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Archive for March, 2010

It’s A Saint!

A Russian Orthodox one, of course. They are just too adorable.

Saint Ambrose of Optina was pretty holy, which seems to be important to being a Saint or something. But his holiness really went the distance. He was such a lovable, loving person that many people were seriously influenced by him (or, at least, wanted to be influenced by him). He sort of provided the basis for a pivotal character in one of the most important books ever written. He was also a Sagittarius! Anyway: Dostoevsky based the charming (if one can call saints charming) Elder Zosima of The Brothers Karamazov on Saint Ambrose.

Now, it is a fucking fact that if you’ve read The Brothers Karamazov, you swooned over Elder Zosima. He gets pages and pages of the book to just sort of ramble on about loving your neighbor. It’s so fantastic, that I’m going to copy some actual words of Saint Ambrose, as well as those of his fictional counterpart, so we can all swoon together. There are also some actual photographs of Saint Ambrose. They’re very strange and dreamy; he seems so distant, as if he’s walking in-between worlds. Plus, his beard is like a great wispy cloud that is begging for an affectionate tug.

“From kindness, people see things entirely differently.” – Saint Ambrose

“Love redeems and saves everything.” – Elder Zosima

“You must force yourself, though against your will, to do some good for your enemies and mainly, not to seek vengeance but to be careful so as not to offend them with an appearance of contempt and humiliation.” – Saint Ambrose

“What is Hell? It is the suffering for being no longer able to love.” – Elder Zosima

“Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love
every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants,
love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine
mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it
better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an
all-embracing love.” – Elder Zosima

Finally, there’s this last one, which I think might be one of the greatest sentences ever constructed:

“To live–do not grieve, do not judge anyone, do not vex anyone, and to everyone my regards.” – St. Ambrose

That is one lovable man.

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Oh man, I love you, Jezebel.

I totally printed this bracket out last night and made Boyfriend fill it out with me. There were some heart-wrenching choices though. Spice vs. Ice Cream?? Are we talking a cream cheese frosted spice cake, on a beautiful November evening? Is this some cheap ice cream cake, or are we talking the real fucking deal here?

More questions. My bracket ended up pitting blueberry against cheesecake. Now, I think cheesecake is gonna take it all down. And don’t get me wrong, cheesecake is fantastic (and it is most DEFINITELY a pie, despite the cake). But again – cheesecake in general, a win. But blueberry pie on a June evening? Or at 3 o’clock in the morning in August?? This tournament, it’s too much!

I like to make my own birthday cakes Funfetti style, so I can’t really split them up. As it is, I have Funfetti going to the finals and facing down Pumpkin, and letting Pumpkin taste (I mean take… or do I?) the day. But I hope all the other cakes and pies know this doesn’t mean I love Pumpkin best (though I might). It means there were too many tough choices, too many unanswered questions.

I have now woken up, and am extremely hungry. I want cake. And pie. In light of these tough choices, I think I’ll have both today. And more tomorrow. It’ll be a baking, pie-consuming weekend, in which I fully intend to end up with several pieces of clothing coated in a light layer of blueberry pie and spice cake, a kitchen that smells of funfetti cake, and sleep deprivation, since I will have woken up multiple times every night to devour the rest of every piece of pie and cake before anyone else can get their grubby mitts on it.

I love spring.

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