Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chwismas Family Robison

My uncle gave me a book of modern poets and a disk recording of them reciting their poetry, so my Poem of the Week fire just had gasoline squirted on it. Here's a 20th century poem (and poet!) that wasn't in the book, but should have been:

"I Sit and Think" by J.R.R. Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

I shan't be posting tomorrow; I am taking a bit of a break this week with the Christmas season. I feel like I've been a bit more scattered-brained these past two weeks, and thus hesitate to post rambles in the midst of writing thank you cards, reading, sustaining myself on mini candy canes, and organizing all my marketing and editing work before the end of the year.

Actually, a brief note on thank you notes and cards in general: I send a decent amount of cards out, but am generally dissatisfied with the ones I find. On top of that, I usually have to pay anywhere from $1 to $5 for a card I do like (I'm a sucker for the singing ones, I'll admit it!), or more for a nice pack of cards (I'm partial to the Impressionists in this area of purchasing). On a creative whim, I found a huge pack of multi-colored notecards and envelopes at Target and love them. One box is only $10 and I am sharing them with my little sisters and mom too, who are also big fans. I can write short notes, birthday cards, engagement cards, etc. and then use the art skills Studio I, II and III gave me! Prepare to be amazed. They obviously take a little more time to make, but I find the result is much more personal and the price severely decreased. I've gotten only positive feedback so far too, which only serves to encourage me in my pursuit of reasons to buy and use crayons and colored pencils more.

More recent Julie finds:

If any of you are looking for something interesting to listen to and/ or learning more about the Christian faith, the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology has 6 (free!) audio lectures on the Bible and the Sacraments by Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Dr. Hahn teaches at Steubenville. All you have to do is register! (Registeration is very short.) I like listening to lectures because they show a different way to formulate a phrase or an argument (verses in a book or article or essay), as well as helping me think differently. I really liked "The Art of Friendship."

Conversion Diary posted her top 12 links from 2010 post and they are all fantastic. The post has gems like this, from a piece entitled "The Public Life of the Family":

"My aunt is fond of saying that "independence is obnoxious." Having dependence on others or living in community is how people rightly find their place and vocation in life. In community we serve others. In community we must discipline ourselves. In community we learn to forgive others’ faults so we can move on to brighter horizons like card games with friends."

and this, from a too-short post entitled, "The Very Short Distance Called Hope":

"Catholicism is unique among the sects of Christianity for its teachings on life after death. Rather than speaking of our "assurance of salvation," we Catholics speak of our hope of salvation. We are the last people on earth to say that everyone is going to Heaven. We are also the last people on earth to say that any given person is not going to Heaven. We are accused of believing in "salvation by works," but this is untrue. We believe in salvation by grace--grace alone--and we cling to the hope of that grace. We know only that we can never know the state of another person's soul, and we put all our hope in the Hands of the God who created all souls and knows them utterly."

This is Microsoft's new ad. Patriotic, compelling and very funny:

Here is my Monday TIC post about NPR's coverage of the Nashville Dominicans, my good friend Karen and the vocation explosion "crisis": "They're Not Going to Catch Us. We're on a Mission from God."

Happy New Year! I hope your 2010 was wonderous and your 2011 is filled with blessings.

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