Friday, July 2, 2010

E.B. White and magnolia trees

"The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief, that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new "attempt," differs from the last and takes him into new country. This delights him. Only a person congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays."

-E.B. White, from the foreward of "Essays of E.B. White" (I am not reading it now, but I think it's going to make it to my summer reading list.)

I like this quotation, and I like how he's honest about his profession. It's true! But the good thing for him is that other people have taken interest in his essays and "attempts" as well. Is a blogger the 21st century version of an essayist? There are parallels, no doubt.

What got me on this E.B. White kick was my boss letting(/suggesting/recommending) me read Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style." It is SO good! Sometimes -- I know this is a little bit nerdy -- I am just fascinated by grammar.

Here are some "elements" I really liked:

"A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses"
Ask me my favorite punctuation mark, and I'll tell you. It's the dash.

"Unique. Means 'without like or equal.' Hence there can be no degrees of uniqueness." Thus, the sentence, "It was the most unique eggbeater on the market." is correctly written, "It was a unique eggbeater."
I remember learning this from after-school Latin classes in 5th grade, but I'm still guilty of saying, "Whoa! That's really unique!" from time to time. And I also like the example sentences.

I took this photo of Mom and Daniel at the beginning of the summer (actually, I took all of these at the beginning of the summer...) during one of our yard-raking parties. Maybe it's reminiscent of "American Gothic"... or maybe not.

I used to collect these magnolia flower droppings and I called them rabbit skins. Believe me, these things feel just like 'em. ;-)

The Lord really blessed me yesterday. I have been craving and missing so much the unique fellowship with friends from Covenant. (Some of this might come from the fact that even my parents were out of town this week, but a lot of it is just being away from the other people I love so much.) Anyway, it "just so happened" that I was able to have a great talk with Jane, get a wonderful email from April, and even have a really encouraging chat with Josh! Oh man! Guys, I love you!

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


If you go north on Business 61 a little ways from Vicksburg's downtown, you'll run into a community known as Kings. Honestly, I don't know too much about the community or the people. I know I'd be pretty scared if my car broke down there, but I hardly ever have a reason to drive that part of the highway anyway.

Today, though, I did. Today I went on a brief photography adventure with a friend from work who lives out of state. People who live in Vicksburg know that about 5 or 10 minutes north of town in Kings there is a wild-looking yard/church/sculpture with signs and towers and words all over. The truth is, I know very little about it -- only what the dozens of signs say. Most of the time I just think it's a spectacle that all who visit Vicksburg should see. I sort of laugh at it because it's so darn shocking.

But today I read some of a newspaper article posted among all of the cinderblocks and sculptures. "Lack of vision, understanding ails state, but leaders can turn dreams into reality." A preacher apparently created this display to raise awareness, to shake up some passion. Hmm... Well, it's not quite my style, but I definitely understand wanting and needing to change the complacency of the area (and not just the Kings). I'm guilty of it myself.

"God dont have no white church and he dont have no black church- only one church. Rev H.D. Dennis"

I wish I knew more about this! I wish I knew what to think. I'm pretty sure it's not doctrinely sound -- there are a few signs that don't quite make sense biblically, and there are some freemason symbols on the main wall -- but it makes a striking and bold display for Jesus! That's another thing, though. The display is such that people drive by and gawk at it. I'm guilty of chuckling at the bad grammar and improper word separation. It's great for taking pictures, and for showing folks a unique part of Vicksburg, but my gut reaction is to shake my head and laugh a little. But is this right? Am I right from brushing this off as the creation of a probably-uneducated, charismatic radical? Ah! I don't think so. Not with that attitude. I just wish I knew more!

This is just for fun. I kind of like the grey telephone pole and wires against the cloudy sky. Looks industrial.

In posts to come, maybe I'll actually show some pictures of what I've done lately (finished the stained glass, and almost finished April's alligator!) and acquired for the apartment (a free loveseat recliner!). This is going to have to do for now.