Looking at stars, snow, and a challenge.

I’ve been out aa crown for our heads - stars RtoPnd about in spite of the weather and my cold – that is, via my computer. Here are some things I’ve found. The last one may be the most interesting, so don’t miss it.

**I learned something about stars and their colors when they are out of focus.

**On the topic of the skies and the weather, I have only this week noticed a way of talking about weather systems as “pieces of energy.” It’s probably not new; do TV weather forecasters use this phrase? This from a recent email:

RAIN WILL SWITCH OVER TO SHOWERS BY LATE IN THE MORNING OR EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON ON FRIDAY.Β A SECOND PIECE OF ENERGY WILL QUICKLY MOVE TO OUR REGION WITH ANOTHER ROUND OF RAIN FORECAST FOR FRIDAY EVENING INTO SATURDAY.

**Bonnie posted a short and sweet exhortation in the form of a poem by Wendell Berry.ee9f1-cbywindowwsnow

**Last year I was very interested when Podso listed some things she has learned about life, that is, how to have good days. I wonder what my list would look like, if I could ever get past my usual endless analysis to come up with one?

**DeAnn has a good collection of thought-provoking quotes on her blog, which is where I read one taken from a book I read last summer. I don’t even remember reading this paragraph then, and that makes me think I should go back and read the whole thing over again.

β€œIt is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul he loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.”

~ George MacDonald, Phantastes

**Owen White has a faith-literary-art challenge going on at his blog The Ochlophobist. Entries must be titled in this form: Why I am a ________________.” And in that blank spot you are to place your faith designation, to the degree of precision you prefer.”

Some of the resulting titles in the entries that have been posted so far: “Why I am a slightly miserable but motivated methodist,” “Why I Am Still an (Orthodox) Christian Who Mans His Post” and “Why I am a non-believer who still goes to church.” The content of the entries includes many poems, music on YouTube, works of visual art, and prose.

After you read the rules and see what other people have done (entries have been posted for several days now) to meet the challenge, maybe you also would like to engage with this exercise. I had to push myself to not be too perfectionistic about it, and managed to put together my own entry. I hope you will, too!

blessing of waters through ice

9 thoughts on “Looking at stars, snow, and a challenge.

  1. Beautiful photo of baby and the snow outside the window. β™₯ Is that one of your relatives? Also, I’ve always thought it would be nice to live where the lake or river froze solid and we could bless it, like they are doing in that photo. Theophany is one of my favorites!

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    1. The last picture doesn’t necessarily go with any of the text, except that it is an expression of the Orthodox faith. It is a scene from Theophany, when we remember Christ’s baptism and we bless water. In my parish we usually bless a big tub of water, but in many places — even some that are frozen and snowy — the congregation goes to a nearby body of water for the service. Often the priest throws a cross into the water to bless it, and people jump in and compete to be the one to bring back the cross. I don’t think that happened in that case in the photo. πŸ™‚

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  2. The challenge on Owen White’s blog sounds appealing. I imagine people could some up with some creative ways to describe their conflicting faith situations. Mine would be something like this: “Why I am a pastor’s wife who would like to stop going to church.” Ha!

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