One of the most neglected spots on the Internet is this blog. It’s the first to find itself thrown carelessly into a corner. It’s practically been scrapped for useable parts. Work reports and points went to GoSpeak.org. Posterous caught our eye and captured our virtual quotes and comments thereon. News, what little I know, since I’m the posterboy for the Last One to Find Out Things, gets posted on BrotherhoodNews.com. And The Fellowship Room, the big and beautiful group blog for Forthright Press on the web, takes the chatty breath out of my mouth.
So this personal site gets the crumbs: the rare piece of poetry that manages to seep out among the prose; the journey/journal entries with long and silent gaps between them; the sermon outline or Bible thought thrown to English speakers as a sop from the Portuguese side of the brain; the jagged, raw thought that demands expression but fits nowhere else but here. Ah, forsaken namesake!
• Ron Jackson popped into Brazil this week for more meetings with his employer, Embraer. He came to our house for a snack and taught our Bible reading group last night (Wed.). He’s always a joy and encouragement. He was here last in June, I think.
• Major movements in the two houses in one of which The Snuggery is stashed away. In the front house, under the music school, was going to go some sort of snack bar/drinking bar. Happens that the owner, also father to the wife of the couple who own the music school, built these houses 50+ years ago and nowadays the city requires lots of documents that he never had to have back then. So the fire brigade had to inspect both houses, since they’re connected by a landing, or for some such reason, and the renter had problems anteing up with all the requirements. After months of hassle and money shortages, he gave up and the space is again up for rent. In the meantime the NGO below me, we of the second house, and I of said Snuggery, has document problems with their space and are planning a move.
• The Missus has commented repeatedly, and rightly, that gazillions (my word) are spent monthly in Brazil as people rent new quarters for their businesses and do complete remodels. Partly, the construction material requires frequent touching up, but it often goes beyond that. Makes one wonder if the money spent on getting in and setting up isn’t one of the reasons for the high failure rate in new businesses. Also, evidently, it’s a sign of instability that businesses, especially the smaller ones, move so frequently. Rent rules here are wicked and twisted and tangled by government, another nightmare of decent citizens and entrepreneurs.
• Used to, towns didn’t change so much. Cities I can’t speak for, since I was an adult when I entered the metropoli. But you just get the impression that the rate of physical change has accelerated exponentially. Or this impression another mere sign of aging?
• Buildings being torn down, raised up, residential areas going commercial, new neighborhoods constantly opening, new avenues snaking through the middle of town. For all the power of environmental groups — and they are powerful, now, make no mistake — man still takes seriously the mandate to dominate the earth. Great good comes of it, and, at the hands of the wicked and avaricious, great harm is also wreaked upon us.
• Let’s move from melancholic philosophizing to the mundane. I bought a book. One I’ve meant to buy since its release in 2007, by my friend Bryan Bost, a “spiritual exposition” on the gospel of Mark. Bryan writes simply, but with power and full knowledge of the text behind him. He is nothing if not practical. It was for sale in Campo Grande last week at the training school, so since it was right there, I bought it. Besides, the week before, I threw away three or more out-of-date books — non-religious, but books, nevertheless — that were taking up shelf space. So I earned the right to buy. Consider it my Christmas present to myself, if you must.