31 Dec 2005

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

– Rabbie Burns

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

30 Dec 2005

There are those moments when we feel we are near true beauty, as if it were watching us, right outside our field of vision. Trust those moments.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

You know, I’ll never figure it out. It’s like one of those… standing out in the middle of the street at midnight, rain pouring down, watching her walk away kind of thing… a real, “New York City in the middle of the twentieth century,” setting, maybe all in black and white for that extra touch. That’s what the feeling is, anyway, something you remember but never know what exactly happened. And things have that habit of going on, continuing even when no one really knows why, sometimes not even how — for sometimes it is in its blindness that a thing’s strength really is. Even now, even in these days, there are things that stay a mystery, and a reverential hush still spills over into a child’s eyes when the wonder at the unknown takes hold. And the feeling that such things are meant to be that way — it would seem that no amount of science will ever silence that kind of sacred touch to those rare moments that yet come along. Yes, even in this now, of the ten minute (ten second? race to be cynical?) obsolescence.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

29 Dec 2005

And those souls who stood against the brunt of darkness,
whom fate had chosen to immortalize, if unfortunately so:
remember that we, that we do not think upon you, or even
those times which are now past us, and blown in wind away,
it says only that such of the deepest night no longer haunts
even the edges of dreaming, that your victory is complete,
and children, wide-eyed, can only comprehend the light.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

27 Dec 2005

Pray Him to give you what the Scriptures call “an honest and good heart,” or “a perfect heart;” and, without waiting, begin at once to obey Him with the best heart you have. Any obedience is better than none. You have to seek His face; obedience is the only way of seeing Him. All your duties are obediences. To do what He bids is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to approach Him. Every act of obedience is an approach — an approach to Him who is not far off, though He seems so, but close behind this visible screen of things hiding Him from us.

– John Henry Newman

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Referer (Sic) Logs (7)

Because a few weeks later, I finally got it into my head that it would never be again what it had been. Too much had happened, things thought about one another when the other was away that kept us, now, at distance — the things that one says about someone when they try to forget them. You know, though, I still have a little page in my scrapbook of the movie tickets of the night of our first real kiss, and the stubs of the last one we saw together, and a picture of us they took at the local TGI Friday’s. And I put in there a receipt for a brunch I had with her this second time, when I thought so very much that it was a second chance. You might think that I’d have put a match to those things after breaking up the first time, and again, the second — but you know what? I know for a fact that it was a good thing for a good while there, and this fool learned somewhere that you don’t let go of the good things. And you know what else? I still looked in my referer logs for her visits to my site, because I knew she still came by to see how I’d been. Silently to watch me live my life. Just like I silently watched her watching me.

So, I guess with everything said, now, this would be a good place to apologize. I began at the beginning, and not really in medias res. The middle has no conflict, so you never get to know the nature of the characters involved. (And the ex-girlfriend character was not nearly as well developed as she could have been.) The ending is just an ending, with nothing fancy, no great realization that has never been realized before. So, sorry. But I take a lesson in noting how the word “referer” is now a standard: it is in the nature of the world that we work with imperfect things, even if sometimes, it’s less obvious that we do — because that’s all we have, these imperfect implements with which to build a life. And maybe you knew this was coming, too: the meanings that we make of all that is around us, all that happens to us, and all we do: these, too, are imperfect. That doesn’t say, however, that we were never truly moved. Nor of these imperfect lives, because they experienced imperfectly, that we never truly lived. And me, who went from being in my room, looking at referer logs, to being in my room, looking at referer logs: don’t tell me I haven’t gone anywhere. Often the roughest paths are the ones that wind their way back home.

(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)
(part 4)
(part 5)
(part 6)

(fin)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

26 Dec 2005

Referer (Sic) Logs (6)

She asked me what I was doing there, and I mumbled something about doing some work, then blankly offered her a seat. She pointed to the people she was with, that she was going to sit with them. Then, before she left me so that I might try to come back to my senses, she said something, almost as an aside: “I visited your website.” At this point, as I watched her walk away, I was thinking that this was what my intuition had been looking for, almost precognitive, the thing that when it happened, I would know it. And that goes to show you how much it knew…. So I sat there stunned, until the class got up to go, and then she waved to me as she was about to leave the place, a simple goodbye. But I stopped her clean getaway, asked her for her number, and I couldn’t tell you how I was able to stand up without falling over as this happened, as she said she would text it to me the next day. Which at this point made me realize, she still had my number somewhere. Strange the parts of the brain that work when you’re in a state of shock.

Over the next week or so, it all started to make sense. Why I had seen her face in a dream those years back, and why I had thought that this was the girl I was going to marry after the very first date. I began to glimpse the workings of the grand design, how all things had some higher purpose in their happening, what it was that it was when one said something was meant to be. And then it would turn out that I was completely wrong, about all these things. How are we to tell what the signs are, I wonder? I asked her, “So, you visited my website?” And she answered, “Yes. A million years ago.” What are we to make of such things, that cut in a thousand ways, none of them so very well defined, which leave you wondering why you feel so wounded when no seeming damage has been done? But for a while there, my hopes were up there, as they had been the last time we had been together. It wasn’t to fly quite so high, this sort of dream-state, but at least the ether was not so inundating this time, my dreaming not so deep — and I would awake not so lost as I have been known to get.

(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)
(part 4)
(part 5)

(to be concluded…)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

25 Dec 2005

 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


If you don’t recognize it, this is Luke 2:8-14, what Linus says at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

24 Dec 2005

Now, don’t hang on
Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind

– Kansas

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Albrecht Altdorfer: Nativity

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

23 Dec 2005

How sublime and terrible it is to have faith: to gaze at its object, and to know the sinner who looks.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Referer (Sic) Logs (5)

Days and days and days passed by, and I will admit that I thought of her from time to time. And sometimes, it was hard to wrench my mind from wondering about that killer pout she had, sort of like Catholic school girl meets Parisian model on a rainy day. (I never told her about that, either, because that would have wrecked the whole thing if she had been self-conscious about it; and that would have been a shame.) Days and days and days. She still showed up in my referer logs, months after, though the frequency did drop some. But she never let a whole week go by without visiting, and I was still pretty sure it was her, even if she didn’t come from my home page anymore, with the telltale trail. Months. And I tried to move on, as best as I could, being set up on one date after another by “the elders” (that’s what I call my mom, dad, aunts, etc. collectively), never a good match, seeing as how they took no consideration with whom they were setting me up with, except that they were single and looking. Not really desirable traits, ironically. The whole time, I worked on it: I tried to let go.

About eight months later, I made up my mind to try my hand at finding women myself in this great big city in which I lived. Of course, letting you know now that I lived in one goes with the fact that I’m such a homebody that now would really be the first relevant time that you’d know that there was a city involved. Starbucks was a good target, I decided, the one across the street from my favorite bookstore. So I started hanging out there, keeping an eye out for that foxy little thang which whom would turn my head around and round. Being still the geek, I brought my work there, some projects in computer science I was working on — and as a matter of happenstance, I never did go up to anyone. At one point, I had this intuition that if the right girl were to walk in, I would know it. I wouldn’t have to be guessing if this one were the one for me: it would overtake me, the moment, and I would be one with it. So I relaxed, and I kept going there, scribbling away in my little notebook. But here’s what happened: one evening came when she walked in. Her. The ex, whose digital trail I had been so scrupulously tracing. She was with a group of adult students for some class she was taking at a little school nearby, which I had not known of at all. She was surprised to see me; I was more like stunned, expressionless. Barely able to talk, completely blank in my head.

(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)
(part 4)

(to be continued…)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

22 Dec 2005

Referer (Sic) Logs (4)

It may be she still had a little bit of a spell on me after we broke off. There were indications of that. At my domain name (once again, at the top level of the site at “metaphenomenon.com”), the picture of me is one that has an accidental, very cool effect, of sunlight streaming down, so that I am bathed in light. And when I saw her in my referer logs, coming as she always did from my home page, always to the top of my domain before clicking on the picture to enter my blog, I marked in my head how long she stayed on that page with the picture. I wondered about the number of seconds she spent there. Usually it was on the order of 2 to 4, but sometimes it was longer — and I wondered if she was lingering there, looking at that freeze frame portrait, me captured with the light all pouring down, and she was wondering things about me, like I was about her — or was it merely that she had been distracted, doing something else, and happened to come back to it later? I would never ask her; I would never know.

And so it went, time passed. I would check my site statistics, I would look at my referer logs, and there would come a time when she started going directly to my site, not coming from my home page. At least, I was pretty sure it was her. The IP address looked familiar, anyway, the numerical location where her machine was situated in cyberspace. Especially when (do I remember correctly about this?) I saw hits coming in at 5am in the morning. My best guess is that she was doing something or other on the ’net, and started to type in the domain name of another site, and entered “m” then “e”, and the site “metaphenomenon.com” appeared the a little pull-down menu as one of the choices that had previously been visited by her browser, and so she figured out that this was a shortcut to getting to my blog. The best things come by accident, ain’t it so? And yes, I know: I think far too much about these kinds of things. The imagining of scenarios as involved as that show in me the propensity for obsession. But to my credit, I never called her. I never let her have any clue that I did any of this.

(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)

(to be continued…)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

20 Dec 2005

Whomever the Lord has adopted and deemed worthy of his fellowship ought to prepare themselves for a hard, toilsome, and unquiet life, crammed with very many and various kinds of evil. It is the Heavenly Father’s will thus to exercise them so as to put his own children to a definite test. Beginning with Christ, his first-born, he follows this plan with all his children.

– John Calvin

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

The fire of day rubs its ashes on my face to paint it,
a war paint of cruciform shape to enter with into the night:
who is to know what light truly is, except in the darkness?

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

19 Dec 2005

Referer (Sic) Logs (3)

So, with that much both in the mix and out of the way, I guess we better get started with the story. There has to be some sort of conflict, right? There’s really not that much to all of it, however — maybe you could say I was conflicted with myself for a while. That there is not so much, as far as challenge goes, is that not the constant dilemma of twenty-first century man? No dizzying highs, no terrifying lows, just a kind of numb gnawing at the soul if there ever is any pain? And since it is by conflict that we discover who we really are, in its absence, we never do find our true selves, we the people of the future. Of course, thinking like this, so existential it being — you could say of it that it is so twentieth century. No, no one philosophizes about anything anymore. There is too much to do, too much to see —most of it basically amounting to nothing. It may be that something like nihilism is only out of fashion because no one wants to go to the trouble of looking up just what the word means; we don’t even have that much. With all that’s possible in this wide world, no one wants to bother. If the last century was famous for going nowhere fast, this one will be for having reached it, and meandering there.

But I’m not bitter, not so much. Perhaps a little disappointed. Maybe, now, I should get back to the middle, since we’re at the middle at this point, where I supposedly started from (did you understand that?). I was disappointed that it didn’t work out between me and her. I thought at times that she might be, you know, the one; in fact, what I thought after our first date was that this was the girl I was going to marry. No joke. And there was this weird premonition kind of dream I had had a few years back, where I saw the face of my wife to be; and I didn’t see it for a few months, but when my ex this one time looked up at me from a certain angle — it was her. And then there was this time when I sent her a link to a song (in MP3 form, of course) I uploaded to one of my websites, just for her: “Wild Thing,” by the Troggs. In the text message, I wrote to her, “Wild thing, you make my heart sing,” whereupon she wrote back to me a few minutes later, “You make everything groovy.” Stuff like that gets you, you know? Right there.

(part 1)
(part 2)

(to be continued…)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

17 Dec 2005

I close my eyes
Only for a moment, then the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind, ohh

– Kansas

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

    Next Page »

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.