Irish poet Seamus Heaney died today. Strangely enough, I took an Irish poetry class my last semester of college and we read a bunch of Heaney's work. It wasn't my favorite class and I can't say I've really thought much of him in the last four years, but I appreciate quality poetry. Here's a classic to remember him by.

by Seamus Heaney
Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.


cards win.

Nate, Caitlin, Lisa, Lyle (left) and me (right)
Last weekend, Nate and I roadtripped to St. Louis. We met up with Nate's sisters, parents, and brother-in-law. Saturday night we went to the Cardinals vs. Braves game. The Cardinals won. It was a super short trip but good to see everyone.

Early Sunday morning (midnight–6 a.m.), Nate shot a time-lapse from the roof of Andy's parents' condo. Check it out:

STL - City Time Lapse from Nate Jones on Vimeo.
Night to morning time lapse over St. Louis. (6 hours) Shot with a GH3 / 25mm Lumix.


last week.

Last week, two of Nate's friends—Danny and Michael—were both in town and he met up with them.

This cat—named Buddha—weighs 31 pounds. Apparently its owners fed it people food.
Now it is living at the Cat Shoppe and is on a diet. That is one fat cat!
Nate always lets me stop at the Cat Shoppe when we are in Berry Hill to pet the kittens.
We found mini-versions of Miles and Otis! And they were BFFs too.
The Immanuel Cafe. We have lights now! Still waiting for the sink to be hooked up.
Coffee is popular on Sunday mornings. Nate brewed for 2.5 hours straight—from 8 until the service started.
And there was no coffee leftover. I think people like it.

On Saturday, Nate and I went to the downtown YMCA. I've lived here for four years and haven't had a gym membership. But we both faced the reality that we have been exercising basically never. So we took a tour and got a free day, and then yesterday I signed us up. The Y downtown is really nice! There is a dark room of exercise equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, and they just show movies in there all day. How cool is that? And with our membership we can go to any of the Ys in Middle Tennessee. Plus I get a significant corporate discount. This will be very good for us, and Nate finally has a place to shoot hoops. I literally just have to walk one block to get to the Y from work. So here's to regaining some of that pre-2009 muscle.


immanuel nashville: cafe.

Sunday was Immanuel's first service at our new location: 4301 Charlotte Avenue. Tons of people worked really hard to get the building updated and ready. I haven't been over to see the kids' area, but our home—the cafe—looks awesome. Nate and I help on the hospitality team, making and serving coffee, iced coffee, tea, water …
My job was organizing our pantry. :) Nice to have this space.
We are saying NO to unnecessary junk accumulation.
People working really hard! They painted the ceiling tiles black, refinished the floor, installed counters, a sink, a coffee bar. A group of us assembled the tables and chairs.

Creating a new look

The new cafe is a big improvement from our old setup which was a self-serve coffee bar in the entryway of the church. This is a place where people can come to hang out, meet new people, and enjoy some quality coffee.

The sweet coffee bar. Lots of storage underneath.
Serving behind the bar on Sunday was neat because we met so many people. Several people from the neighborhood stopped in. Putting the coffee behind the counter and asking people what they would like to drink gave us a chance to interact with people.

The cafe setup. Love the orange bench and reclaimed wood wall.
Someone suggested we put up some local/member art like some local coffee shops do. We like the idea. The cafe is still a bit of a work in progress. For example, we don't have any lights yet! (Waiting on them to arrive.) Our sink isn't hooked up yet, and with the growing popularity of Sunday morning coffee, we are trying to figure out how to efficiently brew such great quantities.

Actually, Nate is on the task of figuring that out. He is the coffee master. (He actually is. He's done the training and wears a black apron at the 'bux instead of green.) It is an exciting time for Immanuel. An exciting time to reach out in the Sylvan Park neighborhood and see how God works through us as we strive to make the real Jesus non-ignorable in our city … and far beyond.

If you're ever in the Nashville area, come see us! Community groups start at 9am, and service starts at 10:30. Come early for coffee because we stop serving when the service starts. Coffee will be available from about 8:30–10:30 a.m.
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