Monday, November 30, 2009

Initial Thoughts on "An Altar in the World"

Back from the Holidays. St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; and Jonesboro, AR.

A book I'm savoring right now is "An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith" by Barbara Taylor Brown. So many pithy thoughts and phrases jump off the page and into my head and mind. A few nights ago I started the first chapter. It was close to bedtime. I sat or rather lay too comfortably in my my recliner in my bedroom. Found the first chapter pleasant, though my drowsiness attenuated the experience. Took bite size pieces on successive evenings, not really having time for much more. Then, one night finally had time to read and let it sink in deeper into my psyche. What she is doing is becoming more apparent. Then next, it was a quiet time in the hotel lobby early last Tuesday morning and I re-read the first chapter. Amazing what I perceived that I hadn't earlier. The reason being more familiarity with her approach and how she was feeling it. There's lots of visual imagery. This is cool.

Touching the truth with our minds alone is not enough. We are made to touch it with our bodies.

One thing this book teaches is that the way to the spiritual life is through the sensual, physical world.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Research - by Zora N. Hurston

I was in St. Louis on Tuesday with my son who was interviewing for med school at St. Louis University. While there and waiting on him, I wandered down a hallway toward the downstairs bookstore and came across an administrative department concerned with their research program. They had this very interesting quote on their bulletin board. This caught my attention because research and development has been my calling.

Research is formalized curiosity.

It is poking and prying with a purpose.

It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and that they dwell therein.

Zora Neale Hurston.

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