My alarm woke me at 3:30 AM on a Saturday morning, which hadn’t been a regular occurrence for over ten years — not since I worked logistics at a big retail chain. I chugged some coffee/energy drink mix from a can, pulled on my hiking clothes, fed the cat, grabbed my gear, and drove to meet my friends.
My friend Trude had invited me to join her and Diane on a bird safari around Lake Apopka. Trude won it at a church auction; I had to back out when the bids rose above $200. Diane would drive and point out interesting specimens; Trude would take pictures; I, with a tremor that makes it difficult to handle a camera, would observe through binoculars.
Nature is way more interesting with knowledgeable friends and a deliberate pace.
Continue reading Outdoors
You want more details, dear reader? Well, then, read on.
Continue reading 2017 In Review
I recently re-read When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, an otherwise excellent book on pursuing Buddhist practice, when I came across a curious statement. To paraphrase, Chodron considers theism an addiction, a desire for “a babysitter” to come in and fix things.
Funny. I never thought God was going to fix anything for me.
Continue reading Why I’m a Theist
2016, besides being the most turbulent year in memory, has heralded a return to my roots. I’ve thought a lot about deep-seated issues: the reasons for what I write and why; my current profession as a web developer; whether my character is as good as I think it is. 2015 was about deconstructing my life to its essentials; 2016 is about starting to rebuild.
For various reasons, I’ve thought a lot about my interior spiritual life. A requirement of membership at my UU church is a description of your childhood beliefs, and I thought it time to try this exercise again.
Continue reading What I’ve Believed: A Personal Religious History
As an American, one shouldn’t need reminding of the civil liberties that we enjoy. Ostensibly, we as citizens read the Constitution in school, either in Civics or U.S. Government, and each amendment in the Bill of Rights is picked clean apart.
Well, no, it turns out that some people, such as one Roy Moore, still need reminding after all.
Continue reading Independence Day Rant Time!
Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Most of what I read in grade school sucked.
It was not for want of material. I was lucky to have attended good schools, with access to many books and stories of all kinds. No, my problem was what I was force-fed in class: dry and humorless, assigned by committee, designed to be as encompassing and “important” as possible. I learned quickly to look outside of school for material that entertained me.
Some of the school curriculum was good. Dickens. Shakespeare. Whitman. Others.
The rest wasn’t.
But there were some stories, some essays that were transformative and quietly profound, moving me in ways I couldn’t understand until years later. Continue reading For Love of Transcendentalism