Thursday, February 25, 2010


J's insight, from his young philosophy professor: That in academia, students get lured into the academic life and think that they must read everything, know everything, have a great breadth of knowledge in order to understand the field. In reality, if you have no philosophical home, then your work becomes useless. Of course, on the other hand, you don't want your thinking to become so stultified and absolute that you automatically dismiss every other idea simply because it does not easily fit into your system. To find a home, and to live there with hospitality toward others...

Russell's insight, his own: This way of gliding place to place...has become itself an example of discipline...your rootedness is mobile.

Tonight's Psalm: 84, a pilgrim's psalm...

1How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

4Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah

5Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

And my own wandering thoughts during yesterday's long drive from Mississippi to Chicago: Usually, the way it works is that if you just keep on trucking, you eventually make it where you're headed (a good, encouraging thought for 12 hours through flat and boring Illinois). But occasionally, circumstances beyond your control - say, the godforsaken midwest winter weather - force you to stop, pull over, extricate yourself from the blinding snowstorm, and luck into a huge King sized bed for the night...

That home might be mobile, and flexible, that the highways of Zion (that longed for place) might be in a heart, that there might always be a place to pull over and stop for the night: this is what I hope is true.

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