lyef & thymes

Saturday, February 24, 2007

love is in the air, and in the city.

Mark Samuel Hardy and Bethany Elaine Ventura will soon be wed. This inevitability has been waiting to spring up, take root, and blossom. And in only four days the beginning of the last stage of their romance begins.

It's been an amazing few months as regards love and Toronto. Jeremy and Shannon have returned to Toronto, a married couple whom I love love love. Pudd and Maija are here. Now Bethany and Mark, Andrew and Sarah, Jon and Laura, Jon and Sarah, Linda and Sam, the Hollemas have found love, Jon long and Ramlin, and I've met some other new couples, Ryan and Alee for example. There are so many couples in my life. For that matter I am in a pairing of my own with the wonderful K-Rollin'. (she doesn't know anything about this blog, so I get to call her whatever I like.

It is a good time to be thinking about starting life together in Toronto.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Niebuhr's thoughts on sin.

I borrowed this from my friend Ry Flyer. Check him out in my friends bar.

Whatever your views are concerning Niebuhr, his insight into the human condition must be taken into account. Check this out: "Sin is rebellion against God. If finiteness cannot be without guilt because it is mixed with freedom and stands under ideal possibilities, it cannot be without sin (in the more exact sense of the term) because man makes pretensions of being absolute in his finiteness. He tries to translate his finite existence into a more permanent and absolute form of existence. Ideally men seek to subject their arbitrary and contingent existence under the dominion of absolute reality. But practically they always mix the finite with the eternal and claim for themselves, their nation, their culture, or their class the center of existence. This is the root of all imperialism in man and explains why the restricted predatory impulses of the animal world are transmuted into the boundless imperial ambitions of human life. Thus the moral urge to establish order in life is mixed with the ambition to make oneself the center of that order; and devotion to every transcendent value is corrupted by the effort to insert the interests of the self into that value. The organizing center of life and history must transcend life and history, since everything which appears in time and history is too partial and incomplete to be its center. But man is destined, both by the imperfection of his knowledge and by his desire to overcome his finiteness, to make absolute claims for his partial and finite values. He tries, in short, to make himself God" (81-82). Niebuhr, Reinhold. An Interpretation of Christian Ethics. New York: Meridian Books, 1956.

Thus the moral urge to establish order in life is mixed with the ambition to make oneself the center of that order.

Wow, that really spits my own limitted views of the world, and my work in it in my face. In two ways really. In one way I am clearly too small in my vision of the world, in that I mostly just live with my own reflection in view, but also in that my impact on the world is so much farther reaching than I want to admit. My efforts and exertions ripple out, and changed someone else's reality, and then I cease to be the center of that ripple, and they become it. Jesus did this all the time, with an eye on the Father, and an eye on his fellow man. He never tried to be the center of his own movement. He let his message go out and change the world.

Not really gonna address what Niebuhr says about sin, because he already says it so well.


In 1999 I was standing in line to enter a movie theater in Dublin, Ireland. It was on the main road, so there were many passersby, and surprisingly among them was my friend Dave. He had moved to Dublin and married an Irish woman. So he saw me, I saw him, we did a few double takes then chatted for a while.

Earlier today, now nearing eight years on, Dave happened by my Starbucks in the mall. Once again we double-took, laughed, hi-fived, and then met up again after work to have a pint (or three...blush). I love the interconnectedness of life. Things that we thing are seperate aren't always so. Friends we have lost become found in a flash. Not that they are found in the geographical placement of being within a flash, but rather in the more metaphysical way.

So we met up again, chatted, it was good. He has returned to Toronto with his wife, and is a happy father now. Pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the fact that it took him only five minutes to catch me up on his events, and it took me the rest of the night to catch him up on mine. Seems that I can take even little things very seriously. Not entirely a bad thing, I think.