14 April 2014

A Fragmentary Experience of Love, Beauty, and Joy

The last few days have been, let's say full. And look at these two:
At the Washington Park Arboretum Playground

Not sure, by the way reader, that I can hold all the pieces of this post together, but maybe I'll just accept their fragmentary feel.

On Thursday I was again impressed with my employer. They explained, before hundreds of employees—who'd gathered to renew their commitment to the school's mission of promoting a just and humane world, on a Mission Day focused this year on environmental justice—that they've decided not to divest from fossil fuels. And then in such a great SU moment, they turned over the microphone to (among others) one of the students leading the divestment campaign. He stood in front of the University president and others, and expressed his disappointment. And then he announced a rally to protest the decision. (That's today by the way, see the Facebook event for details.) He received the only standing ovation during the three-hour event.

Back home, I'm loving being able to hang out with Franklin more lately. Finally had the chance to show him part of the 2008 championship game:
Watching the 2008 Championship Game
I mean, he keeps asking to watching a Jayhawk basketball game: what choice do we have?

No, we haven't made it to the end of the second half yet—to "the shot": he likes to start shooting baskets after watching for a few minutes, so we're saving that and savoring the suspense a little longer.
Watching the 2008 Championship with Dad

Also enjoyed a nice walk through Washington Park Arboretum with grandma. Not sure how we managed not to get any shots of grandma or the beautiful flowering trees, but here's a little more of Franklin enjoying the playground near the north end of the park:

Break from Climbing

Speaking of climbing, I am in way over my head with reading groups and book clubs right now... but I'm really glad I stuck with the second-year Arrupe Seminar on Jesuit education. Last Friday we discussed Karl Rahner, the influential 20th-Century theologian. The reading assignment (a short biography and overview of his work) was interesting, but I was totally blown away by an excerpt of one of Rahner's books that the discussion leader brought for us.

It's Rahner giving examples of where to find divine grace. I'm tempted to quote the whole thing, but here are just my favorite bits:

There is one man who does his duty where it can apparently only be done, with the terrible feeling that he is denying himself and doing something ludicrous which no one will thank him for.

There is a woman who is really good to another woman from whom no echo of understanding or thankfulness is heard in return, whose goodness is not even repaid by the feeling of having been "selfless," noble, and so on.

There is a woman who is absolutely lonely, who finds all the right elements of life pale shadows; for whom all trustworthy handholds take her into the infinite distance, and who does not run away from this loneliness but treats it with ultimate hope.

There is one who suddenly notices how the tiny trickle of her life wanders through the wilderness of the banality of existence, apparently without aim and with the heartfelt fear of complete exhaustion. And yet she hopes, she knows not how, that this trickle will find the infinite expanse of the ocean, even though it may still be covered by the grey sands which seem to extend forever before her.

One could go on like this forever...

—where the fragmentary experience of love, beauty, and joy is experienced and accepted purely and simply as the promise of love, beauty, and joy, without their being understood in ultimate cynical skepticism as a cheap form of consolation for some final deception,

—where we entrust all this knowledge and all our questions to the silent and all-inclusive mystery which is loved more than all our individual knowledge which makes us such small people,

—where we rehearse our own deaths in everyday life, and try to live in such a way as we would like to die, peaceful and composed,

—where... (as I have said, we could go on and on):

—there is God and God's liberating grace.

I don't know about you, reader, but I just love that. Now of course that very last sentence takes things in a direction I wouldn't go, but still. Just beautiful thinking.

It's from this book (pp.230-1), which I haven't read but just might need to get a copy of.

Okay, anyway, back to work. Here's hoping for the promise of another weekend soon.

Oh, but here's one more fragment of beauty: Franklin with June, our upstairs neighbor:
Walking with June 1

Walking with June 2

Walking with June 3

08 April 2014

Bigger, Stronger,
and Ready for Some Serious Climbing

Franklin was working on some new moves at the playground the other day:
Getting Adventurous

And I know what you're thinking: man, that kid is growing up! As he told Pete the other day, he's a big kid now!

How big, you ask? Well it just so happens that we went in for his two-year Dr. visit a couple of weeks ago, and found out that he's 2' 10.45" (0.875 m) tall and weighs 26 lb 11 oz (12.105 kg).

Nice moderate pace on the growth charts and percentages:
2-Year Weight

2-Year Height

Anyway, none too soon, since we just got approved to do some more marmot monitoring this summer at Olympic National Park.

Had an amazing time when we did it a few years ago. Won't be quite as much backcountry this time, but I can't wait to help Franklin count some marmots!

27 March 2014

Under the Trees

Cherry trees at UW were at 100% last weekend, so we called up Grandma and hopped on a bus to join the huge crowds and take a look:
Cherry Trees!
Wasn't the best timing for an outing, but Franklin and I put on brave faces after Stanford (their unofficial mascot is a tree--get it?) eliminated our Jayhawks from the NCAA tournament.

And of course we put on our Jayhawk hats!

And by sheer coincidence, the Seattle Times ran a letter I wrote the other day, accompanied by this cool drawing:

I just hope they run it in the print edition. I mean, given the subject matter, don't they almost have to??

Okay, well, how about more photos with the cherry trees:
Sun and Blossoms
Tough to get a good shot in such bright sun and such a big crowd.

Also tough to get Franklin to smile sometimes:
Cherry Selfie?
But for the record that look on his face makes me smile, so...

All right reader, I have one day left of spring "break," so I'd better go finish my syllabus for next quarter!

16 March 2014

Picture Perfect

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5012
We got the proofs from Franklin's photo shoot for Nana and Papa, and it's official: he's the best.

I'll put some favorites here, but there's more (and more!) on the photographer's site. Here's a link if you want to see all 100 of them.

Things I love about these photos: the tie, the shirt, the enthusiasm. Oh, and the hiking boots :)

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_4964

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5000

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5002

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5003

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5041

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5046

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5038

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5050

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5052

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5058

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5059

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5061e

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5123

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5153

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5161

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5181

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5183

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5235

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5238

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5272

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5295

Teddi Yaeger Photography: Franklin &emdash; DSC_5315

09 March 2014

I Want to See Nana and Papa!

Wish we saw them more often, but we all had a great time visiting with Nana and Papa last weekend! Thanks for all the fun!

Part of the reason they came when they did was so that Franklin could get professional photographs done at age two, just like his cousins. Can't wait to see the display of them all that Nana sets up at their place!

Anyway, can't get a photo taken without a trim first, so, off to Tim's Barbershop!
Time for a Trim!
A few tears were shed, but they have a lot of toy cars, and the barber's awfully friendly and patient, so... not too bad, all things considered.

And here he is in most of the outfit Nana picked out for him:
Looking sharp!

We're still waiting to see the proofs from the photo shoot, but rest assured you'll see them soon too, reader!

The other excitement is that Nana and Papa have recently decided to try eating a vegan diet. The chance to show off some great local restaurants like Plum Bistro? I accept!

No photos there, but we did get this nice shot of Franklin enjoying the train-shaped pancakes at Cafe Flora:
Train Pancake
If you're wondering, he ate every bite.

So great to see Franklin with his family:
Serious Play

Serious Play 2

Oh, and here's a little bonus tidbit: As I mentioned on Facebook, when I was juggling making dinner and reading paper drafts, a voice from the other room said, "Daddy, will you please throw the football?" So, yeah, that was basically the end of my work on Sunday :)

Anyway, I'm even happier to report that the dinner I was making was homemade black beans, which we used for tacos in some delicious soft-corn tortillas, and Franklin gave me the greatest gift of all by devouring three of them!
Black Bean Tacos!
Delicious dinner with great company!

Oh, and a little message for all five of Franklin's grandparents: they're low fat, low sodium, gluten-free, and vegan, so everyone should be able to enjoy them with us next time you're around :)
Black Bean Tacos!

23 February 2014

Take Two

Birthday Cupcake
Great time celebrating Franklin the other day! Thanks to everyone for coming! And thanks to Jen and Wendy for the great photos!

He loved the cupcake. Waiting to eat it while we tried singing Happy Birthday? Not so much... :)

Great gifts too!
Opening Wendy & Roman's Gift

With the Ferry Boat

Yes this train set has 47 pieces, but at least they're all pretty solid, and at least it's under 50!
With the Train Bridge

Pretty awesome that he has favorite library books, and that he made this face when he realized that he now owns his own copy of one:
Dinosaur Dig!
Okay, due to the intricacies of national and international shipping, the gifts are still rolling in (might have to rent closet space from the neighbors!), so don't be surprised if there's more soon!