pondering my role in a bigger story

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Sometimes, the balloon order gets lost, the word on the cake is wrong, and the candles on the altar are crooked and they make me crazy. But God shows up. Every. single. time.

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photo of the day - may 23

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

thirty years of PacMan

I was surprised for a moment yesterday when I opened Google to find they were celebrating the 30th anniversary of PacMan. Thirty years, really? And then I remembered back to my childhood and the day we got PacMan for our Atari.

Up until that point, I think we had Space Invaders and Asteroids and the standard Atari fare. We (the brothers and I) had pooled our money together and our mom had reserved a copy of PacMan for us at Sears. Living in a small town, this meant a full-blown field trip to obtain this special jewel. So, Saturday morning chores, a trip to Jackson to McDonald's (yes, that seemed special at the time) and then to Sears to purchase our beloved new game.

Back home, Brian and I commenced playing, figuring things out as we went, while William, age 7, sat down and read the instruction manual. Apparently this process served him well, as he is now a mechanical engineer. And, I am told, he was quickly able to thrash us at most video games, perhaps due to his methodical approach.

We enjoyed many hours of Atari, and never had another gaming system. The old Atari stayed around, sheltered safely in the attic. When our dad moved from Henderson to Nashville, the Atari made the move with him. We found it in a box in a closet when we were sorting things out after his funeral. None of us wanted to keep it, so we let it go with the rest of the stuff that went to the estate auction.

Several months later, I received an email from a long-time friend. She had recently obtained an old Atari and a box of games from a local on-line auction company. Going thru the box, she found some hand-written score sheets in the bottom with our names on it. The Clifford Atari. I kid you not. So now she has the Atari that she played at our house oh-so-many years ago.

I should add that this photo of William playing PacMan was taken last year at the Jacksonville Airport while we waited on Brian to arrive for his commencement ceremony for his doctorate degree. So, on Saturday, Brian got his Ph.D, and on Sunday we had to take him to the airport arcade. For PacMan.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

photo of the day - may 18

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Monday, May 17, 2010

photo of the day - may 17

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

photo of the day - may 16

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

photo of the day - may 15

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photo of the day - may 14

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

photo of the day - may 13

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

photo of the day - may 12

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

photo of the day - may 11

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Monday, May 10, 2010

photo(s) of the day - a trifecta - may 10

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

photo of the day - may 8

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Friday, May 07, 2010

photo of the day - may 7

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

photo of the day - may 6

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

photo of the day - may 5

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Monday, May 03, 2010

photo of the day - may 4

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pantocrator ink

A little over a year ago I decided that I wanted a tattoo on my upper arm of the Christ Pantocrator, one of the oldest icons of Jesus Christ. The oldest known Pantocrator image was written in the sixth century, and it survived the iconoclastic periods of 730-787 and 813-843, housed in the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai desert.

In Greek, the word Pantocrator means “ruler of all”.

While I wanted a classic image, I wanted it to have a modern twist. My friend Paul Soupiset is an amazing graphic designer and illustrator in San Antonio. I fell completely in love with his work when he did a Moleskine painting a day as a Lenten discipline a few years ago.

Back in February while I was in San Antonio for the Faith Stories retreat, I asked Paul if he would design a Pantocrator image for a tattoo for me. He graciously agreed, and I was delighted to receive an image from him a few weeks later.

My tattoo guy made a few small changes, but stayed pretty true to Paul’s original design.

Here’s a photo of the finished piece, taken right after Julian finished inking.

As you can see, the symbolism of the original images is represented here. In his left hand, Christ holds a book with a cross on it, depicting the Gospel. His right hand is raised in blessing. There is significance of the posture of his right hand – with his thumb, ring finger, and little finger bent together symbolizing the divine and human natures of Christ and his index finger and slightly bent middle finger held upright.

The letters on the top left and right are ‘IC’ and ‘XC’, which symbolize Ieosus Khristos, the Greek shortened form of Christ’s name IC XC.

Jesus’ face follows ancient traditions, with a high forehead to indicate wisdom, a small mouth closed in contemplation, and eyes that appear to peer into the soul.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the final product. Thanks, Paul!

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photo of the day - may 3

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

photo of the day - may 2

You know you are in the south when you can choose your toy rifle OR hand gun in pink.

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