It has been nearly a year since I started this blog. At the time, I had no idea if I would persevere with almost weekly postings. I am grateful to all of you who follow the blog, as well as to you occasional visitors. Thank you for the feedback and the encouraging sentiments.
First, let me wish all of you a Happy Fourth of July! I am planning to enjoy a weekend stay-cation of reading and painting (on canvas, not on my walls), and hopefully, swimming. I participated in a few painting classes last summer when I managed to finish three small paintings. However, I did not touch the paints again until last month. I am still at the stage of copying other paintings or some of my own photographs. My most successful to date are close-ups of flowers – most recently this southern magnolia.
I started a painting of a little girl wearing “fairy wings.” She is way out of proportion. Her legs are too small for her big head but I ran out of room at the bottom of the canvas! I have the right perspective, but not the right proportion. Other areas of my life might be described that way, too. I should probably stay with flowers for a while. I am a long way from 3-D models or subjects in their natural settings. I just purchased a tabletop easel so I’m getting closer to feeling like a real painter!
I am much more seriously invested in reading. Last month, I created a list (really, a pile) of books that I want to read this summer. Progress is slow, because each time I finish one book, I add two or three new ones to the pile! After reading three novels that my book club will discuss in the fall (listed on My Favorites in 2016 page), I delved into some not-beach-reading books on contemporary science developments and the implications for belief in God.
I feel as though I’m trapped in the middle of The Big Bang Theory – the TV show. Not just one episode, but the whole nine years of the series! I should have paid better attention to Sheldon’s rants on string theory! In addition to the big bang theory, I’m reading about evolution, quantum physics, cosmology, chaos theory, plus a whole lot more. I just finished Heidi Ann Russell’s Quantum Shift: Theological and Pastoral Implications of Contemporary Developments in Science (Liturgical Press, 2015). I realize now that my scientific knowledge stopped developing with college biology and chemistry. Forty years later, I don’t even recognize some of the scientific terms.
I admit that I can’t yet follow all the science descriptions, but here is what I am taking away from my reading so far:
- Evolution is not just about the past (how we got here), but also about the present and future (where we are going).
- Creation is about change, novelty, and progress; everything is in motion.
- All of creation, including human life, is interrelated and interconnected.
- Science does not prove that God exists, but if we believe in God, science can tell us a lot about the God we believe in.
- The God I believe in is a living God who continues to create.
- We continue to evolve, that is, to become the persons we are meant to be.
Changing my worldview to align with contemporary science developments may take some time, but I am excited about what I am learning. The biggest change for me is realizing that it’s not too late to learn what I missed (or didn’t pay attention to) for so many years. Now, when I read, I don’t feel guilty that I am not doing something more “constructive.” Sitting in the shade with my books is truly constructive – I am becoming more of me.