When we were kids, most of the games we played had a “base,” a tree or a trashcan or a garage door that we all agreed to designate as the safe place, the place where you could no longer be tagged, no longer be “it.” Adults, the smart ones, have bases too. They call them by different names. Sanctuary is a good name. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that had a sanctuary, and we were lucky enough to have a sanctuary that we all knew would always, always be there. Always always. Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria Virginia would always be there, because while it bore all of the tool marks and symmetry of human creation, it exists in the minds of those who knew it well as something divine and natural that had somehow emerged entire from the loamy crust of earth on which it stood, like the edge of some immense granite shelf that had been pushed above that black fecund piedmont tobacco soil by the miracle of tectonics and then carved into shape by the twin miracles of wind and time. It was more than a hundred and fifty years old, and it was made of good timber and oven-fired brick and slate and stained glass. It was built in the shape of a cross in a style that was Gothic in form but Romanesque in effect, which is to say that it was buttressed but unadorned, and too small and low to achieve the weightless effect that you get with the quality of light in a cathedral. What you always noticed first and last in Immanuel Chapel was the stained glass above the altar, and the inscription above it saying Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel. When my father was a seminary student, he read those words at least twice a week for three years, and after he graduated he went into the mission field. That’s where I was born, and my sister Becky, and that’s where all of my siblings have their formative memories. My father later returned to The Seminary to teach on the faculty, and he spent the next thirty years carefully building a missions program there. My father presided over my sister Becky’s wedding at that chapel, and he served as pallbearer there at the funerals of more of his friends and colleagues than he cares to remember. He knew, too, that one day he and Mom would be eulogized there.
On Wednesday nights when I was a kid, the faculty and students attended services at Immanuel Chapel after the community meal at the refectory. My faculty-brat friends and I played endlessly among the Boxwoods that lined the walls of the Chapel; when we were older, we got into trouble for playing the pipe-organ and stealing wine from the sacrament, and when we were even older we went there to make out with our girlfriends in the balcony or to hide out from our parents when we were flexing rebellious. When I was in college, I used to sit in the empty church and luxuriate in the sunset through the stained glass with the rich smell of that old wood and frankincense. It was sanctuary. It was The Chapel at The Seminary. It was base. It was home.
The last time I remember going into that place was during the summer before I left for the Philippines on my own mission service, back in 1990. I had not been to any church in years, but I was on my way to a war zone and felt like praying, and there was only one church that felt like home to me, only one church that felt like you were talking to God not in some bright formal office with a huge, imposing desk but in a living room with low lighting and soft, comfortable chairs and a backgammon board on the coffee table. And so when my sister Becky called yesterday with the news that The Chapel burned down this weekend, it was in every way like getting news of a death in the family. It was even worse, in a way, because we all know that our loved ones will all die one day. It is inevitable. None of us ever thought that The Chapel would die, though. The chapel was universal furniture, a constant, unremovable…
“I hope they rebuild it the way it was,” I said.
“No way,” said Becky. “Where are you going to find hundred-and-fifty-year-old pews worn smooth by the butts of that many generations? And the arches? No one makes arches like that anymore. And the acoustics in that place…wow …the resonance. You know …I used to sneak over there on Wednesday nights, after I rebelled and told Mom and Dad that I was through with the church and didn’t believe in Jesus any more, I would sneak over there and sit in the stairs to the choir loft and just listen to the sound of those deep beautiful men’s voices singing.”
Then we were both quiet for a while, remembering, and I could hear it again, clear as a bell, and I thought, Amen.
Amen. We will hear those voices singing in memory until ours, too, are silent, and we will remember the sudden warmth of seeing the light through those magnificent stained glass windows from the meadow in front of Aspinwall Hall on a cold winter’s night, like the beacon of the nativity itself guiding you in from the cold toward the warmth of voices raised in song. We will always remember you fondly, dear friend, dear base.
“Destiny urges me to a goal of which I am ignorant. Until that goal is attained I am invulnerable, unassailable. When Destiny has accomplished her purpose in me, a fly may suffice to destroy me.” - Napoleon
The idea of destiny is something we all question at times and an idea that many are quick to discredit, usually because we feel threatened by it, as if it robs us of our free will… but destiny is one of those cases where the question of whether or not it is “real” isn’t important. It is obvious that all of the great people throughout history did not see eye to eye. One thing many people overlook is that they all believed in themselves, they had a sense of purpose. I can’t say that they all believed in destiny, but a great deal of them did. If a belief gives you power, courage, inspiration and motivation to achieve great things it is as real as anything else as far as I’m concerned.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.” - Steve Jobs
“DESTINY is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you’re about WILL COME TRUE. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that all inside.” ―Bob Dylan
So I’m getting near the end of the main quest lines, and because of that, I’m trying to knock out some of the miscellaneous quests so that I don’t have to stop playing. I’m level 40 and my Khajiit follower dual-wields a couple of fireball staffs, and my sneak is so good that people don’t see me even when I’m stabbing them in the face.
I’m sort of afraid that if I finish Skyrim, no game will ever be as good. I guess it’s a good thing I can play again as a lizard or a cat. Sigh.
Nobody was killed at Tech *as far as any articles have said*. So chill the fuck out. It's funny how that story makes national headlines when news about GRC getting shot up during spring break a few years back didn't get further than Richmond...
There’s nothing funny about it. A shooting is a shooting why is press coverage an issue when people have died? Christ
For what it’s worth … This is just more teenage political blather from some cunt who’s convinced himself, against all evidence to the contrary, that he knows the score. Don’t let it steal your peace. That bastard will have his own barrel to stare down soon enough . . because the wheel, she do turn . . ohhhh, she do turn … Besides, how seriously can you really take anyone so devoid of language skills that he has to write WTF? … Just sayin’ :-D
“Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Hillary Clinton said this on Tuesday in an address to commemorate Human Rights Day. She went on to say that the US condemns any government that supports the oppression of gays or that turns a blind eye to their abuse or oppression.
My first thought was, “hell yes, it’s about fucking time.” My second thought was, “Holy shit . . they’re beginning the sale for war with Iran. Or for backing Israel in a war with Iran.”
I'm walking along Broad and Belvidere at 7:15 pm. Although I know that it's this area that I have to worry about being stopped for cigarettes, bus fare, change, and pointless random stories that I don't want to hear. But tonight, I was in for an even better surprise. Imagine an older black woman in her late fifties possibly early sixties. She is 5'5", 220 lbs, and her hair is greying. She is standing on the median between the traffic flow heading east and west down Broad Street. She has a couple bags in her hand, not sure from where.
(A car passes by)
Woman:Goddamn homosexuals, need to slow the fuck down.
(An elderly man on a bicycle passes)
Woman:Goddamn faggot you best be getting out of my motherfucking space bitch
I walked away before I got yelled at.
RadioFreeRichmond -- Good Call. (Plus, they really DO need to slow the fuck down and be getting out of my motherfucking space. Just sayin' :-D)
“In 1963, I did a documentary on Willie Mays, the world’s best baseball player and one on Charlie Brown, the world’s worst. We sold the Mays documentary, but never sold the Charlie Brown documentary. Three years later, TIME Magazine put the [Peanuts] characters on its cover and we got calls…
Bikes are pretty cool, but if American cities really want to learn something from Copenhagen, it’s how to build a city for young families. Those young people pouring into your cities are going to leave just as fast if you don’t build the city for the families they’ll soon have.
Here’s a good rule: no more stadiums, TIF districts, or tax breaks until crime is under control and urban schools meet basic standards. City officials: Those shiny corporate headquarters won’t mean jack if no one wants to live in your city because your schools are worthless. And don’t you dare claim you don’t have money to focus on people like that, you’re blowing plenty more trying to attract Fortune 500’s.
I’ll go ahead and reblog this, not out of vanity but because I mean what I said. It is so easy to make cities for people that considering how often we’ve failed to do so becomes a mind numbing exercise.
I should add: the most dangerous possibility is that we throw up our hands in frustration and resign ourselves from the problem. Get involved. Tell your politicians that policies that favor corporations, big box development, highway construction, or mega-projects over the safety and education of our children - over the quality of our daily well-being - will result in their dismissal.
This is a human rights issue. If the politicians won’t listen, vote them out or run for office yourself. Take the city back, if not for yourselves then for your children. We can’t run this course any longer.
This just in, reported by CBS News Sunday Morning:
The Banks received ten times the amount reported during the TARP bailout — roughly half the GDP — at an interest rate of .01%, resulting in a zero-sum asset loss and a profit in the neighborhood of 39 Billion dollars.
It stopped me in my tracks. It didn’t surprise me, but it stopped me, mouth agape, forkfull of eggs and bacon stuck trembling at half arc, the grease drip-ip drip-ippping into the coffee that, until now, tasted just fine without any whiskey in it.
Someone is going to pay for this. My only hope, my nightly prayer, is that when we finally decide to dust off the guillotines I am close enough to capture it on film.
Thanks for ruining another perfectly good breakfast, Wall Street. Pass the fucking whiskey, please.