Thursday, January 18, 2007

It feels like Wyoming out here!

It is Windy today, I mean REALLY windy. Got wacked in the head with a branch (I'm fine) when coming home from Hebrew. I biked at one point, thought I was going to be carried away as I biked into the wind.

Deep Thought Thursdays: All you need is love

All these things we do that come from God are mere manifestations of love. Now we see them as specific things, things that so easily become self-important idols. When the great trumpet sounds and the stained glass is finally shattered, when the mirror image is made manifest and enfleshed, when the sheet music becomes a symphony, when our own dreams are washed away in the great flood of daybreak, then we will see it as it truly is, love.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday's Story:Highlands Ranch

Here is the second of Luthermatrix's newest weekly feature, Sunday's Story.

Highlands Ranch

“They looks like Yaks,” Beemer said. He had been quiet all that morning. Kevin Bram wasn’t sure if the old cowhand’s heart was in it.
“Yep,” Kevin replied, still embarrassed at the homeliness of the cattle his brother had asked him to watch, “Sure do. Or Wooly mammoths.”
“Umhum,” Beemer agreed, chasing a sleek black longhorn away from the red Highland Cattle that they had separated out from amongst Bill Bram’s herd.
They looked out of place there on the Wyoming plains. Their fuzzy, overgrown, almost comical, appearance seemed to mock the lands sparsity, the stubby clumps of buffalo grass, the treeless expanses meeting the breathless, cloudless, blue, sky.
Bill had brought two dozen of them there two summers ago from Peterhead. Six months ago he’d bought another dozen from an outfit in Minnesota. By all accounts it was a good venture. By that first summer he was in the black. When Governor Freudenthal gave his speech about Wyoming’s role in the 21st century he used Highlands Ranch as a backdrop.
“You sure you want to do this Kevin?”
Bill had always been the odd one. Kevin never forgot seeing him for the first time at the Hospital. He was tiny, a little pale alien, with a few strands of red hair atop its head. Andrew and Kevin Bram had dark brown, nearly black, hair and Molly’s was not much lighter. Apparently Bill was the spitting image of Miriam, an aunt Kevin never met.
When their father would take them out to mend fences or tool on the bailer, or birth a calf, Bill was always distant. At first, they thought it was just because he was younger. As he got older though, they realized he was just different, “Like Miriam” his mother would always say. He’d go on long walks around the property, or watch ants, or have his head in some book. In short, he was never productive. “Like Miriam.”
“Yep Beemer, I’m sure.”
It came as a surprise to no one when Bill left for Cheyenne and took courses at L-trip. What did surprise them was when he came home unannounced and offered to sell his portion of the ranch to Kevin for 3,000 dollars. Kevin talked it over with Rachel, they’d gotten engaged that Christmas. He’d have been a fool not to, Bill’s part of the inheritance was worth at least ten times that. So they got a loan and Kevin gave his brother the check.
Bill cashed his check and announced he was going to Europe. Andrew didn’t like it any, thought his son didn’t know what he was doing going there, said as much, and said it often. Molly told Bill to get her a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
Beemer went to the cab of his beat up, low riding, brown Dodge and took out a tool kit from the floorboard.
Mom got a letter from Bill once a month and a post-card of the Eiffel Tower that summer. Bill was a tour guide in Spain, a waiter in Italy. When Rachel and Kevin got married they received a bottle of Saint-Emilion and a fancy cutlery set from Belgium.
In 1990 they had their first child, Henry, and that same year they received a package postmarked from Berlin. It contained a piece of concrete from the Wall, and a picture of Bill kissing an East German woman.
Being all bunched together as they were, the red cattle were getting nervous. They stamped their feet and tried to go as they pleased. Kevin sauntered around their perimeter on Betsy, keeping them in line.
Then seven years ago Kevin got a letter from Bill about this Highland Cattle nonsense, along with pictures of the red beasts; big, snot mouthed, fur covering their eyes.
Bill just needed 3,000 Pound Sterling to get things off the ground. He’d met a man in Glasgow that wanted to unload his family’s holdings up North for next to nothing. Bill promised his brother a double return on his money. Kevin wrote back, saying that he didn’t have that much. It wasn’t true, but they did have a fourth mouth to feed, James, and it seemed prudent to save.
They didn’t hear much from Bill for a few years, though Molly got cards from Poland, Greece, Moscow, and then again from Scotland.
Beemer took out the wire cutters. He got to the fence, and stopped. He turned and looked at the cows, the shag nearly covered their eyes that looked at him for a clue as to what was happening.
“He’ll be in Denver ‘til late,” Kevin reassured him.
Then one day Andrew Bram asked his son to pick Bill up from DIA. He went, after all his father had told him to. He’d waited in Denver, looking at that damn flight schedule. The 1429 out of Heathrow arrived three hours late.
His brother returned with the clothes on his back (dark slacks, a green woolen sweater, and scuffed shoes) two large books (“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” and “The Open Society and Its Enemies”) and a briefcase (containing various contracts, deeds, and governmental forms) and nothing else. Nothing else that is save a monstrously full red beard and long unkempt red hair that hung around his face.
Kevin found out later that his father had lent Bill the 3,000 Pounds and was now a shareholder of Ambler and Bram Agriculture, a multinational involved in farming throughout the European Union. He also found out that Bill would be raising his cattle not even 15 miles away from home.
So Beemer cut the wires, quite a few of them. The two men mounted their horses and rode to the rear of the herd. They started to move them toward the holes in the fence.
They bolted like sheep, red blurs scattering everywhere. The horses were startled, Betsy threw Kevin. Some of Bill’s cattle went through the fence, but most returned to be in among the typical black Wyoming cattle.