Home Away From Home

Originally uploaded by AKMA.

I’m back safely, with the kids, without my Valentine — but we had a great weekend together, and sometimes when we looked at the signs around us, it seemed as though we had never been away. . . .

Recap and Return

It’s been a busy weekend, with limited net access, but with lovely times with Margaret and Juliet and John. The wedding-blessing went beautifully; Margaret wrangled some relatives to be a server and an usher, and Juliet and John could think of no reason that their wedding could not be blessed, and everyone could hear me. There was a threat of rain, which would have dampened both flesh and spirit, but the greater climatic threat turned out to be a persistent gusty wind — especially problematic since the communion vessels were light.

Vigilance and piety prevailed over the brute force of nature, and Juliet and John are married in the sight of God as well as of the State of New Jersey. I’ve added the wedding sermon in the “Extended” part of this entry.

Yesterday we spent the morning at the beach, where I did my best to avoid ruining my library pallor while Margaret toasted herself. I did step out into the light to swim around with my goggles on — it was like snorkeling lite, or like a National Geographic video special for the easily terrified. I swam along with a school of fish that looked about as exotic as haddock. In fact, haddock look positively ferocious compared to these innocuous marine travelers. It was a treat, though, to see through the clear water, to swim around with little fishies, and then scamper back to shore to curl up in the shade with a copy of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. I grudgingly agree, by the way, that Butler ought to write more gracefully; unless I misunderstand her by a long margin, she could have made her points in much more vivid, clear prose.

An Anglican family who had come to the wedding wanted very much for me to bless their home, so Margaret and Juliet and I wandered over to give them a blessing. Their son was particularly concerned that we bless the space under his bed, so I was liberal with the holy water for his sake.

Today we leave for home; Margaret and I separate in Miami, and I’m scheduled arrive home in Chicago at about eleven o’clock (getting back to Evanston around midnight). I’ll be trading marital companionship and tropical leisure for full-time workand broadband access. Hmmmmm. . . .
Continue reading “Recap and Return”


Wedding in five hours.

Sermon done.

House-blessing service compiled and printed (just in case — it’s a long story).

The spambots have been busy, haven’t they?

Miss you. Back soon.

Thin Linking

My Safari window is getting clogged up with pages I wanted to comment on and link to, but which I haven’t found time actually to write about. Some people solve this my putting d.elici.o.u.s links in a sidebar, but I haven’t girded my loins to figure that one out yet. I need to clear the decks, though, so let me point you to:

Adina Levin’s entry on friendship, conversation, communication, “social signals,” and online interaction — a very intriguing contribution to three or four discussions I benefit from.

Scott Matthews and Patrick Ross’s discussions toward a middle way in intellectual property publication, distribution, and remuneration. I’m resistant, not out of my determinedly piratical temperament, but from the sense that Scott’s proposal still owes more to perpetuating obsolescent economic customs than to maximizinng the efficiencies and possibilities of new technologies. But I haven’t taken time to think these over fully, so don8’t mind me.

Shelley’s fantastic overview and exploration of tags, tagging, memes, folksonomies, and how to exploit them. Speaking as someone whose name is already, in effect, a tag, I need to keep listening closely to her.

And in answer to her closing wish, she’s only one good tutorial away. . . .

Dial-Up Interval

If you’ve left a comment, or are looking for constant-updating excitement, or whatever, please be patient. I’m depending on the bandwidth of, well, not “strangers” but people whom I’ve only just met. It’s slow and sporadic here, so I won’t be as available as usual.


Well, it was a long twenty-four hours of travel, but we have arrived safely for Juliet’s wedding. On the plane flight out, however — and this slightly modifies the adverb “safely” — Margaret turned and asked me, “So, how’s the sermon?”

I had been so determinedly focused on grading the stack of papers on my desk before I took off that I had entirely forgotten that I should prepare a homily. So for the time being, I’m thinking evangelical nuptial thoughts, and reminding myself that it’s unkind to preach more than a couple of minutes at this sort of occasion.

Pre-Valentine de Lubac Wisdom

Two years ago, I think, I posted a quotation from Henri de Lubac that Margaret sent me as a Valentine.

This year, she’s studying de Lubac in her doctoral program, and she regularly sends me clippings from her reading. This week, she excerpted some words from Catholicism, the 1950 translation of the French edition of 1947:

“Just to imitate primitive Christianity or the Middle Ages will not be enough. We can revive the Father’s all-embracing humanism and recover the spirit of their mystical exegesis only by an assimilation which is at the same time a transformation.
For although the Church rests on eternal foundations, it is in a continual state of rebuilding, and since the Fathers’ time it has undergone many changes in style; and without in any way considering ourselves better than our Fathers, what we in turn have to build for our own use must be built in our own style, that is, one that is adapted to our own needs and problems.”

De Lubac proposes two conditions on those who would take up, perpetuate, and renovate the Fathers’ teachings:

“We must recognize in the first place the great diversity of the theories which have been professed in the course of Christian history on those innumerable subjects where religious truth comes in contact with our human preoccupations. Secondly, we must realize to how great an extent these theories depend on social, intellectual or cultural conditions in a state of contstant development.”

“For although dogma is essentially unchanging, the work of the theologian is never ended.”

Monday’s Homily

As I fight my way through a small stack of papers and fend off the daily barrage of small-but-urgent tasks, I’ll take a second to add yesterday’s homily to the “Extended” portion of this post. Everything went smoothly, I think, aided considerably by the fact that we used the same liturgical from all the way through the service (a rarity here). The sermon would benefit from some simplification toward the middle — I recognized, as I was preaching, that at least one clause had outgrown its surroundings and needed to be a sentence on its own. If I were preaching it again at another service, I’d have been busy editing and emending. . . .
Continue reading “Monday’s Homily”

Boxing Models

No, it’s not a Rageboy post (I know, I know, I owe you a letter, Chris). I’m just looking for a good tutorial about implementing the Box Model Hack or one of its derivatives. The heat is on to make the Seabury site work for non-compliant browsers (Explorer), and I’d prefer to have as elementary a walk-through as possible. I understand what I’d be doing in principle, but I’d really like to have the templates work the first time through. Or second, maybe — but I don’t have the time to shoot for the seventh.

Apart From “Watch The Pizza”

Does anyone have any ideas for extracting pizza from the speaker of my iBook? Back at Chicago, I launched a slice of deep-dish pizza several inches from where I was carefully eating it away from my laptop, end-over-end, flop down on top of my formerly white iBook keyboard. . . and the left speaker.

Is there some way to clean out that space? It didn’t look as though there was an obvious way of gaining access to that when I removed the keyboard for a quick check. Margaret just gave me a stern look and said, “That will not continue” — so I have to find a way to fix it.