Thursday, April 29, 2010
Seeing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because it hadn't been playing anywhere near Colorado
Enjoying lots of fun eateries:
The Carousel http://www.carouselrestaurant.com/
The Trattoria Amici at The Americana http://www.americanaatbrand.com/glendale/dining/dining.php
Aunty Ems http://www.auntieemskitchen.com/press.html
The Oinkster http://www.theoinkster.com/
Cafe Beaujolais http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-beaujolais-los-angeles
Ruby's Diner on the pier at Huntington Beach http://www.rubys.com/
Spending time with Sean who graciously allowed his mother to hang out with him and drove her all over the place on those crazy freeways
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I love unusual wildlife sightings. For thousands of years it was probably no big deal for human beings to observe most any kind of wildlife but in my modern world such occurrences are rare—like precious jewels. My recent gem is a Great Horned Owl who has taken to hanging around our house. For the past month I have heard intermittent hooting and have wondered if it was an owl or a mourning dove.(I am a dumb suburbanite.) And then one evening just before dusk, I was preparing supper when out of the corner of my eye a large pair of wings swooped by our kitchen windows. I followed the flight of those wings as a large bird lit on the branch of a tree 50 feet from our house. Although well camouflaged in the woods, I could discern the outline of an owl. I admired the noble creature through binoculars and marveled at its great puffy feathery body. I thrilled as I realized that it seemed to be watching me too. Then it amused me by turning its head completely around without turning its body, in typical owl like fashion, as it observed something directly behind. Several times it leaned forward and rocked rhythmically as it called hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo.
I longed for another sighting but assumed that I would have to settle for merely listening to its hooting in the night. However, late yesterday a commotion by a couple crows drew me to a window and there was my owl perched in a tree closer to the house than last time. The crows fluttered around it cawing excitedly while it maintained a dignified posture. Finally they left and I observed the owl in peace. Again I used binoculars and saw that it was staring back at me, direct eye contact—eerie but thrilling. It lingered in the golden glow of the setting sun for about an hour and then plunged from its perch and soared out of view. I’m looking forward to my next sighting.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
The theme of the service was ‘The Cross of Emmanuel’ with an emphasis on the meaning of the name, God with us. All of the lovely music, scripture and other parts of the service revolved around this theme.
He started the service by introducing a piece of artwork; “The Crucifixion” painted by Grunewald around 1515. This piece was commissioned for the Antoinite monastery at Isenheim, Germany with the purpose of providing comfort for the patients in the monastic hospital. These patients suffered from hideous, humiliating skin diseases that distorted and disfigured their bodies. When Grunevald painted his crucifixion he painted Jesus, not as some sort of superhero who looked pretty good despite being tortured on a Roman cross, like many other painters of the time, but as one suffering with the outward physical symptoms of some of these diseases in addition to the agonies of the cross. The painting depicts him as having the strange contorted swelling and skin discoloration that the patients of this hospice had. Grunewald was saying to these people, “Look, this Jesus identifies with your suffering. He died for you.”
The service also involved a conversation between Jim DeJarnette and Dan Woolley, a man who works for Compassion International and survived the collapse of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Dan described the horrific physical experience that he endured as well as the rescue that took place sixty hours after the earthquake. Jim’s questions drew out from Dan how he experienced God with him during that ordeal.
Humanly speaking it is easy to focus on Dan as the one who God saved. But Jim also drew our attention to Dan’s companion, Dave Hames, who did not survive the quake. God was with him also, Jim explained. God plucked Dan out of that collapsed building to go back to his country and his family but he plucked Dave out of the earthquake to be with Him. To reinforce that point Jim led the choir in “How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place” by Brahms. He also assured the congregation that God is with each one of us in our unique situations.