Four Articles and a Poem

11:46 AM

Weekly, I will post four articles that I found significant, meaningful and a poem. Our lives are enriched by seeing better. One article likely will come from the world of photography, a discipline that is about seeing. Another article will come from the world of technology, hence seeing something of the future. Another article will take up some aspect of our life together, seeing more clearly the other. Another article will be directed to faith, seeing the unseen. Finally, the weekly post will conclude with a poem, because poetry is about seeing words whose arrangement allows us to see anew.

  1. What is Code? If you are reading these words, unless someone printed this out on paper for you, it is by means of code. My typing on this ubuntu operating system has created code that is discernible to the pad, phone, laptop, or desktop where you read these words. How it does that remains a great mystery to me. We were the first family I knew to have a computer at home. It was Radio Shack's TSR-80 with 16kb memory. I learned to do some programming in BASIC. I quickly hit the limits of the memory and went on to other things. As speaking another language is an essential skill, speaking the language of code, likewise, is a great gift. Paul Ford, writing for Bloomberg BusinessWeek wrote a 38,000 word article that pulls back the veil on a world foreign to many of us.
  2. Are the Poorest of the Poor Being Lifted Out of Poverty? This short article by Martin Ravallion of Georgetown University was published by the World Economic Forum. It is absolutely worth your time.
  3. Between Darkness and Light. Steve McCurry, an American editorial photographer best known for his photograph "Afghan Girl" which originally appeared in National Geographic magazine, is an amazing photography. From his catalog of photos, every so often he will create a series of images based upon a theme accompanied by beautiful quotes. This week he offers us "Between Darkness and Light." Take a look. Let your eyes linger.
  4. Getting Ahead of the Spin on the Pope's Environmental Encyclical. The eminent correspondent of all things Catholic, John L. Allen, offers some pre-encyclical analysis. Many camps are jockeying already to dominate coverage and interpretation of the to-be-released encyclical. Allen puts those camps into context prior to the publication of Laudato Sii. To be honest, I am very excited about what Pope Francis may say, but I would urge all journalists to ask commentators how much time they took to read the encyclical before proceeding to hear their talking points.

The Journey (h/t to Kathleen Cepelka)
by Mary Oliver

Fritz Bielmeir: CC0
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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