Discover more from Things I Wrote Down
13 ways to look at war, Killer whales that kill and a refrigerator that will make me happy.
Three Things from the week and a poem channeling Wallace Stevens.
The leaves are almost all gone now. From the trees, that is.
They remain on my lawn.
I spent part of my Saturday afternoon raking them into large piles. If you squinted from across the street it may have looked like I grouped mounds of fire, have mastered the elements.
But clearly we're just prepping the yard for the winter months. And yes, the leaves are fiery red. It's our first winter season in our new house and we knew the big beautiful trees surrounding the property would have a big payload when we bought it in the Spring. But we couldn't have imagined the leafy bounty. (What does one do with piles and piles of fallen walnuts?)
However many leaves you've raked this weekend, I hope you're well. Thanks for spending part of your weekend with Things I Wrote Down.
Killer whales that kill.
She talks at length about it on our new episode of Mocktail Mashup this week (stay tuned, it drops Tuesday). Petra went on a glorious tangent after entering an online wormhole about Orcas in the wild and two predator whales in particular that are wreaking havoc. It's too fascinating not to share in advance of the episode.
There are salmon hats, sinking boats, liverless sharks and general marine mayhem.
Be careful if you follow the link, it will take you to places in the world of marine biology you couldn't have imagined.
This fridge will make me happy.
I've discovered that I have a Kitchen Aid-shaped hole in my heart and only this refrigerator will fill it.
As I noted above, we're in a new house (new as in we bought it, though it was built in the early 2000s. And the fridge is original). It's still got some life in it, but our eyes (and hearts) are open.
Ever since I opened the stainless steel french doors and saw the scaffold shelves and custom freeze zones, I've known it's “the one.”
I haven’t been this excited about a product since I saw my first Remarkable advertisement. You know, the world’s thinnest paper tablet? (Turns out I also have a Remarkable-shaped hole in my heart as well, and it is yet to be filled. Perhaps I should see a cardiologist).
Don’t look at the photograph and tell me you can’t imagine yourself organizing food on those shelves and filling the pull out drawers with specialty ice cream…
There's something wonderful about well-designed things. If you give extravagant Christmas gifts or want to start a go-fund-me, you have all you need to know. Until then, I’m saving my nickels.
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Pulling at the word peace.
After waxing so commercial, it only seems right to swing back with a Greek word in the New Testament, right?
I began a study this week on the word “peace” in the Bible. Specifically 1515 εἰρήνη.
The word, which appears 92 times in scripture, is one that’s on my mind. Perhaps I like a good antonym in the midst a world exhibiting the opposite. Scholars note that this definition of peace is “distinctly peculiar to Christianity.”1
It’s a loaded definition, suggesting, among other things:
exemption from rage or havoc at a national level,
a harmony that prevails between individuals,
safety, prosperity and felicity (because peace allows for things to become and remain safe and prosperous, secure from loss or attack),
the way that leads to salvation.
My kind of word. I’m specifically interested in how peace is so connected to both the gospel and to the feet. And how throughout scripture from the OT to the New, there’s a sense footfall, including it’s Hebrew brother שָׁלוֹם (Shalom).
A poem from the archive
The logic, I think being, that by imitating the greats we might learn a thing or two.
It came to mind this week as I thought about sharing a poem on a weekend where we remember servicemen and women and veterans.
Thirteen ways to look at war 1 Bomb sings, arching gently towards illegal weapon sites; good versus evil civilian blood paints beauty of war. 2 Freetown. The faint soprano of mutilated limbs, harmonizes with the baritone of burning homes – songs of war. 3 Cradled baby in mother’s arms, yellow blanket tucked tightly, squeezing death into lifeless body – casualty of war. 4 Behind Oma’s pantry door, grey eyes peak through canned pears. Tears long for clock’s chime to mean end of hiding, end of war. 5 Steel production soaring higher than national flag. Economy not at half mast. A business man’s dream. Don’t end the war! 6 Cold rain bites into parchment textured stationery; tears run over already smudged words – life interrupts war. 7 Stiff, callused fingers search for letter once again. Tattered words already committed to memory: “don’t write anymore, I love someone else.” A lover’s war. 8 Day’s old bread for cigarettes. Grandfather’s gold chain for syphilis. Sniper’s shot for not wearing a helmet – the economics of war. 9 Grey shadow hovers over sand dune here, there, gone. Mirage. If a bomb falls in a foreign country and no camera is there to report it, does it still make a war? 10 Interrogate food-starved prisoners. Bury trench troops alive while commanding officer reviews rules of war. 11 Write a poem, put 15 cents in poppy donation box, spend paycheque on popcorn at box office to watch year’s top-grossing, star-making film to remember war. 12 Dawn lifts curtain on squadron Standing at attention since dusk, consequence of civilian complaints. Yawning eyes droop with excitement of war. 13 Seasoned soldier, almost seventeen, abandons trench, belly crawls towards lone flower glowing in sunbeam. Land mine explodes. A veteran’s war.