Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wisps of fog

Some things I have liked on the internet.

From John Dickson’s Facebook page (so half of Christendom has probably read it already). Sometimes I feel so moved by elements of creation. Relating to them as to the gifts of a Lover is a way of seeing that works for me.
In his lecture on Friday evening titled 'Pleasure, Meaning and the Death of God', Yale University professor Miroslav Volf contended for the following vision of the Good Life:

Choosing between 'pleasure' and 'meaning' leads to one of two kinds of nihilism: either the triviality of mere sense sensation or the totalitarianism of obedience. Pleasure without meaning is akin to pornography, addictive but also diminishing. Meaning without pleasure denies ordinary experience and results in the crushing burden of duty. Only the pursuit of pleasure in the context of meaning constitutes true joy. Here, ordinary objects of the world come to possess transcendent meaning. In the Christian vision of the Good Life, human beings relate to created objects as a beloved relates to the gifts of a Lover. The object itself carries both the ordinary sense pleasure of a natural thing and the transcendent meaning of the embodiment of love. Thus, faith in God, far from diminishing one's enjoyment of the things of the world, animates all of life, uniting pleasure with meaning resulting in joy.
This from Ann Voskamp’s Facebook page (in response to the Ashley Madison slogan of “Life is short. Have an affair.” obviously).
yeah, this life is short ... so we'll go ahead & love the people we're with, love the people who make the piles of laundry & throw their shoes off at the door, love the people who hurt in their hurt & love the people who are terrifically hard to love because this is exactly what love terrifically does: Love defies logic.
Life is short -- so we'll live a long & messy faithfulness.
Forgive much because letting go is the secret of holding on. Sacrifice at every turn because this is how to run into your dream destination.
Love somebody even if it seems too late, share a cup of something warm, laugh too loud & believe this is really the life.
Life is short -- so go have a love affair with all of your one miraculous life.
This from Alistair Bain’s Facebook page. I don’t sign off on everything from Frederick Buechner, but he writes some goodness (I’ve posted most of this before, but it has come around again on the interwebs so here it is).
"I have called this book Telling Secrets because I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition--that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are--even if we tell it only to ourselves--because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about. Finally, I suspect that it is by entering that deep place inside us where our secrets are kept that we come perhaps closer than we do anywhere else to the One who, whether we realize it or not, is of all our secrets the most telling and the most precious we have to tell."

Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets


pete said...

Thought of you when I read this - might be of interest as it is on joy.

Have not visited your blog for a bit so:
1. Happy Birthday. Hope it was totes rad
2. Sorry you don't get asked on dates. It's a crime
3. Love that painting
4. Hope your health is better
5. I am reading Confessions of St Augustine (again) and he has some great stuff on pleasure vs meaning

Ali said...

Thanks Pete. That was interesting. At first read I am not sure I fully agree with all he's saying, but need to think more about why.

And I really need to read Confessions one of these days.

Linda said...

I drop by every so often to play 'catch up' here and I never fail to come away with little treasures from your life and words. Thanks for posting this re: Pleasure and Meaning. It rings true for me. I often am so serious about pursuing the 'meaningful' that I get under that "crushing burden of duty" and have to dig my way out with simple creativity and remind myself that this too is a gift from God to me, even if on the surface it is not 'productive'. Right now I'm discovering doodling (and fancy lettering) for instance and the therapeutic making of pine needle baskets--what pleasure, what gifts. Thanks for keeping on here and sharing your world in cyberspace!
--Linda of
P.S. I too just finished Keller's book on Prayer!