Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Title

So I am unashamedly stealing this title from Frederick Buechner, who borrowed it for his book from Shakespeare's King Lear. Buechner's book is important to me. It has taught me about writing and about life.

I wish I had my copy with me because I have an excerpt in mind and I'll never be able to do it justice with a summary. Buechner's book is a literary criticism (though so packed full of life-insights, it's not what probably comes to mind when you hear the term 'literary criticism') that highlights four different writers of four different genres. He chooses a work from each that was written from "open veins"; in other words, written from the groping, questioning darkness of their souls. Buechner calls these four, "unexpected prophets who shine light into darkness," because this kind of writing -- the kind of writing that's birthed from an honest pursuit of truth and meaning in reality amid the pain and suffering of this fallen world -- this kind of writing (or art in general) produces light, hope, healing -- not only for the author, but for his readers too.

The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.

'Speak what we feel' isn't about an abandonment of propriety. That's the last thing I want. It's about having the freedom to feel "unchristian" emotions -- anger, fear, doubt, depression -- and to work through them in a constructive way. For my purposes in this blog, the phrase is not only about the freedom to weep with those who weep, but also the freedom to rejoice with those who rejoice. So, although part of the context from which my new title derives is heavy, the larger context includes weeping and rejoicing, fullness of life; the context is light.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Summer Schedule

Monday: (Prayer Meeting); Cook lunch at Chesalet with Karryn; Clean Farel
Tuesday: Study; Edit; Internet collection/night office
Wednesday: Clean Bellevue; (Lecture); Study (Movie Night -- this is not my job; it's just when movies are shown.)
Thursday: Day off
Friday: Breakfast prep; (Lecture); Edit; Study
Saturday: Cook at Bellevue; Clean Farel

I'm excited about my schedule. I'd love to be outside more, but hey, can't be everywhere at once. And it's light outside until well after 8pm, so plenty of time for outdoor fun. I'm happy to be in Bellevue, because I didn't get to do any work crews in Bellevue last term. I totally plan on stealing all Val's fantastic lunches when cooking in Bellevue (the ones I have the guts to pull off). I'm not sure exactly when my tutorials with Jasie will be. I'm guessing Tuesday.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Over the past 3 weeks, I've been chilln' off the Costa Brava in Northern Spain with a few friends from L'Abri. We were staying at the vacation home of a L'Abri alumni couple, and the way we earned our keep was by reading the owner's pulp fiction novels under the Spanish sun. Not too shabby. We were helping him out by providing small-scale editing and feedback; ie. these books are ready to be published; these need more work.

The pictures just to the left will give you an idea of the view from our balcony (the above pic is from the train station in Girona the first night we got there).

One of the best days of our trip was this all day hike to a monastery just a few mountain ridges over. We hacked our way through the brush and came out with a few cuts and bruises... it was amazing!

The monastery was beautiful, and the castle above it incredible. The last two pics at the bottom of this post are from that day. On
the way back we stumbled off the trail and happened upon one of the many bunkers from the last efforts of the resistance against Franco. We found three of them on our various adventures; it was amazing to be able to look out from the holes carved out for defending against the enemy and imagine what it must have been like to die fighting for country and freedom.

It was a wonderful opportunity and I'm thankful to our L'Abri friends for providing it. I enjoy the editing work, even at the pulp fiction level, and it was especially nice to have a bit of relaxed time to get to know some of the helpers with whom I'll be serving this term.

We are back at L'Abri now and are excited to begin a new term.
The summer term is always a bit hectic because fewer students stay for the entire term. More people are on holiday and can more readily afford to just pop in for a few days while traveling through Europe.

It's nice to see Thomas, Jasie, and Kay again; I missed them over
the break. I pray that this term will prove to be as helpful to me in my journey as the previous two and that I will gain some clarity about what is to come in the next leg of my life's adventure.

This Blog Needs A New Title

"The journey is the destination"... it's just not true. Mostly thanks to Greg Laughery's blog post a while back, coupled with comments he's made during formal lunches and lectures here at L'Abri, I've changed my tune; I recant. What's the point of a journey with no destination; a destination that exists in some ways apart from the journey?

All that to say, I'm trying to come up with a new title for this blog. So, be on the lookout and don't be alarmed when the title is different. Just look for my picture on the right and take deep breaths: you're still at the right place.