May 09, 2013

Seven or So Short Friday Thingies

As my favorite Dispatch columnist John Switzer, the important herald of the obvious who reports on the changing of the guard season-wise, wrote: “We're suddenly in May, the fat part of spring. A very good time of year.” Indeed. One of spring's charisms is that it's the only habitable season of the year without mosquitoes, ticks & flies, and that's a rather nice outdoor feature. A check of the 'net reveals that the skeeters could be here any day. When the temperature consistently stays above 50 the buggers come out. I hear that southwest Florida is due for a swarm of giant mosquitoes the size of quarters this year! Everything's bigger and stranger in Florida.

I look out over the refreshing vista of our trees in full green, our patio chairs standing like knights awaiting our arrival at the property edge. The air temp was a splendiferous 80 at one point today but now, at 8:20pm, has cooled down considerably. The sky is a benign shade of robin egg blue with harmless white clouds intermixed. Just a hint of pink; the sun will be setting shortlivedly. The cumulative effect of the cumulus clouds is atmospheric.

Oh what can surpass the beauty of a warm, spring day? Life comes back - I spy a struggling worm on our stone patio and I wish him well, hope he means to be there. Life is precious; yesterday my commute was longer than normal due to an accident. Little did I know that behind me two people would lose their lives when a huge semi wasn't ready for the sudden braking action the accident caused. In other words the second accident happened because of the first. The poor lady who died had her dog with her; it escaped unharmed and was lost for a day until found on the road that goes past my house. It all is gift and the body can be taken as away in an instant. If I'd left the house later, or the truck driver came through earlier, it could've been me.

How quiet and peaceful it is tonight! No mowers of lawn, no insisters of clipping, hedging, gnawing, ringing or blowing. And I can see the lighter-colored grass beyond ours gleaming in the distance. Natural beauty is democratic, isn't it? Every place, left to its own devices, can be beautiful, be it desert, mountain, valley, plain, forest, or sea. Even some of the glaciers of the Arctic consist of gem-like shades of blue. God knows what He's doing is what I'm thinking.

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Oh myyyy but how aliiiive I felt running down those picturesque Short North streets! It's stimulating to the senses: the beautiful spring weather, the  handsome old brick buildings (some probably dating to the 1800s),  the wall-less coffee joints abutting the street, art in  the gallery windows,  the pretty gals, the big black arches over High Street harking back to when  Columbus was known as “Arch City”….Feels downright SoHo-ian. It's such a joy to  do a strong run in this urban setting, especially since I run north-south and  the cross streets rarely have green lights so I can run without stopping. It's  funny that I spent many years avoiding High Street and ducking towards the sylvan parkland of Goodale. (Though, on second thought, for most of those years  the Short North was an ugly stepchild of its present version.) I guess I see  enough of my own park-like backyard such that I don't want to see trees and  grass nor pond but the big city glitter.
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Am concerned about our diocese website being down. I've never seen that happen before. I go there on Thursdays sometimes to read the newly hatched diocesan newspaper. But tonight no go and I wonder if perhaps it got hacked by haters. The National Catholic Register recently had an article on Bishop Campbell's  rather surprisingly firm stand. I'm sure he's aware of how Catholic schools too easily devolve into CINO schools.

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Kind of interesting to see the school board sold property to the school's arch-nemesis (developers) and now are taking heat for being hypocritical. It's kind of interesting call to see whether the district should've taken the money or stand on principle and refuse the developer's money. It's kind of symbolic, and symbols seem to inspire stupidity or nobility depending on the circumstance. Of course one man's nobility may be another's stupidity, witness St. Thomas More. (Not to compare, in any way, something as trivial as a school district decision with the great Thomas More's.)

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Started reading Kevin Williamson's fascinating The End is Near. He writes for National Review and yet he disavows the simplistic notion that “the market will solve everything.” No it won't, and he recognizes this. Anyway his heart seems in the right place. He writes of jobs as a “means to an end” not an end in itself. But a means to what end?  I suppose that we not starve. He points out that we could easily achieve full employment by drafting the entire population into the army but then we'd all starve to death.

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I love a parade (of books) / A waterfall of books, a meme of surprising looks, a verbal babel of brooks / For I love a parade….of books!

So difficult to choose but Daria Sockey's Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours seems indispensable. (C.S. Lewis said of the praise that by “commanding us to glorify him, God is inviting us to enjoy him.”) Then too there's NR's Kevin Williamson's new book on the future of American government (it's bright, because it'll be broke!).

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Voted in the Repub primary Tuesday.  Something like 7% voting rate, sad. Five candidates seeking four positions for  city council. I only voted for two lest I unduly encourage the bastards. I don't  have confidence in any of them really, but was okay with voting for the one the  Republican Central Committee didn't like.

Not sure how I feel about party institutions. Next time the Republican Nat'l  Committee calls I may say, “I'm not a Republican, I'm a conservative.” I don't  trust the party apparatus all that much although admittedly in many elections  the RNC was right. For example, that awful Christine O'Donnell candidacy, and  the less-than-stellar Sharron Angle nomination. There have been others who've  practiced political malpractice, such as Todd Akin – he who managed to think it was  a good idea to opine on the rape and pregnancy. Even junior high school  candidates are politically smarter than that guy. So perhaps the RNC isn't that  bad after all….

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Interesting to read about how much Tim of the Catholic Bible blog loves the Knox. He argues, convincingly, that the NRSV, NAB and RSV are pretty much the same in terms of being on the literalist and less dynamic scale while the Knox and Jerusalem are freshly rendered. Says he can understand why many like the New Jerusalem. The only downside to the Knox, he says, is the distraction of archaic renderings - but the New Testament reads really well.

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