Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lydia's Threads


Still Christmas shopping? Consider Lydia's Threads!


Hear her story at Drew & Rachel's blog!

Monday, December 12, 2011

when your heart is hemorrhaging

"You have to have no answers and also be in joy. You have to be ready to dance when your heart is hemorrhaging; and you have to be ready to sing a dirge when things -- for ONCE! -- are going okay for you, and every last one of your friends is in crisis. To hold the tension between the light and the darkness; pain and joy; life that we love so much and the fact that we all must die is the intersection of the cross."

[Heather King, "Spirituality: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance...."]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

any deliberate leap into chaos, small or large, with an intent to make order, matters.

Every year we call it down upon ourselves,
the chaos of the day before the occasion,
the morning before the meal. Outdoors,
the men cut wood, fueling appetite
in the gray air, as Nana, Arlene, Mary,
Robin—whatever women we amount to—
turn loose from their wrappers the raw,
unmade ingredients. A flour sack leaks,
potatoes wobble down counter tops
tracking dirt like kids, blue hubbard erupts
into shards and sticky pulp when it's whacked
with the big knife, cranberries leap away
rather than be halved. And the bird, poor
blue thing—only we see it in its dead skin—
gives up for good the long, obscene neck, the gizzard,
the liver quivering in my hand, the heart.

So what? What of it? Besides the laughter,
I mean, or the steam that shades the windows
so that the youngest sons must come inside
to see how the smells look. Besides
the piled wood closing over the porch windows,
the pipes the men fill, the beers
they crack, waiting in front of the game.

Any deliberate leap into chaos, small or large,
with an intent to make order, matters. That's what.
A whole day has passed between the first apple
cored for pie, and the last glass polished
and set down. This is a feast we know how to make,
a Day of Feast, a day of thanksgiving
for all we have and all we are and whatever
we've learned to do with it: Dear God, we thank you
for your gifts in this kitchen, the fire,
the food, the wine. That we are together here.
Bless the world that swirls outside these windows—
a room full of gifts seeming raw and disordered,
a great room in which the stoves are cold,
the food scattered, the children locked forever
outside dark windows. Dear God, grant
to the makers and keepers power to save it all.

["Thanksgiving" by Linda McCarriston]
[Hat Tip: The Writer's Almanac]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Ps. 116:15)

RUTHERFORD, ELMO LUCILLE ADAMS - age 102, of LaFollette passed away Monday, November 21, 2011. A member of East LaFollette Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Mose D. Rutherford; son, Wayne Rutherford; daughter-in-law, Margie; grandsons, Nathan & Scott Rutherford; parents, Lynn & Carrie Prater Adams; sister, Grace Bowman; brother, Samuel Adams. Survivors: daughters: Carrie & Greg Green, Ringgold, GA, Minnie Sue & Wyndall Simmon, Crockern, GA, Judy & Tim Phagan, Winston Salem, NC, Julia Darlene Banister, Somonauk, Ill; sons: Lynn & Louise Rutherford, LaFollette, Dennis & Mickey Rutherford, Dayton, OH; 24 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; 24 great-great-grandchildren; sister: Naomi Creekmore, Jellico. Services 2:00 p.m. Wednesday East LaFollette Baptist Church, Rev. Dennis Rutherford, Rev. Greg Chandler and Rev. Paul D. Banister officiating. Interment Bakers Forge Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 PM Tuesday at Cross-Smith Funeral Home, LaFollette.


Nanny being baptized at the age of 98.


 On the day of her baptism, Nanny wouldn't let us get up from our seats to let her sit down, so she sat down on the steps. She always put others before herself.



Nanny playing with my kitten a few years ago. Nanny herself had a poodle named Tom and a Havanese dog named Harvey.


Me, Carrie, and Nanny in January.


I will miss Nanny so much. She is an amazing person, and she is more alive now than ever.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

beyond my wants, beyond my fears

Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants
beyond my fears
from death into life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

datta. dayadhvam. damyata.

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Give. Sympathize. Control.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

taize prayer




The Lord is my light and my salvation
In him I trust

Friday, November 11, 2011

danch with me


I nanny for a family. The other day the two-year-old and I were listening to this song, and then he looked up at me and said, "Danch with me."

So we danced to this in the kitchen.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

tired of things that break

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

- e. e. cummings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

screw your courage to the sticking-place

"How may a man be born again and a blasted land made to bloom anew? Why, screw your courage to the sticking-place: dare to ask terrifying questions, and you may be answered." - Russell Kirk, from Eliot & His Age: T.S. Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century

Monday, October 17, 2011

camping in the Shenadoah National Park





 bacon & coffee.




 Camp tea is the best tea of all tea. (I know...my hat is goofy.)



Photos by the amazing Heather Boerum.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Russian equivalent to "the grass is always greener on the other side"

"Хорошо там где нас нет."

English translation: "It is better where we are not."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

辛苦中有幸福

辛苦中有幸福 
happiness in the midst of difficulty

Hat Tip: Rachel

Sunday, October 02, 2011

i'm a very lucky girl





["On a Roll" by Over the Rhine]

This oyster is my world 
My oyster’s got a pearl 
This ain’t no dress rehearsal 
I’m a very lucky girl 
I’m on a roll

Thursday, September 29, 2011

patient acceptance of whatever happens

"If you wish to remember God unceasingly, do not reject as undeserved what happens to you, but patiently accept it as your due. For patient acceptance of whatever happens kindles the remembrance of God, whereas refusal to accept weakens the spiritual purpose of the heart and so makes it forgetful."

[Saint Mark the Ascetic, “No Righteousness by Works” # 134, The Philokalia, Vol. 1]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

He took me...for this I will praise You

"I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold...
He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemey and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me...
For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness...
by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God--his way is perfect,
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him....
your gentleness made me great...
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation...
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations
and sing to your name..."

[from Psalm 18]

Friday, September 23, 2011

on the heel that has crushed it

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

gonna get along without you now


[She & Him, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now"]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

where only those embracing coldness go


This is so beautiful. Does anyone know its name?

It reminds me of the line in the Great Lake Swimmers' song "Pulling on a Line":

The line, it inks across the freshly fallen snow,
Where only those embracing coldness go
It whistles and it whispers, and sometimes it howls,
It sings to me sweetly from the trees and in vowels...


Friday, September 16, 2011

be messy. cry lots.

Please let yourself be broken before the Lord. "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." I know this firsthand....The point is that after some time away from the Lord I had this moment when I snapped. I completely fell apart. It was awesome because I had to say "I can't fix this". I could not fix me and my looming depression. I couldn't fix him... All I could do was fall at the foot of the cross, and the Lord met me there. Our God had a heart for the hurting. Oh, and before you go beating yourself up for what you should and shouldn't have done know that he came for the messy, sick people. Be messy. Cry lots.

- advice from my good friend

there were scars before my scars

[JJ Heller, "Control"]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

their hooves are giving me growing pains, i sleep like a tornado

"I saw four black eagles with horns growing towards the ground like columns or anchors reaching for the bottom; their feathers folded like hands on a man resting in his coffin bending over each other, rattling my bones, drumming out the answers in ways I will need one day; their hooves are giving me growing pains; I sleep like a tornado..." ["You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died" by Listener]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

forgiven much

"Forgiven Much" by Keith Johnson

[Hat Tip: A Holy Experience]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the real question is...

"Indeed, the most ghettoized people of all, I've come to learn, are those who don't know they grew up in a particular time and place and culture, and who think they can get to universal truths outside of particular realities and commitments. There are ghettos and then there are ghettos. The real question is not whether you grow up in a ghetto, but whether the ideas and customs and rhythms of your particular ghetto prepare you to engage other ideas and customs and life experiences without losing touch with your roots."
[George Weigel]

Monday, August 15, 2011

gets busy on the proof



steering clear of what we'd like to say

Moths by Jennifer O'Grady

Adrift in the liberating, late light
of August, delicate, frivolous,
they make their way to my front porch
and flutter near the glassed-in bulb,
translucent as a thought suddenly
wondered aloud, illumining the air
that's thick with honeysuckle and dusk.
You and I are doing our best
at conversation, keeping it light, steering clear
of what we'd like to say.
You leave, and the night becomes
cluttered with moths, some tattered,
their dumbly curious filaments
startling against my cheek. How quickly,
instinctively, I brush them away.
Dazed, they cling to the outer darkness
like pale reminders of ourselves.
Others seem to want so desperately
to get inside. Months later, I'll find
the woolens, snug in their resting places,
full of missing pieces.

[Hat Tip: The Writer's Almanac]

Saturday, August 13, 2011

through other people

You aren’t able to repent properly and to be alone in the heights of the love of God. That is to say, just God and you; just Christ and you. The love of Christ is offered and always passes through other people.

- Elder Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite (1906-1991)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

the most holy

“Of all holy work, the education of children is
the Most Holy.”

St Theophan the Recluse.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

don't worry so much

I received your letter, my child, and I saw your anxiety. But don’t be sad, my child. Don’t worry so much. Even though you have fallen again, get up again. You have been called to a heavenly road. It is not surprising for someone running to stumble. It just takes patience and repentance at every moment.
Therefore, always do a prostration when you are wrong and don’t lose time, because the longer you wait to seek forgiveness, the more you allow the evil one to spread his roots within you. Don’t let him make roots to your detriment.

Therefore, don’t despair when you fall, but get up eagerly and do a prostration saying, “Forgive me, my dear Christ. I am human and weak.” The Lord has not abandoned you. But since you still have a great deal of worldly pride, a great deal of vainglory, our Christ lets you make mistakes and fall, so that you perceive and come to know your weakness every day, so that you become patient with others who make mistakes, and so that you do not judge the brethren when they make mistakes, but rather put up with them.

So every time you fall, get up again and at once seek forgiveness. Don’t’ hide sorrow in your heart, because sorrow and despondency are the joy of the evil one. They fill one’s soul with bitterness and give birth to many evils. Whereas the frame of mind of someone who repents says, “I have sinned! Forgive me, Father!” and he expels the sorrow. He says, “Am I not a weak human? So what do I expect?” Truly, my child, this is how it is. So take courage.

Only when the grace of God comes does a person stand on his feet. Otherwise, without grace, he always changes and always falls. So be a man and don’t be afraid at all. Acquire a brave spirit against the temptations that come. In any case, they will come. Forget about what your despondency and indolence tell you. Don’t’ be afraid of them. Just as the previous temptations passed by the grace of God, these, too, will pass once they do their job.

You should know this too: a victorious life lasting only one day with trophies and crowns is better than a negligent life lasting many years. Because one man’s struggle, with knowledge and spiritual perception that lasts one day, has the same value as another man’s struggle, who struggles negligently without knowledge for fifty years.
Without a struggle and shedding your blood, don’t expect freedom from the passions. Our earth produces thorns and thistles after the Fall. We have been ordered to clean it, but only with much pain, bloody hands, and many sighs are the thorns and thistles uprooted. So weep, shed streams of tears, and soften the earth of your heart.
Once the ground is wet, you can easily uproot the thorns. 

- Elder Joseph the Hesychast

(Hat Tip: The Handmaid Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine




"Farther Along" by Josh Garrels (download entire album here)

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all castaways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

Saturday, June 18, 2011

keep warm by kindness


"People who live in cold climes must keep warm by kindness...I think that is how every person should be. Kindness -- it's the same as having a head, a nose, a pair of feet..."

- from "A Dream in Polar Fog" by Chukchi-Russian writer Yuri Rythkeu

Monday, June 13, 2011

silent as stroke victims

"Yet as a general rule it's a whole lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a raw potato or a carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over in Cereal the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming their newfound "whole-grain goodness" to the rafters. Watch out for those health claims."

- from In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Friday, June 03, 2011

make yourself worthy of being visited by God

If you put something fragrant on to burning coals, you motivate those who approach to come back again and to stay near, but if instead you put on something with an unpleasant, oppressive smell, you repel them and drive them away. It is the same with the mind. If your attention is occupied with what is holy, you make yourself worthy of being visited by God, since this is the sweet savour which God catches scent of. On the other hand, if you nurture evil, foul and earthly thoughts within you, you remove yourself from God’s supervision and unfortunately make yourself worthy of His aversion.

- St. Gregory Palamas, Homily Nineteen para. 9, The Homilies Vol. 1; St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press pg. 243

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday, May 08, 2011

55 Maxims for Christian Living by Fr. Thomas Hopko

1. Be always with Christ.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.
5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
7. Eat good foods in moderation.
8. Keep the Church’s fasting rules.
9. Spend some time in silence every day.
10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
11. Go to liturgical services regularly
12. Go to confession and communion regularly.
13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. Cut them off at the start.
14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.
15. Read the scriptures regularly.
16. Read good books a little at a time.
17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
18. Be an ordinary person.
19. Be polite with everyone.
20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
22. Exercise regularly.
23. Live a day, and a part of a day, at a time.
24. Be totally honest, first of all, with yourself.
25. Be faithful in little things.
26. Do your work, and then forget it.
27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
28. Face reality.
29. Be grateful in all things.
30. Be cheefull.
31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
32. Never bring attention to yourself.
33. Listen when people talk to you.
34. Be awake and be attentive.
35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
36. When we speak, speak simply, clearly, firmly and directly.
37. Flee imagination, analysis, figuring things out.
38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
39. Don’t complain, mumble, murmur or whine.
40. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
41. Don’t seek or expect praise or pity from anyone.
42. We don’t judge anyone for anything.
43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
44. Don’t defend or justify yourself.
45. Be defined and bound by God alone.
46. Accept criticism gratefully but test it critically.
47. Give advice to others only when asked or obligated to do so.
48. Do nothing for anyone that they can and should do for themselves.
49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.
50. Be merciful with yourself and with others.
51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
52. Focus exclusively on God and light, not on sin and darkness.
53. Endure the trial of yourself and your own faults and sins peacefully, serenely, because you know that God’s mercy is greater than your wretchedness.
54. When we fall, get up immediately and start over.
55. Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

keep thy mind calm and even

"Keep thy mind calm and even (Mark 10:49), and prepare thyself for bearing still more. All is not lost if thou feel thyself often afflicted, or grievously tempted. Thou art man and not a god; thou art flesh, and not an angel. How canst thou think to continue ever in the same state of virtue, when this was not found in the angels of heaven, nor in the first man in paradise? I am He who raise up and saves those who mourn; and those who know their own infirmity I advance to My divinity."

- from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Sunday, April 03, 2011

rushin' to the woods where we first felt God


The Rural Alberta Advantage is a new favorite band. I can't get enough of them. They are so good, and this song rocks...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

with fasting I gladden my hope in You, my Lord

I read this on Molly Sabourin's blog and was encouraged by this beautiful reflection on fasting.
 
XLI 
 With fasting I gladden my hope in You, my Lord, Who are to come again.

 Fasting hastens my preparation for Your coming, the sole expectation of my days and nights.

 Fasting makes my body thinner, so that what remains can more easily shine with the spirit.

 While waiting for You, I wish neither to nourish myself with blood nor to take life--so that the animals may sense the joy of my expectation.

 But truly, abstaining from food will not save me. Even if I were to eat only the sand from the lake, You would not come to me, unless the fasting penetrated deeper into my soul.

 I have come to know through my prayer, that bodily fasting is more a symbol of true fasting, very beneficial for someone who has only just begun to hope in You, and nevertheless very difficult for someone who merely practices it.

 Therefore I have brought fasting into my soul to purge her of many impudent fiancé's and to prepare her for You like a virgin.

 And I have brought fasting into my mind, to expel from it all daydreams about worldly matters and to demolish all the air castles, fabricated from those daydreams.

 I have brought fasting into my mind, so that it might jettison the world and prepare to receive Your Wisdom.

 And I have brought fasting into my heart, so that by means of it my heart might quell all passions and worldly selfishness.

 I have brought fasting into my heart, so that heavenly peace might ineffably reign over my heart, when Your stormy Spirit encounters it.

 I prescribe fasting for my tongue, to break itself of the habit of idle chatter and to speak reservedly only those words that clear the way for You to come.

 And I have imposed fasting on my worries so that it may blow them all away before itself like the wind that blows away the mist, lest they stand like dense fog between me and You, and lest they turn my gaze back to the world.

 And fasting has brought into my soul tranquility in the face of uncreated and created realms, and humility towards men and creatures. And it has instilled in me courage, the likes of which I never knew when I was armed with every sort of worldly weapon.

 What was my hope before I began to fast except merely another story told by others, which passed from mouth to mouth?

 The story told by others about salvation through prayer and fasting became my own.

 False fasting accompanies false hope, just as no fasting accompanies hopelessness.

 But just as a wheel follows behind a wheel, so true fasting follows true hope.

Help me to fast joyfully and to hope joyously, for You, my Most Joyful Feast, are drawing near to me with Your radiant smile.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

can't no preacher man save my soul

My good friend Courtney, whom I am so jealous of as she is studying Victorian literature in Aberdeen, Scotland, introduced me to the band The Civil Wars. I'm loving their album Barton Hollow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Я знаю что такое любовь.

It's hard to believe that two years ago today I was in Kazan, Russia. I explored Russian Orthodox churches, visited the Qolşärif mosque, bought a kilo of dried apricots at an open market, secretly took pictures of metro art, and visited Tolstoy's alma mater.

February 14th, 2009, is one of my favorite memories. Several university students were celebrating St. Valentine's Day with balloons and candy, while encouraging passersby to sign their names to this poster in the square.

"Я знаю что такое любовь. да? нет?"
 
I know what love is. Yes? No?

да. Yes.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:10

"Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Thursday, February 10, 2011

when the period of warfare comes

"When the period of warfare comes, we are overwhelmed by thoughts and cares of all sorts. This is when we must turn to the Lord in our hearts and keep silence. If we cannot abandon the thought that is bothering us immediately then we must keep silence. We should not think about anything. It is not ours to think. The Lord knows what we can take and what we cannot. Then, when we are in silence and our mind is quiet, we should give it something to do so that it will not wander. We should pray. Let the mind pray from the heart. Thus, gradually we will become accustomed to prayer, and prayer will become a habit to us, just like any task that we learn to perform. Pray in this manner, without words, and when the Lord sees our endeavors, when He sees that we seek Him and wish to be with Him in all eternity, then He will give us strength, and the heart then will dwell in constant prayer. Then we will do our work while listening to the prayer in us."

- Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica from Our Thoughts Determine our Lives

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

than any terrible possible scenario


Thanks to my sis-in-law Tacy, who reminded me of how encouraging JJ Heller's music is. :)

"Save Me"
You tell me life will not be pain free
What will be will always be in Your control
Darkness is light to You
And all You ask me to do
Is trust what You say is true

You are stronger
Than any terrible possible scenario today
Come and save me
You're the only source of all the peace I need
Come and save me

Monday, February 07, 2011

good and kind thoughts


"Our thoughts can be very penetrating, and they have great power...We can help others only if we have good and kind thoughts. If we have thoughts about correcting the faults of others, that is like hitting them. No matter how close a person is to us, he will slip away from us because we have dealt him a blow with our thoughts. And we believe that thoughts are nothing!"

- Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

Saturday, February 05, 2011

the choice-driven life

This is the story of a Linda Couri. She used to work for Planned Parenthood, and in this talk, she shares the story of how she became pro-life. This is a beautiful story of hope and grace.

Click here to listen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the water sustains me


This is one of my new favorite songs, sung by the wonderfully British Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling. On every Friday afternoon, the Diomede school has music class at the end of the day for about a half hour. Willis played this song on his guitar, and we all tried to sing as best we could.  It's such a good Diomede song, and I think that for the rest of my life, every time I hear this song, I'll think of this little island.

 "The Water"

All that I have is a river
The river is always my home
Lord, take me away
For I just cannot stay
Or I'll sink in my skin and my bones

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me
I'm done with my dying

Please help me build a small boat
One that'll ride on the flow
Where the river runs deep
And the larger fish creep
I'm glad of what keeps me afloat

Now deeper the water I sail
And faster the current I'm in
That each night brings the stars
And the song in my heart
Is a tune for the journeyman's tale

Now the land that I knew is a dream
And the line on the distance grows faint
So wide is my river
The horizon a sliver
The artist has run out of paint

Where the blue of the sea meets the sky
And the big yellow sun leads me home
I'm everywhere now
The way is a vow
To the wind of each breath by and by

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me
I'm done with my dying


Thursday, January 27, 2011

rejoice, oh unwedded bride

This is beautiful, and it makes me miss Russia.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

we should keep silent.

When we are among a large number of people, say at our workplace, people often argue there, especially at large meetings.  It is always best to keep silent at large gatherings.  Let the others bring out their suggestions.  We should keep silent.  If you absolutely must say something, then say it so as not to offend anyone’s dignity.  It is better not to become involved.  Mind your own business and try to keep your peace.

- Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

Sunday, January 16, 2011

again you sinned, again repent

“Tell me, Father, in what consists the major steps of spiritual life?” Answer:  “No one saves himself without humility.  Remember that until the end of your life you will be falling into sins, whether severe or slight.  You will get angry, you will be haughty, you will lie, you will be proud, you will hurt others, you will be greedy.  This very realization will keep you in humility.  What is there to boast about if every day you sin and you hurt your close ones?  But for each sin there is repentance.  So you sinned, you must repent, again you sinned, again repent, and so to the end.  If you keep on doing that you will never be despondent and gradually will come to a peaceful state.”

~Elder Michael of Valaam