Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh Boise!

The CD's arrived today -- two days early for Alex's CD release party (which is on thursday, at 8 at the Satellite Ballroom, if you happen to be of a Virginia persuasion). He arrived at my job at the Study Center with one proudly in hand, and I must say, they look awesome. I mean, they're real CD's. Not to mention, the music is good. I married a talented boy.

In other boy news, this article on the Wittenburg Door is amazing.

John Eldredge: How Wild Is He?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Okay, so we're a little excited...

God Grew Tired of Us

Last night, we watched the documentary that came out a couple of years ago on the story of the Lost Boys from the Sudan, God Grew Tired of Us.

God Grew Tired of Us tells the story, of the Lost Boys, specifically of three as they move to the US. The film contextualizes their stories in the larger story of the war in sudan, and perhaps more subtly, but with a more lasting sting for me, the documentary nestles their courage and magnificently human bonds of community against the abrupt backdrop of the American shove for individual success.

Watching these men describe the moments of chaos and moments of joy as they negotiate the United States gave me a renewed sense that our Creator did indeed endow us with rich gifts of compassion, connection, and fortitude that bears eyes for the weaker and eyes of hope. It again became clear, however, the mechanisms that we have developed as a modern, more “productive” society often times function to isolate and dehumanize us – not that these mechanisms are all bad. The men featured in this story rejoiced in education and medicine, food and transportation, but they grieved their separateness from one another as brutal work schedules kept them from rebuilding the community they knew – the community that sustained them in an hour of horrific savagery and terror.

We loved this film.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Camilla in DC

My friend Camilla came to visit us this past weekend at we did a round of things in DC on Saturday before we came back to Charlottesville. Camilla loved DC but kept commenting on how much there is to be learned in that city -- and she's right, there's something on every corner that makes a person feel like your history teacher in high school must have left out a few chapters. We were walking in the cold across Raoul Wallenburg avenue, laughing about how no one knows who Raoul Wallenburg is, only to find out later in the Holocaust Museum that he protected thousands of Jews from certain death during World War Two. Awesome.

It was really fun, though, to have Camilla here -- she made us laugh harder than we have in a while and is a dear, dear friend.

Here's all three of us at the Washington Monument, and then the picture to the right is Camilla's favorite spot, where MLK, Jr, gave his famous speech and where, of course, Forrest and Jenny were reunited.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


What I learned from Wendell Berry, lifted from Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community, which I've been reading today:

1. Educated people are more valuable than other people because education is a value-adding industry.
2. Educated people are better than other people because education improved people and makes them good.
3. The purpose of education is to make people able to earn more and more money.
4. The place where education is to be used is called “your career.”
5. Anything that cannot be weighed, measured, or counted does not exist.
6. The so-called humanities probably do not exist. But if they do, they are useless. But whether they exist or not or are useful or not, they can sometimes be made to support a career.
7. Literacy does not involve knowing the meanings of words, or learning grammar, or reading books.
8. The sign of exceptionally smart people is that they speak a language that is intelligible only to other people in their “field” or only to themselves. This is very impressive and is known as “professionalism.”
9. The smartest and most educated people are the scientists, for they have already found solutions to all our problems and will soon find solutions to all the problems resulting from their solutions to all the problems we used to have.
10. The mark of a good teachers is that he or she spends most of his or her time doing research and writes many books and articles.
11. The mark of a good researcher is the same as that of a good teacher.
12. A great university has many computers, a lot of government and corporation research contracts, a winning team, and more administrators and teachers.
13. Computers make people even better and smarter than they were made by previous thingamabobs. Or if some people prove incorrigibly wicked or stupid or both, computers will at least speed them up.
14. The main thing is, don’t let education get in the way of being nice to children. Children are our Future. Spend plenty of money on them but don’t stay home with them and get in their way. Don’t give them work to do; they are smart and can think up things to do on their own. Don’t teach them any of that awful, stultifying, repressive, old-fashioned morality. Provide plenty of TV, microwave dinners, day care, computers, computer games, cars. For all this, they will love and respect us and be glad to grow up and pay our debts.
15. A good school is a big school
16. Disarm the children before you let them in.

Perhaps we could subtitle this "Letter to a Charlottesvillian"?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Falling Faintly

"His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

I love this last line of the Dubliners...and I love the snow, all that it lights on and the stillness that it settles into as it falls. I feel dramatic, uncharacteristically silly, and I swooned as soon as I saw this past Thursday morning. I am from the South and when snow falls, I am impressed. It feels like magic. Alex, however, is from New York and is not impressed. At all. What, to me, is most certainly God dust and makes all things appear as though this moment must be the masterpiece of winter's design, is to Alex just cold. It's like cold crumbs.

I thought it was worth starting another blog about. Cold crumbs, or divine dust, the snow has been here and i wish it would come back. Camilla, my friend from Streets days, came and visited us this weekend. We saw Washington, DC, and then spent much of the weekend just laughing and hanging out in Charlottesville. I still miss Memphis dearly.

Here are some shots of our neighborhood in the snow.