Saturday, July 31, 2004

Accidental Grace

Now, here is the scope, there are times when I mainly focus on the good of things. It is meant as an encouragement and I do very much enjoy blessing people through encouraging them. When does a person go from that nice kind of encouragement to lying through their teeth. Or what if the meaningful part of an evening has nothing to do with what you are telling people was such a blessing.

[from Mark's Blog]

Friday, July 30, 2004

Freeing Press

[noticed at Lake Neuron Bait Shop]

The journalism trade magazines are littered with stories of newspaper reporters whose blogs got them into trouble. In some cases, reporters have used their private forum to complain about stories that were spiked or heavily edited. In others, perhaps, the reporter betrayed a personal opinion in a way that cast the newspaper's objectivity in a bad light.

For those reasons, I've maintained a policy of not blogging about work in this space.{more here}

Violent stifling...

[noticed at Ruthless Precision in this post]

What label would you wear if you had the choice? Not conservative or liberal for me, thank you. Just describe me as one who hates violence, and especially unnecessary violence.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

(im)Mortal Failure

Daniel Pi proposed an argument [full thread] against God's existence. Briefly paraphrased:

Suppose God is necessarily both immortal(unlimited life) and omnipotent(unlimited power).

[A]Could God commit suicide?

[i]If so, then God is not immortal. [ii]If not, then God is not omnipotent.

Therefore, God (as defined) does not exist. Now, that sounds airtight...until you think, "Are mortals omnipotent?" (Not that I know...) After all, if an inability to die disproves omnipotence, then an ability to die proves it, right?

More specifically, Could mortals commit suicide, and if so, does that entail omnipotence?

To take the first part, Could mortals commit suicide?:

Yes. Why? Because mortals are able to die, it is definitely possible, and unless mortals had no power whatsoever, they can not avoid death by themselves. (Observation shows that some mortals do commit suicide.) Therefore, mortals could commit suicide.

So does that entail omnipotence? No. Mortals are already limited by the fact that they can die. Moreover, though suicide is a special case of death, it does not require a special amount of power. (It just requires some power.)

Therefore, if mortality does not entail omnipotence, then immortality must entail it. What does this say about the original question [A]? It means that [A] [ii] is incorrect. If God could not commit suicide, it is at least possible for God to be omnipotent.

[Note: this does not prove God's existence, but only that this particular argument does not disprove it.]


He Says, She Says

Oh, friend, let me tell you
of someone new I’ve met.
She’s interesting, not from here,
and cute, of course, but inteligent too.
She’s not like us, dusky and mysterious really,
rather exciting I think.

I find myself driven to distraction by you-
Your lower case "i" can't make anything
But my affection for you big.

I find myself driven to distraction by you-
The sheer warmth of your smile draws me.
Testing the waters, looking into your eyes,
I begin to want to trust.

[top from Smile at Me, bottom from Been There...Still There]

Monday, July 26, 2004

As Another Birthday Year Starts

"Time and the Art of Living" is a philosophical essay about the relationship between two facts: that we each "strut and fret upon the stage" for a terrifyingly short slice of objective time, and that subjective time, our experience of temporality, is deeply informed by our chosen activities and our character. ---Richard Farr, reviewing Time and the Art of Living for

My birthday was yesterday. Thanks to Trevor Close for popping by in the afternoon, and...

A special thanks goes to Liz McTaggart (of Schloss Mittersill) for her time and generosity. (It was humbly appreciated. I wish I wasn't so fatigued, though.)


[as my gift to you since my birthday was yesterday, allow yourselves to post comments and links below about celebrations, gifts, and creativity. This will be open-ended, so don't feel pressured to respond quickly.]

Saturday, July 24, 2004

See y'all on Monday...

[Taking a birthday is tomorrow. I'll be 32.]

Thursday, July 22, 2004

[from mental emetic]

When's the last time you had a good, intellectual argument with someone about politics? I have great arguments with some of my co-workers all the time, where we forcefully present opinions, take dissenting views with consideration or at least tolerance, and display respect for each others' views with good humor and moderation. Of course, we're talking about Baseball, but at least this shows that we have the ability to argue constructively. I'm as much to blame as anyone -- I won't discuss politics at work. I have had intelligent, thoughtful friends tell me without batting an eye that George W. Bush is evil, that Socialism is evil, that Wal-Mart is evil, that Hillary Clinton is evil, and that the U.N. is evil (these are all different friends, in case you were wondering). To say that this sort of rhetoric is not helpful is to miss the point. It is a word that should not be thrown around precisely because it cuts off debate, or at best reduces it to a first-grade level (no insult intended, first-graders!) Evil does exist, in my opinion, but true evil is not nearly as obvious or clear-cut an occurance as many people's words would indicate; I believe there is a murky gray veil of motives and justifications surrounding much of human history.

"“Good art doesn’t mean being profound. It means creating what all men feel, but what only an artist can express.”--noted on Jace K. Seavers

[I have a quote by Jace Seavers (the author, I believe) here, Friday Apr. 16/2004) ]

"Life is neither the candle nor the flame, but the burning."Noticed at The Cathy J Weblog in this post

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Co-dependency: Making others greedy and calling yourself generous.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Standing in the Gap

[noticed at ...seeking serenity]

How it took months, years on foot to explore and find a lake 100 years ago, and now every inch of the world is mapped by satellite (nowhere to hide).

How millions are dying for want of food, and yet just down the road there's a drive to supply soldiers with airconditioners.

How rare a real handwritten letter is (has it been years since I received one?), and how prolific spam emails are.

How the heart can love and hate in the same beat. How it was created with the freedom to choose to do so.

---from this post

At Length...

Everything that seems neutral is only such because of distance.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

When some are larger than life, death is just a penalty.

Friday, July 16, 2004

[posted on Just Etchings]
"Self - doubt is that part of the soul that is able to taste the bitter in life as well as the sweet. It is open to the side of life that a sunny disposition must ignore in order to carry on smiling. It is less interested in pretence and more aware of the suffering entailed in daily living. It is realistic about the balance of suffering and happiness, but because of this realism is willing to be thankful for whatever genuine happiness is possible. It celebrates the melancholy nature of aloneness,
but because of its refusal to shirk aloneness knows the worth of real relationship."

---from The Heart Aroused : Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte

[noticed at emerging sideways]

I want to unfold. I don't want to stay folded anywhere, because where I stay folded, there I am a lie." -Rilke

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Us vs. Them

[noticed at Ruthless Precision]

Albert Camus began his famous 1942 essay (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) with this statement: “There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.” ...

Camus’ suicide question deals with ultimate purpose and also faces us each day, but only as an underlying nuisance if we see no purpose to life. Most of us find purpose in life either in God or in a direct awareness of purposefulness, even if we deny His existence. But the torture question does not deal with something we know directly and it is not an easy question to dismiss via something like belief in God. For it deals with something much more uncertain: my own development of virtue. It asks essentially, “Have I developed enough virtue to not allow each day of my life to be reduced to wishing ill on others?
-- from this post

The Truth Isn't Out There

Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West by John Ralston Saul, p. 299:
Truth today is not so much fact as fact retained....

Our obsession with secrecy and plots is therefore not aimed at opening the curtains in order to let in light. Rather we are wallowing in the dream that our personal limited powers of retention belong in the same category as those which occupy the front pages of the press....

We do not follow the trial of mystery in search of the truth, but in search of the confirmation that mystery exists. These imaginary secrets are titillating because all of us are bearers of fact and therefore control secrets.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


[noticed at Just Etchings... in this post]

The lie repeated over and over to the heart is that a mistake takes you out of the game. That is the old. The true is that our best is still there. It will always need refining and it will grow deeper and taken on greater quests. If we believe the true of ourselves won't we also see the true in others more quickly?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Our Attics

It must be a terrible thing to be haunted by the ghost of one’s past. Who would want to have their past indiscretions dragged up in public. Who would wish to see the ramifications of all of their past mistakes layed out before their eyes. It is a terrible thing to see how one’s life may have had success, joy and contentment had things gone differently… to know the regret of a life squandered.

The sad fact is that few of us need a visit by a spirit to reount our past failings. We are masters at remembering our shortcomings. It is not necessary for most of us that someone points out our faults, we are keenly aware of our failings, often keeping a mental list, exhaustive in it’s scope and subjectivity. We replay the past, again and again. We see it projected on the screen of our minds. We live with regrets. I have many…
---by Scott Williams in this post

Saturday, July 10, 2004

"We have to work at being poor harder than we have to work at accumulating things."
---Rev. Larry Rice (from Here's Help Network), in a Door Magazine interview with John Carney

Friday, July 09, 2004

The secret to moving on is having nothing to hide.

The Thawing Heart

[seen at]

What on Earth is going on in my heart?
as it turns cold to stone...

Seems these days I don't feel anything
Unless it cuts me right down to the bone.

What on earth is going on in my heart?

Cause my oh my you know it just don't stop
Cause in my mind I wanna tear it up
I'm trying to fight trying to turn it off
But it's not enough

It takes a lot of love
It takes a lot of love, my friend
to keep your heart from freezing
to push on til the end.

My oh my!

[lyrics from My Oh My! by David Grey]

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Welcome to the Jungle

Its just like us humans to try for the quick fix. Delete the unhappiness and life will be all sunshiney again - a freshly squeeged brain! But what about all the hard, good things we learn from the pain? If we get rid of the memory do we loose the lessons as well? If we did that often enough, what would be left of us? Are some things just meant to happen, no matter how many times you try to delete them?
--from The Cathy J Weblog in this post

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


[from looking back...looking forward]

Let me tell you a story.

Its about a guy. Names... well, in this case, names don't matter.

This guy had a question. An important question. A vital question. One of those kinds of questions that acts as a complete roadblock in one's life.

You might say he was stuck. He couldn't go back. He couldn't go forward.

He needed an answer.

So he sat and thought. He thought and thought and thought. In his thinking and thinking and thinking he came up with...
absolutely nothing.

He decided that if he were going to go on with his life, he needed to find an answer for this all-encompassing question.

In a flash, he realized - he had a quest.
(That's not quite right.)

He had A Quest.

He had A Quest!
(That's it!)


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

[noticed at The Invisible Sun from

Monday, July 05, 2004

Who's Really Burnt?

[from The Heresy]

There are many who live insulated by right wing politics and ideology. When someone like Moore offers an effective challenge people usually respond in one of two ways. Reject the message because Moore is perceived as a Bush hating, biased, and dishonest left wing nut. The other is to see what Moore presents as the light of salvation illuminating the path out of ignorance to freedom. The problem is that neither reaction serves people well. Just because someone is biased that doesn't mean they are wrong. Just because Moore exposes the lies and inconsistencies of the current US Administration that doesn't mean everything he says is the truth.
-- from this post

Displacement II

Sometimes we need what can’t be bought,
What cannot be stolen,
But which must be received as a gift.
And the benefactor is as blessed as the beneficiary.

---from Smile At Me


[from this post at]

Say you want a particular thing and so you go out to get it. Well, you then find that before you can get that thing you want you have to get two other things. And so, you go after those two things, only to find out that to get those two things, you have to get four additional things. And the pursuit of the thing your really want continues to grow so that the more you try to get some thing, the distance between you and that thing grows. Yes, that distance was always there, it's just not apparent until you begin pursuing it.

Frustration sets in and you wonder if getting that thing is really worth all the effort.

Another issue is that, once you've done everything necessary to get the thing you want, either the thing has changed into something you don't want, or the requirements for obtaining the thing change on you.

Regardless of all I have, I lack so much more. And, the more I have, the more things I see I need.

NOTJesus: An Interview Across Time

The Door Magazine

The Door Magazine

Friday, July 02, 2004

[noticed at In The Tent: The Tie That Binds]

When I've been asked to share my story in the past, my first thought was always, "which part?" In my mind, there have been three distinct chapters and each have been very different.


I don't undermine any one of those experiences, but each one has been very separate in my mind. Compartmentalized. Something unto itself. But recently I have had a nagging feeling deep within me, that there is more. There is a connection. There is a thread that is common, and weaves it all together into one story. Not random chapters, but a book.
--from this post

Another Chapter

(excerpt from A-byss' from here)

My life
Is not how
I planned it to be.
Is not how
I want it to be.
Is not how
I pray for it
To be.
In the darkness
Of this pit,
I see a small
Light of hope.
Is it possible for me
To climb to such heights?
To rebuild the bridges?
To find my salvation?

---at i am unfinished

Since I moved yesterday/today

I need transplanting. But it would take a thick pair of garden gloves and a large tweezers to get me out of where I am. Once out, I may have a struggle to adjust to the new, bright light.

But I need it. Time on this planet is short, and I don't want to end up in the burning pile of weeds when the harvest is sorted.
---from ...seeking serenity

Accident. Adventure. Sometimes it's hard to figure out either.