Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Son said "Pop, you gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't quit riding that Hot-Rod Lincoln"

We had flames comin' from out of the side
Feel the tension, man, what a ride!
I said, "Look out, boys, I've got a license to fly"
And that Caddy pulled over and let us by

Now all of a sudden she started to knockin'
And down in the dips she started to rockin'
I looked in my mirror; a red light was blinkin'
The cops was after my Hot Rod Lincoln....

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un (4th from left) salutes as he and his uncle Jang Song-thaek (3rd from left) accompany the hearse carrying the coffin of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. --North Korea Mourns Kim Jong Il - Alan Taylor - In Focus - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 28, 2011 11:13 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Transcendental: Loreena McKennitt sings "The Dark Night of the Soul" (A poem by St. John of the Cross)

When the world is too much with you, it's not a bad idea to spend some time with St. John and the Eternals. Suggested by The Anchoress' compilation today where she shares:

“The Lord measures out perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, by by the manner in which we perform them.”
— St. John of the Cross

"Oh noche que juntaste amado con amada, amada en el amado transformada!"

Upon a darkened night
The flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest

Shrouded by the night
And by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
While all within lay quiet as the dead

Oh night thou was my guide
Oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
To the beloved one
Transforming each of them into the other

Upon that misty night
In secrecy, beyond such mortal sight
Without a guide or light
Than that which burned so deeply in my heart

That fire t'was led me on
And shone more bright than of the midday sun
To where he waited still
It was a place where no one else could come

Oh night thou was my guide
Oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
To the beloved one
Transforming each of them into the other

Within my pounding heart
Which kept itself entirely for him
He fell into his sleep
Beneath the cedars all my love I gave
And by the fortress walls
The wind would brush his hair against his brow
And with its smoothest hand
caressed my every sense it would allow

Oh night thou was my guide
Oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
To the beloved one
Transforming each of them into the other

I lost myself to him
And laid my face upon my lovers breast
And care and grief grew dim
As in the mornings mist became the light
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair

Full poem in the original and in translation after the jump.


Posted by Vanderleun Dec 26, 2011 2:34 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Inch. Time. Foot. Gem: Today is My Birthday and for This Day I Am Deeply Grateful

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day

Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.

Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 26, 2011 1:00 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that! Because Horton was faithful! "
Copyright © Jim Benton

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 20, 2011 2:57 AM | Comments (56)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Havel vs. Hitchens: Blogosphere have you no sense of decency or proportion?

It's rightly called by the clumsy and unattractive term "Blogosphere," a word that does not trip lightly off the tongue. It has, as usual, no sense of proportion and less sense of shame. This has been particularly evident in the last few days with the passing of two men, Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens.

Along with untold hundreds of other's I had my pass at Hitchens soon after his death foretold was announced as a fait accompli. I was saddened by his passing as much as I am saddened by the passing of many whom I do not know except via their work but for whom I come to have more than a passing interest if not a bit of respect. I wrote what I had to say about Hitchens fairly early on the day his death was announced but was unprepared for the tsunami of comment that came along on the heels of my own marginally interesting reflections and continued..... and continued.... and continued... until one would have thought that the revealed author of the New Testament had passed on without finishing the Book of Revelations.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 18, 2011 10:05 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Death of an Atheist


We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

-- Robert Frost

The morning news informs me that as Vanity Fair puts it, "Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62."

That sad and brief announcement takes no notice of the central issue surrounding Hitchens' death, the question of whether or not the West's best known atheist, being dead, finally "knows" if his atheism is correct.

This issue is exemplified by Allah at Hot Air who actually writes, in an uncharacteristic lapse of lucidity: "I wonder which [Hitchens] anticipated more eagerly -- the end of the pain or finally knowing if he was right about you know what. I suspect he was right. I hope he was wrong."

I always find the attempts of semi-nonbelievers to straddle and still remain sensible to be 'interesting.' They want to have the experience and yet miss the meaning. In brief:

Dear Allah, If Hitchens is "right" about his atheism then he cannot "know" if he is right since he no longer exists in any natural or supranatural form in which knowing is part of the equation. That which was the knowing part of Hitchens is now simply, in the full meaning of the phrase, "null and void." Sincerely
P.S. The end of pain is always anticipated more eagerly. Trust me on this one.

Faith is like the final phase of Hold 'Em: You're either all in or you're busted. You put up or you shut up; the latter position, alas, seems lost on the atheists of our blighted era who are, to say the least, overeager to "share."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 16, 2011 8:27 AM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink

EVERYBODY knows that Republicans are EVIL! What kind of Evil? Greedy, Fascist, Racist evil -- the worst kind! Bill Whittle unravels the facts behind this perfect storm of evil in a breezy fashion that provides a hurricane of historical data to lift the white robes of even the most stalwart Democrats.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 15, 2011 6:58 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sermon in Stone

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood

Teach us to care and not to care

Teach us to sit still

Even among these rocks....

-- Eliot, Ash Wednesday

Film by Henry Jun Wah Lee, Evosia Studios. Via Large, small, infinite | Lileks.

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 14, 2011 4:58 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kaa-BOOM!: An errant cannonball's tale. [Bumped and Updated w/ Map]

MAP FROM THE CREATOR @ Mythbusters’ Cannonball Map - via Cannonball Run via Neatorama

My favorite, laff-riot story of the week has to be the Mythbusters' cannonball that went a bit beyond its range. It began with something seemingly simple to accomplish; firing a cannonball at a bunch of water tanks. "No problem," say the Mythbusters' hosts, "Nada problema. We've done this THOUSANDS of time." (Or words to that effect)

In my experience, any time human beings start to mess around with explosives, flammable substances, fireworks, or artillery with the attitude of "No problem we've done this THOUSANDS of times," that's the time you should start digging a deep hole to hide in.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 10, 2011 1:05 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Dream Rangers -- "One is always nearer by not keeping still."

Yes, we've been for here to there before, but let's take that ride again.

"listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go" — E.E. Cummings

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 9, 2011 1:19 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: On Hyndford Street by Van Morrison

"On Hyndford Street where you could feel the silence
At half past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God."

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 8, 2011 1:39 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
North America's Energy Resources

They'll tell you we are running out. They lie.


From North American Energy Inventory, December 2011

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 7, 2011 7:30 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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