December 9th, 2008

Monday evening, 8 December 2008.   Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the Catholic calendar.  It was sunny this morning, but quite cold.  The day warmed up nicely though.  I spent most the day preparing for the teaching I gave at church tonight, not on the Immaculate Conception, but on the Incarnation of Christ as Jesus.  This was a talk  to the RCIA (rite of Christian initiation for adults) group and their sponsors.  Had 20 or so there, and some were missing.  And it went surprisingly well, considering most of my preparation time was spent in New Harmony over the weekend.  And I basically spoke about the immanent and transcendent approaches to understanding that mystery.  Had only an hour between Eucharist and the session, but had a nice dinner at a buffet with 3 ladies from the church.  One of the more memorable lines from the talk was this:  “Pure humanism, however altruistic, is Godless nonetheless.  And pure transcendence is far too exclusive to be Christian.”  At least the pastor didn’t jump up and yell “heretic” at me.  LOL.

Wild dog Charlie is pressuring me to tell him the doggie Christmas story again this year….all about santa dog and his reindogs.  Will have to find my notes on that.  Its been a year and I tend to forget what I said last year.  Maybe I will tell the whole story here sometime.  Time for Charlie Rose on PBS and then off to bed.

A new blog….just personal ramblings: some about genealogy and family, some not.

December 8th, 2008

Sunday evening, 7 December 2008.  Pearl Harbor day and the second sunday of Advent.  Partly cloudy and cold here today.  Yesterday was overcast, damp and cold as well.   Today and yesterday, I and several others from our church choir sang Christmas carols at New Harmony IN for their “Christmas in New Harmony” celebration.  We sang at the Granary, a restored sandstone and brick building originally built in 1816.  I had been long wanting to sing in that building, and it was worth it, although the large upper room where we were is not as reverberant as I thought it might be.  Still, we went about an hour and half of non stop singing each day.  Great fun!  The road trip up there and back (about 45 minutes each way) gave me plenty of time to think about New Harmony and that strange pastiche it is: a tiny town with great potential and, as someone put it, too lazy to do anything about it.  It is dotted with original Harmonist houses, a small, world-class inn, original sculptures and other public art, a real stone walking labyrinth (a copy of one at Chartres Cathedral in France), a structure by noted architect Phillip Johnson and another by Richard Meier.  I named that latter one, the White Castle on the Wabash some years ago, and it still looks like a monumental White Castle hamburger joint to me.  And its all surrounded by rich Posey County farmland and the Wabash river bottoms.  The driving force behind what exists there, has been a lady by the name of Jane Owen, who nearly singlehandedly has restored and added the unique and unusual to this part of the country.  Hers is a decided eclectic outlook and a reflection of her own individual spirituality, which seems to be a synthesis of medieval Catholicism, low church Anglicanism, and prairie Protestantism.  The wording of this synthesis is what I accomplished for as I drove back and forth this weekend.  Not too shabby thinking, even for an old man!

Once home, I managed to get the exterior Xmas decorations out and up.  I’ve got some ribbon to replace, but by and large, everything looks spiffy for the upcoming holidays. 

There has been nothing much of note to do with genealogy the past week or so.