31 October 2013


I have handed in a draft of my thesis, and can now turn my hand again to other adventurous ideas. Reflections coming out of the thesis proper will show up at my other blog. But the adventure of writing? Well, I guess that belongs here.

Or more specifically, today, the adventure of words. I’ve written a passel of words over the past 6 months. Too many for a thesis, actually. I’m sure my next adventure there, before it gets approved, will be the process of editing down.

One fun aspect of typing, editing, proof-reading, and otherwise being buried in words, is the joy of unexpected ideas that pop up through typos. Or in some cases, just through over-thinking things.

So, here’s a short list of neologisms – words that ought to be:

Threatise: a document proposing, justifying, and explaining the ways and means of intimidation (physical or emotional). See The Prince by Machiavelli.

Comcluding: when your Comcast contract runs out; or, if you close your Comcast contract early.

Oboeligatto: well, what would you call  the melody played by a double reed instrument  accompanying a different tune? (see BWV 5/4, or read my thesis when it comes out)

Bilbliography: the list of resources consulted for an article, chapter, or book about a beloved hobbit.

  JRRT's drawing, taken from Wikipedia via Google images

Quirkly: adv., in a rapid but unsual manner; or, in an unusually rapid manner.

There’s another that only great exercise of self-control, and the fear of the PC police keeps me from posting. But that raises a whole other question about the adventures of the recesses of the human mind.

08 October 2013

One Year Out

Sunday was one year to the day.
Yesterday was one year to the date.
Today begins . . . well, “the first day of the rest of my life,” I guess!


Crazy: This enterprise was crazy from the outset. What sane person leaves a comfortable income from an enviable job to go he knows not where? That is crazy.

Busy: People have finally stopped using the word “retired” about me. I have been up to my neck in reading, studying, writing, and teaching.

Poor: That none of this reading, studying, writing, and teaching amounts to any significant income brings me back to my first point. (see “crazy,” above)

Aimless: Though I can see a number of ways this year might take me, I still have no real clarity about the next thing. A  journey without a destination is aimless.

Nostalgic: I miss a great many things about “the life that late I led.”* Some may be gone, to live in delightful memory. I hope not all are gone.


Vocation: I still have a clear understanding of what I am supposed to be doing.

Provision: It isn’t exactly the widow’s jar of oil, but somehow our resources continue to sustain us. That “somehow”? Umm, that’s a good and gracious God.

Marriage: I know this, and anyone who knows both of us knows it – my Karen is amazing. She has gladly followed, and often led, through the morass of this year.

Enthusiasm: I love getting at my work each day. My thesis jazzes me. Teaching is a kick, even at adjunct wages.

Thesis: This work will end, and I will be proud of it, and whether or not it is a direct link to my next job is, in a sense, irrelevant.

Friends: We are reminded that we do nothing alone. I’m thankful for friends in my life: for chats over coffee, for lingering weekends in the country, for young student friends who have read chapters in progress, for long-time colleagues who have helped me network. We are blessed.

The Love of God: My Karen and I have had a some loss and disappointment this year. Our life is not a fairy tale, nor is it a romantic “starving artist in the garret” opera. But it is firmly in God’s good hands, and while we claim to understand less and less, we find more and more that we can – that we have to – rely on a loving savior who “ever lives to intercede for us.”


I am thankful to live this adventure among friends and family who are able to put a different spin on our life these days. My “crazy” looks to other people like “faith,” and that helps me remember how all this got started. My “busy” is enviable to those who feel stuck in a rut. Our “poor” may be uncomfortable and limiting to us, but we are in our own house without fear of the wolf at the door. My “aimless” is an opportunity to trust, to pursue, and to connect with people all around the world. And “nostalgia” is the sentimental feeling that accompanies the excellent memories of good work done with great people.

So, day one of a new year . . . Onward. Excelsior!

* I am fully aware that this phrase is from “Kiss Me Kate” and refers to quite a different life than the one I have led.You’ll pardon me not posting a video – I apparently do still have some self-control. Still, if you can’t help yourself, go here to listen!