I have this pipe dream of starting a bed and breakfast with no artificial light. I keep thinking about it after all the great comments to my post about light, faith and control. Here’s my vision: the house would be wired for electricity so that we could have air conditioner, vacuums, etc. but there would be no lights other than candlelight. (My thinking on having some modern electric amenities is that guests could get 90% of the spiritual benefit with minimal physical discomfort by cutting artificial light alone.)
I wish someone would start a place like this! Especially after reading Anne Kennedy’s fascinating post about her life in Africa without electricity, I think it would be such a great way to spend a weekend.
Quite a few people asked me for more info about that part-time private school we were looking into for next Fall, so I wanted to share the info. It’s called Annunciation, and their website is here. I just heard that some spaces have opened up for the 2010-11 school year, so feel free to pass that info along to any central Texas folks who might be interested. Their curriculum is fantastic (they start Latin in elementary school!) and I love the balance of the kids going to a school two days a week and homeschooling three days a week. I’ve never seen anything like that in action, but it definitely sounds promising!
Over the past year I happened to read three memoirs in short succession that all talked about what the authors were doing the moment they found out Pearl Harbor had been attacked — The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Seven Storey Mountain and A Severe Mercy. It’s fascinating to have that snapshot of three amazing life stories that were playing out at that time, each very different but all woven together by that event. I could think about that kind of thing all day.
Speaking of memoirs, I’m currently reading Adrift, the story of how Steven Callahan survived alone at sea for 76 days after his ship sank in the middle of the Atlantic. Dude. Let’s just say that it’s cured me of any aspirations to try to sail across the ocean by myself (not that that was high on my to-do list or anything). No matter how challenging my days have been these past few weeks, I keep having these moments of looking up, smiling, and thinking, “You know, I at least I’m not stranded in the middle of the ocean with man-eating sharks bumping up against the bottom of my rubber raft every single time I go to sleep, knowing that at ANY MOMENT a 24-foot-long Great White shark could pop up from below and DEVOUR ME WHOLE WITH NO WARNING AT ALL.”
Abigail recently introduced me to the virtue of affability. According to Prior Marc Foley:
Affability is the virtue of maturity and not of youth. It requires the discipline and strength of character to be even-keeled in one’s demeanor, regardless of how one is feeling. It is that rare species of charity, the heroic strength that does not inflict one’s fluctuating moods upon others.
What?? My family likes it when I inflict my fluctuating moods on them. Don’t they? I mean, surely they’re impressed with my ability to narrate my inconveniences with the precision of a sportscaster, walking around the house like, “Getting more tired now as we head into the three o’clock hour. Have a mild headache. Wish I could take a nap. Just opened the door and realized that it’s stupid-hot again outside. Back in now, but I’m totally cold in here.” I decided to work on this, on the off chance that it might be beneficial to others and to myself not to spread my misery around, and the main thing I’ve learned is that I have a long way to go on the affability front.
I’ve always loved the quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola that says:
Pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on you.
But then I recently heard that he actually said the opposite, and was misquoted by someone who thought he must have accidentally said the wrong thing. I can’t remember where I read that, but the source said that the correct quote is:
Pray as if everything depends on you, and work as if everything depends on God.
It’s interesting to think about how different the advice is depending on which version you consider. Does anyone know which is the real quote?
[WARNING: Fellow procrastinators, do not read this take.] I just discovered Wikipedia’s random feature. Click here to go to a random entry. (You can keep clicking and it will bring up something different each time.) I’m sorry. I hope you weren’t planning to get anything done for the next fifteen minutes.
I look forward to reading your posts!