Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This was inspired by an article I read a while back on the impact of relativism on language and how little we are willing to commit to any statements of certainty. The original article was written by Taylor Mali.

Taylor Mali said it best -
Our quickness of thought has fled the nest!
Forced, by the lack of comfort we feel
For things that are certain, convincing, and real.

For language is the child of thought,
And thought has lost it's bearings.
Above the noise, our cry - quite certain -
"No absolutes!" reeks of herring.

No wonder then, that we
The children of our parents,
Speak with trepidation now
With voices un-apparent.

We are unsure of anything;
We do not trust our senses;
We're left alone to wander,
Our words trailing our penses.

Monday, October 19, 2009

logorhythmia? what's that?

Well, I shmooshed together two words that have come to define me on a number of levels - logos and rhythm. By "define", I mean more that they limn the outlines of the pencil sketch of my life. Don't think in terms of limitations, boundaries, or borders. Think more in terms of recurring themes within a portrait. You could say it is the rhythm of words or words + rhythm or the rhythms of math or...

I started writing "professionally" when I was in HS. In addition to the assigned stuff I had to do for English class, I also wrote poetry and short stories. (I may reprint a few of them here, but not many.) But I was a paid columnist for the local newspaper and I wrote a column about the formal goings-on at the local high school I attended. Before that, however, was a creative writing course in junior high. Since then, I've dabbled in writing, mostly for myself. At the moment, my outlet for creative writing can be found in reports, design narratives, and...

I write a monthly column for ProAV Magazine (look for the "Consultant's Connection" column at http://proavmagazine.com/) and occassionally write a feature article (search for "Being There", an article on telepresence) for them. Those efforts are all about the audiovisual industry and the variety of issues that our industry faces.

But, that itch is still there and I need to scratch it more...

The other part of my interest in words or "logos" is "Logos" - Jesus - the Word made flesh. As an Amish acquaintance of ours once commented, you would have to ask my neighbor if I'm a Christian. I am still learning to understand grace, forgiveness, wholeness, God's love, and how to live it. In addition to the Bible, I have read (and still read) a fair amount from authors such as Schaeffer, Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Mahaney, Augustine, and others.

"Rhythm" refers, among other things, to my interest in percussion and drumming, something I've done off and on since high school, as well. I'm an "amateur" in the original sense of the word, and enjoy playing and worship tremendously. As a result, I enjoy listening to a wide variety of latin and world percussion. I love the rhythm of words, rhythms of nature, the rhythms of science, the rhythms of music and math. As Luther said, "Music is a fair and glorious gift of God."

I recently read "The Shack" (another story for another time) and was struck by a section in which the character who plays the Holy Spirit takes the main character into a garden that looks like an absolute mess up close. She tells him that from above, "it looks like a fractal image." I have come to see that what looks chaotic, messy, and out of sync from the middle of our lives contains much more beauty than we can see. It's all a matter of perspective, and often ours is too close. While we don't have the ability to see the entire perspective of our lives and how that fits, God does. A big issue for me throughout all the areas of my life is "context" and learning to think and live systemically. When I first began reading about fractals and chaos theory I could see parallels in our lives, spiritually and materially. I am still amazed by the "self-similarity" I see at different scales of my life and those around me. There is an order to the universe...

(I recommend reading "The Tapestry" by Edith Schaeffer for a two-dimensional, "old school" view of this in the life of one family.)

That brings in my other interests - math, physics, and science. One of my favorite quotes is from physicist Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, an agnostic at the very least. Nevertheless, he tied the "intricate beauty of the universe" to God's handiwork. Other scientists have spoken of God revealing Himself in the language of mathematics in creation. I myself do not see a battle between faith and science, and do not agree that they are in opposition to one another.

Finally, the title is a small play on the term "logarithm", a useful tool for describing the very small to the very large, all of which I could get around to addressing here in the future.

Thanks for reading...

words... rhythms... numbers... rhymes...