Archive for September, 2008

I’m so thrilled for my sister–she and her (now husband) went off to the desert, with a beautiful gown for her, and his brother as ring-bearer, and got married at Burning Man.  There was an incredible all-white chapel, and strange-beautiful structures, and a Celtic officiant.  It looks like an end-of-the-world dream.  I posted several photos over at my wedding blog, but here’s a taste:

How amazing is that?  In the wedding blog world, they call that a “magazine quality” photo–because it’s beautiful, inspirational, and perfectly lovely.  She apparently has hundreds of photos, and I can’t wait to see every last one of them. Congratulations, Jaybird!


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Reading aloud


I just came from my first class: 7th and 9th century Israelite prophets.


Straightaway, the professor handed out two pages of Hebrew text.  He asked us to go around, read aloud, and translate if we could.


Oh, my.  I was totally unprepared. Like–I’ve been working on my Greek, and French.  My Hebrew is too, too rusty.  With time and preparation, I can get ready to do that, especially if I can work on a text on my own. But on the spot? In front of my classmates?  I was the worst reader.  Seriously: of everyone who read, I was the worst.  I got through four words before I gave up my turn.

All through grade school, I was the best reader.  I adored reading aloud, and teachers would let me read pages at a time, not paragraphs, because I read well.  I have always been able to read.  It’s a skill I absolutely take for granted, absorbing text (in English) at breakneck rates, and memorizing it for later.

How interesting to suddenly be in the child’s position, the dunce’s, the bad boy’s in the back of the room.  I could not read.  There were several words I could not pronounce, having forgotten some of the characters.  A girl next to me was near-silently whispering some of the words to me, to help me out, to keep the flow going, so the teacher wouldn’t notice my ignorance.  I used to _be_ that girl, whispering to an awkward seatmate, trying to keep the teacher from realizing we all couldn’t read.

It’s interesting to come at sacred texts in this way.  If I believe God truly wants us to come to God like a child does—doesn’t this mean I should race through a text, slamming the book shut, saying to myself, “I know what this means.  This is the parable of x, and it means that we should y.”  Truly, in Hebrew and Greek, I am syllable at a time, character on mouth, finger underlining as I go….  Painful, blushing, ashamed that I can’t go faster.  I think /roash/ means “breath,” or is it “wind’?  “Spirit”?  What might it mean here?  Where have I heard it before?  Slow. Down.  And.  Look closely.  Wait for the meaning, you don’t have it already.

It’s a great posture for meditation, and for considering my position in the face of so much unknown, but it still feels terrible to be sweaty-handed in my seat, unsure of even where my line begins.

And so begins the semester.

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My wedding blog

I just updated my wedding blog.  They seem ubiquitous among certain women my age, but I don’t feel like I need to be ironic or “I need to be witty because this is a bit silly” about mine (except for calling it “ubiquitous,” I suppose.)

I like documenting our ideas, and communicating them with our families.  I especially like the three posts Matt has written, and seeing how he sees his role in our engagement.  And I love photos, ideas, color…it’s so enjoyable to share them, and have them all in one place.  Like a scrapbook, or the inside of a hope chest.

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