Depression: The Prison of Our Own Devising
I haven’t been very active here of late. Even though I’ve managed two posts over the last several days, it was nearly two months between posts before that. There’s a good reason for my lack of productivity. I thought the reason was Donald Trump, but it turns out that I’m probably just depressed. Continue reading
Two Approaches to Humility
The Hard One
Real humility is a virtuous ideal embraced by most religions and theologies. There are spiritual exercises and practices designed to engender humility in the individual seeking enlightenment and improvement. Humility is a virtue, a first step, a fundamental principle. Humility is the foundation for charity, piety, discernment, justice, and even faith. Continue reading
Wildlife: Cool? For sure. Friendly? Not necessarily.
Nature Can Be Cruel
Periodically I run into people who claim to be spiritual rather than religious. They believe in a creator, but they do not believe that creator is to be found in any organized church. In fact most of them seem to believe that any form of organized religion is the antithesis of spirituality, and that adherence to the tenets and precepts of a particular faith is one of the surest ways to remove oneself from god’s presence…or to remove god from one’s own, whichever the case might be.
Although I understand where these people are coming from, and what they mean by that, I must confess that I almost always think that they are just making excuses for their inability to embrace their own essence as beings created by the creator they say they believe in.
Usually these irreligionists point to nature as the place where they feel most at peace and most in awe of the god of their understanding. They are not comfortable in church where too many rules and too much ritual and way too many people get in the way of encountering the divine. They see these things as impediments to experiencing the true creative genius of the god they are able to accept. Continue reading
I wonder if my mother blames herself for using the last seconds of her life to shoot a skunk-eye at a hapless volunteer because he interrupted us. I also wonder if she blames me for attracting the interruption.
I’ve been interrupted so many times in my life that I’ve begun to believe that it must somehow be my fault. I don’t know if Mom shared my view on this, but she never in her life hesitated to take me to task for whatever she thought I had done wrong. It was not in her nature to allow flawed behavior to go unmentioned or uncorrected. Continue reading
Post Truth Society
We live in a post truth America. Virtually all the information we get these days is suspect in some way. This blog post is no exception. I write fiction after all, so if I ever get to the truth of something, it is usually through the side door and often by accident. At least I am honest in this regard. You won’t get that accommodation from anyone else, certainly not from your president or your legislators. Continue reading
Death: Startling, Natural, Peaceful
I’ve watched two people die in my life. The most recent was my mother. I was in the room with her the moment she died, holding her hand, trying, for once, to be a comfort to her. Continue reading
Soothe the Soul and Vex the Intellect
Oh dear! I seem to have shanked one into Lord Vader’s BMW.
I’ve spent most of my life avoiding golf. I’ve never been very sports-minded, probably because neither of my parents were. Mom thought sports were trivial, and Dad carried a pronounced and physically limiting limp, the result of being struck by anti-aircraft flak in the belly of a B-17 during World War II. My best, and perhaps only, sporting triumph was a fluke home-run during a pick-up softball game on the last day of 8th grade. As to golf, the prospect of chasing little balls around in an electric cart with a bunch of yahoos in gay-palette pants and silly shoes didn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. Continue reading
Al Capp’s iconic Stupefyin’ Jones from Lil Abner
Writing Fiction in Post-Truth America
The soul of my creativity, such as it is, has been thoroughly stupified, and not in a good way, by the election of Donald Trump to the office of president of the United States. I’m serious. I don’t know why. I haven’t accomplished a damn thing since November 9th. Every day is the same. Walk and feed the dog. Make a delicious espresso beverage. Turn on the computer. Click on the daily news feed. There is Donald Trump’s gigantic orange visage mocking everything I believe in. Fuck me!
Trump’s election is an embarrassment to the nation I love. It’s not enough that he is an idiot, an unsophisticated lout with the diplomatic sensibilities of a skinhead and the verbal skills of a learning-disabled third grader. He is a liar to boot. In fact, he is a liar of monumental proportions in a ‘post truth’ society.
I don’t know how this happened. I’ve been reading everyone else’s idea of how it happened, and I’m convinced they don’t know either. It’s certainly not Trump’s fault. He’s an idiot. It’s not Hillary Clinton’s fault. She’s too smart to be sucked into Trump’s game. I guess you could say that no one called him out on his bullshit, but a lot of people really did, and it didn’t seem to matter. Continue reading