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Nov 25, 2009
Real Name
Ioannis Eleutheros
About My Library
Will you make shipwreck of your honest name,
And let the world be witness of the same?
Be more advised, walk as a puritan,
And I shall think you chaste, do what you can.
Slip still, only deny it when 'tis done
--Ovid, "Seeing Thou Art Fair"
Cynthia Bourgealt. 'Chanting the Psalms: A Practical Guide with Instructional CD.' (New Seeds, 2006.) Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. 'How to Read a Book.' (Touchstone, revised edition, 1972). Jacques Barzun once concluded about 'How to Read a Book:' "These four hundred pages are packed full of high matters which no one solicitous of the future of American culture can afford to over-look." Hale Dwoskin. 'The Sedona Method.' The Sedona Press, 2003. Seamus Heaney. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. W.W. Norton and Company, 2000. Colin Campbell reviewed Heaney's translation in the Christian Science Monitor: "This newborn translation makes accessible to everyone the first supremely great poem to be written in the English language." Alexander Schmemann. 'For the Life of the World.' St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1963 (revised 1973). Per Petterson (trans. Ann Born). 'Out Stealing Horses.' Graywolf Press, 2007. Leonid Ouspensky & Vladimir Lossky (trans. G.E.H. Palmer and E. Kadloubovsky). 'The Meaning of Icons.' (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 5th printing 1999--prior copyrights 1952, 1982). Wallace Stevens. 'The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens: A Limited Edition.' (The Franklin Library, 1981). St. Ephrem the Syrian (trans. with introduction by Sebastian Brock). 'Hymns on Paradise.' (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1998.) 'William Shakespeare: The Complete Works' (General Ed. Alfred Harbage). The Viking Press, 1969 by Penguin Press.) Orhan Pamuk (trans. Maureen Freely). 'Snow.' (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.) Jim Forest. 'Making Friends of Enemies: Reflections on the Teachings of Jesus.' Crossroad, 1988. Clarence Jordan. 'Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch Gospel: Luke and Acts.' (Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2004). Jane Austen. 'Sense & Sensibility.' (Create Space, 2008.) Janice Cooke, University of New Orleans, considers this edition as providing: "Excellent introduction with a helpful bibliography. Convenient size, easy-to-read print, affordable."
About Me
"Canst thou conceive what dishonour power brings upon him that receives it, if he be imperfect, every man’s vices showing the plainer if he hath authority?"
--Boethius, Book 28, 'The Consolation of Philosophy'

Wisdom warns us to keep quiet when we have nothing good to say. Turning up the volume on this theme, Boethius cautions a rotten ruler with an unruly tongue to speak nothing more than a speechwriter scripts. Would Boethius have changed his tune if he were forced to contend with digital archives and the modern full-scale invasion of privacy?

Boethius learned to forgive occasions when loose lips sunk a few ships--speaking both of rotten rulers, such as the Roman exarch Theodoric who ordered his execution, as well as himself. "For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light" (NJB). The false self tries in vain to obscure any truth that slips out in speech or writing, but accumulated memories of egregious slips set the false self packing eventually, if we just live long enough.

I have lived long enough to stray often from wisdom's counsel. In brief, I have earned more than a few scars by disobeying this sage caveat to keep quiet and lie low. The challenge remains in life after age 50 to acknowledge the scars while also exploring limitations to sight and insight that shape my decisions. Most things in life escape my control.

Call it moral balance, but that would color it rosier than is true. Incandescent pink light may appear to soften the lines around my eyes and mouth, but when I show my face in the light of day, my 50+ age is just as plain as day. Therefore, I propose a jaundiced appraisal of my own mixed motives and equally mixed results from having failed to curb my tongue. This appraisal results from persevering in writing and praying, which together sharpen an inner eye to see my part in both good and bad things in the world. As John Donne said it much better: "Look, Lord, and see both Adams met in me."
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