Tag: 2017 February Group Writing

Return to Earth / Ash Wednesday Group Writing

 

“Remember, man, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Or, in the torrential rains of this premature spring, mud. Clay. Rivers of filth. Clumsy clods. We fight our dull, earthen nature, presuming to overcome it, only to slip back into the mud and mire. And sometimes it seems the more we struggle to escape, the deeper we sink.

In movies, sometimes you’ll hear sublime music playing while watching something awful happen. Turns out that happens in real life, too. As the Baroque brass, orchestra, and antiphonal chorus reached its climax, my mother was busy having a stroke. A few minutes later, as we walked off-stage, I remarked, “Thank God that’s over.” Nor was I blaspheming to offer such thanks: I had every reason to thank God for the week being done. The week had been a grueling, disappointing one – among the worst conventional wisdom tells you to expect – as I knew it would be. And it was finally over. Or so I thought. Little did I know.

Music for me is never not a struggle against a body that won’t cooperate. Why I keep at the struggle is hard to say sometimes, since I’ve never perfected the illusion of not struggling, an illusion vital if you expect anyone to want to listen to you. Always the understudy, never the bride, so to speak. But it’s no one’s fault but mine, or God’s – if it’s anyone’s fault at all – that I can offer no assurance my bodily clay won’t work to suffocate me at the last minute, or even contain itself properly. Whatever progress I make in keeping the struggle for control inaudible is just not quite enough.

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When we stayed with friends in Thailand recently, just outside of the city of Chiang Rai, I took a walk most mornings. I couldn’t help noticing that property maintenance rules don’t exist. Zoning laws would be a foreign idea. Modern, large homes stood next to tiny, fragile-looking abodes with tin roofs. Sculptured lawns and trimmed […]

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The Dutch settlers arrived here in the late 1800’s.  A lot of farmers newly come from the Netherlands, bringing their families, plows, and a Bible.  Their Calvinism was reinforced by the Domine from Holland, and the prairies of the heartland gave them a place to settle in, freedom to make a community. The plows cut […]

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This month’s Group Writing series is on Earth. Previous topics included Wind and Fire. I’ve covered both Wind and Water with the Typhoons of World War II  and Fire in Firestorms: Hamburg vs. Dresden, so naturally I considered writing on the four major Classical Elements. And it’s fascinating how long Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water have been […]

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When I was a middle-school kid, I loved botany. I studied those diagrams in my A Beka Science book for hours. I dug up my parents’ side yard with the intention of planting a garden. I made sketches of girls gardening and collected every new seed I could find in a little, blue, glass angel […]

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The Earth is a big top spinning along the gravity well made by the Sun. But, it’s tilted. It’s at an angle compared to the sun. As it circles the Sun, sometimes its tilt means that more sunshine hits the Southern Hemisphere, while at other times more sunshine hits the Northern Hemisphere. This gives us our seasons. […]

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