Thursday, December 30, 2010

Selections From The Collection III - 2010

End of the year compilation of excerpts from my writings over the past twelve months. If any of these selections inspire you to go back and re-read the individual entries in their entirety, you can find them by Name, or Date, on the menu to the right of this posting.

224. Blowing In The Wind: 12/29/10
I saw a flag this morning. It was blowing in the wind.
It reminded me of people flapping their lips, unprovoked by anything other than their own need for validation, or maybe for their need to be reminded that they are, in fact, still alive. Flags are typically prompted by a quiet breeze, a steady wind, or some kind of storm. People, at times, talk just because they’re afraid not to, because they’re uncomfortable with silence. The sound of their own voice somehow mitigates the emptiness, minimizes the discomfort, manages and moderates the environment for them. I don’t begrudge them that. I only wish, at times, that they would choose their audience a little more carefully, and maybe their subject matter. I’m not a very good audience for incessant blather.

223. An Avenging Angel: 12/16/10
Last night I was reminded that life, however it happens,
gets inside of us, and lives there.
It becomes the blood from which we draw
the remainder of our lives.
To the degree that we can manage our own filters,
we should.
Enough of life gets on, and in, us that is completely out of our control.
But it all stays with us.

222. Life’s Re-occurring Dilemma’s: 12/10/10
It is practically built into our DNA to make determinations about whether or not someone is ‘deserving’ of our attention, charity, kindness or time. And it’s especially easy to do when we don’t actually know them. I had no conscious reason to not give the guy some gas, so I guess I may have unconsciously determined him to be unworthy of my contribution, for whatever reason.
And that’s what bothered me.
I don’t want to think that about myself.
And I don’t want to think that about him either.

221. Whatever Happened To Dennis McIntosh?: 12/9/10
For my life to be monitored, and moderated, by others is anathema to everything that my soul is really about. I monitor and moderate myself. It is an internal mechanism that we all have. For me to be measured by a culture that I do not recognize as particularly thoughtful, reflective, necessary, or fulfilling is of little importance to me. I gravitate towards nature, without prompting, and without provocation. The more unnatural our culture becomes, the less interest I have in embracing it, and the less inclined I am to seek acceptance there. In fact, I have no desire to seek acceptance there. I have a healthy degree of self-acceptance that requires little validation from external forces. To the degree I can be free of those concerns, I will be.

220. There Was A Time: 12/1/10
Many things began changing for kids with the creation of new Psychiatric Disorders to cover every nuanced human behavior. With the invent of such disorders, a drug could then be prescribed for every condition.
Not without consequence, this excess of ready-made diagnoses’, and ‘drug therapy’ has been robbing young people of the will to fight through their pain, accepting the pronouncements of ‘professionals’ instead.
Unaware of the arsenic in the comfort food.

219. Thanks Giving: 11/25/10
Giving thanks is not obligatory, but it does make life better.
I feel bad for people who don’t believe in God.
They have no one to be thankful to.

218. Seven Things I Think: 11/19/10
1. If you never question your faith you’re not worthy of it.
2. If you don’t also have faith in yourself you will probably follow someone else.
3. If you follow someone else you undermine yourself.
4. If you can’t trust your own instincts you don’t really trust yourself.
5. If you follow the lead of someone else you sabotage your own instincts.
Unless, of course, your instincts are to follow someone else. (See #2)
6. If your instincts lead you away from the core of your inner self you better develop some better instincts.
And finally. . . . . . . . .
7. If you trust a politician, any politician, you invalidate the meaning of the words ‘trust’, and ‘politician’. (Look them up).

217. A Wire In The Way: 11/11/10
There’s a telephone wire that borders the back of my property, just beyond the property line. It’s clearly visible from the deck, and from many of the windows.
A telephone pole is situated behind some trees, so it is not visible. There is beautiful lush forest continuing beyond the telephone line, displaying a variety of trees. Oak, Cedar, Madrone, Douglas Fir, and Pine. The mountains, ridges, and canyons, stretch for miles into the distance, encompassing many different elevations of topography, and lush blankets of growth. The colors are stunning, and the view is spectacular. The first snow of the year has recently settled upon the highest, and most distant, peak. It will probably be gone in a couple of days if we don’t get another storm passing through.

216. Some Rise by Wrong: 11/5/10
“Some rise by wrong, and some by virtue fall.”
Those words were written by Bruce Hornsby.
I don’t know the name of the song. Maybe you do.
I can’t get over this Lyric.
As a songwriter, I appreciate the difficulty of expressing a thought, a concept, an illumination, with the simple turn of a phrase.
“Some rise by wrong.”
These four short words point out perfectly the inequities in life.
As fallible, often shallow and insensitive people, we too often tend to view, as successful, those who have money, who have an impressive collection of possessions, and maybe a trophy wife to present as the ultimate evidence of that success.
And we are equally inclined to view the poor, the disenfranchised, the struggling, and painfully affected, who go without, as failures, as losers.

215. Trust, and Confidence: 10/30/10
I do not look for life-lessons in the living of my daily life. I do not necessarily even consciously seek to find the hidden in the, otherwise, transparent. When I watch a baseball game I really just intend to enjoy the game for the intrinsic pleasure of the game itself. But life-lessons present themselves to me wherever I am, in whatever I’m doing, and with whomever I happen to be with at the time. I can’t just turn away from those illuminations as if they were a second helping of banana cream pie. That would be foolish on my part. And, furthermore, it would be hypocritical of me to teach if I am not also willing to learn.

214. Mental Chronicles 5: 10/25/10
* Question: “What’s the difference between ‘here’ and ‘there’?
Answer: There really is no difference.
No matter where you go, or how long it takes to get there, once you arrive there you’ll have to say, “I’m here”.
Which is where you started out from in the first place.
Might as well enjoy the ride.

213. Speaking Of Profanity: 10/18/10
“God damn!”
I don’t really like using that exclamation, but
it’s the perfect marriage of the holy and the profane.
Religion, as you well know, seems to create such profound contentiousness between people. The use of religious terminology does the same. I continue to experience
radioactive fallout for something as innocuous as expressing an opinion with words that even imply a connection with religion, no matter how vague, or abstract. I find it kind of disconcerting, and disheartening, that we live in a world where people are not entitled to opinions, where people are knocked down for having one, or for the words they use, like a clay pigeon being blasted out of the sky with a shotgun.
I find it very disturbing, but hey, like it’s gonna keep me from discussing anything?

212. A Certain Lineage: 10/12/10
The forest is a good parallel for life.
There are some aspects of it that we can count on. There is a certain sameness. Generally speaking, the trees are rooted where they’ve always been, the topography is constant, and the rocks continue to lie partially buried like pimples on the surface of the earth. The trails remain in place, wearing into the ground, like a good pair of shoes, over time, conforms to your feet.
It’s what we can depend on, a few of the things that we can anticipate being there tomorrow. Tomorrow is never promised to anybody, but there’s a reasonable expectation that the landscape will be then as it is now, or at least very similar. The constancy, the reliability, the fidelity of nature, as it were, is something that gives security to us in an otherwise undependable, and unpredictable, world. It is, I think, part of the reason I’m so drawn to it.

211. Natureing: 10/6/10
I’ve coined a new word. Natureing.
There are activities associated with words that affect, and impact, our lives.
Meditating, praying, studying, working, exercising, etc. These words, and many others, engage the practitioner in the process that is known as ‘cause and effect’.
A ‘cause’ is something that makes something else happen.
An ‘effect’ is what happens as a result of the cause.
And, obviously, the ‘effect is why people participate in the cause.
I engage in ‘Natureing’ almost every day, and on many days, many times throughout the day. It is simply the process of engaging with nature. Some call it ‘communing’. I don’t really commune, that’s just not my style. But I do participate in, and with, nature. And I fully engage my sense of appreciation when I do.

210. Balance: 9/23/10
There is a natural balance in life. We see, and experience it, in nature. It is a very important aspect of life, an aspect that, if missing from our own lives, leaves us at the mercy of the emotional, psychological, and physical elements of its absence.
In one’s personal life nobody just happens upon balance, or finds it by accident. There is a process of ‘finding’ it, just as there was with my little grandson. And then there is the practice of ‘keeping’ it. Finding, and keeping. Both require some knowledge, some wisdom, and some experience. Experience produces knowledge. Knowledge, when blended with experience, generates wisdom. Wisdom enables us to measure intangibles. And it gives us the wherewithal to deal with them.

209. The Honesty Of Intention: 9/12/10
It may not really matter to you, but I want to say that I have always been someone whom others have been perfectly comfortable projecting their own ideologies on to, their own belief systems. So-called Conservatives have considered me to be either ‘one of them’, or ‘one of those liberals’, depending on what they’ve needed me to be to validate their own position.
And So-called Liberals have done the same, only in reverse on the issues. Truth is, I am neither of those. It’s not good to view people in those terms. I sometimes do, but I try not to. Like you, sometimes I get caught up in the anger, or the immediacy, of an issue, but I don’t subscribe to anybody else’s idea of what’s right, and what’s wrong. I know what’s right, and I know what’s wrong. And so do you. I don’t need an ideology to instruct me.

208. Let’s Stop Throwing Shit At The Wall: 9/7/10
People have disagreements on ‘moral’ issues. They always have. They also disagree on social issues, the need for, and manner of, addressing them, and even the necessity for solutions. People make social issues into moral issues, and they make moral issues into social issues. Maybe every moral issue is also a social issue, and every social issue a moral one, I don’t know. But perspectives do overlap, and it is seldom that part of an issue cannot be shared by both points of view. It is also seldom, however, that one position will allow room for the other. That’s a shame. We are all diminished by that disallowance.
Disagreement is no cause for alignment in totally separate camps, which end up throwing insults at one another like some incarcerated crazies might throw shit at the wall.

207. Relationships 2: 8/31/10
I know we’d all like to consider ourselves as independent of our parents, but whether we want to admit it or not, relationships are modeled by parents.
We grow up learning how to conduct relationships by watching how our parents conduct them. Children grow up to imitate, and perpetuate those behaviors. If we grow up in a healthy family, where honesty trumps deceit, where openness overrides secrecy, where courage conquers pretension, we are much better equipped to enter into adult relationships than if the opposite would have prevailed in the family.
If parents are open and honest with each other, as well as with their children, those children have a good start on having similar kinds of relationships as adults.

206. Relationships: 8/18/10
Relationships take effort, a lot of effort. They must be defined, and they must be negotiated, otherwise they tend to fold in on themselves like a parachute catching a downdraft. They can be an expansive element of one’s life, but can also become a dangerous inversion of one’s expectations. Relationships, to be successful, require that both parties play by the same set of rules. And if they don’t, it is only a matter of time before they implode.

205. The Tranquil Sky: 8/3/10
The tranquil sky, stretching wide across a lingering horizon, painted with the loving hand, and expertise, of one who knows what stimulates, and invigorates, the soul of a man such as myself. I do not suppose the Artist chose to paint it for my pleasure alone (although I’d like to think that) but for you as well. I can only hope that you are awake this morning to embrace it. The expanse that is my view from where I write creates, and enables, a similar expanse from inside me, from deep within the hidden recesses of my faith, and of my sometimes pain, extending outward now, opening my arms to the possibility of the unforeseen, the unexpected, and the mostly undeserved.

204. It’s Really Not That Important: 6/28/10
I used to think there are a lot of things in life that are important. Too many things, maybe. I used to think that it was important to determine what is important, and then to add those things to my priority list. But the list would keep growing, and there would always be something of priority waiting to be addressed. I guess it’s good to pay attention to things, but not necessarily to everything that might end up on the list. Anything, really, could find its way to the list, and then once it’s there it would become a priority, no matter how far down the list it might happen to be. After all, if it’s on the list it takes on the mantle of importance, and that makes it important whether it’s actually important or not.

203. Trails: 6/19/10
Over the past year my wife and I have spent considerable time cutting in walking trails through the forested land that we are fortunate enough to ‘own’ (as if the earth can actually be owned by someone). But the sections we worked were those that, by virtue of their natural flow, kind of designed themselves. We just had to follow their lead and do the clearing. Of course there was some decision making in the process because there were many junctures where the trail could have gone this way or that, or the other way even. Although most of the options appeared to be good, ultimately, we had to decide on the direction. When those trails were finished we could walk them, pleased with, and somewhat proud of, the outcome because it truly was a partnership with nature. Nature, in a sense, quietly guided our willing hands.

202. I Don’t Trust Happiness: 6/7/10
Unhappiness is something you can depend on. It will never leave you as long as you continue to embrace it. It will be your constant companion, through thick and thin, through brief moments of elation even. It will be waiting to comfort you as those occasional, but fleeting, feelings of happiness return you to its care. Unhappiness takes little effort, and it comes quite easily to those who seek the familiarity of its presence. It can be like a warm blanket, or an old friend. It can be shelter from the world, or from the wind. Unhappiness will follow you like a shadow, without invitation, and without argument or disagreement. It will cling to your soul like molasses.

201. Clearing Out The Clutter: 5/3/10
A man I know has recently been working around his property, clearing brush, trimming trees, cutting down the dying, the dead, and the unproductive, and opening space to provide himself with some breathing room and a better view.
I have been doing the same since becoming owner, and caretaker, of some beautiful acreage in the mountains. When property is neglected, left unattended, it becomes whatever it will become by virtue of its own untamed nature. However, in order to coexist comfortably with nature, one must be, undoubtedly, amenable to compromise. One must allow for the natural world to exist partially on its own terms, but require it to exist partially on the terms that he decides on for himself. To allow the full force of nature would prove to be overwhelming, and eventually threatening, to the sensibility and wellbeing of any individual. To succumb to the will of nature would not, could not, ever turn out for the better. But, conversely, to subjugate nature entirely to one’s own will would, ultimately, reduce a persons life to confinement in an over-controlled, finely manicured ‘natural’ prison of one’s own making. A gated community, if you will. A place where you pay other people to control the wild around you, to protect you from the natural world.

200. Number 2 Hundred: 5/18/10
I like that number. I like the way it looks, and I like the way it sounds. When I was younger, playing on different sports teams I always wanted to be Number 2. I never wanted to be ‘1’, or ‘#1’, or even ‘Number 1’. Being ‘Number 1’ would be way too much pressure. And it’s kind of a self-aggrandizing number anyway. But, actually, I wouldn’t mind being ‘Number Won’. That would be kind of cool. I like the implication of that.

Anyway, back to my point. I didn’t really want to be ‘2’, or ‘#2’ either. But I always wanted to be ‘Number 2’. I never could be. They don’t allow special numbers like that for guys like me. Maybe for LeBron James, if he wanted it, but not for me.
If I’d had to settle for ‘2’, or ‘#2’, I’d rather have been ‘two’, or ‘too’ even. Or better yet, ‘Also’. Being ‘Also’ would be awesome. ‘Also’ means ‘too’, which sounds the same as ‘two’, which actually is ‘2’.
Well, it gets complicated.

199. An Ode To Spring: 5/13/10
Here in North America Spring is rapidly approaching, there is an amorous arousal on the Continent, and with it comes the inclination, compulsion even, for humans to do what most humans do to ensure that we, as a species, continue to exist.
Friending on our Facebooks, and Tweeting on our Twitters.

198. Loving / Being Loved: 4/30/10
Loving is not necessarily always doing what somebody else would like, or even what they think might satisfy them. Sometimes it is being, for them, the voice of reason, the solid ground from which their soul can take root and grow.
Sometimes love is coming to the rescue.
And sometimes love is doing nothing at all.
In many respects it takes the love of others to enable our own ability to love. But it can also be said that loving enables ones ability to be loved.
It works both ways.
Personally, I think that when we cultivate loving, the love of others finds us.
It just finds us, usually unexpectedly,
but it finds us.

197. It’s Really More Simple Than It Seems: 4/15/10
Life is never easy, but there is a less complicated way to live, there is a general guide to live by, a means of keeping ones equilibrium in life. It is often the second choice of any given individual, but it is, ultimately, the best choice. It is a tried, true, and historically tested manner of being. It is ancient wisdom, and it is applicable in contemporary life as well. It is not complicated, and it is embraceable by all but the truly self-indulgent. It is for those wishing to live in harmony with consciousness, and for those simply wanting not to stray too far from what they know to be of value and importance. It is a principle that allows the pleasure, and the enjoyment of life, but holds at bay the temptations that call to us like sirens in an enveloping fog. It is a place where honesty trumps deception, and where kindness supercedes self-service. It is a place of self-denial by choice, rather than by imposition. It is where integrity resides, and self-importance falls away like dead skin.

196. What Are We Thinking? 4/11/10
You’ve probably been reading about the sexual abuse scandal involving U.S. swim coaches who have been molesting, groping, and secretly taping numerous young female swimmers around the country. Thirty-six coaches have been banned for life. Now I bet that really makes us feel good about ourselves! Not that they’re going to go coach somewhere else, or anything like that!!!
Question: If all the so-called ‘authorities’ are so motivated to prevent the devastation in these children’s lives, why do they not have the courage to make changes that actually work?
Answer: Oh, I don’t know, could it be that ‘harmless’ little Political Correctness (Personal Cowardice) gene I’m always talking about? Just wondering.

195. PoliTricks: 4/7/10
Don’t read this if idealism creates, and governs, your ideology. It’ll only make you mad.
Idealism used to be the social/political domain of Hollywood, thirteen year-old girls, and fifteen year-old boys. Unfortunately, it has now infected a disproportionate number of actual adults. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the pot we’ve been smoking like tobacco, or the pharmaceuticals we’ve been chewing like candy.

194. They Sense Us: 4/2/10
After receiving my Census survey, which contains questions that are none of the Governments friggin’ concern, is it any big surprise that the form is supposed to be returned to the “2010 Census Data CAPTURE Center”? What, do they want to know where to find me just in case I happen to disagree with their policies? They’ve asked for my name, and my phone number. My phone number? Why would they need to call me? Are they afraid that maybe I counted the number of persons living at my residence wrong? Or might they just want to chat? They’re not entitled to my name, or my phone number. I am entitled to anonymity. I, personally, am none of the Governments business.

193. There’s Something To Be Said: 3/23/10
It’s been said, “When you have nothing to say, it’s usually best to say nothing.” Most people, typically, do have something to say, but most people, also, will usually say nothing. Something is often better said than nothing being said because saying something can give someone else’s deafening silence some illuminating context. Are you following me? It can reveal the silence to be what it frequently is, insecurity, fear, or intimidation. The spoken also gives the silent an opportunity for its own expression, to move beyond its, otherwise, timid and invisible nature. It can give silence an opportunity to speak, or, if need be, to hunker down and embrace its own timidity. Some people can remain silent forever, and some people just need the expression of others to initiate their own. Saying nothing seemingly implies, albeit wrongly, that there is nothing to be said. That will sometimes be the case, but there is almost always something to be said.

192. Pride of the Irish: 1/17/10
They call it Saint Patricks day
but I can’t see where the man did me no good.
Who made him a saint

Is that something like
an uncle?

Just because he wore a big hat,
carried a long staff,
was white, had a beard
and drove some weird snakes
outa town
don’t mean nothin’ where I live.

Sounds to me like
he must have been a maniac
or somethin’
he’d prob’ly get arrested
if they caught him doin’ that

191. Chica, the Dog: 3/13/10
Starting out, I have to say I recognize that listening to someone talk about their own dog is not much different from listening to a parent talking about their child, or even showing slides of the family vacation. If you’re not intimately acquainted with the object of affection, or if you weren’t there, you’re probably going to be bored with hearing about it. “My little Amber is the cutest, smartest, most unique child I’ve ever known. She’s only a year old, and she can already count to three.” Never mind that little Amber is actually the only child the parent has ever really known. But, it is almost impossible to separate those sentiments from the larger reality of who little Amber, or in this case, Chica, actually is. So, if you don’t want to hear about my dog this would be a good place to stop reading.

190. The Honesty Of Anger: 3/10/10
He is not an honest man, and I do not intend to entertain his disingenuousness throughout the future. I take to heart many of those valuable historical parables so many of us were raised with, and this one in particular.
“Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
No matter how many times they might mention God, or their church.

If he were in trouble, or in need, yes, I would offer him assistance.
He is a fellow traveler on this planet, and our commission as humans is to love one another. But sometimes love requires that a situation be dealt with directly, that one not protect another’s fraudulent position. Sometimes love requires taking the more difficult stand. And yes, sometimes love requires the honesty of anger.

189. My Fathers Desk: 3/3/10
I have my fathers desk. He gave it to me when it became apparent that he would never be using it again. My dad has gotten very old. It’s an old desk too, an old school teachers desk; ironic, because my dad was never really a teacher. Didn’t have the patience for it. There is a lot of wear and tear on this desk. That’s one of the things I like about it. I also like that it was his desk. I don’t like new things very much. They lack depth and character. Old things always contain a lot of interesting assimilation. Assimilation is the process of becoming part of, or more like, something greater. This desk is greater than it was when it was made. It has a lot of living engrained in its finish, and in its wood.

188. Life Is A Three Act Play: 3/1/10
Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We tend to think of life as a one-act play, but actually, we’re born, we live, and we die. Those, I believe, are three separate acts. If we include the Beyond, there are four. We tend not to see the ‘born’ part as a segment of our life, nor do we see the ‘die’ part that way. We only see the ‘life’ part as significant to living. I see all three of these acts as separate and independent of each other, but fundamentally intertwined with one another, and equally significant as well.

187. I Have A Good Wife: 2/25/10
There’s a difference between being a good woman, and being a good wife. I have known many good women over the years who would not necessarily be very good wives. But, to be a good wife one has to first be a good woman, the two are very inter-related.
I’m not an expert on wives, or women, for that matter. But I am an expert on what applies to, and relates to, me. My wife certainly fits well within those parameters. And she is a good wife. Some women consider being described as ‘a good wife’ to be an insult. I suppose that’s because they, myopically, choose to relate to the description as the totality of what they are seen to be. But I don’t think anyone ever meant to describe their own wife as ‘only’ a good wife, and nothing else, at least not anybody you’d really care to know.

186. Avatar, The Movie: 2/22/10
I saw ‘Avatar’ yesterday. If I’m not mistaken, it took eight years to make, and cost about 250 million dollars, and sometime before I even get this blog posted, it will break the all-time record for dollars earned, breaking the record set by ‘Titanic’, which was also made by James Cameron. It’s been reported that many people leave the movie feeling dizzy, disoriented, and depressed. Although I understand why so many leave depressed, I just left angry. The movie’s feelings-based politics, and social ideology, were insulting to anybody with the courage to subjugate their feelings to the reality, and truth, of historical context.

185. I Wish Him All The Best: 2/19/10
I just finished watching the Tiger apology on TV.
I’m sure many of you saw it as well.
I have been critical of Tiger Woods. He has been a man that I have never respected because of his Diva, arrogant, egocentric behavior on the golf course. I have respected his dedication, and the hard work he devoted to his craft, but I never respected him as a person, or as a man.
Until Now.

184. Mental Chronicles 4: 2/18/10
As some of you know, I like to watch the auditions of American Idol. I stop watching when the competition gets to Hollywood and everybody starts pretending that they totally support their competition.
But I remember one young American Idol wannabe’s audition, who, before her song, stated that she thinks she ‘deserves to be’ the next American Idol because if she were chosen she thinks she’d make ‘a good role model’. She went on to say, “You know, I’d recycle, and I’d care about the people in Africa, and stuff like that.”
Huh! I was under the impression that I was watching American Idol,
not the Miss America pageant.

183. Thought Casserole: 2/13/10
I’ve probably never had an original thought.
But, most likely, I think of different things than you do.
And that makes my thoughts worth expressing. The same is true of yours.
You think of different things than me.

182. Internal Congestion: 2/10/10
Writing takes me out of myself. Out of my internal congestion, you might say.
Now, those of you who know me would probably agree that it’s a good thing for me to get out of myself. I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘into’ myself, per-se, it’s just that I do live ‘within’ myself. That would be a very comfortable place for some people to live, but not necessarily for me. Kind of scary in there sometimes, kind of confusing at other times. I might even say ‘exasperating’. But, nevertheless, writing takes me out of myself.
And that’s all I’m going to say about me.

181. Love: 1/26/08
I was watching a movie the other night. I would not call it a particularly good movie, in fact, I won’t even bother to mention the title because it is not really the point of these thoughts. However, there was a line in the film that got me thinking. I know, you’re probably wondering, “OK, what’s he thinking about now?” But here’s the deal. One of the characters was saying that he had heard from several Hospice workers he knew that, when on their deathbed, the two questions the dying seemed to ask themselves were, 1) “Have I ever loved anybody?” And 2) “Has anybody ever loved me?”
Interesting questions.
Interesting because they are the kind of questions that, I think, we would seem to take for granted. “Of course I’ve loved somebody, and of course somebody has loved me.” Seems like a no-brainer, the kinds of questions one could answer without really even having to think about it. But are they really?
If love is so prevalent, and so common in an individual, why is it that one of the two deathbed questions just happens to be “Have I ever loved anybody?”

180. Only For Today: 1/21/10
Snow covers the ground today like hope clothes the faith of pilgrims. Icicles hang low from eaves left frozen overnight. My warm breath rises in the morning chill like prayer seeking the mind of God, or His ear, to be more exact. Trees droop heavy with the weight of change, the sky having quietly dumped its own burden when it became too much for its weakening arms to hold. Some of that load now left clinging to Pine branches high above the ground, wishing, like the sky, for a little relief of their own.

179. Such Unimaginable Happenstance: 1/14/10
Pray for the people of Haiti, particularly for the children who lost their parents,
and the parents who lost their children.
And while you’re at it, give some thought to the misdirected importance we give the privileged in our own county. Tell me that, in Gods eyes, there is not a broken, wounded, misplaced, or suffering child in Haiti that is not equally, or more, important than the spoiled royalty we serve with our money and adoration. Tell me that Michael Jackson’s life, or Anna Nicole Smith’s, or Farrah Faucet’s, for that matter, was of greater importance than was the baby of a poverty stricken mother whose shantytown shack has fallen down in shambles around her, her child lost to the rubble of such unimaginable happenstance.

178. Dirty Little Secret: 1/13/10
I don’t normally write about my business dealings, or personal health issues, except maybe to illuminate a particular behavior, or to demonstrate some aspect or another of human nature. But I feel rather compelled to let you in on a situation I encountered yesterday in the course of attending to an illness I’ve been struggling with for the past two weeks. I’ve been laying low with a bronchial infection, which began as a mild cold, progressed to a persistent cough, and ultimately, became the bronchial infection that I ended up seeking treatment for. It’s a serious, but not life threatening condition, unless left untreated, in which case it could develop into pneumonia. I should have obtained a prescription of antibiotics earlier, but like many men do, I put it off until it became very apparent that I better do something about it.

177. Parking Meters: 1/10/10
I’ve been thinking about Parking Meters.
Don’t ask me why. I just think about what presents itself.
So, let me see if I have this right. In the City, the taxpayers pay for the construction of the streets, their maintenance and repair. They pay for the installation and maintenance of the parking meters. They pay the salaries of the parking police who are employed to catch them parked with expired meters. They pay to park there, then they pay the expired meter fines (taxes) that can range up to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the location and time of day.

176. The Hole We’ve Been Digging For Ourselves: 1/8/10
The hole we’ve been digging for ourselves is the hole we’ll eventually bury ourselves in.
Our society has gradually become so dismissive of the dishonest, inappropriate and reckless actions of one another that we find ourselves slowly burying ourselves alive in our own behaviors. If it seems to you that things have gotten too far out of control, it’s only because things have gotten too far out of control. By ‘out of control’, I’m not speaking of being independent of the control of others; I’m referring to the alarming loss of self-control so evident in the lives, manners, and actions of so many, including our supposed leaders and ‘role models’. The younger generation is mimicking the behavior of the older generation who in turn are mimicking the behavior of the younger generation.

175. My Continuing New Years Revolutions, 2010: 1/1/10
This is a personal inventory of the New Years Revolutions I made for 2009.
I’ve graded myself to see where I stand. To my way of thinking, there’s no reason to make new revolutions as long as I can keep making excuses for not keeping
the ones that I’ve already made.