Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pic of the Day


by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

With so many people these days under a stay at home order, it can feel awfully lonely to some. Some of us live alone and are a bit introverted, but lets not forget those extraverts out there who need socialization. If you can reach out to someone who you know needs that extra socialization, reach out to them and let them know they are not alone.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pic of the Day

The Wayfaring Stranger

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I'm going there to see my Father
And all my loved ones who've gone on
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise before me
Where God's redeemed, their vigils keep
I'm going there to see my Mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
So, I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home

Yesterday, I watched the movie 1917. It was phenomenal but also very sad. I think it’s almost impossible to have a happy World War I movie. If you did, it would be inaccurate. World War I was such an awful war. The set really bring that to life in this movie. In my opinion, the sets were very accurate. As a historian, I’d be remiss to say that there were no inaccuracies. There are a few, but I’m not here to talk about that. One of the most moving moments of the movie is when Jos Slovik sings “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.”

The song itself is an old American folk hymn about a plaintive soul on the journey through life.  “I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger” speaks of man’s journeying on this earth. Yet, from what and to what does man go? 

From the moment Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, man’s journey has him wanting to return. Yet, this return requires passing through the looming, dark portal of death. We journeyed through life into death.

The song’s line “I’m just going over Jordan” evokes this death. In one respect, the line refers to Joshua, that successor of Moses who led the Israelites across the dry bed of the river into the long-desired promised land. Yet, in a deeper sense, the line refers to baptism of  Jesus in the River Jordan. Our crossing is a watery plunge, a sign of dying and rising, a baptism.We journey through death into eternal life.

As we walk toward that dark portal of death, the baptized walk with Christ. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). In Baptism, we are changed at the deepest center of our being, we continue to walk in newness and with hope. We are on the way as wayfarers. 

The song continues saying, “I’m just going over home.” This is a clear allusion to heaven. As pilgrims, we journey not just to death, but we pass on to more. “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14). The deepest and truest sense of our journeying is not about designation of place. Our journeying is about fulfillment, perfection, life, and the all-consuming vision of the beloved, face of God. 

Upon rising from the waters of baptism, we follow Christ, who is “the way” (John 14:6). This following requires renewal and sacrifice. St. Paul exhorts us to put off the old man and put on the new man, even calling for our minds to be renewed in Christ (Ephesians 4:22–24). To put off the old man is a command to leave behind the sin and the corruption which came from Adam and Eve. To put on the new man is to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). To be renewed in the spirit of the mind is to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Therefore, we are poor because we need all from Christ. We are wayfarers because we are journeying from death to life in Christ. We are strangers because we have died to this world and seek those things above. “For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). When our journey—that is, our perfection in the Son—is complete, we will see our Father. “No one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Pic of the Day

Isabella’s Happy

Isabella seems very happy that I am home all day. She gets up with me each morning, and we have breakfast. Then she follows me into my home office. She’s enjoying her new supervisory role. She likes to be somewhere she can watch me. Sometimes, she’s sitting on the desk micromanaging. Other times, she watches from afar. The problem comes when she tries to do my work for me. Let’s put it this way, she’s not a good typist. She just randomly hits various keys. So for the first hour or so of work, I have to constantly move her from my laptop. Around 10 am, her workday is over. She either sleeps on the futon in my office, or she curls up in the midst of my bed. The rest of her day consists of sleeping. When it’s time for me to stop at the end of the day, she wakes up and let’s me know I am through working and that all my attention should be on her.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pic of the Day

Sonnet 2

Sonnet 2

By William Shakespeare 

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter'd weed of small worth held: 
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days; 
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
   This were to be new made when thou art old,
   And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

The poet looks ahead to the time when the youth will have aged, and uses this as an argument to urge him to waste no time, and to have a child who will replicate his father and preserve his beauty. The imagery of ageing used is that of siege warfare, forty winters being the besieging army, which digs trenches in the fields before the threatened city. The trenches correspond to the furrows and lines which will mark the young man's forehead as he ages. He is urged not to throw away all his beauty by devoting himself to self-pleasure, but to have children, thus satisfying the world, and Nature, which will keep an account of what he does with his life.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pic of the Day

No Favorites

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: (KJV) ( Galatians 2:6 ) 

God doesn’t have favorites. He desires to use us ALL and gives us all special gifts that he hopes that you will use to bless others with. Don’t think just because you don’t have a fancy title or that because you aren’t a Bible scholar God doesn’t want to use you! There is only one you in the world. God desires to use in a special only you kind of way.  

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pic of the Day


I had planned to be home Monday for work, but I’ve found myself at home today. Yesterday, I had another migraine and a sore throat. I’ve had the sore throat for a few days. Both are on the same side, so I think the sore throat is at least partially affecting the migraine. Anyway, I went home at 10 am yesterday and called my doctor. I had to wait for a callback, but eventually his nurse did call me back. After consulting with her and after she talked to my doctor, they agreed I probably had a small viral infection and it should clear up in a few days. I haven’t had a fever and they don’t believe it’s coronavirus or anything serious at all, but I’m probably contagious, so they ordered me to stay home today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pic of the Day

For Who?

For Who?
by Mary Weston Fordham

When the heavens with stars are gleaming
Like a diadem of light,
And the moon’s pale rays are streaming,
Decking earth with radiance bright;
When the autumn’s winds are sighing,
O’er the hill and o’er the lea,
When the summer time is dying,
Wanderer, wilt thou think of me?

When thy life is crowned with gladness,
And thy home with love is blest,
Not one brow o’ercast with sadness,
Not one bosom of unrest—
When at eventide reclining,
At thy hearthstone gay and free,
Think of one whose life is pining,
Breathe thou, love, a prayer for me.

Should dark sorrows make thee languish,
Cause thy cheek to lose its hue,
In the hour of deepest anguish,
Darling, then I’ll grieve with you.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
And it seemeth long to thee,
I would whisper, “be not weary;”
I would pray love, then, for thee.

Well I know that in the future,
I may cherish naught of earth;
Well I know that love needs nurture,
And it is of heavenly birth.
But though ocean waves may sever
I from thee, and thee from me,
Still this constant heart will never,
Never cease to think of thee.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Pic of the Day

Another Headache

Yesterday, I had a headache that continued to get worse as the day went on. My head hurt so bad that my pillows felt like rocks. Nothing seemed to help. The Emgality that I take once a month is helping with the overall number of headaches I have a month, but it is not 100 percent. I hope I wake up this morning without a headache.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Pic of the Day


For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (KJV) ( 2 Corinthians 4:16 ) 

Have you encountered a snag in your life? ... a lost relationship, rejection from a school or job, financial hardship or maybe simply a lack of determination. You might be praying for God to give you the strength to get back on your feet. But do you know how powerful God is? Instead of limiting your rescue to a level you understand, have faith and believe that God has a plan beyond returning you to ground zero. Through God, you have the capability to excel way beyond your limits. Jot down a goal that you think is impossible then watch God's plan unfold.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Working from Home

We haven’t been told to work from home yet, but I have no objections to doing so. And if they don’t deliver my new office MacBook soon, that old PC laptop I have will feel like using this old manual typewriter.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Pic of the Day

Wash You Hands

It’s Friday the Thirteenth, and to be honest, I don’t have much to say. I just want to remind everyone that with the coronavirus spreading rapidly, please wash you hands for at least 20 seconds. As one meme I saw said, “Wash you hands like you just masturbated with silicone lube and you need to get it off your hands.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Pic of the Day

Before the Dawn

Federico Garcìa Lorca

Federico GarcÌa Lorca, a Spanish poet, was part of the legendary poetry circle The Generation of ’27, which hoped to work with avant-garde forms of art.

Murdered by fascists in the Spanish Civil War for his liberal views, his poetry and plays continue to be read and performed today.

So famous is his work, his name is now immortalized in an airport in Granada.

Here is Before The Dawn:

But like love
the archers
are blind

Upon the green night,
the piercing saetas
leave traces of warm

The keel of the moon
breaks through purple clouds
and their quivers
fill with dew.

Ay, but like love
the archers
are blind!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pic of the Day

With Great Joy

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (KJV) ( Acts 2:46 ) 

There's something special about sharing meals with others.  Not only is your body receiving nutritional refreshment, but your spirit gets to fellowship as well.  A great joy comes from this simple act.  Rather than view your daily rush to put dinner on the table as a chore, see it as an opportunity to interact with your friends, family, and loved ones. I especially enjoy it when I am able to feed others. I enjoy cooking, and I like to bring pleasure to people through food. However, going out to a restaurant, having drinks, and eating a good meal with friends, family, and loved ones is something I also enjoy very much. Food has always been a way of showing love for me, and having a meal, whether prepared at home or by a restaurant, is a wonderful way to share fellowship.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Pic of the Day

First Friday

Tonight will be a busy night. I’ll leave work to go to Burlington for an artist’s exhibition opening. I’m a bit obligated to go because I own one of the paintings in the exhibition. My piece is part of a larger display of paintings depicting the stages of transitioning bodies. Each stage is a transition from female to male. It is quite a beautiful display as each painting represents a different color of the rainbow. The painting I own is a red painting of the male torso. I am hoping that in the future this artist will create a group of pictures of male torsos with each one a different color of the rainbow. I would love to have them on my wall. 

After the exhibition, I’ll go to dinner with a friend of mine and the artist. Then after dinner is First Friday, the monthly LGBT get together in Burlington. It is a mixture of drag and burlesque. Each month has a different theme. Tonight’s theme is Hoedown Throwdown. It should be a bit of country and western fun. I probably won’t get home until after midnight.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Pic of the Day

Feeling Off

I’m not exactly sure why, but I was feeling a bit off yesterday. I’d write more, but I’m just not feeling up to it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Pic of the Day

Super Tuesday

As I went to bed last night, MSNBC was predicting that Biden would come out of the night on top of the delegate count. I hope I wake up this morning to find out that this prediction was correct. I could have voted for Pete Buttigieg, he was still on the Vermont ballot, and it was tempting, but I chose to vote for Joe Biden hoping that others would do the same and he would get some of the delegates from Vermont. I didn’t want Bernie Sanders to take them all.

This morning, I have a physical therapy appointment very early. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but as I was moving the last of my stuff out of my old apartment, I fell and hurt my back and shoulder. My back has mostly healed, but my shoulder is still giving me problems. Because I am right-handed and this is my right shoulder, by the end of each day, my shoulder is in a great deal of pain when I head to bed. I’m hoping my physical therapist can help me out with this problem. She is really good, and she’s done wonders when she’s worked on me before. We’ll see.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Pic of the Day

The Fluffer Talks of Eternity

The Fluffer Talks of Eternity

I can only give you back what you imagine.
I am a soulless man. When I take you
into my mouth, it is not my mouth. It is
an unlit pit, an aperture opened just enough
in the pinhole camera to capture the shade.

I have caused you to rise up to me, and I
have watched as you rose and waned.
Our times together have been innumerable. Still,
like a Capistrano swallow, you come back.
You understand: I understand you. Understand
each jiggle and tug. Your pudgy, mercurial wad.

I am simply a hand inexhaustible as yours
could never be. You’re nevertheless prepared to shoot.
If I could I’d finish you. Be more than just your rag