As 2005, a year that has seen many and incredible changes in my life, draws to a close, I thought it appropriate to mention some of the personal highlights, and make observations about these last 365 days from a perspective blessed with hindsight. So now, in hopefully chronological order, here are the things that were important to me since December 31, 2004 (some significant events being censored to protect certain individuals, of course).
Note: if the event which I am describing has been written about previously on one of my weblogs or something similar, I offer a link to that entry, called “read more…”.
Continue reading “2005 In Review”
Last month’s emotional bloodletting was musical. Here is this month’s: a paragraph that wants to be a poem when it grows up.
Some violent days the red and rain are all too thunderingly silent, staying stored in Heaven when Earth’s ironies are Hellishly blue and clear, spying down on cracked and broken souls that move and labor searching amidst blood for each other to wish wreckage was external, indicating the spiritual state–less existence equals less pain but color is beautiful and cannot be slain (only why won’t it rain singing water, rising up to drown unworth?), but grace prevails, the ship sails and souls float, regarding unjustly their inevitability of being, the world a mockery of them and they of it, made now of shimmering sand when floods should rule till penitence dies and comes again in more wrath and less doom, carving channels of whistling light to lands where mirrors give heed to more than sight, and true lenses perceive the matching hue of Heaven and Earth, for the first time: above and below to agree in mirth.
I went to the UK last week with my family, as we wanted to go and see my sister when she got off from her semester at Capernwray hall, and accompany her home for Christmas. We had a wonderful time wandering around the lake district of England, randomly went to a Delirious concert in Liverpool (my mom is friends with the keyboardist), and then hung out a few days in Wales, hiking up mountains and seeing castles and such.
Apart from being pretty sick the first couple days, it was great to be with family, to be relaxing and eating well, and to be tramping about the windswept hills in 0-degree (celsius) weather.
It reminded me how much I love the UK, and being overseas in general. That, plus the generously long (and cocktail-filled) plane flights, made for some good observations and reflections about things I saw or realized last week. I’m hoping to write a few entries on those topics soon. Until then, here are some pictures, so you can at least see what things looked like in general over there.
Pictures from the trip at my .Mac picture site
In physics, there is what is known as the “wave-particle duality” of photons. Sometimes, light behaves like a particle, and sometimes it behaves like a wave. It seems occasionally to simultaneously follow the rules for particles and waves! This confounds physicists (and me).
Recently, I have become aware that community is much like this. One might think that a community is just an aggregate of particles (individuals), and so it should behave like an aggregate of individuals. Another might think that a community is like a wave–it behaves like a single extended entity. These people will treat community differently; the first person will place ultimate foundation in each individual, and will argue that their motions (i.e., the influence of God’s will in their life, and their response) qua individuals define the epiphenomenal motions of the community at large. Those of the wave persuasion will argue conversely that God directs the community as a whole according to his will, and the motions of individual members follow like crests and troughs in a wave–all very connected.
It is hard to know within which paradigm I should be viewing community right now. Are we fundamentally separated, and therefore at the end of the day we must discern our calling from God as pertaining to ourselves alone? Or are we fundamentally connected, and must therefore all collectively submit our motions to the movement of the larger group?
Right now, it seems appropriate to view the motions of some as following the particle paradigm, and others as following the wave paradigm. Are we therefore separate entities (i.e., in separate communities)? Or are we exhibiting the true essence of community and just failing to describe it in classical sociological terms, exactly the same as physicists failed to describe quantum phenomena using Newtonian language?
We have been gathering data for a while now, but I think we still need some more. Anyone else have any data worth sharing?
As a gift for all of our friends and family this Christmas, my brother David and I (who comprise Splendour Hyaline) recorded a 3-song Christmas EP, inexplicably called “Christmas”. Here it is for download in MP3 format (make sure to right-click and Save Target As):
(cover art by Chris Nyffeler)
(for those of you using iTunes, you’ll see the album art is already attached to the songs. Otherwise, feel free to copy the image from this page)
NOTE: Songs are now considered to be the final mix.
Among the billion other things I felt thankful for last week was this sunset (featuring a brilliant Venus which the photo only barely captures):
(Picture taken from our backyard, looking towards Lake Hart–one of the few Orlando water bodies that’s actually somewhat a lake and not a retention pond)