17 July 2007

Sadness of Domesticated Birds

i love.
* summer storms * conversations with friends * dove unconditional chocolate icrecream+ben & jerry's cinnamon buns (wow. try it.) * summer peaches * "gotta have you" by the weepies * good fiction

This is a really long excerpt from Everything is Illuminated, but it is worth reading. It's a great book, very different from the film version, a bit disturbing at parts, unusual and moving. This part sort of makes you want to laugh and/or cry, or at very least, say, "I've felt that":

The following encyclopedia of sadness was found on the body of Brod D. The original 613 sadnesses, written in her diary, corresponded to the 613 commandments of our (not their) Torah. Show below is what was salvageable after Brod was recovered. (Her diary's wet pages printed the sadnesses onto her body. Only a small fraction [55] were legible. The other 558 sadnesses are lost forever, and it is hoped that, without knowing what they are, no one will have to experience them.) The diary from which they came was never found.

SADNESSES OF THE BODY: Mirror sadness....sadness of makeup; sadness of physical pain; pins-and-needles sadness; beauty sadness; sadness of clothes; sadness of the quavering eyelid; sadness of a missing rib; noticeable sadness; sadness of going unnoticed...

SADNESSES OF THE COVENANT: Sadness of God's love, sadness of God's back; favorite child sadness; sadness of being sad in front of one's God; sadness of the opposite of belief; what if? sadness; sadness of God alone in heaven; sadness of a God who would need people to pray to him....

SADNESSES OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood; humor sadness; sadness of love without release; sadness of being smart; sadness of not knowing enough words to express what you mean; sadness of not having options; sadness of wanting sadness; sadness of confusion; sadness of domesticated birds; sadness of finishing a book; sadness of remembering; sadness of forgetting; anxiety sadness...

INTERPERSONAL SADNESSES: Sadness of being sad in front of one's parent; sadness of false love; sadness of love; friendship sadness; sadness of bad conversation; sadness of the could-have-been; secret sadness...

There is also sadness of watching fireworks, sadness of missing someone you've never met. Can you add any to the list? I'd like to know.

So right now I'm chillin, working, house & dog sitting until tomorrow. Summer will be over before we know it. Maybe I have sadness of mid to late July, or sadness of not having seen many fireflies this year. Just a tinge.

Fireflies image:
From the following article:
Nanotechnology: Nano-oscillators get it together
Pritiraj Mohanty
Nature 437, 325-326 (15 September 2005)

13 July 2007

This is cool. A friend at work passed along this bluegrass Led Zeppelin tribute and it is very summer road trip music-y. Give "Going to California" a try.

Gosh. This is lovely. Haven't seen the movie yet...not sure if I want to delve into what heard described as "realistic romance"...wait... who am I kidding? Of course I do. Scrum-diddly-umptious music: "Gold" and "The Hill"...

Completely enrolled in seminary.
Starting classes end of August.
Quite excited to already be part of a study group called "ANT" or maybe "TAN" or maybe "GNAT".
Having minor hourly freakouts about financing said education.
Bizarrely addicted to Facebook now. Really. This has to stop. But it's so fun!
Happy to be in St. Louis for some hot humid days.
Missing out on the Heirendt & Wise Family reunions.
Praying for my friends & Jess at the WMF staff retreat these next 10 days.

Meditations, prayers for friends (oops...forgot to mention the prayers are written by other people...both are from a prayer book (i'm not trying to plagarize! oops!!):

05 July 2007

Mpwapwa, Kibakwe, the open road

Some photos to start....also check out a few from the collection by clicking on the flikr montage.

Amsterdam, Dar Es Salaam, Arusha

02 July 2007


There's nothing like coming home. The few times I've done this my head swims like the dickens and somehow I keep being surprised by that fact. As it turns out, I was so excited to not have to work until Friday, which I didn't at all expect. It has allowed me to chase my tail around my apartment before I even finish my second cup of coffee--starting organization projects & leaving the house in a borderline frenzy to wander aimlessly around target to buy toothpaste. It is not always easy to slow down and rest, or to regain your bearings.

In the coming days & weeks I plan to try to process a little more of what this trip meant, what I learned. Sooner rather than later I will post some of the pictures of the places we visited and the people I met. This trip was a great blessing--some night wrestling matches, some unexpected and wild experiences, some tearful goodbyes. I get a little overwhelmed when I think of all of the things buzzing around in my head that have not been articulated or have been haphazardly shared with patient and caring friends & family, who let me tell them about some of our adventures already. That part is a gift in itself, so, thank you for that.

The thing that I'm thinking about right now is the several church services we were able to attend. The Anglican church, Emmanuel, which I sadly never got a picture of (drat!), is a small stone church set at the base of the mountains. It looks more like it should be in the English countryside than in the tropically green hills of Morogoro. When you walked in, there was a hushed holiness, light streaming in the long, narrow windows. The kneeling pillows were maroon and tattered. The liturgies we were handed as we walk in were salmon pink and had been held in a hundred praying hands. The chairs were simple, creaky, wooden and varnished, and most likely hand made at a local carpentry shop. It was a little musty, a little humid. The hymns and praise songs echoed through the high rafters--we sounded like a thickly accented choir.

Saul, the pastor of the English speaking service, led us in hymns. He is in his 30's and has a wonderful, friendly, jolly presence. Each week he invites everyone to stay for "some bites" after church--ju-weese and kay-kees (juice & cake), and of course a cup of tea. When we took communion, we took turns lining up at the altar and being handed the elements, a practice which has not been much a part of my non-denominational and later Presbyterian church experiences of taking communion. He said as he handed me a thin wafer: "Angela, the body of Christ, broken for you."

The body of Christ in Tanzania. My friends, who live in villages called Kibakwe & Chiniqua, my friends who also meet for home group on Wednesday nights. God's kingdom meeting together in unroofed church buildings, in villages where the red dust covers everything, where the prayers and songs push against your sensibilities and render you again a child.

I have so much to learn.

"There's a communion wafer moon
Dissolving on the blue tongue of the sky

Sometimes the whole world is nothing
So much
As an altar inviting us
To kneel"

Copyright 2007, Linford Detweiler