May 12th, 2015

page 359 2015 Diary

It is in the flow of my life 7:41 AM Tuesday morning. Outside this morning it is cold and gray. It is hard to believe we will soon be in the Summer season. Spring here in West Michigan is always very short.

I got up around 6:15 AM and immediately got dressed, because I wanted to go and get my blood drawn before the blood place got full of people. I did that and was home by 6:35 AM. I made myself a small bowl of oatmeal and a small pot of coffee. I ate my oatmeal messing with our main computer. After messing with our main computer I wrote in my personal diary. I have been writing since 1968. In 1968 I lived in Richmond California. I was born in Oakland California in 1952. I never knew my father. I grew up fatherless.

Last night I read "B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal" by J. C. Hallman. I watched television and went to bed around 11:10 PM. Now it is another day to seek the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday in the mail I received a book I had ordered used titled, "The Life of Kingsley Amis" biography by Jachary Leader. I got this biography on Kingsley Amis because he was good friends with the British poet Philip Larkin. I have been reading a biography on Larkin and wanted to read about Kingsley Amis friendship with Larkin.

Well not much else to report. I might visit thrift stores today if the weather permits. I do not drive in bad weather. I do not drive at night. I hate going anywhere. I am waiting it out in this cell. I love my cell. In this cell I can experience reality to the fullest.

page 359 2015 Diary
  • Current Music
    Agalloch 'The Serpent & The Sphere'

God cannot be imprisoned in the forms of this world

It is in the flow of existence here by Lake Michigan 1:01 PM Tuesday afternoon. I just got back from getting my hair trimmed and my beard trimmed. I plan not to tell my wife that I got haircut and my beard trimmed. Usually she never notices my appearance after I am all cleaned up. I tell my wife she does not see me. We will wait to see how long it takes my wife to notice I look different.

Before I got my hair trimmed I had lunch. I am still eating very little these days. I am down to 217 lbs right now. Before lunch time I was out running around visiting thrift stores in search of used books to add to our Book Collection. Also while I was out I got cracked corn for the birds.

I found these used books this morning to ADD to our personal library-

"Bobo's In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There" by David Brooks

"Trilby" a novel by George Du Maurier

"Barchester Towers, Miss Mackenzie, & Cousin Henry" three novels by Anthony Trollope (Great Classic Library)

"The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story" biography by Diane Acherman (I have two other books by Diane Acherman in our library, "A Natural History Of The Senses" and "An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel And Mystery Of The Brain".)

"The Edna Webster Collection Of Undiscovered Writings" poetry by Richard Brautigan

"Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles" by David W. Gill (I have in our library another book by David W. Gill titled, "Becoming Good: Building Moral Character.)

"The Lonely Polygamist" a novel by Brady Udall (I recently found used another novel written by Brady Udall titled, "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint".)

"Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate" by Neil Baldwin

So has gone my day thus far. I am not expecting anything in the mail today. It is still cold and gray outside. Ugly weather! Well I will close to write in my paper diary or maybe I will just sit and listen to the wind blow.
  • Current Music
    Lightning Bolt 'Fantasy Empire'

when it does it feels like a gift, a freely given transcendence of self

It is in the flow of my days 4:09 PM Tuesday late afternoon. I took a nap down in the lower level. I am still down here in the lower level looking at my books. I woke up remembering that I wanted someday to quote something I read this morning in a book titled, "The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age" by Sven Birkerts.

"Now I have occupied the book and the book has begun to occupy me. Its atomspheres bleed obscurely into mine. Because I am immersed I carry the work everywhere, returning to the narrative every time there is an opening in the day. And for the duration of my reading-and maybe less vividly after-I will shift between two centers of awareness, the one required by my more worldly functions, the other felt as a petitioning of my subjective inward self. I find the back-and-forth movement-an abstract sort of friction-invigorating. Attending to two very different kinds of reality, reconnoitering between inner and outer focus, enriches my overall responsiveness.

In the course of a fifteen-minute subway ride I drop into Haggard's world as into a well. I heed the outside signals only enough to insure that I don't travel on past my stop. Not until I feel the train decelerating do I close the book and look up. For an instant everything swims in a milky sort of haze; then the eyes readjust and the sensations of reading begin to ebb. I look around at the other passengers-the students, the mother fiddling with the strap on her child's knapsack-and I feel irradiated with a benign detachment. The inner and outer are, briefly, in balance. Haggard is as present to me as these people. And that specious equivalence brings me closer to them, though I'm not sure why. Their boundaries seem porous; I have the illusion that I could enter and understand their lives. The feeling passes. The life of the book dims out as I get to my feet and jostle through the doors.

But Haggard does not simply disappears until I next return to the book. When a work compels immersion, it is often also has the power to haunt from a distance. I don't just mean that my thoughts now and again turn to the characters and the story-though this, of course, happens all the time-I mean that I feel haunted. Just as in a true "haunt" one feels the presence of spirits from the "other side," so do I sometimes feel the life of the book suddenly invade me. As if, for a moment, that life were my life-the walls come down. This only happens with certain books, but when it does it feels like a gift, a freely given transcendence of self. I'm not sure how to explain it, except maybe as a kind of cognitive "short circuit," where some triggering association suddenly shunts my readerly preoccupations, my subliminal self, into the foreground. Or as a consequence of some linguistic alchemy that brings a portion of the book so vividly to life that it overwhelms the affective centers." pg. 100,101
Sven Birkerts
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

Essay "How The West Became Deaf To The Biblical Voice That Had Led It" by Robert W. Jenson

What happens to a culture shaped by the Bible, if the culture ceases to believe that the Bible tells truth?” This was the question asked by my initiation paper for a liberal arts discussion group that met more than fifty years ago. In the meantime, we have been finding out the answer.

It is not my purpose, grimly enjoyable though it might be, to set forth a lament over our developing chaos—our nihilistic ideologies, the collapsing sexual order and related social and political dysfunction, the idiot’s greed of masters of the financial universe, and so forth. In order to understand more deeply, we need to attend to specific features of the Bible and to correlated aspects and developments of Western culture. The following is offered as a limited contribution to that effort.

Now, we may think of Scripture as both an encompassing narrative of the Creator’s history with his creatures, and as torah, his gracious communication of what is good for participants in that history. These of course are inseparable, but it will be convenient to take them up in sequence. Christians and Jews tend to order them differently: Christians make the narrative primary; Jews, the Torah. I presume the Christian ordering but think both Christians and Jews can agree about much of what I will say.

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  • Current Music
    Burial Hex 'The Hierophant'


It is now in the flow of time 9:43 PM Tuesday night. This evening my wife got up around 6:25 PM to get ready for work. My wife is a night nurse at a local community hospital. When my wife got up I made coffee for her and sat across from her waiting to see if she would recognize that I had gotten a haircut and my beard trimmed. As we sat at the dining room table we talked as she drank her coffee and looked through the evening local newspaper. I kept waiting for her to notice I looked different, but she did not see me. After awhile I said to my wife "Do you SEE me?" She looked at me and then noticed that I had my beard trimmed and that my hair was shorter. I am always telling my wife she does not SEE me, but she does not believe me. When I tell her she does not see me she always replies that she is up in her head. I always SEE my wife and that brings me delight. I love my wife even when she does not see me.

  • Current Music
    Prurient 'Frozen Niagara Falls'