Monday, November 30, 2015
Today is my thirty-eighth birthday, and since this blog started in 2010, it is the fifth birthday I've had while doing this blog. The first year, I didn't even mention that it was my birthday, though a few friends wished me a happy birthday in the comment section that day. That second year, I wrote:
I am now entering my thirty-fourth year....I try not to spend my birthdays thinking, “I thought I’d be somewhere bigger doing something better by now.” Though sometimes, this thought does cross my mind....However, I have the firm belief that God has a plan for me. I don't know yet what it is, but I have to believe that I am where I am supposed to be at this point in my life. There is no room for regrets in life, though we all have them. Instead, I like to take each day as they come and look to the future. I try to be the person I want to be and strive to be all that I can be, which is really the most we can ask of ourselves. We also must know our limitations, so that we are not disappointed when we try to do too much at once.
Obviously, I was regretting that my life wasn't more. I was unhappy teaching, and while,I know I was doing good as a teacher, I felt like I was a failure and was wasting my education. Th next year, in 2012, I didn't reflect on my birthday. I wrote about it being St. Andrews Day and I mentioned some famous people who share my November 30th birthday, such as one of my literary heroes, Mark Twain. The next year, my birthday fell on a Saturday and I posted a slightly risqué post titled "Moment of Zen: Alone Time." You can either let your imagination take you where you will with that, or click on the link and satisfy your curiosity, though some of you I know have already read it because you left birthday wishes in the comments. That brings us to last year when my birthday fell on a Sunday, so my post began with the following Bible verse:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11
As I reflect back on this blog through the years, I think that one of my central messages has been that God has a plan for each of us. While this time last year, I had no doubt that God had a plan for me, I don't know if I truly believed that He would give me "a future and a hope." This time last year, I was frustrated with my life. I was having chronic cluster headaches that were waking me in the middle of the night. I dreaded going to my job. I wanted an escape. I would never imagine a year ago that I'd be where I am today. I'd have never thought that six months later I'd be out of a job, or that I'd spend a torturous summer looking for a new job. I'd have certainly never believed that I'd not only find an advertisement for a dream job but that I'd get that dream job. Things like that have never really happened in my life.
Now, I find myself with a wonderful job with great benefits in a liberal New England state. I am being given my birthday as a paid holiday, or that my coworkers, insisting that I not be alone all day on my birthday, are taking me out to lunch. My other plans for today are to make myself an official citizen of Vermont. I'm going to get my new driver's license, new license plates, and register to vote. Then I plan to treat myself to see Mockingjay, Part II and probably go and have a nice dinner. I expect it to be a good day.
As I wrote four years ago:
I love having a birthday. It's my special day, and though some people hate being a year older, I always find it better than the alternative. At thirty-four, I still have a lot of life left to live, and on this journey, I hope that it is bit of an adventure. There is an old Chinese curse that states: "May you live in interesting times." I have never thought this to be a curse, especially as an historian. In the present, we live on the front lines of history, and what would life be, if it were always boring.
It's bound to be interesting times when you live in a state that elects Bernie Sanders to the Senate and where the vast majority support Bernie for president.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.Colossians 1:11-14
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Joe, you have now been in Vermont for a month. What about a post on the differences in the aspects of living in the Deep South and living in Deepest New England? Your comments would be very interesting. Your last post touched on accent and way of speech but what else - not just material things, such as food and the time difference, but the way people behave and think?--The Academic
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”Luke 10:29-37 (NRSV)
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I, Being Born a Woman, and Distressedby Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, being born a woman, and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, this poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity — let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.
Love Is Not Allby Edna St. Vincent Millay
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
Millay is not just another penner of sonnets. Her sonnets sparkle with life and lust amid the foreshadowing of death. She also has an interesting quality of resolve: she seems willing to give herself to men, but not to give herself away. If she is playing games, she is playing them knowingly, and probably understands the rules better than her partners.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Here are 10 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about penises. With any luck, they’ll help you to appreciate them even more than you already do.