Sunday, April 25, 2010

the road, again

Parked outside our building. Turns out it belongs to our neighbours.

Doodles on the rest of the page.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2 yoder quotes

I think these sum up the core of what I got out of The Politics of Jesus:

Certainly any renunciation of violence is preferable to its acceptance; but what Jesus renounced is not first of all violence, but rather the compulsiveness of purpose that leads the strong to violate the dignity of others. The point is not that one can attain all of one's legitimate ends without using violent means. It is rather that our readiness to renounce our legitimate ends whenever they cannot be attained by legitimate means itself constitutes our participation in the triumphant suffering of the lamb (p. 237).


If what we have said about the honour due to the Lamb makes any sense, then what is usually called "Christian Pacifism" is most adequately understood not on the level of means alone, as if the pacifist were making the claim that he can achieve what war promises to achieve, but do it just as well or even better without violence. This is one kind of pacifism, which in some contexts may be clearly able to prove its point, but not necessarily always. That christian pacifism which has a theological basis in the character of God and the work of Jesus Christ is one in which the calculating link between our obedience and ultimate efficacy has been broken, since the triumph of God comes through resurrection and not through effective sovereignty or assured survival (p. 239).

It has given me a huge amount to think about, which is always welcome. And fits closely with a thought I had after reading Tom Wright's Surprised by Hope, which was that the resurrection demands a complete renunciation of all war, all violence.

Is there a really great pacifist film out there?

Micmacs from Screening Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Not only a place but also a man. I've just started reading some of his books and they are enormous fun. He has collaborated with Joann Sfar, and shares his looseness. A lot of his work seems to have been translated into English and you can read some of his Little Nothings cartoons in French on his blog. Reading it all makes me happy. And he plays ukelele (with Sfar).

[he had] the air of a girl in pajamas

I was fairly punchy this afternoon. But I loved Tell Them Anything You Want, Spike Jonze and Lance Bang's documentary on the often ornery but palpably loving Maurice Sendak. The to and fro love between filmmakers and writer was very moving, particularly in their interview at MOMA.

I was also really happy coming across Kevin Huizenga's blog. Especially this drawing - 'be grateful for small things that are good'.


I was a wee bit obsessed with the simple wonder of William Maxwell's writing for a while ten years, or so, ago. I even managed to convince a very kind publisher's rep to the bookstore where I worked that he should give me Maxwell's collected works. He gave me what they had. They are on the shelf here. Given the coolness I sometimes felt in those books, the Maxwell writings I now most want to read are his Improvisations, which, as far as I can tell, are only available in the Library of America edition.

new adventures in baking

Cupcakes have not really gone well for me in the few times I have tried to bake 'em. But a friend of the LP's had an inspired moment in which she decided I would bake the goods for her birthday - not just cupcakes but a cake too. I set about this with my heart in my mouth but found a batter recipe that I really liked and set to it. It was all a delight - the best part being the texts that came from the LP's friend as they cut the cake. Lemon frosting definitely the way to go.

And this was the cake - decorated by LP herself.

In the same spirit when a friend of friends (the buttermilk donor) asked if I wanted to bake for a sale to raise money for Share our Strength I decided (admittedly after some hemming and hawing and initial shyness) to go for it. The biscuit recipe (ginger cookies without the ginger, molasses cookies with a honey substitute) is one I get happier and happier using.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

in the neighbourhood

Drawing in the neighbourhood, on the hottest day of the year so far.

Next to the drawing, I wrote:
St. Rose of Lima, Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn New York, Founded 1870. The best part of this drawing is that while working on it people stopped to take a look at what I was doing and even asked to see other drawings. A very sunny day - the first really hot one of the year, with people laughing and talking. The heat is fun, not yet oppressive. The perpetual whrrrrr of the air conditioners has not yet started. There is music. Their are voices. Many languages. Makes me feel like an artist.

buttermilk biscuits

Ed Espe Brown (that's his book in the first picture) has an easily adaptable recipe that let me use some buttermilk gracefully gifted by a friend of friends. I think one of the great delights in learning to bake over the past year, is the joy that comes from making simple good food. This was really easy.

Some flour, baking powder, salt.

Add a couple of organic eggs (we realised we could not use any other kind after seeing Food, Inc.)

Then the magic homemade buttermilk goes in.

Mix it all together.

Roll out and fold. Roll and fold it again. And again. Can not really do this too many times if you want flaky, melt in your mouth biscuits.

Cut out the biscuits (with a whiskey glass, of course).

Ready to bake.

Baked and beautiful.

Here with a black bean soup thrown together around the baking. Yum.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I've been a bit gloomy the past few days (and have not yet shaken the funk). One way to try and get round this was to redraw some figures from earlier in my week. Here are two of them. Emiliana Torrini looks a lot more like herself here. And so does Justice Stevens. The original drawing of him was so upsetting that I won't even post it.

The funk is mainly jobsearch related, which feeds into bigger questions about the need for direction (and action). I don't seem to be able even to find anything that I can apply for this week, which is a bit distressing. A lot distressing, actually. Makes everything a bit foggy. What has helped? Sitting quietly. David Dark reflecting. A great note from Pip, who made me want to blog. Baking. Kind words.

you've got to be kind

Just picked this up from Austin Kleon, who is always a great source of fine words. I've been needing a mental pick me up. What a wonderful quote. It's from God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut.

Monday, April 5, 2010

the rest of the page

This morning (just), I find myself extremely grateful for Rowan William's wisdom.