Aug 31, 2011

Posted by in Music and Art | Comments Off

Miscellany 12: A Merry Miscellany

Hieropraxis LogoThe question of how to use smiley faces with parentheses. The Mona Lisa & coffee. Malcolm Guite on the soul and music; Kevin Belmonte on the presence of God. Enjoy!

Here is a pressing question. When you use a smiley face in a parenthetical comment, does the smiley go inside or outside the closing parenthesis? Here is a flow chart to help you make this critical decision. I will add that the relevance of this question depends on whether you are writing in a mode that automatically converts the punctuation-smiley into a graphical smiley (in which case you need to add an extra parenthesis, since the smile-parenthesis is subsumed into the graphic, leaving your parenthetical comment strangely incomplete), or whether you are writing in “old-school” mode that leaves the smiley in its original sideways position (in which case, the smiley-mouth serves double duty as the closing parenthesis.) Personally, I favor the spare, slightly off-kilter aesthetic of the sideways punctuation-smiley.

File under: humor, deadpan; cross-reference to humor, geeky.

I enjoy art. I love coffee. File this under things that simply make me happy, with no discernible practical purpose whatsoever other than to be playful and fun: the Mona Lisa, recreated in cups of coffee.

And now on a more serious (but ultimately no less joyful note), two pieces by friends:

Malcolm Guite writes for the Biologos Forum on John Donne (one of my favorite poets!) and the image of the soul as being both an instrument to create music, and the music itself. It’s a short piece that brings out nuances in Donne’s poetry, but Malcolm also makes the connection to how we are called to live out what we now understand more fully: “May it be that in sharing our love of music and improvising in this world together we may all begin to make a new ‘music of compassion’ and find together ‘Love’s congruence’ in tune with that ‘new string.’” Indeed yes.

Lastly, Kevin Belmonte writes a meditative piece on the experience of God’s presence at the Northfield site of the future CS Lewis College – the same place where the great evangelist D.L. Moody was born, lived much of his life, and did so much great work in building schools and sharing the Gospel. The Northfield campus is, I think, one of the ‘thin places’ of the world – read Kevin’s piece and I think you’ll start to see why.

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