Saturday, April 20, 2019

Spring has sprung

These blooming trees are beautiful all over our part of town.  I took this photo facing the Tallin building a few minutes ago, on my way back from leaving Clawdia to visit at Donna's.  We hope she'll get used to being there, so I can leave her when I go to Chattanooga next week.  I'll see her later today and tomorrow, so she'll know I haven't abandoned her.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Salon ~ Reading? Of course!

"I don’t plan on reading."  Wow!  That doesn't compute in my world, even before retirement.  I'm always reading something.  I don't read two novels at the same time, because my mind jumbles the characters together; but I always have one or two nonfiction books going, usually along with a novel.  I read in snatches of time between commitments, or even DURING commitments, like while waiting for a neighbor I've taken for a doctor's appointment.  I am often interrupted, but that simply means I go back and re-read a paragraph or two to re-focus when I find another chance to get back to my book.  I can't imagine a day without reading part of at least one book, usually more than one.  It probably helps that I gave away my television ten or fifteen years ago.  Maybe it was closer to twenty years.  I prefer to read and get my news on the computer and occasionally from listening to the radio.

That's my response to what another blogger wrote:
"I plan on reading for a few hours this afternoon as my wife, who works night shift, is sleeping.  Tomorrow, since I’m working for the middle part of the day, I don’t plan on reading."
When do I read?  Any time I'm awake and not busy with something like driving, or meditating, or chatting with a friend.  That means I usually have a book with me, just in case.

Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading. Other Sunday Salon musings are linked at the bottom of this Readerbuzz post.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Happy Birthday?

Did you hear what she said?
I told her you wouldn't like it!
Mindy Cat

Thursday, April 11, 2019

This I Believe

"This I Believe® is an exciting national project that invites you to write about the core beliefs that guide your daily life. ... In reviving This I Believe, Allison and Gediman say their goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, they hope to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own."

Yesterday, I bought a book.  That, in itself, is not noteworthy since I collect books from everywhere:  from the library, from bookstores, from friends, from sales tables, on my Kindle.  But it appears I have bought a book I already own.  I was with my friend Donna and said, "I've had this book in my hands before, but don't remember if I ever read it."  Yep, I searched my blog and found it twice.

What I remembered is the cover, and having perused parts of it last night, I'm pretty sure I haven't read the whole book.  But ... but ... but it was only $2.00 on sale.  It had been marked down the day before from $7.99, and the original price of this hardback was $23.00.  A bargain, right?  Since I haven't seen it in years, probably not since I bought it in 2010, I'm sure it's in one of my many boxes of books.  This first one is what I bought yesterday, but I've also had my hands on the second book.

This I Believe: Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women ~ edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, 2006
This I Believe (2006) is an inspirational book based on the NPR series of the same name. Studs Terkel wrote the Foreword, and the book was edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. I mentioned this book three weeks ago, when I found This I Believe II (2008) at my library. ... This last book is mine and will definitely have to wait.

This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women ~ edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, 2008
I have requested a copy of This I Believe, which I have obviously not yet read. But seeing this at the library, I got it to read while waiting for the first collection of essays. These books are based on the NPR series of the same name. From the three or four essays I've already read this afternoon (yes, I had to force myself to put down two out of two books that quickly pulled me in), I can see that I'll really enjoy these short pieces by such varied people.

From the dust jacket of the first book:
Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty Americans ― from the famous to the unknown ― completing the thought that the book's title begins.  Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring many renowned contributors ― including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike ― the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on Rhode Island's parole board.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs ― and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them ― reveal the American spirit at its best.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Clawdia bird watching in 2015.
This morning, I noticed the tiny buds on the trees below my window and felt grateful that spring is finally arriving.  I think.  It's been that kind of year so far, with winter easing up for a day or two here and there before dumping us back into snow and storms.  Not always major, but kind of miserable.  So today, I've opened my windows, much to the delight of Clawdia, who jumped up on the windowsill to sniff the fresh air and watch birds flitting through the tree limbs and chirping to each other.

I was sitting near a window playing Solitaire on my laptop, waiting until time to take my friend Donna to a doctor's appointment in a few minutes, when a sharp breeze blew in and ruffled my hair.  My first thought was that I'm glad those were not REAL playing cards, which would have blown clear across the room.  Aha, another gratitude moment!

I've gotta go, Clawdia.  Donna will be waiting.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Book review policy ~ updated April 2019

Apparently only my friends read my book review policies, but I seem to be updating them every two or three years anyway.
My policy is simple now:
Nope, not interested.
If you have looked at my blog, even a cursory glance at books I write about, you'd know I don't read thrillers or mysteries or horror or whatever bestseller "everyone" is reading.  I have enough books on my shelves right now to last the rest of my life.  I'll be 79 in a couple of weeks, so that is NOT an exaggeration.  Not only are my shelves full, I have boxes of books stacked in my bedroom and even more boxes of books in storage.  Ridiculous, I know.  But that's why getting another book "for free" doesn't interest me.

In 2016, my policy update began with these words, which have been ignored:

"I am not accepting requests for review..."

It's 2019 now.  Believe me, I really mean it.  I'm not reviewing books these days.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Seen around the Crown Center

Flowers in the lobby (4-1-19)

Sometimes the nearby Schnucks grocery store gives us flowers at the end of the month, so I assume that's why these were in the lobby.  I noticed flowers on the table at the entrance, in the office, in the Café, and in other random places that day.

Greek salad in the Café (3-26-19)

Early last week, I said I'd take a picture of this salad, and I did.  I just didn't get it posted as soon as I had intended.  This is the salad Ezra recommended:  "Olive the Greek Salad!   It's Feta than the rest!"

Head in the laundry room (4-5-19)

What?  Wait, a head?  I was walking past the laundry room on my way to Donna's apartment when I noticed this head sitting on a table.  Life is never boring at the Crown Center!  I have no idea why it's there or who put it there.  I'm guessing someone is "giving it" to anyone who wants it, since it is beside the recycle bin (on the left), and styrofoam cannot be recycled.  But who knows?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Jesus may not be who you think he is

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 1994, theology, 9/10
"In Hebrew (as well as in Aramaic), the word usually translated as 'compassion' is the plural of a noun that in its singular form means 'womb.'  In the Hebrew Bible, compassion is both a feeling and a way of being that flows out of that feeling.  Sometimes it is very specifically linked to its association with womb:  a woman feels compassion for the child of her own womb; a man feels compassion for his brother, who comes from the same womb.  As a feeling, compassion is located in a certain part of the body ― namely, in the loins.  In women, as one would expect, this means in the womb; in men, in the bowels.  Thus we have that somewhat odd biblical expression 'his bowels were moved with compassion.'  But obviously it is the same part of the body" (p. 47).
Bonnie's note:  Compassion is a GUT feeling.

"For Jesus, compassion was more than a quality of God and an individual virtue: it was a social paradigm, the core value for life in community" (p. 49).

"Compassion, not holiness, is the dominant quality of God, and is therefore to be the ethos of the community that mirrors God" (p. 54).

"Jesus knew God as the compassionate one, not as the God of requirements and boundaries. The life to which he invited his hearers was the life in the Spirit that he himself had experienced. The narrow way, the road less traveled, is life centered in the Spirit of God" (p. 87).

"Importantly, for Paul 'life under the law' is not simply to be equated with 'life under the Torah.'  That is, the problem was not with the Torah as such, but with a way of being that sought to be 'okay' before God through the fulfillment of requirements, be they many or few.  Christians sometimes misunderstand this, thinking that the problem was that the Torah had the wrong requirements, and then substituting Christian requirements instead.  When this happens, 'life under the law' remains" (p. 105).

"The multiplicity of images for speaking of Jesus' relationship to God (as logos, Sophia, Son ― to name but a few) should make it clear that none of them is to be taken literally.  They are metaphorical.)" (p. 109).

"To illustrate the claim that all Christological language is metaphorical, I share a story that I owe to John Dominic Crossan.  Asked by an exasperated questioner, 'Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God or don't you?'  Crossan replied, 'Yes ― I believe he was the Son of God, and the Word of God, and the Lamb of God.'  The point of the reply is clear, even though it was not appreciated by the questioner (who said, 'You theologians!  You're all alike!').  Just as Jesus is not literally 'the Lamb of God' (he was not a sheep), and not literally the Word of God (what would that mean?), so also he is not literally 'the Son of God' (what would it mean for this to be literally true ― biological sonship?).  Rather, all involve the metaphorical use of images" (p. 118).

"The image of Jesus I have sketched ... His own self-understanding did not include thinking and speaking of himself as the Son of God whose historical intention or purpose was to die for the sins of the world, and his message was not about believing in him. Rather, he was a spirit person, subversive sage, social prophet, and movement founder who invited his followers and hearers into a transforming relationship with the same Spirit that he himself knew, and into a community whose social vision was shaped by the core value of compassion" (p. 119).

"For some, the need is liberation; for others, the need is homecoming; and for still others, the need is acceptance. But beneath their differences the stories all image the Christian life as a journey whose central quality is a deepening and transforming relationship with God" (p. 133).
These are quotes from this excellent book that I want to remember.   I rate this book 9 of 10, partly because I don't think it quite measures up to Borg's later book The Heart of Christianity (2003), which I gave a 10 of 10.  Still, these are ideas that I want to share, both with Christians who see a magical God image for Jesus and for non-Christians who want to lump me in with those who misunderstand metaphors.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Active April 2019

Click on calendar to enlarge it.
I found this month's calendar by searching for "calendar" on the Action for Happiness (AfH) web site.  Here are the first seven days of April.

April 1
~ Commit to doing something active every day this month.
April 2
~ Have an outdoor meeting, instead of sitting down inside.
April 3
~ Listen to your body and be grateful for what it can do.
April 4
~ Go up and down the stairs whenever possible today.
April 5
~ Enjoy moving to your favorite music.  Really go for it.
April 6
~ Go exploring around your local area and notice new things.
April 7
~ Get outside and plant a tree, flowers, or some seeds.

"Movement is a medicine for changing our physical,
emotional, and mental states." ~ Carol Welch

Ads on blogs? Not mine!

I just discovered that some bloggers had ads running on their blogs without their knowledge.  I don't think that's ever happened to me, but how would I know?  Have you ever seen any ads on this blog?  If so, I didn't put it there, didn't want it there, didn't know it was there.  I'm not blogging to make money, and I would not want ads placed on my blog without my knowledge.