Saturday, August 30, 2014

Smart & Smarter

Stalwart Pioneering Toward Frontiers
(Come Out! Come Out!)

As soon as intelligence is let out to play & you actually
see it dancing like shook foil rattling and roiling over
continental divides & great plains; you can’t just  pack
it back on the farm: it’s already seen Caprice & The
Prodigal named Whim & wasted in the Garden of delight
&  Original Spin and knows & owns it’s own Power,
happy  in it’s Bawdy Body Politic: reclaiming foibles,
fables,  warts, blunders, trials &errors and rooms for
play —so many mansions  & how else get GOOD  at it
for crying out loud?

I’m sure you’ve sensed IT  in your classroom every
once in a while at least—seen it  escape on-task
getRdone work-programmatic  trammels & baffles
fly around & glamour-up  the discussion holy smokes
you realize the resource  you’ve been keeping under
black  plastic so to speak so that mixed meta force be
damned sociological strawberries or anthropological
beans  or  medieval mushrooms are the only ones
allowed to grow here in this plot & all else appropriately
kept under wraps not a weedy peep out of all that
potency ;  we’re talking Local Food here  not local food
back for crying out loud: hard balls and mallets not
your upside down flamingo and hedgehog croquet.

And once a faculty sets itself  free to fool around with
itself, sparking  its intelligence & charged up by it’s
bootstraps throwing off plastic  shrouds of industrialilzed
discipline and grim professional-itus  don’t you know it
will flash with such light as to beget  it’s own auto-poetic
self-correcting creativity sliding like an ice-cube on it’s

own melt  across a hot curriculum


  1. "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor to measure words but to pour them all out, just as it is, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away." George Eliot.

  2. And an opponent (worthy or not) will do the same: sift and sort and keep what advances his argument, ignore if not blow the rest away. Makes good sense both ways.

  3. I just learned today that George Eliot was a woman.


    True story. Genuine. Biblical quotes allowed.

  5. And Quranic quotes. Interesting. He says that the Quran converted him.

  6. Is the word created or does it create seems to be the central question. Good question. No dummy this man.

  7. Tell me about it. 34 minutes is a long time for this ADD to hear about a conversion. "the word" ? A metaphor for doctrine?

  8. Voluntary ADD. I have a child in class that is a voluntary blind person when I come near. He just closes his eyes, then he blinks a little bit to see if I am still there.

    When I have time I will make a post contrasting conversion stories in both directions. I found listening to the entire thing worthwhile.

  9. Where I'm not engaged, I don't pay attention. When young, my folks thought I was hard of hearing. The Dr told them I hear fine--just not listening to them.

  10. Voluntary deaf. I have only met voluntary mute, before. Separation anxiety is running rampant this week. One other little boy stood in the corner and cried and pointed his finger at me and told me to go home. One little girl has been trying to comfort them to the extent of going over there and stroking hair and inviting to play.

  11. Slightly harrowing, I have to admit, while I steel myself for the afternoon.

    But I have always felt you that way: looking in, wanting in... As far as one can tell from this type of interaction.

    All the more fun, when you see them gain confidence, begin to express themselves and garner passionate hugs from them. I have been relying on the guitar and singing to focus them and distract them from their concerns, at the same time.

  12. Are you full time teaching? What grade? (If you told me this already--sorry)

  13. We have 4 classes or preschool at church. Thankfully, I don't have to teach them all. But since it is not my specialization, I have a lot to learn and prep. Also, you run into the families everywhere you go. We are trying to go more to a centres and play based approach than previously, incorporating more movement, which requires some adjustment from last year. When I took it over, I thought there was too much sitting. But I will not have any screens in the room, only face to face interactions. There are enough screens. I try to talk and sing with them as much as possible--unless they are having a melt-down and they don't want anybody.

  14. Activities? How many hours are you with them? (5 days a week?) Do you like/love the work?

  15. I have been called to the work by the congregation. I will apply myself whole-heatedly for the sake of the Gospel. And yes, I love the children. Work is work, sometimes it seems too hard, then you rely on the external calling. I work four half days in the classroom. My real passion is music, but I can use that everywhere I go. It is the ultimately portable and flexible joy.

  16. Today, we three more criers. One stood by the window to look for his Mom and screamed and cried for about 90 min.. You would have thought he would have fatigued. I tried to talk to him, but when I did, he got even madder and I thought he would hit his teeth on the window crank. So we let him cry. The aid phoned the administrator, who phoned the Mom, and it was all agreed that we would tough it out and he would cry till he was done. My aid suggested that we would have snack on a picnic blanket in the narthex. That was a good plan. A beautiful zucchini muffin snack was had by all the remaining in peace and quiet, as the crying stopped in the playroom, but the distressed one did not join the group. After that we split the group and the aid talked to the children about fruits and vegetables and colors. I took the rest back to the playroom, where we had a musical freeze game that they liked so much that we did it three times. Our crying one was now playing blocks and he was not closing his eyes any more. Then we switched the groups and we did the freeze game again. I kept waving to the wailer who had quit wailing. He would not join, but his eyes were big now.

    I said to the pastor afterward: whose idea was it, again, that the little children come to him? -- Jesus, of course. Nobody else says stuff like that.

  17. Suffer the little children -- to stand up under it. Bear it.

  18. Some of them become poets and then they broadcast to the whole world the injustices they suffered: they made me sit in a circle and walk in a line, and worst of all--they made me do crafts! Oh, and some of them had to sing Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

  19. They have hit upon something with this last thing. If I can discern a different calling for myself in all this, it would be to improve the quality of Sunday school type music. Online there are Biblical songs done by the Jewish community that has much better tonal quality, in my opinion. And the text: I refuse to rhyme "floody, floody". That is just unacceptable. We had better stuff in Germany.

  20. Suffer the sore throat. Brighten the corner where you are.

  21. Suck it up... (sp)

    Been gorging on Islam to Christ conversions. Now this is funny And short.

  22. This one is short.

  23. Did you know that music is forbidden in Islam? A singing voice is ok.

  24. Orthodox Presbyterians ban hymns from worship, and permit psalms.

  25. I know. Strange. It took a while for music to develop and be accepted in the earlier centuries. But it has been enjoyed for a very long time, historically speaking.

    The little children in Saudi Arabia watch cartoons that tell them that Mohammed is the last prophet. There is a song song voice in the cartoon but no music permitted, says the mother, with only her eyes showing. Later on she shows beatiful fashions in the store, which they may wear underneath the black cover.

  26. As son of Hamaz points out, though, ironically also, in the short clip, the "prophet" Mohammed did not actually "prophesy" anything, in terms of foretelling, so you could actually test him.

  27. I think we would have to say that it is all a little schizophrenic.

  28. It's All schizophrenic, divided, split--torn between ideas and practice--talking the talk, walking the walk...--an agony. Crucial.

  29. I think we will take up Psalm 139 next week.

    You know who I am.
    (Point to the sky and then yourself)

    You know when I sit,
    (Everyone sit down)

    You know when I stand.
    (Everyone stand up)

    You know what I think.
    (Point to your head)

    You know where I go.
    (Run in place.)

    You even know when I lie down low.
    (Mimic sleeping)

    You know all that I do.
    (Spread both hands out wide.)

    You know all that I say.
    (Push out hands from chin.)

    And You show me You love me.
    (Point to sky and wrap arms around self in hug.)

    Each and every day!
    (Point on each word going from left to right.)

    Law and Gospel. No hiding, just knowing. Always loved it. And David strummed the harp.

  30. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

    I have loved that for as long as I have heard it.

    Dawn: Morgenroete in German, Aurora in Latin.

  31. Antithesis:

    "A man said to the universe:
    “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”
    (Stephan Crane)

  32. I-Thou relationship. (Martin Buber)

  33. Enter by the blood of the lamb. Excruciating.

    Perceiving the pathway to truth,
    Was struck with astonishment.
    It was thickly grown with weeds.
    “Ha,” he said, 5
    “I see that none has passed here
    In a long time.”
    Later he saw that each weed
    Was a singular knife.
    “Well,” he mumbled at last, 10
    “Doubtless there are other roads.”

    Stephen Crane

  35. There are only two ways. One by the blood of the lamb, the other on my own steam, self-justifying, following the rules, missing logs and focusing on splinters... Schizophrenic.

  36. "The only hope or else despair lies in the choice of pyre
    or pyre to be redeemed from fire by fire
    Who then devised the torment? Love!
    Love is the unfamiliar Name Behind the hands that wove
    the intolerable shirt of flame which human power can not remove. We only live, only suspire consumed by either fire or fire." (T.S. Eliot: Little Gidding)

  37. Tolstoy has this version: there is only one kind of happy family, but many different kinds of unhappy. -- Only he said it better.

  38. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

  39. The same might be said about religion

  40. Yes. That was the point.

    CBC radio is calling for short stories.

  41. I might send in the thing about the Israeli skin care salesman at the mall, with his elixir from the Dead Sea. But it is not fiction. I don't have a fictional bone in my body.

  42. I read some Hemingway this morning, just to see how it goes. Wow, he is good. It was the first one in the book, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." I want to read it to my husband but he says he head is not on the right place. And the elixir story he says is not politically correct. He has not even read it only heard it told. I can't rely on him at all.

    Nothing but the facts. Nothing but the facts? Well, thoughts, feelings, impressions, hopes, disappointments, ironies, themes... Common humanity... Nothing fanciful or overly dramatic, or "grotesque", as they say about Flannery. Ambiguous, yes, ambiguous can be done. Must be done.


    Here are the finalists from the last two years, as well as the rules for entering.

  44. Voracious--you, as reader. Hemingway shot himself after a full & creative life.

  45. Ever designing his own life and stories, now designing his own death. He could not write about it...

    There are short stories and there is creative non-fiction. They have them as separate categories.

  46. Warren Wilson is considered as having one of the choice Low Residency MFA programs in the country. Creative non-fiction is one of the course categories--as well as fiction and poetry. James Franco (may or may not know him) is in process of taking a second MFA in poetry (after fiction)--while also a PhD in Lit from Yale and some program at Columbia. Plus ongoing career as star in film. Creative .

  47. So many courses. So much creativity. So much non-sense. ?

    On October 19, 2010, Scribner published a collection of short stories, Palo Alto, by Franco.[84] The book is named after the California city where Franco grew up and is dedicated to many of the writers he worked with at Brooklyn College. Inspired by some of Franco's own teenage memories[45] Palo Alto, and memories written and submitted by high school students at Palo Alto Senior High School,[85] consists of life in Palo Alto as experienced by a series of teenagers who spend most of their time indulging in driving drunk, using drugs and taking part in unplanned acts of violence. Each passage is told by a young narrator.[86] The book has received mixed reviews; Los Angeles Times called it "the work of an ambitious young man who clearly loves to read, who has a good eye for detail, but who has spent way too much time on style and virtually none on substance."[84] The Guardian said that Franco's "foray into the literary world may be met with cynicism in some quarters, but this is a promising debut from a most unlikely source."[87] Writing in the New York Times, reviewer and fellow author Joshua Mohr praised Franco for how, in the story "American History", he juxtaposed historical parts with a present-day social commentary that "makes the we wonder how much we've actually evolved in post-bellum America."[88]

    At least one editor of a literary journal testified he would not publish Franco's stories, claiming he has been published due to his star power, not literary talent.[89]

    Publishers Weekly reviewed the collection, stating "The author fails to find anything remotely insightful to say in these 11 amazingly underwhelming stories."[90]


  48. What really troubles me about the culture now is this holy grail of creativity. I don't have anything against creativity. At one point, David's Psalms and string playing was innovative and creative. He had a lot of time to sit around with sheep and think these things up, pondering God and the universe. All good. But you cannot go to one function or pick up one book where we don't hear extolled the virtues of lateral thinking and being like Einstein. I picked up a book, yesterday, on teaching children to think. It was the same thing, although the exercises may be good. Meanwhile, we are going to war in Iraq again, and nobody knows even the difference between Sunni and Shia doctrine, or that and why they curse each other in their respective mosques. This is some of the most cogent and relevant stuff today, but it gets buried for the sake of thinking like Einstein. I don't think Einstein would be pleased.

    Meanwhile I would like to know roughly where short story ends and creative nonfiction starts.

  49. I have to go practice piano for tomorrow and plan some creative lessons for next week. I think I will paint my own illustrations and laminate them.

  50. Yes: we worship creativity. No doubt, We're spectators.

  51. With the very young I find I am most interested in supporting confidence and independence. So that, foe example, when we sing the Hello song with all the names in it, that they are willing to identify themselves to the group. So that when there is the musical freeze, they don't cower in the corner, but dance. So they contribute to the discussion of the stories presented. Free play, dramatic play, yes, they need to join in that, too, but it comes naturally. It is quit irrepressible.

    Along all those lines, they need to know that they walk with God and should talk with him.

    "Tools" education mentions "culturally appropriate self-talk". Prayer, in a sense, is that.--It is thinking. Vertically and laterally.

  52. from L. precari - precarious. (prayer)

  53. Giving others confidence for expression is what you try to do. Your "hiding in the bushes" (as I once said), is your crucifying of your ego. Yes?

  54. I jiggle dance around the burning bush, I guess. Not so much hiding. Crucifying the ego is beyond me. Can't give confidence but try to give a context for play of mind and supplement to the Get R Done of the rest of the curriculum.

  55. They killed a British aid worker.

    Sam Harris extols meditation and use of psychedelics. Confronts Islam by saying one of its basic tenets is hatred of infidels.

  56. By the time they come to you they may be formed already. I can see confidence happening right in front of my eyes.

  57. End time, my good old mother was convinced.. And Carl is rubbing his hands in glee--"the stage is set" he reports. Rapture. Jesus is coming not to return but to take over.

  58. Luther thought he was in the end times. He had Islam at the door, too, and encouraged the emperor to act (instead of the pope and church, as not it's business to act, only to teach.) It is always the end times. I could die today. As long as we have time, let us praise The Lord.

  59. I watched a bit of a show "intelligence squared" on whether Islam is a religion of peace. The defenders of that proposition lost. People moved to the side of that it is not a religion of peace. But I noted that the defenders of Islam mentioned Luther of having taught awful things. I wonder now if they mean his writings against the Turk.

    I have seen Istanbul show up on blogposts where I have summarized the writing. Now I don't have a proper stats counter anymore. It does now show me where visitors come from exactly. Google seems to have taken over blogspot and stat counter is out of commission. Do you have that, too?

  60. Am not aware of stats counter. Rarely get anyone viewing my blog.

  61. I have a dozen or two that get hit all the time. C.S. Lewis on rudeness. (A quote). Churches in Silesia. (As my old uncle told me.) Song translations. A torte recipe. Alister McGrath on Dawkins. McArthur vs. Sproul on baptism summary of debate among Reformed. Voltaire on race.

    It was nice to see where the hits exactly came from.

  62. I'm not following this thread.

  63. End times--Luther thought the same in his day--Luther wrote about the Turkish doctrine to inform the politicians-- the debate is renewed--"is Islam by nature and teaching peaceful or warlike?--people mention Luther in this connection--I have posts on this. The rest is asides. And just to be clear, Lutherans are a-millennial. When Christ returns in glory it is the time for resurrection and the end of time as we know it. We live now in the time of the Gospel; this is pretty much the "millennium" of non-literal thought. The numbers in revelation are all symbolic and allude to other things, as it is a different kind of writing, hiding things from those who would not understand the allusions. (Back on track?)

  64. Read on amillenialism. Looks like everybody, except for some Americans, have this position.

    Unfortunately, too many "creative" movies are being made about strange perspectives.

  65. If people weren't so creative they would realize that Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists are ALL amillenial. And that they are the odd man out. But no, we don't hear the end about the rapture and the envisioned scenarios. Incorrigible. I don't get it.

    Nevertheless, Christ will come, like a thief in the night, suddenly, as he said himself. We are to be prepared at all times, watch the signs of the times, yes, but don't speculate. No creativity necessary, here. Just do your job.

  66. "And so endeth the sermon," my good old man would say after he'd gone on and on to make a point for our benefit..

  67. Were you always lectured? I was never lectured but always told to bear the younger siblings. "The smarter one gives way", was the word. (Der Kluegere gibt nach.)

    Why did you bring up Carl and the millennium? Just to bug the hell out of me, and the to tell me you are lectured. This is your kind of fun?

  68. No not lectured. Was his joking way of acknowledging he was advising. If it weren't for a thief in the night we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  69. I am not sure what it was like for my siblings to hear that the smarter one give in.

    My husband is fretting. He is giving a lecture at the hospital "geriatric dentistry". All of the sudden he can't even click on a picture and have it open.

  70. The boy who wailed for his mommy for 90 min. participated fully yesterday. His head appeared in the bottom of the doorframe with his body on the ground. He then gradually wiggled all of himself into the yellow room where we have story. We duly ignored him as not to scare him off, but in the end he could be moved to sit properly on his own spot. I am finding that he is delayed in skills, not holding a pen or able to balance on the beam. Hopefully, he will benefit from the program...

  71. I am 70 pages into Hemminway's short stories and even managed to read four very short ones to my husband. He said it wasn't terribly entertaining--he is just like one of the oafy peasants, he says. But I think he liked it, as it got him onto history of war, his turf more than mine.

    It is easy to see Hemingway knows what he is doing, but it does seem bleak. It could be the natural reaction to covering warfare, hunts and other exploits.

    In reading the stories out loud, I began to feel like I wanted to read them like Stuart McLane of the Vinyl Cafe, on the radio.