The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life     
. . . still studying and learning how to live
 
 
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Photo ...

Just another Friday night at just another Italian restaurant in North Jersey. “A bottle of red, a bottle of white . . . ”

(Actually this is a very nice place, so let me give it a plug — Bazzarelli’s Restaurant in Moonachie, NJ)

◊   posted by Jim G @ 11:02 am       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, July 31, 2017
Photo ...

I haven’t gone hiking much lately — that’s become another casualty of old age for me. But I did get around to a short stroll not long ago up in one of the local “mini-forest” preserves nearby (Eagle Rock Park in Essex County, NJ). It certainly was nice to be surrounded by woods and sunshine once again.

Unfortunately, natural spots in urban areas are too often littered with human debris. So, the first shot shows a typical Eastern woodland scene on a typical summer morning. And despite the “typicality” of the scene, I think it’s quite easy to see the sacredness of nature in it, the preciousness of the living layer that envelops our planet. The next shot shows a soda can that someone felt they could discard at a spot like this, as though it was just another human garbage dumpster. How can people be so blind? This is hallowed ground!!

Sure, the world has much bigger problems today than litter in a park. E.g., nuclear missiles in North Korea, Donald Trump, access to health care, wage stagnation, climate change . . . where do you begin? Well, I think you begin with every individual’s mind and soul. And throwing garbage in a forest is a sign of a much deeper flaw in human character, a flaw that ultimately manifests itself as an increasingly troubled world. So start small and don’t trash the forest!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 9:37 pm       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, June 26, 2017
Photo ...

A group of nuns from the Missionaries of Charity (the order founded by Mother Teresa) are on a stroll through Newark, NJ on a sunny morning. The Missionaries have a small residence on Jay Street in Newark where they run a soup kitchen and provide other services to the poor.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 10:08 am       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Photo ...

Walkin’ on broken glass — front steps to an abandoned building, University Avenue, Newark NJ.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 2:47 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Photo ... Religion ... Spirituality ...

Although I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for many years now, and even though I disagree with the core belief of the Roman Church that

Jesus is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who became one of us to free us from sin and to bring us the fullness of God’s revelation . . . Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God’s anointed One, the Savior of the world . . .

there is still one Catholic ritual that I like to participate in. And that takes place once a year on Holy Thursday, the evening of the Thursday before Easter. To commemorate the Last Supper and the vigil of Jesus as he awaited the fatal kiss from Judas and the Temple Guards of the Sanhedrin, some of the local Catholic parishes keep their churches open late so that the faithful can sit in silence. My brother, a practicing Catholic, visits four or five local churches between 9 and 11 PM every Holy Thursday, and so I tag along.

Hey, I still believe in God (pretty much the same kind of God that Jesus believed in), but at this point in my life, sitting in silence each week with a Zen sangha works better for me. And even if I don’t worship Jesus as the Messiah and Savior, I still find him to be a hugely compelling figure who should be taken very seriously. Most of the time, I take Jesus seriously by reading and learning as much as I can about his life and times. Over the past 15 years I’ve digested a lot of books, articles and programs from the “historical Jesus” movement in academia; my “Lenten project” for this year was an audio course by The Teaching Company entitled “Jesus and His Jewish Influences” by Prof. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist with extensive field experience in Israel.

But once a year it’s nice to actually participate in a Jesus-focused ritual with others, and there’s nothing that the good Catholics that I sit in silence with on Holy Thursday do or say that I would disagree with. We would certainly disagree regarding the ultimate implications of what happened on that Passover evening of two millennia ago in Jerusalem, but we all accept  »  continue reading …

◊   posted by Jim G @ 12:15 am       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, March 20, 2017
Photo ...

We’ve had a fairly warm winter here in the northeast, and the relatively mild weather continued thru most of February. The last two weeks of February were exceptionally warm, getting over 60 degrees for 11 of 21 days thru March 9. With a lack of snow cover, the warmth seeped down thru the soil to where flower bulbs rest, and the spring flowers became convinced that it was wake-up time. The crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops and scilla got going and were beginning to sing their joyful songs of color and rebirth.

However, on March 10 the temps crashed and stayed mostly in the 20s and 30s thru the 17th. Early spring flowers can take a cold night or two, but not a 2-week return to February. So here’s what it looks like to be too far ahead of your time. This last revenge of winter will soon be gone, but unfortunately it robbed us of some of the wonderful early flowers that make surviving the horrible winters all seem worthwhile.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:21 am       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Photo ...

Looks like this hospitable vittlery is all stocked up and ready for Happy Hour!! This is actually at Taos in East Rutherford, NJ. And yea, I’m giving the place a little plug — I never had an unpleasant moment there, Happy Hour or not.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 9:47 pm       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, January 16, 2017
Photo ...

I haven’t gotten out to the woodlands for a hike in many months (old age is catching up with me). But today dawned sunny with temps bound for the upper 30s and maybe even low 40s, so I decided to finally give it a shot. I decided not to be too ambitious, given that it is wintertime and I’m not young anymore. So I picked the highland park closest to my home, which is Ramapo Mountain Park, just off I-287. Ramapo is not exactly deep in the woodlands, and by afternoon is generally loaded with people walking their dogs (versus serious hikers). But it’s still nice, and I managed to stay on my feet for two hours before getting back to the car for lunch and the drive homeward.

Here are four shots from my little “return to the woodlands” trip today. Despite the lack of color and activity, there’s something charming about the woods in winter (at least on a milder day like today).

 »  continue reading …

◊   posted by Jim G @ 10:09 pm       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Art & Entertainment ... Photo ...

Here’s a shot that I took back in the summer of 1969. It was taken with a crummy instamatic camera in a setting with not-so-good lighting, but the subject is perhaps interesting (to urbanologists anyway). It’s a shot of the Myrtle Avenue “L” train somewhere in Brooklyn (near Myrtle Avenue, no doubt; L here means “elevated”; the actual subway route for this line was the “MJ” line). I’m a boy from the Jersey suburbs, but as a kid I would sometimes make an urban venture across the Hudson River, often with my cousin Mike. On this day, Mike and I were exploring the Myrtle Avenue subway line, which the New York MTA was about to abandon. You can see why, it was kind-of old and creaky, and there were other subway lines and bus routes in that neighborhood.

Since my teen years, I have learned a little bit about fine art, and I came to appreciate the works of the “Ash Can School“, especially painter John Sloan. The Ash Can School was active and prominent in the decades leading up to World War 2, and focused on every-day urban scenes using something of an impressionist style. I thought it might be interesting to take my Myrtle Avenue L shot and run it through the Photoshop “artistic” conversions, to see what a Sloan or a Glackens might have made of the Myrtle Avenue L. Here’s what I came up with, for better or for worse:

◊   posted by Jim G @ 11:52 am       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Personal Reflections ... Photo ...

It hasn’t been a very good season for my outdoor mini-garden. Once again, the landlord had no objections to my cultivating a few square yards of land along side of the backyard parking lot; and so back in March, I once again invested in a few bags of fertilizer and black soil, got out the shovel and hoe, and prepared a seed bed. I also prepared 7 or 8 clay pots for growing herbs (basil, sage, oregano, parsley and mint). By late April, I had a variety of flower seeds planted, including my usual morning glories and moonflowers and recently adopted nasturtiums. I’ve had mixed success getting sunflowers started, but I was ready to give it another go, having bought 3 or 4 different varieties of seed. And I wanted to try something new and supposedly easy to grow, so I added 4 O’Clocks to the routine this year.

Well, the morning glories eventually took hold, although it took several tries (I would start the seeds indoors and then transplant the seedlings into the backyard). The moonflowers seemed to take pretty well, and the nasturtiums got going right away. But as to sunflowers, I just couldn’t make them work. I tried planting new seeds every few weeks from April thru early June, but it was always the same; the seedlings would poke thru and seem to thrive, then after a few weeks  »  continue reading …

◊   posted by Jim G @ 3:29 pm       Read Comment (1) / Leave a Comment
 
 
FOR MORE OF MY THOUGHTS, CHECK OUT THE SIDEBAR / ARCHIVES
To blog is human, to read someone's blog, divine
NEED TO WRITE ME? eternalstudent404 (thing above the 2) gmail (thing under the >) com

www.eternalstudent.com - THE SIDEBAR - ABOUT ME - PHOTOS - RSS FEED - Atom
 
OTHER THOUGHTFUL BLOGS:
 
Church of the Churchless
Clear Mountain Zendo, Montclair
Fr. James S. Behrens, Monastery Photoblog
Of Particular Significance, Dr. Strassler's Physics Blog
My Cousin's 'Third Generation Family'
Weather Willy, NY Metro Area Weather Analysis
Spunkykitty's new Bunny Hopscotch; an indefatigable Aspie artist and now scolar!

Powered by WordPress