Monday, January 18, 2010

"A man of polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures, that the vulgar are not capable of receiving. He can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue. He meets with a secret refreshment in a description, and often feels a greater satisfaction in the prospect of fields and meadows, than another does in the possession.

It gives him, indeed, a kind of property in everything he sees, and makes the most rude, uncultivated parts of nature administer to his pleasures; so that he looks upon the world, as it were in another light, and discovers in it a multitude of charms, that conceal themselves from the generality of mankind."

I really enjoy Joseph Addison, considered to be the greatest literary mind of his time. This little piece comes from a chapter on imagination and he just wets my appetite and makes me want to reach out and do more creative things. No question in my mind that the arts, poetry and reading good books are so many tools to help us see deeper into our world and "discover in it a multitude of charms."

Picture from the Internet

There are, indeed, but very few who know how to be idle and innocent, or have a relish of any pleasures that are not criminal; every diversion they take is at the expense of some one virtue or another, and their very first step out of business is into vice or folly. A man should endeavor, therefore, to make the sphere of his innocent pleasures as wide as possible, that he may retire into them with safety, and find in them such a satisfaction as a wise man would not blush to take. Joseph Addison

I chose this picture by Subir Basak to illustrate two of the innocent pleasures I enjoy most in life; children and water. This amazing picture captures both subjects in a most spectacular way.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I was on my son Eric’s blog looking up the post he wrote about being visited by angels unaware to share with a brother named Soto. The subject of the post was a Hispanic man and a large black woman, the one who crept in and the other who came in like a blustery wind to his church. Each stayed just long enough to be noticed, aided and then off they went to who knows where.

Soto loved the post and we discussed it a little. Then two days later, when I arrived at work, Soto hurried to me and told me that the evening before he and a friend went to Wendy’s to get a hamburger and when they took their seats they noticed what appeared to be a homeless man eating at a table alone. The man was entertaining himself with imaginary figures and movements with his hands all the while smiling and laughing in a very approving manner. As they put their food on the table they also noticed another apparent homeless person, this time an older woman with long coat and a pile of possessions wrapped in plastic bags.She was also busy entertaining herself with melodic conversation. As this scene was observed by Soto he began to sense a powerful presence of the Lord and a remembrance of the blog post I shared with him and he excitedly shared his thoughts and feelings with his friend who also began to sense the presence. During the dinner they made eye contact with both of the “angels” and as they left, Soto engaged the woman with a cordial word and blessing while his friend gave a gift to the homeless man.

This "chance meeting made a deep impression on Soto and just as if to seal the lesson, the next evening that very angel (woman), came into the Thrift store shopping. He rushed up to me eagerly and called me over to observe this woman. We greeted her heartily and I'm sure she had no idea why she was getting the royal treatment by us....... or did she?

Photo by Marjorie Smith

I ran across the following quote the other day and was tempted to continue past it without a clue of what the author meant. But I decided not to let it get away that easily so I begin to poke and jab at it turning it on its side and rolling it around until I was determined to understand it. I worked on it with the aid of the dictionary for five or ten minutes until I captured his meaning. I enjoyed it so I decided to print out a dozen copies and give it to the guys at the center for something to do with idle time and the next morning we would talk about it. None but one was able to figure it out and I was with him as he read it, considered and then prayed for light. In less than three minutes he captured the meaning, and this man with only a sixth grade education!

“Be thou in the van of circumstances, yea, seize the arrow’s barb before the pent string murmurs.”

I felt that 1st Corinthians 16:13 was a similar meaning.