My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tea Party Protests

Bitter that your side lost? Angry that the majority of the country thinks that you're wrong? Wanna pretend that your corporate sponsored, news endorsed, political action party scripted values are grassroots and spontaneous? Then I have an event for you!

Today at your local Hooters, they will be serving beer and hot wings. I suggest that you go sit at the bar, have a drink and some wings, and try to get a grip on reality.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Frantically Doing Nothing

There is a presumption that in times of crisis any action is better than no action. It is commonly thought that this failed dichotomy is nothing more than a manifestation of our fear of failure through inactivity. If you have ever seen someone drowning, you know all too well that the natural instinct to thrash around supersedes the basic knowledge that our bodies naturally float. The same is true for many other predicaments as well. The second someone believes that their situation is in peril, fast and frantic movement of any kind is naturally preferable to simple, slow-paced logic.

This phenomenon isn’t new. In Greek Mythology there is a God of drowning named Charybdis, whose actions caused her to be turned into a sea monster and lead to phrase "between Scylla (another monster) and Charybdis.” It was the ancient version of “between a rock and a hard place” and was designed to teach not only how to stay out of harm’s way, but why we do so poorly once engulfed within it. What I contend is that our evolutionary defenses against physical danger has slowly descended deeper into our psyche and now acts to protect us from ourselves.

What we are now afraid of is the quiet moment preceding any test; we fear that beneath us is nothing but failure and that drowning in the lake of one’s being is a fate far worse than death. And if one were able to dive further, past their faults, doubts and death itself, they would encounter the horror of who they truly are.

Our intuition knows what the truth never hides and our subconscious responds in defense. We fear what is most precious; something so valuable that it must be protected at all costs. We fear that our inaction will force us to see ourselves honestly and death holds no fear of the truth. My recommendation is to let yourself drown. Let life consume you. Maybe you will float and maybe you won’t. Either way, you will have faced yourself and won.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hiking on Vacation

I love hiking and over the last several years I’ve done some hikes that I’m very proud to have completed (I’m even proud of a couple that I couldn’t finish). There is just something about heading out into nature with nothing but a day pack and a well worn pair of shoes that is thoroughly invigorating. What I don’t care for, more than anything else, is some of the other hikers.

Barring serious weather conditions or an actual emergency, when I am in the middle of a hike I do not want to stop and talk to people I pass, I never want to compare gear and I am not looking to add people to my party mid-hike. Just a nod or a “hello” as we pass is just fine. You know what, if you can fit in a sentence, “the bridge is out,” “rock slide ahead,” “lovely weather today,” without breaking stride – that’s just fine. But please, please, please don’t expect me to stop and tell you about my socks or hold me up with prolonged weatherspeak. I just don’t care.

The reason that I now feel compelled to write about this is because this last week Kela and I did some wonderful day hikes while carrying Sebastian. I did not know this beforehand, but there is something about carrying a kid around with you that people interpret as, “Hey, we could use a break. Ask us a stupid question.” While I did my best to ignore most of these people, Kela felt compelled to be polite and talk to them. Doing my best to ignore her and her new friend, I usually just kept moving and forced her to offer a hasty, “Sorry, my husband really doesn’t like to stop” before jogging to catch up. As you can imagine, I’m still making amends for my bad manners. In doing so, I would like to answer all of your questions, in the exact same fashion that I would have on the trail, so to prove to my wife that it was better that I just kept moving:

1. Thank you, we think he’s cute to. Now please get out of my way.
2. He weighs 25 pounds and we trade him off as much as we can.
3. Yes we own one of those baby-backpacks, but didn’t bring it with us to California.
4. You wore flip-flops to do a 5 mile hike that rises 1800 feet and you want to talk gear? Seriously?
5. You are very clever, you are the first person to joke about making him walk.
6. He’s one year old and I’m not wasting his time on someone as uninteresting as you.
7. There are directions every quarter mile and this is the middle of a three mile trail, if you don’t know where you are now, I’m not going to tell you.
8. No, I don’t know where on the trail you can get cell phone reception.

I hope that answers any and all of your questions.