LATELY, AND PREVIOUSLY

May 8, 2011

smells like protestant spirit

I was quietly sobbing over Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in a public library in graduate school. A revered early 20th century masterwork of sociological analysis, this book is nevertheless not commonly considered a tearjerker. But, as I read passages like:

Not leisure and enjoyment, but only activity serves to increase the glory of God, according to the definite manifestations of His will. Waste of time is thus the first and in principle the deadliest of sins. The span of human life is infinitely short and precious to make sure of one’s own election. Loss of time through sociability, idle talk, luxury, even more sleep than is necessary for health, six to at most eight hours, is worthy of absolute moral condemnation[,]

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Categories: Calvinism, Puritans, The Protestant Church, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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April 30, 2011

flow me a sign

“Black holes are where God divided by zero.” What better way for the universe to announce that I have pondered the cosmic ramifications of quantum physics enough than to flash a bumper sticker like that across my path? The universe may well be ultimately unknowable, but it sure does have a sense of humor sometimes.

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Categories: Poetry, T.S. Eliot

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April 24, 2011

are you experienced?

Twenty-two years later, I open up The Dancing Wu Li Masters and find an E.E. Cummings quotation?!? Synchronicity just so is, I tell you. “Knowledge is a polite word / for dead but not buried imagination.” Ouch, as I sit here neck-deep in supposedly knowledgeable books. But, thank you, Universe. I needed that.

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Categories: E.E. Cummings, Poetry, The Dancing Wu Li Masters

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April 16, 2011

totally un-understandable

I thought it was Werner Heisenberg who didn’t like what he saw. Turns out it was Max Planck. Those pesky 20th century physicists who changed our fundamental conception of the universe. One became so uncomfortably uncertain and one became so comfortable with ultimate uncertainty. Yin and yang indeed. Where to begin?

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Categories: Books, The Dancing Wu Li Masters

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April 8, 2011

Tao and the art of narrative circuitousness

Oh, and about that Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

In 1922, Werner Heisenberg, as a student, asked his professor and friend-to-be, Niels Bohr, “If the inner structure of the atom is as closed to descriptive accounts as you say, if we really lack a language for dealing with it, how can we ever hope to understand atoms?”

Bohr hesitated for a moment and then said, “I think we may yet be able to do so. But in the process we may have to learn what the word understanding really means.”

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Categories: Books, The Dancing Wu Li Masters

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March 25, 2011

no string attached

“I think it’s like a prayer.”

My then seven-year-old had answered her own question more exquisitely than I ever could have. I had managed to keep my didactic mouth shut and allow her to answer it for herself. Two quiet miracles in one quiet moment while a mother was at home with her child.

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Categories: Buddhism, Poetry

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March 18, 2011

couldn’t have said it better myself, part 3

+++++Jeffrey McDaniel is a poetry god, and just another soul like you and me. He has written the best poem about God I have yet to come across all these many years. Oh! And I should have been encouraging you to read these (and all) poems out loud! All together now…

The Foxhole Manifesto

“There are no atheists in foxholes.”
++++++++++- old Christian proverb

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Categories: Poetry

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March 11, 2011

couldn’t have said it better myself, part 2

When I first read this poem by old soul and big heart Steve Marsh, while I intellectually understood it as a poem about love of the “between true lovers” variety, I kept intuiting a love letter to and with the Universe as well. I wonder what you will think…

Belated Valentine:
A Work in Progress

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Categories: Poetry, Poetry Slam

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March 5, 2011

couldn’t have said it better myself, part 1

Speaking of wings…

My family and I are extremely blessed and lucky to be flying off, as Tigger would say, “on a big explore” for a good while, and so for this and the next two posts I simply wanted to share with you three of the best poems I have ever come across thanks to the wild and spirited art that is Poetry Slam. The words, and the artists, explore lots of Big Things. Happy Vernal Equinox to all! xoAe

“The dawn of weird”

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Categories: Poetry

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February 26, 2011

i sing a song of saint e. e.

How did this man enter my life? How did his poetry spill into my life so completely? He’s been in my bed so many times… and I can’t even remember where I first met him?!?

I can remember when poetry itself decided to explode into my life. Fourteen years ago and newly in Austin, Texas, I had ended up on a Chamber of Commerce committee for the arts in charge of a member happy hour. I scrounged up a list of artists from somewhere and invited them, too. I figured it might be easier to raise money for the arts if more people actually met artists. The sociable was only marginally sociable when two longhaired young men in combat boots suddenly stormed in, shook my hand off of my arm, jumped up on two chairs and began performing. Loudly, and lyrically. Inexplicably, and perfectly. Just six minutes of lapidary words and ardent emotion, and the entire room was transfixed.

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Categories: 95 Poems, Books, E.E. Cummings, Poetry

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the blog of Anne Elizabeth Wynn. Copyright © 2004–2010. All rights reserved.

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