’t mind your slippers

6. companionable silence

7. calling just to say good night

8. football in the park

9. “i read this book and thought you might like it”

10. laughing at absolutely nothing with someone who find the nothing equally humorous, especially in serious moments

11. road trips just because

12. reading books outloud together

13. board games and taco soup

14. vegging together at the end of a long week

15. being told you are loved by one who is still too young to lie about such things

The Way We Believe

My childhood was magical. It was different from many others, in ways that seem perfectly designed for who I was and what was needed. Even its imperfections were of such a mild and organic nature, as to be easily forgiven or the stuff of comical stories. One of the lessons, most difficult to assimilate, coming up in such a life, is that you are the exception.

Growing up, I had good friends, and many of those relationship remain. There was a comfortable homogeneity, even though, at the time, they seemed diverse. But, the gospel is disruptive, and not in hipster/anti-authority/self-indulgent way. (I am convinced that God is not interested in providing us a James-Dean-Jesus to sooth our wanderlust.)

These days I am wrestling (in that way where one can’t form a definite picture of the outcome) with sex offender registries, and where those who follow the way of Love should stand on such things. The answer makes me uncomfortable. When I dig deep down, the discomfort is made of fear, which is a thought, once apparent, that makes the gospel-based answer almost a given. In all honesty, if I could tap out, I would.

Someone told me once, going deeper into a life of love doesn’t mean extremity. You don’t have to change anything about who you are, or your life, or what you believe. All you really have to do is move toward people others move away from. Move toward people you want to move away from. It’s ok not to have the right words or be awkward and imperfect, even if they laugh. If you bring love, they will rarely laugh at you. If you are vulnerable with your weaknesses and wounds, trusting that there is strength enough to withstand any exploitation, you will most likely get hurt, but ultimately find healing.

So I’ve been making that effort, in my often half-hearted and always deeply flawed sort of way. It is strange. Most of the connections thusly formed are nearly inexplicable.

What I have found is, if you do it, or even try, it will work. Sure some people will be dubious, but most will be willing to navigate with you. Most will laugh with you, celebrating your differences. Most will offer love in return, often looking completely different than you expect. When you let people be the strange amalgamation of rot and divinity we contain, you will not only get to enjoy them more, but you get be more human.

Source UnknownAll of that business about not changing is a lie. Everything will change, from the people you love to the places you go to the words you use and what you think is funny. Hidden things will lose power in the light, and what once elicited pride will begin to fade.

We don’t have to choose between moving toward people and our reliance on long-held truths of the faith. Certainly, though, the landscape will look vastly different, and even unfamiliar.

We don’t have to believe the way someone else does in order to move toward them, invite them in, and offer love, and we don’t necessarily have to change what we believe.  But I think that doing those things means that, inevitably, we have no choice but to change the way we believe.