Some vignettes and recommendations:
John and I went for a walk the other night because we were both going stir-crazy from writing in the house all day. It was cold outside, the first time it's gotten below 40 here in the ATL, so I put on my big coat. John took one look at me, and decided not to go. "It's cold out there! I don't have a coat! I'll freeze!" "Oh, come on, John, it's not that cold. You can handle it." I went into the living room to talk to Beth. When John emerged from his room, he was bundled up - hoodie, dress coat, gloves, hat, scarf. "Are you ready now?" I asked, laughing. "No! I have to button the coat," he whined, unable to get the button through the button-hole with his clumsy mittened fingers. I buttoned his coat, we went outside, walked down the dead-end sidewalks of our neighborhood, threw pinecones at a demonic-looking Daniel framed in his curtain-less window, and slid down a steep hill covered in pine needles. Well, I slid. John ate it half-way down and fell in a slow motion tilt, landing with a thud on his side.
It's Christmas time in Potassium. You can tell because I'm listening to J's Christmas CDs and Sufjan's massive compilation a lot, and also because Beth and I put up the tree this weekend. It's standing by the window, lit with clear bulbs and a big star on top, but no one but us knows its there because we live in the basement. The balls are a little worn, with the silver paint flaking off, and the tree skirt is actually an old green quilt that's living out its last few years as a multi-purpose garment, but the glow of the tree and the scent of the evergreen candle we put next to its faux branches make our house cozy and inviting.
I celebrated Love Feast with Methodists on Sunday. Beth invited me to the Wesley Fellowship program to share about the Brethren practice and participate in theirs. I did both, and it was beautiful. No footwashing, but sharing bread and cider in a candlelit room while sharing examples of life's graces reminded me how important practice is, and how neglectful of it I've become.
Check out Sara's Tailgating Thanksgiving. Hilarity.
Speaking of hilarity, the great state of Mississippi has new promotional material. Two of my boys are Mississippians, and though their erudition is often hidden under a down-home exterior, this confirms what they've taught me - southern intelligence and wit rival that of the Yankee any day.
I don't watch television (except for my loyal devotion to Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60), but the recent mental exhaustion of finals and the solitude created by power of Axis and Allies to claim the boys for weeks at a time has led to my discovery of a decent sitcom with which to fill my time. The episodes are available online, so you can use it to fill yours, too. You might not get as much enjoyment out of it as I have, but My Boys made me laugh out loud.
And, finally, you should read the book of Ecclesiastes. Think about what you think religion is, what you think Christianity is, and then ask Qohelet what he thinks. You might be surprised.