2011 and the search for grace

Grace: (noun)
2) …
d : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
8) …
b : the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

My paternal grandmother was not an easy person to get along with. Admitting as much feels slightly mean-spirited after the fact, but the admission is equally immaterial. The person she was had no bearing on the person she became. Like a lot of folks from the same era, she became senile in her final years, and while this had some bearing on her ability to function independently, in her instance it brought about a remarkable transformation; she became the sweet, affectionate, wonderful person most people expect grandmothers to be.

Whatever our original differences were, I no longer recall them.

So my new year’s resolution is not, per se, to achieve the same transcendental state or even necessarily to aspire to such a thing, but merely to devote more time towards meditating on what would make such a thing possible.

A bit of this was managed over Christmas — this year’s was the best in quite some time. I picked up the Lego Millennium Falcon for my brother and sister-in-law; what made it so great was the fact that they were surfing the web and actually looking at legos (and the Falcon, specifically) before I even had the thing wrapped. Yes, there is a massive lego collection involved that will be supplemented by the addition of Princess Leia (allegedly the one missing Star Wars minifig in the collection at the time).

We also got the place cleaned up and got some heavy garbage (a dead refrigerator, a derelict treadmill) out of here. The place was tidy and decorated by the time the mothership returned from the Caribbean.

This was good and necessary, as morale has been low, recently, and things have been tense between myself and the rest of my family.

Of course, the real reason I’ve been so quiet and anti-social recently is that I’ve become addicted to Minecraft.

Thing is, not only is this impossible to explain for someone who is a non-gamer, it’s hard to explain to someone that is. It’s not that Mojang (the company that publishes it) has failed to receive it’s due acclaim for the effort, but let’s be honest about how often something popular and well-hyped turns out to be an overwhelming disappointment on delivery.

At any rate, I’m apt to continue neglecting this blog and every other damned thing until I have a video to post or decide that as a builder, I’m too lame to be interesting. Either way, I’m out. Peace!

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  • Comments (3)
    • jane
    • January 6th, 2011

    hiya ((((Max)))))

    glad you had a good christmas – see my blog for mine …

    Grace … interesting those meanings are in my mind connected with christian virtues and mystical beliefs about jesus …… does grace have a greek root?

    • jane
    • January 6th, 2011

    ah, just checked it out via google – “grace” is always a translation of χαρις (charis) – also that is the root of charity, obviously. the actual root of grace is the latin gratus, which had meanings such as “pleasing,” “beloved,” “agreeable” and “favorable.” The English word became part of English by way of Old French.
    Primarily (a) the word seems to denote pleasant external appearance, “gracefulness,” “loveliness”; cf. the personificaion in “the Graces.” Such a use is found in Luke 4:22, where ‘wondered at the charm of his words’ is a good translation; and similarly in Colossians 4:6. (b) Objectively, charis may denote the impression produced by “gracefulness,” as in 3 John 1:4 ‘greater gratification have I none than this’ (but many manuscripts read chara, “joy,” here). (c) As a mental attribute charis may be translated by “graciousness,” or, when directed toward a particular person or persons, by “favor.” So in Luke 2:52, “Jesus advanced … in favor with God and men.” (d) As the complement to this, charis denotes the emotion awakened in the recipient of such favor, i.e. “gratitude.” So Luke 17:9 reads literally, ‘Has he gratitude to that servant?’ In a slightly transferred sense charis designates the words or emotion in which gratitude is expressed, and so becomes “thanks” (some 10 times, Romans 6:17, etc.). (e) Concretely, charis may mean the act by which graciousness is expressed, as in 1 Corinthians 16:3, where the King James Version translates by “liberality,” and the Revised Version by “bounty.” These various meanings naturally tend to blend into each other, and in certain cases it is difficult to fix the precise meaning that the writer meant the word to convey, a confusion that is common to both New Testament and secular Greek And in secular Greek the word has a still larger variety of meanings that scarcely concern the theologian.

    • Max Bell
    • January 6th, 2011

    There, but for the grace of God, go I.

    I’ve actually associated this particular word with my grandmother’s last years for a long time, and it’s always been a maddeningly imprecise description, but it’s the closest word that’s occurred to me. In some senses, the relationship between my mother’s side of the family and my father’s has resembled the Hatfields and McCoys.

    Ironically, it was my father’s side of the family that rejected my brother and I because we weren’t religious. Honestly, I think we would have had to have been Lutheran to be completely accepted. But, of course, by the time my grandmother finally passed, there was nothing to really make amends about; she could scarcely remember who we were except family.

    The person she became bore little resemblance to the person she’d been.

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