Productive Nostalgia

I am at home in Orlando right now, to be with family and relax during the Thanksgiving holidays. Another stated goal of this time is to avoid using the computer as much as possible so I can begin healing from my RSI’s. As you can tell from the mere fact of my blogging, such is more difficult for me than it sounds. In fact, I’ve begun to see computer avoidance as a discipline I should practice for spiritual as well as physical reasons.

At any rate, it is good to be home. One of the tasks my mother has set me for my time here is to go through all my old boxes of saved school projects, mementos, love letters, etc., and to vaguely scrapbook them. (For me, “scrapbooking” involves putting things into a binder).

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A Call to Reflection

(Last night, in the swirling waters of the hottúb, I had the opportunity to reflect for a while on reflection. Can there be anything more reflexive? No, indeed there can’t. I was thinking about the various processes of reflection that I’ve engaged in during my life, some more important and some less so, and it struck me that these times were always of immense value, though they were maybe attended (at the time) by strife, uncertainty, and even despair. I wanted, therefore, to define and recommend a life of reflection in an essay, which follows. But first, a disclaimer: to encourage certain types of detractors to read further, I need to say that I am not recommending a life solely consisting of reflection, of course–rather, I am recommending a life that appropriately integrates reflection, whatever “appropriate” means. I feel the need to write, not to settle what portion of life should be deliberation and what portion action, if these can even be meaningfully separated, but instead out of an observation that our culture certainly stifles reflection, and out of a desire to see that force balanced).

A Call to Reflection

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Early November Notes at Random

It’s been a while. I hope you all enjoyed the rush of non-catch-up-style blogs, with actual content! (Be it poetic, scientific, or theological) That time is over. Now for some random notes:

1. Over the past few years I’ve been giving myself what’s called “repetitive stress syndrome” in my hands and arms from excessive computing. It has now flowered into something extremely painful, almost what I’d call debilitating (at least for computer work). It’s frustrating because I need to work on my computer to make money to live, but that work hurts my body, which in turn impairs the amount of time that I can work, so I make less money, so I need to work more, etc… I’m trying to figure out how to get out of the cycle for enough time to heal. On another whiney note, similar problems are plaguing my lower extremities, so my usual pick-me-ups of quick 6-mile (or even 1-mile) runs are now no longer options. Thus I sit around and think how I wish I could either work or play, but can’t do either. On the bright side, I can read, and I’ve been doing a lot of that.

2. I’ve been reading Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright (2nd in his multi-volume work on Christian origins and the question of God). It is incredible, and builds well upon the foundation of his first book (excerpts of which I did not share here, unfortunately). Also, to my utter delight my old Greek prof let me borrow a book called Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers, which is exactly what it purports to be: a linguistic history of the Greek language within the context of other historical events. Finally, the itch of my curiosity about how the Greek language evolved from a highly inflected tonal language thousands of years ago to the relatively simple Indo-European tongue we know as Modern Greek. Fascinating.

3. I went to visit my sister Rachel in Nashville this week! It was lots of fun to see her and hang out (even though we both spent most our time working on exams or jobs). She took me to some cool places and we finished the trip with a Copeland / Appleseed Cast show which rocked hardcore. Hardcore rockage–that’s what it was! I love both bands, and it was fun to chat with them momentarily after the show.

4. I’ve been wanting to blog reactions to some of the stuff I’ve been reading and other things (including some Enaselvai translations that I’ve been working on), but as it’s not good for me to type unless it’s absolutely necessary, I will have to postpone such endeavors. Indeed, blogging may be a little slow for the next while unless my therapy makes any good progress. (Likewise, dreams of getting back into Warcraft when the expansion is released have gone down the tubes…which in the long run is probably a good thing)

5. I read through a bunch of old blog entries recently (from jonathanlipps.com/weblog) and was again surprised by how often (and how poorly) I blogged back when I started. For instance, in February 2002 I wrote 35 entries. It’s hard to believe it was 4 and a half years ago!

6. FACEBOOK.

Now I must bid you adieu.