The Fourth Sunday in Lent

by John Donne

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.

Albrecht Dürer - The Prodigal Son among the Swine

Albrecht Dürer – The Prodigal Son among the Swine

LUKE 25-32:

25 ‘Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.” 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!” 31Then the father* said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.”



Big one: no clothing, books or music purchases for myself in 2013. Why? “Because of the exigencies of capitalism, things have gotten a little weird.” I’ve not read all the books in my bookshelf, my “records to check-out” list-making obsessiveness is making me tired and I’m warm enough. I self-soothe with and that just ain’t cool.

Also, secretly, I’ve always thought of myself as an artist/writer. Somehow I lost that plot and I’ve relegated such creative urges to silliness, although I’ve never second guessed my need to consume culture. And even if all the books in my pile are always canon, always “important”, I’m still just a consumer… It does get to me when I really think about it. I guess maybe the consolations of other’s art ain’t exactly cutting it right now. To that end, I’ve started writing little aphorisms and snippets of, I guess, poetry on my phone whenever I find myself idle (on that note, see which amazes me).

Harder than the writing, of course, is the mawkishness of such scribbling. Its damn hard to get past issues of qualities and recriminations like, “if you wanted to do this, you should have started a regular regime 10 years ago!” Issues of practicality, “professionalizing,” etc etc

At any rate, I’ve signed up for a poetry workshop at the Writer House. I find this prospect both exciting and, mainly, terrifying. Wish me luck.

How to Raise a Child…10 Rules

William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Admiration Maternelle [Maternal Admiration]
Oil on canvas, 1869

Some wisdom from Susan Sontag’s Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947–1963

  1. Be consistent.
  2. Don’t speak about him to others (e.g., tell funny things) in his presence. (Don’t make him self-conscious.)
  3. Don’t praise him for something I wouldn’t always accept as good.
  4. Don’t reprimand him harshly for something he’s been allowed to do.
  5. Daily routine: eating, homework, bath, teeth, room, story, bed.
  6. Don’t allow him to monopolize me when I am with other people.
  7. Always speak well of his pop. (No faces, sighs, impatience, etc.)
  8. Do not discourage childish fantasies.
  9. Make him aware that there is a grown-up world that’s none of his business.
  10. Don’t assume that what I don’t like to do (bath, hairwash) he won’t like either.

via Brain Pickings

Letters to Jarvis

July 12, 2012
From Jarvis’s Great Grandfather:
Dear Jarvis,
Welcome to our world!

Heard that your entrance was a bit disconcerting. A suction cup on your head, hauling you out of a nine month nap, into the bright lights of a hospital room. All those giants passing you from one to the other, until you found solace in your mother’s arms. You only have to go through that once. Have also heard that you are quiet, good–natured, cute and a dear.  Just wait until something doesn’t go your way and you let everyone know at full throttle for several hours.

At some point, you will discover that life isn’t always fair. Near the top of my list of Things Unfair is that you have no vote and no say concerning the family and extended family into which you are born. J.P., talk about luck. Every family has a few characters, but yours has a minimum.

You must know by now you are surrounded by love, and as you meet new members, that will only increase. When your father called us you could hear in his voice, wonder at the event and fierce love for you. Fierce meaning all encompassing, protective and perfect.
I hope to live long enough to tell you some family stories that will live on in you. One last note: You are 1/8th me and any harm that has done is balanced by the fact that you are 1/8th Nanne. Oh- when will I hold you-

July 23, 2012
From Jarvis’s Grandpa (My Dad, pictured below at Ocean City as a boy):
Funnel Cake 1.0 (a memo)
To:  My little buddy Jarv,
CC: The parents of little Jarv, Jarv’s Grand-ma-Lucia, Aunt Anna, Aunt Carrie
From: Grand-pa Tom
Dear Jarv,
I hope you enjoy this first edition of “Funnel Cake”, a lighthearted, but very important, instructional memo intended to make your first Beach Trip a memorable and hopefully fun-filled Summer of ’12  Beach Trip.
But first, why did I choose Funell Cake as the title of this series of memos?  Well, Funnel Cake has, for decades, been the one element that has been present throughout all or our memorable family beach trips.  I can think of no other thing that knits together all of the memories and wonder a beach trip can provide like Funnel Cake.  I remember the many warm fun-filled evenings, the entire family strolling up and down the boardwalk, funnel cake in hand, powered sugar on our fingertips watching your Great Grandma Lucia gamble away her social security on the ponies.  Or, sheltered from the torrential rains under the fragrant filled roof at Thrashers French Fries waiting for the thunderstorm to pass, lovingly sharing my funnel cake with your Aunt Anna, looking up at me with those big beautiful thankful eyes… 
OK, with the anticipation of the sights, sounds and smells that a beach trip offers, here are a few things you consider that will make your First Beach Tip the best it can be…
Normally check in to a bethany beach cottage is after 2pm.  We usually leave early am to beat the traffic and arrive around 10ish and spend the day on the beach. Now, you may get a little hungry along the way since it’s about a 3-1/2 hour ride from Gainesville.  But try to hold off until you cross the BIG bridge.  Every minute counts when it comes to beating the beach rush at the bridge.  BTW, that’s always the best part of the trip, looking out from the top of the bridge at the bay.  But try not to think too much about it on your way, it will make you pee too much.  Diaper management is important on long car rides…
Jarv, a beach trip travel schedule can be a bit tricky.  If you hit the road early to beat the traffic, then you have to wait around for the house to be cleaned before one can move in.  If you leave too late you will sit in beach traffic all day to get there.  There’s nothing a parent can’t stand more than hearing “are we there yet?  “are we there yet?”  “how long before we get there”  So, being the smart beach trip planner that your grand-pa is, I called the rental company to see if we can get an early check in.  The agent said she could arrange to get the house cleaned early to accommodate you.  She said to give her a call Monday the week of our arrival and she will get the cleaners to prioritize our rental. 
OK, so now were at the beach.  It’s around 10:30.  Now what?
Since you will be about 2 months old, you might get hungry just hanging around on the beach.  Maybe we’ll take a nice stroll up and down the boardwalk.  We might even pick up a funnel cake to snack on.  Sorry buddy, your’s will have to be processed first.  Speaking of food, you’re gonna see a lot of fast food outlets while sitting on the beach.  They are not for you!  I know, it will be hard to stick to your regular meal schedule with all the restaurants everywhere you look but this will be a great opportunity to learn some much needed dietary self control.
It’s important to stay out of the sun. We will try to find you a nice beach pavilion tent to shade you from the sun.  Maybe a nice screen room with a beachy blue top? What do you think about that?
Now, at your age, it’s OK to go au natural at the beach but not mom’s and dads.  So, try to curb your appetite so you won’t get so many doody diapers.  Moms can’t let it all hang out like 2 month-olds at the beach.  It may be a little awkward for her to feed you so please try to be patient.  But, if you do get hungry, it’s no big deal.  Those big beach towels cover up pretty good.
So, Jarv, as I said this is my first of hopefully many lighthearted letters to get us all excited about our first Beach Trip together.
By the way, just in case you were wondering, Ernie Els won the British Open.
Love, Gran-pa