Thursday, February 7, 2002

On my desk here at school is a big calender tablet. I use it quite often to make little diagrams and drawings to explain a concept or answer a question my students ask. The other day one asked about how model rockets work, and i made a quick sketch- complete with motor, ejection wad and parachute. I do the same thing with all my little diagrams, make a quick draft, once over and hope it is clear enough to explain what needs explaining. But then the drawing remains on my desk for a time. I go back to it during the downtime, adding detail and making improvement. Before long, it is something i feel some bit of appreciation or pride in. But it usually has outlasted any real usefulness. The student has moved on, the diagram is yesterday's sip in the desert, and he or she is not in that need anymore. I appreciate my little expression, though, and it remains, catching snippets of my attention until March makes the page completely obsolete.

I love being able to explain things. I like being able to improve something that makes some sense into something that makes more and looks nice. I reckon this is pretty much the motto and ethos of the teacher in some respects. Especially we silly English teachers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Brad came over last night, he had lots of stories of his shift out with the adventure-based youth program. Tales of staff comunication and moments of enlightenment on the part of the kids in the program. There were some cold nights and nick-of-time bow drill fires. Brought back some memories to both Drie and i.

The kids were at their best in behaviour swings yesterday. One minute helping out with chores like busy little beneficient gnomes, and the next as destructive and greedy gremlins. Hyrum has a couple of new molars busting through, it is both heartbreaking and heartwarming to see him sticking two fingers in his mouth to massage his own gums and half-grin for a minute afterwards.

The sun is out this morning, the sky is beautiful and clear. This is the view from our little spot in the world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

eucharistic memory

as in a landscape, lost to eyes unused to being found

travelling a wide, moist and blackened road;

beneath, the soil and stones lay with restless


on either side grow a few trees and a few purveyors

of luxury

though they have never been lost, neither the

shopkeeps or the accidental trees.

do not seek aid of those stores, wandering pilgrim,

in time will come death or

new life

warm, clean rain will fall on those verdant trees

and that soil underfoot or

all around

will continue to cleave unto all,

that rain will be

our benediction,

euchari, euchari. benedictum sunt canticum

Individual concerns and hopes are so much subject to moment-by-moment perspective.

When i wrote yesterday's entry, i felt inspired and really needed to get it out of my system.

I then spent much of my downtime perusing haute-blogs with ooozing originality or enlightened social or political commentary. My previous feelings of high purpose and supreme eloquence were pretty hacked up by the end of the day. It seemed the treble grumblings of a backwater quasi-mormon don't amount to a hill of beans in a world immersed in its own meaningful quests, intimate social circles, and individual profundity.

Not to say i don't still feel the same way about yesterday's blog. As Diedre said, i do have my own voice.

And continue to crow down the stately walls of Babylon i will.

Monday, February 4, 2002

Dern capitol A thingies. Please ignore them.

Warning: An Impassioned Attempt at Making Sense of Things follows.

I taught a lesson yesterday in my LDS Elder's Quorum, the mormon equivalent to Sunday Men's Bible study. I as again amazed by the wide divergence in the belief system held by we "mormons."

My lesson was entitled "Visions, Faith and Decision." The LDS Faith started back in the tumultuous early nineteenth century in a heady burst of idealistic and religious fervour with a very unique cosmology to match. It has gradually funneled down to a more narrow and manageable diametre in the present day, struggling to achieve the status of a socially "acceptable" mainstream religion.

I don't really know why i am fixated on the metaphysical and the nature of the divine, it seems to set me thinking in a way completely incongruous with the rest of the world. Though the lesson went quite well and everyone seemed to enjoy the relatively lively dicussion on the topics, it went in a totally different direction than i had intended. I had envisioned a debate on the nature of the ancient, early mormon and modern LDS prophets, or leaders of the church. I wanted to discuss the nature of visions, prophesy and the common member's relationship with the varied mormon views on God and his relationship with us as a people and as individuals. No one wanted to touch that, for sure (who could blame them, really.) Too damn weird. Nevertheless, there is a history of seeming "high weirdness" in our tradition, like it or not.

I think there is a problem in the church. Yeah, really. I apologize for rolling out a very old and rickety draft horse of contention, but the differences between the church of today and that of the early days are very, very dramatic. The ways employed to deal with these differences only serve to thinly mask problems and magnify them in some people's lives. The church and really, we in the church as a collective, have tried to make differences, peculiarities and scandals disappear or diminish in policy or relative importance. A problem with this is the relatively short history of the church; these peculiarities and problems, these "wrinkles" don't have enough contextual history to really fade into the background for the collective consciousness of the membership or the interested public at large.

The LDS church has a tendency to produce a great number of "splinter groups," "apostate" former members and truly hostile non-affiliates. The issue that has the most urgency to me at this time is the plight of the great number of members and former members who are deeply dissatisfied with the church for one reason or another but still believe in the basic core or the church's theology.

The church itself is a loosely bound collection of varying beliefs and individual cosmologies, much like other churches. The history of the church and the way we have handled our codified cosmological, theological and political differences with the rest of the world has engendered an atmosphere of tendency toward apparent inconsistency and conflict. The natural variation of individual beliefs coupled with this intense inner conflict in the church's history, cosmology and policy is ground fertile for schism and division, both individual and for groups of like-minded individuals.

Anyway, just a rough rant from the heart at this point. Take it for what it is.

Have a nice day!