Sunday, February 26, 2017

bon apetit

Port of Panama City is busier than most peoples’ lives these days, ships coming and going, bringing and taking all hours, including one entering the Pass at 5:30 this morning while still dark. Fun to watch them sail by, though often a ship seen before, as Progreso and Guadalupe 326x55 container vessels two ships making a weekly run between PC and Progreso, Yucatán. The pier at Progreso juts four miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Departing on Saturday, I was reading and almost missed it, Intermarine vessel Industrial Grace 554x83 

leaving with reels for Takoradi, Ghana, West Africa, which I explored a bit. From the harbor I explored and found out that a highway between Takoradi and a near town is a long drive among plantations, sugar cane and other, and that one can stop and buy lunch, cooked bushmeat of grasscutters, a large cane rat resembling a huge guinea pig, which as well as hunted wild for bushmeat is also domestically raised for its delicate flesh Once started I branched out exploring various bushmeats, chimpanzee and gorilla, the Australian witchety grub (raw taste like almond, cooked like chicken) and various other, including tarantula spiders in Cambodia, Thailand and Venezuela which enjoy, recommended. Children teasing giant goliath tarantula spiders out of their lair, catching them, roasting and eating, a treat.

Arriving last evening at dusk, Lauritzen line St Andrew 590x93

to load wood pellets for the power plant at Studstrup, Denmark. Speaking of Denmark, I read that a man was sentenced to prison for burning a Koran, against the new blasphemy law for Danes. God forbid we should have blasphemy laws.

Finally, arriving this morning in the dark and as day dawned on Sunday morning, CFC’s Forest Panama 442x69 to load kraft liner for Colon. 

My plan for this morning, CardioPills, walk, protein breakfast small strip of sirloin steak and eggs.

DThos+ golden days at 7H where "life has nothing sweeter than its springtime" and thank you, Mario Lanza, Student Prince 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday sunrise

Our gospel readings for the First and the Last Sundays of the Epiphany Season are grand epiphanies, even theophanies (God showing himself), in which God himself speaks and is heard, not just sensed as in “surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, I can feel his mighty power and his grace,” but God speaking and being heard, First Mt 3:17 at Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, and Last Mt 17:5 at Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop, sound waves of God's voice, The Word piercing the silence like thunder, and people witnessing, hearing as their eardrums vibrate, 

Mt 17:5 Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός  

Mt 3:17 Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός

literally, out of proper English syntax,
“this is the son my the beloved”
“this is the son my the beloved”

most correctly, “this is my Son, the beloved.”
most memorable, “this is my beloved Son.”

The theological implications can be interesting, especially when slightly expanded on by wandering off into the synoptics. In Matthew the Voice speaking to everyone present. In Mark (the supposed earliest of the three) and Luke 3:22, the Voice speaking only to Jesus, “Σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός” “You are my beloved Son,” which, at least for Mark, but not for Luke with his added nativity narrative and his Luke-only story of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple at age twelve, plays into the question “when did Jesus become the Son of God?” Plus for Mark the progression of the so-called “markan secret” or “messianic secret” agenda (who knew, when? first God, then Mark, then you the reader, then Jesus, then the demons, finally the centurion, but frustratingly apparently never the disciples). But becomes contradictory over against Luke’s nativity narrative with the ancient textual variation (Luke’s original?) in which Luke has God quoting from Psalm 2:7, “Thou art my beloved Son; this day have I begotten thee” at Jesus’s baptism in Luke. 

See, this is the, current slang is “rabbit hole” but I prefer the brambles, where my brain twists off down into, such that I come out of it having been intrigued but having completely forgot that the original task I had set for myself was to write a sermon. If I were doing that for tomorrow (which I’m not, I’m on sabbatical, don’t look for me), I would have a decent Sunday School lesson to discuss, but nothing homiletical.

Anyway. Regardless. The four lessons for tomorrow, Last Epiphany, Year A, fit together beautifully, have a look: 

Exodus 24:12-18
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”
Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Psalm  2  Quare fremuerunt gentes?

1 Why are the nations in an uproar? *
    Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?

2 Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt, and the princes plot together, *
    against the LORD and against his Anointed?

3 "Let us break their yoke," they say; *
    "let us cast off their bonds from us."

4 He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
    the Lord has them in derision.

5 Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
    and his rage fills them with terror.

6 "I myself have set my king *
   upon my holy hill of Zion."

7 Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
    he said to me, "You are my Son;
    this day have I begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for
                             your inheritance *
    and the ends of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall crush them with an iron rod *
   and shatter them like a piece of pottery."

10 And now, you kings, be wise; *
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Submit to the LORD with fear, *
    and with trembling bow before him;

12 Lest he be angry and you perish; *
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.

13      Happy are they all *

    who take refuge in him!

2 Peter 1:16-21
We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Matthew 17:1-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Not to mention that calling The Voice from heaven "The Word" brings into the theological discussion the prologue to the Gospel according to John, how can The Word simultaneously speak from heaven as God and stand there in the river being baptized as Man? 

Pics from 7H: Saturday sunrise, Saturday sunrise a few minutes later, black cat (he/she is a skittish resident of Harbour Village) tail twitchingly eyeing ducks diving for breakfast just offshore.


Friday, February 24, 2017

of the Heart

Writing late: yesterday was for me an overwhelmingly exhausting day, watched Bay traffic last evening

slept until nearly six o’clock this morning, up, HotHLWater, black and dark, and off to walk. Parked by Holy Pavilion, looking fantastic, wow! 
Gate opening right there on Linda Avenue beside, with newly marked off diagonal parking, Sundays it could be Holy Pavilion Episcopal Church. 

Yesterday in Apalachicola 

Places of the Heart

Sitting on a park bench on the river while Linda shopped in Grady’s Market, 

I couldn’t help noticing the lawn in the riverfront park was correctly Apalachicola GOBoy Mowed

but the church was locked. It wasn't always so.

My last sabbatical week. I’ll go to Staff Meeting on Monday, then back for real Ash Wednesday.

Sometime before life starts downhill, one way or another, train, plane, car, bus, I’m going back to Maine to visit the little town Andreas Wäller made home on arriving in the Promised Land in the seventeen-hundreds. Broad Bay, Massachusetts at the time, today it’s Waldoboro, Maine. 

Where am I? What am I doing? Whatever am I thinking?


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Oysters dear

Yesterday we watched and heard the USAF Singing Sergeants, our own Stacey Holliday on stage, concert in The Villages, Florida, two concerts streamed live at three pm and again at seven. A selective, exclusively small group of marvelous talent. They have a busy tour schedule, a bus or their own 747 like Air Force One? The practical side of me wonders what the Air Force does to keep them from catching colds and spreading the infection among each other. 

Clear sky this morning, no clouds, that’s smoke from the paper-mill, breaking up into cloudish puffs as it drifts south and west and dissipates.

From a young man whose wedding I’m to officiate in a couple months, a gift of tuna, so this morning’s breakfast will be tuna seared crisp on both sides and red center. ETD, our underway time is nine o’clock for Apalachicola. Lunch probably upstairs at the Owl Cafe. Of restaurants I’ve found there, they have the best fried oysters. 

Now if you're ready, Oysters dear, 
      We can begin to feed.' 

But not on us!' the Oysters cried, 
      Turning a little blue. 

To get enough, I order the oyster appetizer and the oyster green salad and dump it all together. Ranch dressing because to me the creamy horseradish dressing robs the oyster flavor. While the menu lists “Fried 13 Mile Apalachicola Oysters” that’s wie es heißt and with due credit to the solemn assurance at the menu’s bottom border, unless they’re harvesting their own, most “Apalachicola” oysters may be from Alabama, Louisiana or Texas anymore. Regardless, while I’m waiting, a draft from Oyster City Brewing Company across the street. At the Owl they generally have two or three of the OCBC beers on draft. 

On a Wednesday once years ago, when we lived in Apalachicola and Linda and I were on staff for a Cursillo weekend, we stopped at 13 Mile on the way to Beckwith and picked up a gallon of for real 13 Mile Apalachicola oysters for the staff, who gathered Wednesday before the pilgrims arrived Thursday evening. We were on staff many times over those years and I don’t remember the date even by the car we were driving at the time as is my usual method; but I do remember that even though I was driving, about a quarter of the gallon of oysters were slurped down by me by the time we arrived at Weeks Bay. 

O Oysters,' said the Carpenter, 
      You've had a pleasant run! 
Shall we be trotting home again?' 
      But answer came there none — 
And this was scarcely odd, because 
      They'd eaten every one."

Once again with thanks, Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”


Ship: BBC Steinhoeft, 453x70 arriving, meeting her tug just to west of 7H

Tug just pulled two barges in from the Gulf of Mexico. Here, because pulled barges are not manageable in closer quarters, the tug master will do his "dance" arranging the tugs so he can push them in the narrow channel. He may take them to the terminal just down the beach from us, or into the inland waterway east or west.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's only an Owl

Rain, 60°F 98%, weather flummoxes me, now it’s moving from east to west instead of west to east, why? IDK, maybe because what I see locally is part of a larger circling low pressure system. If this were June, that would worry me. Or May. Hurricane season, when the tv weatherman circles his finger counterclockwise he’s stirring up trouble.

We may go to Apalachicola tomorrow, why? I meant to go twice during my sabbatical, and here’s it’s all used up but one week and we’ve not been once. Why? It was home for fourteen years summer 1984 through summer 1998, and there I ate oysters and mullet, though not to my heart’s content. And there found out that church management as vicar and rector was not all that different to independent duty on a warship. Both fit my personality: I don’t like nobody telling me nothin’. My brother Walt would understand. My life’s goal: as much space as possible between me and bishops or admirals.

This morning I wandered into the brambles. How the jumpin’ BJeez did I get off distracted reading an essay about hapax legomenon (look it up yourself)? Oh, yes. My desktop link to George MacDonald’s fantasy fiction novel Lilith, which I read part of, several chapters, enough to see where Lewis got started. Lilith. לִילִית. lilit. Isaiah 34:14. A hapax for Isaiah and a hapax for the Hebrew Bible. Who, what is lilit, a lilit? Not for absolute certain. That a word is a hapax may render its translation problematic, so, in the context maybe a night hag, night demon, she-devil of the night. Or as, the first night of the Pevensies’ stay at the professor’s home, a scary sound from the darkness outside, “hooooooo,” and Lucy, startled, shaken, frightened, “What’s that?” Peter, the rock of a brother in the story, assuring her, “Only an owl.” 

Wandering alone among scorpions, viperous snakes and giant spiders in the pitch black desolation of Edom’s darkness, the screech of “only an owl” could be demonic, terrifying enough for one to collapse into a pile of dust. Lilith, the night hag, Adam’s first wife who, deserting him because he insisted on being head of household and then, after committing adultery with the archangel Samael would not return to the Garden of Eden. [I mean, not to wander even farther into the brambles, but WTH, it's a no-brainer, right, choose: mistress of an angel, or wife of a simpleton peasant tenant farmer who's field is so unplowed that he hasn’t even tasted the apple yet]. Anyway, לִילִית lilit a figure of legend more ancient than the Hebrew campfire stories. Isaiah 34:14.

DThos+ still playing

1935 Horch

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life: still good

This morning already I have had my walk, down below outside and inside, hot HoneyLemon water and a cuppa black with a square of dark. Sent Madge a short piece for the March newsletter, piece and a pic though I expect her to toss the pic. Opened and read my email, answered one or two. Fiddled a bit, fiddle and fuss with the beginning draft of a theologically shaky Lenten sermon. Once long ago in a clergy conference a visiting English bishop told us, the priests present and attentive, that if we weren’t preaching at least forty-five minutes we have no business wearing the collar. My metaphor is that judging preaching by it's length is like evaluating a carpenter's work by his pile of scrap lumber. That's a simile actually, not a metaphor, but no wonder the English churches are empty. 

Anyway, so now here I am back from walk without panting for breath, second cuppa, wondering what to write for this Tuesday blogpost, and tippy typing away as though I have somewhere to go intellectually or a point to make. I don’t. Except for this morning’s scheduled trip to Tyndall for a haircut: short on the sides, thin out that place at the right rear corner that looks ridiculous, and leave the top alone so I can continue to fool myself. Also, I don’t think Linda has yet noticed that my hair is starting to get thin.

All through Joe’s week visit with us we watched for a ship, a larger ship, to pass by 7H. Nothing came or went. Yesterday after he left, minutes after he left, long before he hit the Alabama border or even the Bay County line,

went sailing by, and I texted it to him. Soon after, during my morning nap actually and Linda snapped it, another ship. Sorry, Joe, vagaries of 7H.

Looks to be a grim, grey day, long thin red streak of weather stretching from down in the Gulf of Mexico to somewhere up north, passing Destin and heading for south Walton. Maybe I can skip the haircut after all and not look in the mirror. 

Fish hawk in a stationary hover, 

Fog clearing Sunday afternoon, that's not Shell Island, it's a retreating fog bank.

See, there was nothing to blog about. Today: read (A Gentleman In Moscow). FuroForty. Breakfast about nine o’clock. Either a morning nap or Tyndall and a noon nap. Supper about three. Life Is Good.

DThos+ Wäller 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Life: loving it

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Presidents’ Day. Not that I believe it ought to be changed back, I do not; but in our 1940s days at Cove School, the semester from after New Years Day forward was a long deep and glum slope into darkness: no holidays on the horizon. February was the one bright spot until spring and then summer vacation and mama’s permission to go barefoot until school started. February gave us Lincoln’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Washington’s Birthday, each of which brought major classroom activity and decorating with craft paper making tall black hats, valentines, the classroom valentine box and designated postman handing out valentines, finally craft paper hatchets and green branches with red cherries to honor Honest George Cutting Down the Cherry Tree. "I cannot tell a lie."

Then the long Night of the rest of February, March, April, and May until the only days that outshone Christmas: last day of school and first day of summer vacation. I do not remember anything so glorious as today’s spring break.

Life moves on, and we had our turn! Joe left a few minutes ago, heading home to Winston-Salem in his new red Volvo. Remembering that Patty loved that route, he always arrives and leaves by way of West Beach Drive, what may be a mile along StAndrewsBay. This morning while it was still dark outside, as we sipped coffee and he munched a banana and had a carton of yogurt, he recalled our family Navy days when, moving between duty stations or headed home to PC for leave, he lay in motel room beds half awake as Linda got us up and his mom and dad whispered conversation preparing to leave for the next day’s drive. Except the correct older was “fixin’ to leave,” although “fixin’” didn’t get said until about ready to walk out the door. As in “we’re fixin’ to leave, come hug us goodbye.” I remember that too, all that. Life Is Good says my orange cap, and life is good for most of us Americans, most of the time. This morning my mind is skipping along from happiness to happiness. And my beloveds here this past weekend.

As for President’s Day, I’m remembering celebrating Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. I remember President Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Ike I remember as a war hero, then I saw him once as he arrived at the Newport Naval Base, me watching from our crowd of officer candidates in our white sailor uniforms, Ike in a dark brown suit standing up in the presidential car, a Lincoln convertible, and waving our way. I remember the day JFK was shot, we were stationed in Japan at the time, and the long weekend of funeral dirges on the military radio. I remember the chanted taunts, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today,” as the conscience of a nation drove him from office. I remember President Nixon flying away to California as at exactly noon President Ford took the oath of office and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, our constitution works.” Once flying south out of Washington National Airport, Jimmy Carter worked his way down the aisle shaking hands, and when he got to me I said, “Good morning, Mr. President, how is your mother?” He looked surprised but delighted and said, “Why thank you for asking, she’s doing very well.” “Miss Lillian” was a character and popular woman his years in the White House. I remember the November 2000 Florida ballot debacle, I remember watching GWB’s stunned face on television the morning of 9/11, I remember Shock and Awe, I remember eight years of thinly veiled but nevertheless fierce racist hatred, I remember waking up believing I had died and gone to Hell.

Inside, my orange cap with the sunshine and ocean waves it recommends, “Do what you love, Love what you do.” So okay, I loved this:

DThos+ Wäller