Hi Friends,

            It has been a wee while since I have posted about my time in Scotland so there’s a lot of catching-up to do. As some of you know, I went back to Toronto for the Christmas Holiday and it was a time of very mixed emotions. The Toronto winter was unforgiving, bed bugs welcomed me home, and a person whom I deeply loved and respected showed me quickly how no one but God should be depended upon. It was great to see my family, my church, and close friends, whom I dearly loved and missed so much, I’m only sorry that I couldn’t have been more joyful for them. Needless to say but saying anyway, my feelings toward Toronto are very mixed. I’m not sure me and my mother have ever agreed so deeply as we do now when we say that we have no desire to live in Toronto anymore. We have great desire and deep affection for our friends and family there, don’t get us wrong, but now it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Edinburgh’s not perfect, but on many levels I feel more alive here. I don’t know whether its living independently, or something new, but my suspicion is that here I am just much less anxious, sad, and I am overall much more at peace. My thinking is clearer, my moods and emotions don’t dictate me, and I’m much more focused on Christ and not all the illusions that Toronto offered me. Hopefully my feelings toward Toronto right now are only temporary.

            But enough about my feelings toward Toronto, on to what’s been happening in Edinburgh. It has been very heavy school work-wise, which was desperately needed. Nothing I can’t handle but definitely a lot more than last semester, to such an extent that I miss (due to lack of time) my daily news readings and postings to simulate and expand my mind. BUT! I have committed to one thing and that is to write a blog post every week, and I figure by the end of this year, I might quite possibly have not only a novel, but a really interesting collection of essays. But then again, who wants to read the cultural/personal insights of a person deeply interested in theology and politics in a Christian framework? 😉

            Another exciting part of this adventure that is taking place are my performances at open mics around Edinburgh! Edinburgh doesn’t have anything like a Hip-Hop scene to speak of, but it is quite the scene for spoken word. So I take some rap verses out that I’d been working on, do’em without the music and let it hit ’em. I hope to be doing this type of thing frequently. And for those of you wondering, I have found a studio here, though it is a bit more expensive than at my big bro, Rel McCoy‘s studio. But I just can’t wait till September to continue recording this, so I hope to be doing some recording this summer. Here are the past two pieces I’ve done at these open mics, the second one will definitely be on the new album I’ve been working on,

 

 

            Now, onto putting my new cynicism with academia into context. I admit that it may be temporary, and that it may just be a phase but this semester, as I’ve delved deeper into an academic institution I’m beginning to see that while I LOVE intellectual stuff, the institution makes it a product. For most of my life I was raised in Christian Apologetic material, an upbringing which I am still very grateful for, and I thought I would want to be an apologist for the Christian faith from a variety of angles. I’d still like to think that. I devoted myself to going the full nine yards, Ph.D and all. However, while that option is still on the table, I’ve begun to realize that my gifts may be of more use in ministry contexts, whether overseas or on the streets. Academic institutions, I’m finding, at least from my particular angle and situation, want products. They are not concerned with societal change or inquiries for truth, but in making products. It’s not only that academic institutions are producing consumers and business leaders for our capitalist societies, but that they themselves are becoming businesses in a way. And, while I love scholarly and critical analysis, I have no desire to produce content to satisfy the desires of a particular elite or make interesting, but ultimately meaningless, observations. If my knowledge is not in service of love for Christ, his church, and all his children, its just illusionary pretence. Just to make clear: I have NOT taken the Ph.D option off the table, but it is definitely not my ‘be-all-and-end-all’, or at the very least it would have to be supplemented with something else.

            Finally, let me talk about my mom’s recent trip to Scotland. It was at first strange having a little piece of Toronto come to Scotland, but not too long after I remembered what it was like to have my mom around 🙂 Over here in Scotland she was full of immense joy. As my father told a friend of mine, my mom has “glow which a woman of her age shouldn’t have.” Could not have put it better. The amount of energy she had was stunning. We visited more places in one week than I had all semester. We went to the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Childhood, John Knox’s House, Calton Hill, the Meadows, the entire university campus, Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat, the underground vaults, and the National art gallery. And that was just Edinburgh!!! We also did a weekend tour where we went to Inverness, Glencoe, Lochness (didn’t see Nessie unfortunately), and many other places. Many of the beautiful pictures we took are in a gallery below, and below that is a link to a lovely Scottish folk song we listened too while on the tour. You can listen to the song as you look through the pictures to get a sense of our weekend. It was so great to have her here. We learned lots of new Scottish history, especially about the Macdonalds, who I now refer to affectionately as the badass clan. The lovely week is now over though, and I am on to working on my dissertation and many essays. My dissertation is on Revelation chapters 17-18 and the identity of the Whore of Babylon. If you want to know more about that or anything else, feel free to email me (calebdupton@gmail.com) or arrange a skype time (caleb.upton.).

Till next time, Love

Caleb

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