Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lagniappe

If you're not familiar with the word I've used to head this post, and there's no reason why you should be if you haven't spent some time on the Louisiana or Mississippi Gulf Coast, the definition is here. It's interesting to see its etymology, coming to Creole French via Spanish, but having its origin in the Native American Quechua language.

Anyway, I've used it to head this post because this is a season for gift-giving, and I'd like to use this post as a way of sharing a few things that I hope will make your season brighter. First, you may remember that, a month ago, I recommended and linked to a blog called The Goat Rope (see here). Being caught up in pre-holiday stuff, I've been neglecting my blog and failing to keep up with some of my favorites. On looking into El Cabrero's latest offerings, I was delighted to see a series of posts (here, here, here, here and here) in which, responding to a reader's challenge, he gives his vision of a just society. I find little to fault in E.C.'s prescriptions; to find areas where we disagree, you need to go back to an earlier series of posts to which he links in his discussion, particularly this one (yes, I'm sort of taking the side of Denny Dimwit). I mean to write what I hope will serve as a well-thought-out response to E.C.'s series once life calms down a bit. For now, suffice it to say I think that, in some areas, I'm a little less conservative and perhaps a bit more optimistic than he is.

I know this is a busy time of year, and I've thrust a lot of links at you. I hope you'll come back to this post at your leisure and enjoy. Before closing, though, I want to share with you the "Seasonal Mediation", as he (Freudianly) typed it, that The Rev. Stephen Muncie, Rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights, had printed in the bulletin for today's services (the identity of the author is not known):

If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things,
and again with things;

if we consider ourselves so unimportant
that we must fill every moment of our
lives with action,
when will we have the time to make the
long, slow journey across the desert as did
the Magi?

Or sit and watch the stars as did
the shepherds?

Or brood over the coming of the child as
did Mary?

For each one of us, there is a desert to
travel. A star to discover. And a being
within ourselves to bring to life.