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Archive for March, 2007

Boys and Girls at Play

Posted by Eric (March 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm)

BlocksHere is a photo of a block tower I made with my son Nate. Nate is 14 and, some might say, too old to play with blocks. But I am 40 and not too old to play with blocks—or perhaps I am too old not to play with blocks. In any case, getting to play with blocks at 40 is one of the benefits of being a father, and getting to play with blocks at 14 is one of the benefits of having a father who loves to play with blocks.

I share this photo because I want to talk about boys and girls and how they play, but I have to get there by way of a visit to the obstetrician’s office yesterday afternoon.

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Posted in Children, Culture & Society, Fatherhood | 11 Comments »

Repave My Soul!

Posted by Eric (March 28, 2007 at 6:19 pm)

Click for larger versionWhile looking for pictures for a forthcoming post on boys and girls at play, I came across this photo that I took in downtown Chicago last November. We were protesting abortion at Daley Plaza that day, and they were repaving Clark Street.

Rough Grooved Surface. Sounds about like how I feel right now at this point in the Great Fast. Come, Holy Steamroller, and repave my soul!

Posted in Faith, Photos & Art | Comments Off on Repave My Soul!

Spirituality for Grown-Ups

Posted by Eric (March 22, 2007 at 12:22 pm)

Mary of Egypt, written by Eileen McGuckinToday we chant the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, one of those landmarks of Great Lent like last week’s observation of Mid-Lent. Of Mid-Lent, by the way, one might be tempted to say, “It’s all down hill from here!” but in fact it’s all very much uphill from here, with the air thinning at every step.

The fifth week of the Great Fast is difficult, I find. Somehow, it feels as if it’s the sixth week—as if Great and Holy Week is just upon us. But it is not; there is another whole week of Lent to go, after this one, before that week that, because of its intensity, is actually more endurable. Pascha is in view, and already in the midst of deeper prayer and more rigorous fasting the chords of paschal joy are beginning to vibrate softly within the soul.

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Posted in Byzantine, Faith | 3 Comments »

Brew-Blogging Today

Posted by Eric (March 17, 2007 at 7:38 am)

Eric with the new paddle

“Malt does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man” —A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Last year I posted recipes for the ales I brewed for Pascha. When I needed to pick up supplies for this year’s Pascha brew, I turned to that post rather than my penciled notes (wherever those might be), which gave me the idea to “live blog” the Brew Day.

Here I am, by the way, the night before Brew Day with a mash paddle I made earlier this week out of a piece of maple bought for that purpose more than a year ago. If I look a little demented, that’s on account of the water chemistry woes described below in my notes on the preparations in advance of Brew Day.

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Posted in Brewing & Cooking | 4 Comments »

Fast Food Is Slow Food

Posted by Eric (March 16, 2007 at 2:03 pm)

VeggiesThis Lent I’ve been taking a lot more time with my food, eating more carefully—this at the urging of my wife, who has not liked to see me living primarily on almonds, dried fruit and Clif bars.

It may seem contradictory to the whole spirit of fasting to pay more attention to one’s food. Perhaps it would be better to be like St. Francis, who ate whatever stale hunk of brown bread might be dropped into his bowl. But even Francis would eat that hunk of bread with true pleasure.

In any case, I’ve been making an effort to eat well, even while eating less—to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and natural whole grains, and to take the time to prepare my own meals rather than packaged, prepared foods. It’s been a good experience, not only for me but for the whole family, since I’ve taken over some of the cooking (especially on Sundays), and left-overs mean more meals we can eat together.

I find that I have a much greater appreciation of food when I take the time to prepare things myself—which opens up the possibility of deeper gratitude to the

Posted in Byzantine, Faith | Comments Off on Fast Food Is Slow Food
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