August 30th, 2014

wayside cross

Return from Wilderstead

I went out to Wilderstead to do some work this week. First, I went to Lawrenceburg on Wednesday and rented a mini-excavator to dig some footers. Then I went out to the holler. It was sweltering, even at 5:00 p.m. The mini was delivered Thursday morning shortly after 9:00 a.m. I got to work digging a French drain above the excavation site, for practice, then made an attempt to dig footers. It looks like a dog's breakfast. Oy. Still, I moved a lot of dirt. I'm going to have to finish them up by hand and use forms. Ah, me. Make haste slowly.


The big double sycamore that's been leaning over the creek at more and more extreme angles for several years now has finally come down. I need to cut away the branches; there's no clearing the big logs with my little chain saw. The good news is that I may have solved the problem of putting a footbridge across the creek! On Friday, I thought I'd be productive and start in on the sawing, but my chain saw was cranky, and pulling it made my head spin. I decided I had no business working in the afternoon, even down in the relative coolth of the creekbed.


A kitty cat appeared at my open cabin door this morning. Some of the local mildlife just checking me out. It scampered off when I greeted it. A barn cat of one of the neighbors, I'm guessing. It was all grown up and looked well fed.

I'd post more pix, but my battery died soon after I got there. Boo, hoo. In other news, I got home about 2:30 today and after some rest and catching up on the 'net, took a shower and shaved. I'd lost three and a half pounds out in the holler! I'm probably dehydrated, so that won't stay off, but still. It feels good to be (relatively) svelte.

lindisfarne gospels

Tuning the spirit within

It's amazing how sharp the pitch of my guitar gets when I go a long time without tuning it to the piano. Now, when a guitar string slips out of tune, it naturally goes flat -- as heavy playing will tend to stretch it. So, you wouldn't think that you'd get that off just tuning it up in reference to the other strings. But the tendency to fiddle with it until it sounds "just right" means you keep raising the pitch of the instrument.

I hadn't tuned my guitar to the piano in several months -- not that I'd played it a lot, either. Anyway, I had to drop every string at least a whole step to match the piano's pitch. There's a lesson here. If you keep tuning the instrument to itself, it'll sound right, but get increasingly off-pitch. In the same way, if you keep tuning your beliefs or your sense of right and wrong to yourself and whatever is the consensus among people around you, you will get farther and farther off. We have to keep coming back to the Bible and the Creeds and the living tradition of the Church.

And this need to check yourself against the authoritative sources holds for clergy as well as laity, for the old as well as the young, for the teacher as well as the student. All of us, without an external source to check ourselves against, will tend to accommodate ourselves to whatever is current, is fashionable, or just prevents an argument. It sounds right to us. But it's not, it's off. "To the teaching and to the testimony!" as Isaiah said. Even though what is emerging seems righteous -- certainly it is approved by all the right people -- nevertheless, "Surely for this word they speak there is no dawn."