It’s time for the blog to officially see a period of silence. Photographs may appear now and then, but I think I’m going to refrain from writing until late summer or mid fall.

Until then, some Wendell Berry:

I would not have been a poet
except that I have been in love
alive in this mortal world,
or an essayist except that I
have been bewildered and afraid,
or a storyteller had I not heard
stories passing to me through the air,
or a writer at all except
I have been wakeful at night
and words have come to me
out of their deep caves
needing to be remembered.
But on the days I am lucky
or blessed, I am silent.
I go into the one body
that two make in making marriage
that for all our trying, all
our deaf-and-dumb of speech,
has no tongue. Or I give myself
to gravity, light, and air
and am carried back
to solitary work in fields
and woods, where my hands
rest upon a world unnamed,
complete, unanswerable, and final
as our daily bread and meat.
The way of love leads all ways
to life beyond words, silent
and secret. To serve that triumph
I have done all the rest.

“VII” from the poem “1994”, in A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems


8 lbs. of ricotta and (almost) 2 lbs. of chocolate later…

This is in our fridge. (Our second fridge, that is…)

chocolate ricotta mousse

Chocolate ricotta mousse. And I never want to eat it again, because it’s really rich stuff and I consumed far too much in the process of taste-testing. (In my defense, it really did require taste testing. I made eight batches, using different kinds of ricotta and different kinds of chocolate and I needed relative uniformity among the batches.)

So, the mousse is ready.

(Side note: if you follow the link because you’re interested in making the recipe, note that I added sea salt. I also had to quadruple the honey for some batches because I was using “pure cocoa mass” – aka dark dark unsweetened chocolate.)

The little cheesecakes are ready too!

cheescakes - Copy

C. is so impressive. She’s made pretty much everything for this party: the little cheesecakes, the chocolate muffins, the raspberry oatmeal bars, the butterscotch blondie bars, the chocolate peanut butter bars, the lemon bars, the pecan bars, and the fruit popsicles.

M. is doing cream puffs and rhubarb crisp. (Yes, please note the present tense…)

Besides chocolate mousse, I was assigned to presentation. That was a good assignment, since presentation is my favorite aspect of party-planning. Yesterday morning before church I made piles of pinwheels, some of which are shown below:


to be arranged with red lanterns, old Coke bottles, and mints. It’s cute and fun.

That’s our party. B’s party, I guess.

Now I should stop blogging and go work on “data interpretation” (ooh lah lah) because I’ve been excused from party prep in order to do so.

A real blog post will come soon, I hope. There are reminders in my phone to blog about “emotions/affections”, “rock of safety” and “doubt/validation.” Who knows if I’ll remember what I was thinking about when I made those reminders, but they’re reminding me nonetheless.



This is how I roll.

15 minutes until I need to leave…

so I’m doing some inventory on the blog.

For a week in Georgia, culminating in a wedding, I have:

2 pairs teva sandals

1 Jamie Smith book

1 pair “Bosnia” pants and 1 scarf also from Bosnia

lots of bobby pins

1 pint “veggie pellets”, aka Pirate’s Booty

2 pairs ballet flats

1 Merold Westphal book

many RadioLabs

1 string of pearls


1 large (,ugly, etc.) GRE math workbook.

There. Everything you needed to know for your Monday morning.



ferns and water1

noots and sticks

rock and falls

leaves and shadows

This last weekend I enjoyed puttering around woods and waterfalls with my grandparents and J. We spent time observing full spring creeks (rivers?) as they churned over and down rocky beds. And exposed cedar roots, raw and blood-red, holding the river-bank separate from the cold water. And much moss. Moss with starry looking fingers-extended, soft cushion-like moss, moss joined to interesting rocks, moss on live and decomposing trees. And “driftwood”, or whatever one calls water-smoothed wood left on creek banks after the water has receded from its highest point. And ferns, new ferns springing up, and old ferns turned with leaves into a paper forest floor, pressed by who knows how many feet of snow for a long, long time.

We also watched for birds. And wondered whether half mud-disguised tracks might be the tracks of a wolf. And drove on pretty washed out back roads. And I took photos, as well as videos narrated with my cheesy voice.

It was a good time.

Okay, I give up.

I’m handing the blog over to Debra Rienstra, because she writes the best stuff.

Such as this latest blog post.

Snippets to tempt you (or keep you from going, since they’re what I like best in the post):

“The only thing I can think of is that loving the church is a gift. Some of us love the church sufficiently enough to show up fairly regularly; others of us love it enough to serve it with our lives and labor. Either way, I think this love is simply given to many of us, like a complementary tote bag, when we surrender to faith.


Many of us can testify that encountering God in church is not surprising or strange at all, but a phenomenon upon which we have scaffolded our lives. We encounter God in the faithfulness of good people, in the prayers and songs in which our voices join, in the dying and rising pattern of our lives together—but all of this, all of it, is an inexplicable mystery: the Spirit imprinting the image of Christ upon us.”


Meandering Entry, also known as: “Sometimes I Wonder…”

…who I was a year ago or two years ago and so on and so forth.

I suppose we all wonder this. But I especially think on this question as a college student, since college students tend to be sort of obsessed with all things identity, perhaps because our identities turn over so rapidly. Every semester, I think, I’ve had a keen sense of substantial growth. Every semester involves cheerful laughter over “Oh dear, I did think I was so intelligent, and look at what I’ve just bumbled into: a whole huge collection of ideas that I’ve never thought about before.”

But along with this sense of discontinuity and rapid change is also a feeling of odd continuity – at any given point, I find myself reliving a year ago. Last spring the warm weather made me viscerally anxious, as I recalled writing my EMW paper and preparing for the Mayterm to follow. Today the empty hallways of 3rd L (everyone’s outside studying) and the logic exams I’m carrying with me bring to mind how unhappy I was over the semester’s end a year ago.

That was my philosophy semester, that ridiculous semester when I decided I wanted to get clear about the funny discipline of philosophy and become be less confused by the conversations of my older classmates. It was also a test of my own inclinations, I guess – would I still like philosophy after a semester full of it?

It worked. Two seminars unapologetically threw me into conversation with those classmates. I learned a lot from them, in both content and method. Medieval philosophy filled in yet another gap in my grasp of the history of philosophy. Logic was, well, logic. I was good at it and it did affect how I think.

In many ways, that semester set the agenda for what I’m thinking about right now. I’ve been writing book reviews this morning for my independent study on metaphor theory, something I first started wondering about last January. The chain of questions that’s behind my honors project (which is up next…!) began with a furious realization one morning in my philosophical theology seminar. And said seminar shaped substantially the big sys theo paper I wrote earlier this semester.

On the whole, it was a great semester, last spring. (I usually have great semesters, actually, so it wasn’t unusual in that respect.)

Well, drat, I’m just meandering. I guess what I want to say is this: I was pretty sad last May to have that semester end. And I’m pretty sad to have this semester end, right now. Perhaps I shouldn’t be; this has been a bad semester as far as semesters go. Still, I’m sad to have finished up the four-course history of philosophy sequence. Sad that one of my favorite-ever classes (sys theo) is over. Sad to be (almost) done TAing which has been pretty much the best ever, as J. would say. Sad to be saying good-byes that have to last until January.

Yes, this is pathetic; the intensity of my love for semester  beginnings outweighs my dislike for semester ends, and I have to have the latter to have the former.

I would add a list of “thing to say to year-from-now me”, but I guess that isn’t a list for a blog. I’ll write it up elsewhere. That way, next spring, when I’m wondering, I won’t have to write an oblique blog entry about it.

Hey, I’ll try to save the post with a photo that I like from my friend Ken. It involves clinging to things – which sort of relates? : )

“Mouse, desperately” [click to follow link]