11. April 2007 09:26
Well, I'm still here, just had most of my free time and thought dedicated to wedding planning. It's less than a month now. I decided to pick up my Thomas Merton book again to read on the way to work in the morning because I felt like I needed something more contemplative and mystical to think about in the mornng, just to clear my head. Life has been quite stressful. I was struck this morning by the following quote from "Mysticism in the Nuclear Age" that represents very well my thoughts of late:
The world we live in is dry ground for the seed of God's Truth. A modern American city is not altogether a propitious place in which to try to love God. You cannot love Him unless you know Him. And you cannot come to know Him unless you have a little time and a little peace in which to pray and think about Him and study His truth. Time and peace are not easily come by in this civilization of ours. And so those who profess to serve God are often forced to get along without either and to sacrifice their hopes of an interior life. But how far can one go in this sacrifice before it ceases to be a sacrifice and becomes a prevarication? The truth is, we are simple not permitted to devote ourselves to God without at the same time leading an interior life.
Wow, that is so on the money. Yesterday Kristin and I had the privilege of making beer at Rock Bottom with Pete and Brian (the two brewers). We are going to serve this beer at our reception and it will also be on tap at Rock Bottom in a few weeks. In exchange for day of helping out, we get a copy small kegs of beer. Sounds like a win-win and we have been very excited about it. Throughout the day I was struck by how different this process is than my daily routine of computer programming. There is something much more fulfilling for me in getting my hands dirty and doing physical labor in the process of making something. I know if it did it every day I would probably grow weary of this as well, but at least at the end of the day you feel like you've actually done something. Beer-making is a very visceral experience, full of timing and then waiting, the heat of the Mash-Tun vs the cool of the fermentation vat and all the smells and tastes. It is also somewhat mystical how water and roasted malt combined with some simple ingredients and yeast turns into something so wonderful. We worked through the whole process: milling the grain; stirring the wort; adding hops, pitching the yeast and checking measurements, among other things. We also cleaned a lot and shoveled out the spent mash, taking a bit home as a treat for our worms who are composting in my back room. It was an absolutely wonderful experience, made all the better by the company of Pete and Brian who never tired of answering questions and showed a lot of patience in letting us "help". We can't wait to taste it, but we already had a memorable time in the process of making the beer and it is certainly an experience we will treasure.