Thursday, October 28, 2010

Current Reads

As many of your know, I love books. I typically have two or three books I am working on at a time. I just thought I would use this post to mention the three books I am working on right now.

1. Partner to the Poor- Paul Farmer.

Paul Farmer is a hero of mine. Most of his childhood was spent either in campgrounds or on a fifty foot leaking boat outside of Tampa, Florida that his family called home. Farmer went on to Harvard Medical school where he commuted between Boston and Haiti on a regular basis, starting grass roots medical clinics in the most under served areas. He went on to start Partners in Health, a non profit organization committed to ensuring access to quality medical care in Haiti, Rwanda, and other under served areas of the world. This book is a collection of his writings. One of the books he is most known for is Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

2. Midwives- Chris Bohjalian

This is the most recent book I started. So far, (taken from Amazon description) Sybil Danforth, midwife and mother of the story's narrator, 14-year-old Connie, has a thriving practice and normal family life. Then the unthinkable happens: on a cold winter night in the middle of coaching Charlotte Bedford through her lengthy and strenuous labor, tragedy strikes - Charlotte dies while trying to give birth to her son. With phone lines heaving with ice and roads too treacherous to drive upon, Sybil is forced into a decision -to save the unborn baby via a homemade Caeserean or let him die along with his mother.

3. Starving Jesus- by Craig Gross & J.R. Mahon.

I just finished reading this book a few days ago. The book's focus is to encourage Christians to get out of the church and into the world and stop being "born again lazy". Overall, a good read. It talks a lot about the usefulness of prayer and fasting as part of routine disciplines that should be practiced by all followers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Feight Train in the distance

Freight train whistling in the distance. The smell of fall, yes, the one that reminds you of jumping into the pile of leaves you've raked in your backyard. A cool breeze slipping past the window shade through a crack in the glass. These are what greeted me this beautiful morning. 

Click here to hear Elizabeth Cotten play Freight Train

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peace I ask of thee, O’ River
Peace, peace, peace
When I learn to live serenely
Cares will cease.
From the hills I gather courage
Visions of the days to be
Strength to lead and faith to follow
All are given unto me
Peace I ask of thee, O’ River
Peace, peace, peace.


Fall's finest

A great weekend it was. Visiting Peyton's sister at Smith Mnt. Lake Friday/Saturday was a highlight, and getting to meet Jane Seymour from Dr. Quinn was a treat. Not every evening do you get to eat birthday cake in a trailer with Dr. Quinn. The leaves were magnificent on Route 311 as we traveled the northwest edge of Virginia into West Virginia on Saturday. Sleeping under the stars on a cool fall night was every bit of refreshing Saturday evening. Had a great day paddling the upper Gauley on Sunday. Learned some fun creek lines and had a great time being with friends. Above are some pictures from the days paddle. 
Definitely was a reminder of the natural beauty this time of year. I'll leave with a short poem by Elsie Brady.  

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of my favorites

Listen to Doc Play on NPR

Words from the wise

You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing.
Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.
Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little
child, you receive me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How can one buy or sell the Earth?

                                       How can one buy or sell the Earth?
                                                                     Chief Seattle
           "The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.
            We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
           The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
         Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
             Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.
When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?
              We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us

Greetings on a rainy evening

This blog comes to you post-termination of a love/hate relationship with facebook. I have decided to create a way for folks to continue to enjoy sharing in the adventure I call life. 
I hope you will follow me as I travel, pursue dreams, make soap, laugh, paddle rivers, volunteer, and contemplate the fragile opportunity i have to live life. 

 Good mornin', baby, how you do this mornin'?
Well, please, ma'am, just a lovin' spoon,
just a lovin' spoonful
I declare, I got to have my lovin' spoonful
-John Hurt