Monthly Archives: March 2020

Pic of the Day


Alone

Alone
by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

With so many people these days under a stay at home order, it can feel awfully lonely to some. Some of us live alone and are a bit introverted, but lets not forget those extraverts out there who need socialization. If you can reach out to someone who you know needs that extra socialization, reach out to them and let them know they are not alone.


Pic of the Day


Week Two at Home

Some of my coworkers are not doing too well working from home. They are going stir crazy, especially one in particular who is ready to go back to work today.  Extroverts are having a hard time with working from home. I’m just happy I’m still one of the employed because millions of Americans are currently unemployed because of this pandemic. The numbers just keep growing of people with both the virus and the unemployed. Working from home is not too bad for me. I am an introvert, so being at a distance from everyone is not a problem. I do occasionally miss my coworkers. I also don’t like having to document my work. Since I began at the museum, I have been self sufficient and pretty much done things at my own pace and when I wanted to do them. Because of having to document what I do, and knowing it could be used against me if this pandemic lasts a long time, I am often scrambling for things to do, or at least document. While I can say I’m working on this and that (I’m more specific in my documentation), I have to produce stuff too, which can sometimes be difficult in my job. I can write lesson plans and lectures for classes, but unless somebody wants to use them, then it’s pointless. Also, it’s hard to schedule new programs when no one really knows how long this will last.
I also want to say, that I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the government bailout including places like museums. While we are doing our best to continue to operate virtually, at the heart of what we do are people. What’s the point in having over 16,000 objects and artifacts if we can’t share them with people? We are a people business but unlike restaurants, we can’t do take out. Our best work is done in person. So please understand and remember that museums and universities need help as well as any other business.

Pic of the Day


The Wayfaring Stranger

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I’m going there to see my Father
And all my loved ones who’ve gone on
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather ’round me
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise before me
Where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep
I’m going there to see my Mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
So, I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home

Yesterday, I watched the movie 1917. It was phenomenal but also very sad. I think it’s almost impossible to have a happy World War I movie. If you did, it would be inaccurate. World War I was such an awful war. The set really bring that to life in this movie. In my opinion, the sets were very accurate. As a historian, I’d be remiss to say that there were no inaccuracies. There are a few, but I’m not here to talk about that. One of the most moving moments of the movie is when Jos Slovik sings “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.”

The song itself is an old American folk hymn about a plaintive soul on the journey through life. “I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger” speaks of man’s journeying on this earth. Yet, from what and to what does man go?

From the moment Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, man’s journey has him wanting to return. Yet, this return requires passing through the looming, dark portal of death. We journeyed through life into death.

The song’s line “I’m just going over Jordan” evokes this death. In one respect, the line refers to Joshua, that successor of Moses who led the Israelites across the dry bed of the river into the long-desired promised land. Yet, in a deeper sense, the line refers to baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Our crossing is a watery plunge, a sign of dying and rising, a baptism.We journey through death into eternal life.

As we walk toward that dark portal of death, the baptized walk with Christ. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). In Baptism, we are changed at the deepest center of our being, we continue to walk in newness and with hope. We are on the way as wayfarers.

The song continues saying, “I’m just going over home.” This is a clear allusion to heaven. As pilgrims, we journey not just to death, but we pass on to more. “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14). The deepest and truest sense of our journeying is not about designation of place. Our journeying is about fulfillment, perfection, life, and the all-consuming vision of the beloved, face of God.

Upon rising from the waters of baptism, we follow Christ, who is “the way” (John 14:6). This following requires renewal and sacrifice. St. Paul exhorts us to put off the old man and put on the new man, even calling for our minds to be renewed in Christ (Ephesians 4:22–24). To put off the old man is a command to leave behind the sin and the corruption which came from Adam and Eve. To put on the new man is to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). To be renewed in the spirit of the mind is to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Therefore, we are poor because we need all from Christ. We are wayfarers because we are journeying from death to life in Christ. We are strangers because we have died to this world and seek those things above. “For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). When our journey—that is, our perfection in the Son—is complete, we will see our Father. “No one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).


Pic of the Day


Moment of Zen: Getting Outside


Pic of the Day


Isabella’s Happy

Isabella seems very happy that I am home all day. She gets up with me each morning, and we have breakfast. Then she follows me into my home office. She’s enjoying her new supervisory role. She likes to be somewhere she can watch me. Sometimes, she’s sitting on the desk micromanaging. Other times, she watches from afar. The problem comes when she tries to do my work for me. Let’s put it this way, she’s not a good typist. She just randomly hits various keys. So for the first hour or so of work, I have to constantly move her from my laptop. Around 10 am, her workday is over. She either sleeps on the futon in my office, or she curls up in the midst of my bed. The rest of her day consists of sleeping. When it’s time for me to stop at the end of the day, she wakes up and let’s me know I am through working and that all my attention should be on her.


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Charlie Smith; Single Man, ensorcelled, unreliable narrator, ravenous reader, love child of Jane & Paul Bowles, borne by surrogate, Little Edie Beale, devoted catechumen of Her Grace, Duchess Goldblatt; now living a life of Love & Light, shining from the social-media-free exile of my own personal mirage of Tangier, the Grey Gardens in the Elba of my imagination, here, where I am, going.