Dec 26, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Blessings in the New Year!!!
Hope you all had a swell Christmas. We are certainly having a relaxing time at home... and so thankful to be here.
So from one handsome chap to the next...
hugs and love
from the Nicholsons

Dec 21, 2006


After making it through my first semester at Regent i've had some time to bask in the glories of great music and writing... i thought i'd pass some of it along...

David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts
This cd has rocked my world. The title track (electric version) has been stuck in my head for days. once again, our good man David (former frontman of Pedro the Lion) has delivered the goods.

Damien Jurado - Now That I'm In Your Shadow
I'm never disappointed with a new Damien Jurado CD. I was listening to this in my headphones (which by the way, i've learned that you've never really listened to a CD until you've heard it through headphones... so much to find when you block out all other noise) and i had to put my pencil down on several occasions on account of being deeply moved by the lyrics. in typical jurado fashion he covers many darker themes (i.e. adultery, death/murder, etc...) but this album is one of the most beautifully tragic pieces of work i've heard in a long time.

Sufjan Stevens - Hark! Songs for Christmas (vol. 1-5)
This man has single-handedly redeemed Christmas music from the syrupy, Walmart branded stuff we are bombarded with at the mall. His rendition of Holy, Holy, Holy is one of the most worshipful songs i've come across... it's beautiful.

Ane Brun - A Temporary Dive
simple and beautiful folky music.

Jose Gonzalez - Veneer
again, just simple, but beautiful folk music.

Honourable Mention goes to...
Sigur Ros - Takk; The Album Leaf - Into the Blue (although i liked them so much i got burnt out on them and have had to go on a brief sabbatical from them); and an occasional dose of Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself;

if you think my taste in music looks a lot like phil's, it's because i owe credit for my musical tastes to him... and i must say that we're both indebted to Todd for any good taste in music we both may have.

Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
This is a great novel by the Vancouver writer. It's a fictional account of a Columbine-esque shooting in a Vancouver highschool. It's a powerful commentary on family tension, love, loss judgment, and hope. I've never read any of his other works, but after this one i'm sold. I just picked up his Life After God novel to read next.

Holy the Firm - Annie Dillard
One of the great things about reading Annie Dillard while on the West Coast is that you not only encounter her work on the page, but all around you. She has a way of drawing with words, and impregnating her language with deep meaning. Only she could write a chapter about a moth flying into a candle and make it so deeply profound. I'm looking forward to finishing this one...

Other Books I'm hoping to get at soon...
Life after God - Douglas Coupland
Complete Stories - Flannery O'Connor

I've been indulging on the First Season of Arrested Development. I'm hooked.
Let it also be known that i plan my week around The Office.

and finally, our plans for Christmas will come to fruition tomorrow as we board a plane and are Sarnia bound for 2 weeks.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Dec 11, 2006

Who needs toys when you have tape?

when i showed this picture to noah he couldn't stop laughing... what a fun age this is!

Dec 9, 2006

the call to bear Christ...

A Poetic Commentary on Botticelli's Cestello Annuncation
By Andrew Hudgins

The angel has already said, Be not afraid.
He's said, The power of the Most High
will darken you. Her eyes are downcast and half closed.
And there's a long pause -a pause here of forever-
as the angel crowds her. She backs away,
her left side pressed against the picture frame.

He kneels. He's come in all unearthly innocence
to tell her of glory -not knowing, not remembering
how terrible it is. And Botticelli
gives her eternity to turn, look out the doorway, where
on a far hill floats a castle, and halfway across
the river toward it juts a bridge, not completed-

and neither is the touch, angel to virgin,
both her hands held up, both elegant, one raised
as if to say stop, while the other hand, the right one,
reaches toward his; and, as it does, it parts her blue robe
and reveals the concealed red of her inner garment
to the red tiles of the floor and the red folds

of the angel's robe. But her whole body pulls away.
Only her head, already haloed, bows,
acquiescing. And though she will, she's not yet said,
Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord,
as Botticelli, in his great pity,

lets her refuse, accept, refuse, and think again.

In this picture, in the annunciation itself, and in the story of the incarnation, Mary not only represents herself, but the whole of man and his response to his call to bear the incarnate Christ into a broken world...

May our response be as humble, obedient, and honest as Mary's...

The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Dec 7, 2006

Come O Come, Bright Morning Star

A trialsome November has brought a new light to Christmas.

We have become fellow sojourners with the Magi,

Looking to the Bright Morning Star for a glimpse of hope.

Trying not to mourn what we have left behind, squinting to see a the twinkle of light that lies ahead.

Kneeling, pleading “O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.”

In chapel on Tuesday a “wise man” spoke of Jesus’ last claim of himself… calling himself Bright Morning Star. He explained that the Bright Morning Star appears in the wee hours of the night after the darkness has been the strongest. It is the first glimpse of light, the first sign of morning, and though it appears so small and distant at times, it tells us that darkness has been defeated and daylight will triumph.

O come, O come Emmanuel!!!

Dec 3, 2006

Dante's Divine Comedy...

A poet i am not, and even less so a connoisseur of Medieval literature, but I just finished reading exerpts of Dante's Divine Comedy for my Christian Thought and Culture class. While I have to admit I was drowning in the allegory for 95% of my journey with Dante, I was struck by a few lines at the end of Canto XXXIII when Dante, after journeying through Hell and Purgatory is in Heaven and sees God face to face. (I apologize in advance to all you poets, because I'm just typing it all in one big long line... i know, it's probably like nails on a chalkboard to the poetic...)

In the deep and bright essence of that exalted Light, three circles appeared to me; they had three different colors, but all of them were of the same dimension; one circle seemed reflected by the second, as rainbow is by rainbow, and the third seemed fire breathed equally by those two circles. How incomplete is speech, how weak, when set against my thought!
That circle-- which, begotten so, appeared in You as light reflected-- when my eyes had watched it with attention for some time, within itself and colored like itself, to me seemed painted with our effigy, so that my sight was set on it completely.
As the geometer intently seeks to square the circle, but he cannot reach, through thought on thought, the principle he needs, so i searched that strange sight: i wished to see the way in which our human effigy suited the circle and found place in it-- and my own wings were far too weak for that.
But then my mind was struck by light that flashed and, with this light, received what it had asked.