Monday, July 24, 2006

Climbing Brandon

Today is another hot one. It seems like this summer is extra warm. I'm still going back and forth on my belief in global warming, but this summer seems to prove the point. Although the Al Gore movie, just because he's in it argues for the opposition. We're getting ready for Powerfest this weekend. It's a Christian music festival about 45 minutes north of here. Jess and I bought the tickets back in January, so we've been looking forward to this for months.

Climbing Brandon by Chet Raymo was a little bit of a disappointment to me. The last book I read by Raymo, Walking Zero, felt like being in a college science class with a great, enthusiastic instructor. This book just wasn't as engaging. While Raymo does a good job with his descriptions, they tend to be a bit dry. If ever a book called out for pictures or illustrations, this is it. I'm not familiar with all of the terms for parts of mountains so when he talks about a corrie or a moraine, I'm lost as to what I should be picturing in my mind. The book is supposed to trace Irish faith with the history of Mount Brandon, and I felt that Raymo wandered from that goal a bit often as well. He says over and over that the Celts infused their brand of Christianity with their naturalistic beliefs, but he never gives any examples of it. Ultimately it seems that the book is about Raymo's own search for faith and God, and I ended up feeling a little sad for him. He decries the belief in a transcendant God who answers intercessory prayer and cites double blind studies proving that it doesn't work. But then he offers prayer himself to a immanent God who exists in all of nature and is worth of praise and thanksgiving for the beauty of creation. Raymo is missing the most important part of God: the personal relationship and joy of talking to a God you know is listening. I get the opinion that Raymo isn't done with his search, and I hope that he finds what he's looking for.

Please say a few prayers for my mom's dog Dotty. I know it sounds silly, but Dotty is really a member of the family, and she was diagnosed a few months ago with diabetes. Last night she had two seizures, and while she seems to be recovering from them, she's now blind. Mom's a wreck. Dotty's only four years old, and absolutely the sweetest dog I've ever known.

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