Archive for From the Magpie's Nest

Fair Rosalind and the Candlestick

The Magpie is an inveterate listener to pod-casts and sometimes he drops a verbal shiny.  Yesterday he contributed this one, culled from a discussion of “Trust and the Banking Business.”

A mother, a strong believer in the sanctity of marriage, went to visit her son. While there she was introduced to his “flat-mate,” the lovely Rosalind. Quite simply, a flat-mate, of the most platonic variety, he assured her.

Over supper she observed the two, the knowing glances they cast, their manner of interaction. She drew her own conclusions but kept her own counsel.

Not long after her return home she received a letter from her son,

Dear Mother, I’m not saying you took it, and I’m not saying you didn’t- but after your visit to our flat, Rosalind’s prized heirloom candlestick seems to have gone missing.

She promptly wrote back,

Dear Son, I’m not saying you are sleeping with her, and I’m not saying you are not- but if Rosalind were sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the candlestick.

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Thanks, Magpie

It was never an expensive jewelry box, and doesn’t contain any of the world’s great treasures. But it dates back forty years, and what it holds is valuable to me.  When I accidentally knocked it off the dresser this morning and it broke into a half a dozen pieces I wasn’t overjoyed.  I gathered up all the segments and took them out to the Magpie in the living room, who was deep into things computer related.   Shortly afterward, he disappeared into the basement.

When I went down later to move the wash, this was what I found:

Don’t think I didn’t feel especially loved . . .  I did!

And as of late this afternoon, all is well again – complete to the contented cow on top.

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The Magpie researches Building Techniques

I’ve seen some carrying feats in Ghana but not this one.  Surely talent like this should be able to parlayed into better paying work.  Where’s a Circ Solei talent scout when you need one? Otherwise it’s both impressive and sad.

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The Magpie researches Language Learning

And here I am, struggling to get to first base with Hebrew, before jumping off into the exercise of abetting the translation of the Old Testament into a small Ghanaian language.  People ask me what I’m doing and blink uncomprehendingly when I tell them, before moving rapidly on to more relevant topics.

The Magpie sent me this video.

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Magpie Pick

The Magpie thinks I need some romantic music in my life, and also that I should know how it’s made.

He recommends Pomplamoose

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Magpie Song pick

(Same song, same singer, but with lyrics not worship video.)

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Books I have actually finished- Part two

The other book that has been occupying my time is a Magpie pick;

“Mistakes Were Made,(but not by me)  Why we Justify foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts.” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

This is a fascinating look at the psychology of self-justification, though a little un-nerving when it hits close to home.  It is wonderfully readable, and free of jargon.  If it does use a “psychological term” it also unpacks it in clear ordinary English and illustrates it with wonderful life examples.

Today I was reading in Romans, in Monsignor Knox’s translation again, when I came to the statement, “I am not ashamed of this gospel. It is an instrument of God’s power . . . It reveals God’s way of justifying us. . .”

And I thought.  Yes, we all have this drive to be just, to be a “good” person.  It has been hard-wired into us.

The problem is when we take on the burden of justifying ourselves.  Mortals were not engineered to carry Divine loads.  When we try to do God’s work for him all sorts of breakdown occurs.

I harvested a slew of good quotes and short passages from this book, for future use, and I’ve stored them on a Page called, Mistakes Were Made.

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