Here are (five) more things that have captured my attention recently. This is the second installment (“E2”) of these during this first year, or season (“S1”). Let me know what you think!

1.As I’ve said before, one of the ‘funnest’ items in my Twitter feed is that of the dictionary people Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster). Here they team up with a comedian to explore the complexities of the English language – in this case what’s up with ‘one’ and ‘won’ and, well, other weirdness. Watch it here.

2.On a far more serious note, Scott Maxwell, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel wrote a very touching piece about his father’s dementia. A deeply human reflection.

My father was once president of the North Carolina Bar Association. He volunteer coached a high school swim team for nearly 30 years, winning five state championships and coaching all three of his children along the way. He was the chairman of the local homeless shelter, head of the arts council and mentor to students at Duke University School of Law.
But right now, all he wants to do is look for squirrels.
Squirrels make him happy.

3.The Christian Century recently posted a portion of Nicholas Wolterstorff’s memoir in which he reflects on the nature of grief, spawned by the death of his son. This is worth reading by those struggling with grief, those who think they someday might, or those who deal with those in grief. That is, by all of us.

Grief, I have come to think, is wanting the death or destruction of the loved one to be undone, while at the same time knowing it cannot be undone. Grief is wanting the loved one back when one knows he can’t come back. Tears and agitation are typical expressions of grief, but they are not the thing itself. My grief was wanting intensely for Eric to be alive when I knew that could not be.

4.The world of young adult fiction is varied, popular, and strangely devoid of religion. Interesting thoughts by YA author Donna Freitas,“Is Any Topic Off Limits When You Write for Teenagers? Maybe Just One.”

“The world of Y.A. is an activist one — an ideal sphere in which to interrupt the toxic religion-speak and attitudes that dominate our politics and culture at the moment, and to model the kind of spiritual longing so many young adults harbor, often secretly. Like me, they learn to be ashamed of it.”

5.Three of the above four items might be behind a paywall. I’m hoping not and I know to come across such things is frustrating in a world where we are used to so much on the internet being free.

And yet, as I type I’m drinking a cappuccino that I, not surprisingly, had to pay for. The coffee shop in which I’m drinking it makes a good one (Thank you, BrickHouse Coffee and Kitchen!) but I’m afraid were I and others not paying they would not exist.

I find that the things worth having out there are worth paying for.