Wednesday, November 30, 2005

World Traveling Platypus

I will be in Africa from December 12th to around January 13th. As such, the Platypus will be taking a month-long sabbatical from posting. Fortunately, the Truth is still the Truth whether the Platypus is there to say it or not. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Platypus Prays

A Prayer For Iraq

God heal you, land of Abraham,
Land of the two rivers.

God heal you, ancient heartland,
Craddle of civilization.

The God who knew your Father,
Make your many peoples one.

May He beat the swords to plowshares,
And grant your children peace.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Seasonal Platypus

Life moves in seasons.

I was reminded of this when a friend that I hadn't seen in a while asked what I was up to. What was I up to? A year ago, I was finishing my first semester in grad school, burrie under a mass of paper work and trying feverishly to keep pace. Two years ago? I was in my last semester of college and my grandparents were getting ready to fly out for my graduation. I hadn't seen them in almost five years. Now? I'm in the middle of my master's thesis and working on the final preparations for a trip to Africa this December.

Life moves in seasons.

Now is a season of furious activity. It's a time for putting a life together. Childhood is wrapped up and adulthood is working into full swing. There are career moves to be made. There are finances to be husbanded and calculated with an eye to a future life. It's a time of appartment living and bachelor parties. There are roomates and communal bills.

Life moves in seasons.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Platypus and Jack's son

So I just finished reading "Jack's Life", a biography of C.S. Lewis written by his step-son, Douglas Gresham. I highly enjoyed it, and learned a lot about a remarkable man. The book itself is rather odd. Critics can dismiss it as mere hagiography (c.f. the New Yorker's piece on C.S. Lewis). Having heard Gresham speak about it last Friday, though, I think it warrants much more attention. Douglas isn't trying to white-wash his step-dad's story, he's writing a spiritual biography of a man who changed his life. It's amazing and odd, but then again both Lewis and his stepson are rather odd. The rub of it is that there's something undeniable humbling about both men. Rarely do I encounter someone who makes so me immediately feel that I ought to sit down and shut up because I might learn something. Gresham is like that in person, and Lewis through his writing. Somehow, they're men who make you a bit humbler and a bit more human for having crossed their paths.

"Quid est veritas?"
It is before you.

Je suis sans mots. -and that's how it should be.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Comparative Platypus 2.0

Aristotle's ethics consisted of the quest for the golden mean. That is to say that virtue is an intermediate position between opposed vices. Courage is the mean between cowardice and foolhardiness.

G.K. Chesterton's ethics consisted of what might be called a golden tension. He claimed to find in orthodox Christianity a system for keeping great passions in tension. The Christian is to hate sin with unmitigated passion and yet love the sinner with equally unmitigated charity.

The question is, are these views opposed, compatible or differing statements of a similar principle? I wonder if it isn't the first, but I require more thought before I come to any conclusions. The Platypus, of course, knows the truth of the matter, but he's too busy preparing a cup of tea at the moment. Oh well. Maybe when he gets back...