December 19th, 2017
|06:58 pm - The Magic Doorway|
The Magic Doorway
George told the carpenter he would be paid his weight in gold if he could build a wall to wall built-in bookcase in his study that included a secret door that opened into a magical world that would give him the knowledge to comprehend the spiritual, philosophical and psychological nature of life. After the carpenter promised him he could do the job he worked through the weekend while George was out of town. When George returned home late Sunday night he rushed into to study to discover that instead of an empty bookcase with a magical door the carpenter had built him a standard wall to wall bookcase and filled it from floor to ceiling with classic and contemporary literature, poetry and volumes on world history, spiritual writings, philosophy and psychology.
The carpenter had vanished without trace except a short note he had hand written on a sheet of typewriter paper and taped to the top of one of the shelves. It read:
‘True knowledge is earned and there are seldom shortcuts in life,
so I’ve provided you with a basic starter kit. And remember that
the pursuit of knowledge is a journey that lasts a lifetime. Lastly,
the only payment I ask in return is that you offer to pass along
what you have learned to others who are receptive and are seeking
their own answers.’
After contemplating the note and weighing the probabilities and possibilities of his reactions to the note George finally selected a book about symbolism written by Carl Jung, turned on the lamp sitting on the table placed next to a high-backed, overstuffed reading chair he had bought for his study, originally purchased as an office decoration, then eased himself into the chair and started reading.
November 27th, 2017
|12:06 am - Amounting To Anything|
AMOUNTING TO ANYTHING
With the exception of those wanting to go to the restroom on occasion, when a student in Mrs. Miller’s class raised their hand it was almost always either Sarah or Doc.
“Yes, Doc,’ she responded when seeing his hand raised, doing so while stifling the desire to roll her eyes.
“I know why communism doesn’t work and just figured out how it will end,’ he blurted out.
“Say I’m from a poor family and only have two pairs of shoes, one for school and play and the other I have to save for church on Sunday, right?” Doc started to explain, then paused when several of his classmates, knowing he was using himself as an example, giggled, then continued, “Thing is if everyone is poor and has the same things no one has a reason to be jealous, right?”
“While this may be true what does this have to do with our history class?” she asked while hoping this would bring the subject back to the chapter they were studying.
“But everyone being the same isn’t fair because some work harder or a smarter and they should be rewarded for it. That’s why it will never works right. You want to know why it won’t last?”
“No, Doc, now is not the time,” she stated with a veiled warning.
“The real problem is that most folks do work hard and have little to show for it because in all the commie countries very greedy people steal from everyone else to get even richer and they live in luxury while everyone else stays poor.”
“Let’s get back to the lesson, Doc!”
“When they can’t even feed their own family sooner or later the majority will finally get enough courage to fight back,” he tapered off as he took his seat. “And if the US waits long enough we won’t have to beat them in war because the people in Russia will topple their own government.”
“I think Doc is right, Mrs. Miller,” Sarah quickly interjected as she rose from her chair..
“Sarah, Honey, he may be right but I’m teaching history here and we need to focus on that.”
“Mrs. Miller, my mom says we need do something now because it might happen here if our own middle class keeps working harder and keeps having less to show for it because the greedy here aren’t satisfied enough just being rich."
“Sarah, let’s get back to the subject we’re studying,” Mrs. Miller sternly cautioned her.
“Yes, Mrs. Miller, I will, but my dad says we need to worry about it now if we don’t want to end up in a world where we’ll have Khrushchev type guy leading us and my mom thinks we should be teaching a history repeating itself class here in America.”
“Sarah, I’ve told you we need focus on the chapter we’re studying now.”
“I’ve read the lesson three times and will get a perfect score again even if some of the questions I answer I know are false. I’ll still answer the false questions like a good student is supposed to.”
“I don’t give false questions on the test, Sarah, so you better settle down!” Mrs. Miller warned her.
“Like when our textbook claims Columbus was an Italian explorer when he really wasn’t. He was born and raised in the Republic Of Genoa long before it became part of Italy.
“Sarah’s right, Mrs. Miller. I’ve read that, too,” Doc added to support his classmate.
When the rest of the class started laughing their teacher quickly rose from her desk and pointed to the door.
“Sarah, Doc, both of you go to the principle’s office now. And stay there and wait for me.”
Mr. Carson was in his first year as the school’s new principle and was younger that most of the teachers and seemed less old fashioned and most of the students generally thought he was pretty cool. Perceived as cool or not, Sarah and Doc waited silently on the bench outside his door and avoided eye contact with Mrs. Miller when she exited his office.
Being the first called into the office Doc sat nervously in the chair in front of Mr. Carson’s desk. Although he had sat in this chair a half-dozen times during the school year the waiting for the lecture any possible punishment part of the visit was what made him so uncomfortable.
“We really have to do something about these interruptions you cause in class sometimes,” the principle’s sermon began. “You do understand it’s become a real problem, don’t you?”
“Yes, Sir, I know, Mr. Carson, but I don’t do it on purpose. It’s just that sometimes ideas I get come so suddenly to me I just seem to blurt them out just to see if they sound logical. Does this sound logical or weird?”
“Natural enough thought process to me for a bright person. And your mother told me you’ve always been this way. But I think all you really need is some discipline,” he suggested, and when he noticed Doc squirming in his chair, the principle quickly amended his reply while softly laughing. “No, not the old school paddle type discipline. That’s not my style. With you I mean you simply need to develop a little more mental discipline. Like with you’re sudden ideas I suggest you start carrying around a small notebook and when you get your ideas you quickly write them down while they’re still fresh in your head.”
“Yes. Sir, I’ll start doing that.”
“Doc, I know you’re much smarter than your grades suggest because I’ve seen your equivalency scores and they’re pretty high. I also know you’re a promising artist and are well read because I’ve seen some of the drawings by you and some of the literature you read that’s been confiscated by your teachers. Personally, though I’ve not fond of blank verse, I do love Maugham’s ‘The Razor’s Edge.’ But that’s not the point. You just need to focus a little more on the actual school criteria.”
“Yes, Sir, I’ll try to do much better in class.”
“You’ll have to do better than just doing better if you ever expect to amount to anything beyond being a starving artist, an obscure, unpublished poet or a common laborer. While there’s nothing wrong with working with your hands we both know you’re too talented to not use all your talents,” Mr. Carson sincerely suggested.
“Yes, Sir, I promise to do my best,” Doc responded as he rose from the chair while thinking the lecture was over.
“Have you started defining the path you’ll be on after school?”
“Not yet, Sir. I just think I need some real world experience first.”
“That’s understandable,” the principle admitted, while offering Doc a handshake. “And by the way, Mrs. Miller conveyed to me your theory on the collapse of communism and it sounds fascinating. I would love to read it when you’re developed it and have put it down on paper.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Doc responded with a wide smile.
“You’ll have plenty of time to work on it during your two day suspension,” Mr. Carson stated in what he thought was a joking manner. But when Daniel’s smile quickly melted Mr. Carson added, “Tell your folks it’s a school assignment and if you get it to me by the end of next week I’ll suspend the suspension.”
Doc grinned and backed out of the office before the principle could change his mind.
This was Sarah’s forth trip to Mr. Carson’s office and, unlike Daniel, she was not uncomfortable sitting across from him. Both of her parents were well educated and very progressive for the small, conservative town they lived in. Her father was a flight engineer who taught instrument training at the nearby aircraft plant and her mother taught classes of freshman English at the local university, so their social awareness and earned confidence was passed down to Sarah, their only child.
“Whatever am I going to do with you, Missy?” Mr. Carson asked in a milder tone than he had used with Doc. When she simply shrugged her shoulders he added, “You’re top of you’re class and will likely achieve a great deal in your life.”
“Thank you, Sir,” Sarah replied while trying to suppress a grin.
”Be that as it may, the problem is you may not amount to anything more than getting your head busted by cops during a pro-civil rights march if your don’t practice a little more restraint, a little more subtlety, in getting your points across. Understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes, Sir, I’ll work on my subtlety.”
“And, yes, I know our textbooks are outdated and sometimes flawed. We can blame that on our state’s public school budget. You could always aspire to change that by writing or editing history textbooks when you get out of college,” he teased her.
“Sorry, Sir, but I’ve made other plans,” she responded.
“I know, and asking you to be a little subtle is not like I’ve expecting you to give up your dreams or principles. But with your intelligence, drive and passion I just think you’ll be able to help more of the people you want to help from a position of authority. Does that make sense?”
“Yes, Sir, I suppose it does.”
“And, Honey, not all of our students are as academically gifted as you and they have to try harder to learn what you learn easily. So we should try to let them learn on their own schedule without the interruptions, okay? And try not to become a snob. Profound concepts can come from less formally educated people.
“Yes, Sir. I’m learning this more every day. Last weekend my father used Eric Hoffer as an example to remind me.”
“Good example,” Mr. Carson agreed as their meeting ended.
By the time she retired after twenty five years Mrs. Miller had become less stern and more flexible as a teacher to the point of becoming, by the mid-70s, semi-feminist and even changed her name to Ms. Miller. And as a benefit to her transformation she began to be remembered fondly by her later students. Because she and her husband were childless she treasured this late blooming show of affection from them.
And during her retirement she naturally wondered about what happened to the lives of some of her students after high school. Many she knew never left their small town for long, if at all, and they married, settled down and raised their own families nearby. She knew this because she often came across then while shopping, at football games, in church or at class reunions. Some did get divorced, of course and, but most of these never ventured far from home.
The ones she wondered about the most were the ones who went off to college and didn’t return or otherwise just fled the community. In her mind most of these were the students she considered the misfits or outsiders or, tactfully, the originals who never really seemed to fit into small town life and she secretly envied them. And she often thought about her two most difficult students.
She knew Sarah had gone to law school, joined a firm in Dallas that specialized in civil rights infringement cases and eventually was appointed a circuit judge. But as far as Ms. Miller knew Sarah never returned to the town she spent the last six of her school years living in.
As to Doc he had served in the military, was stationed in Viet Nam for a year, and later was stationed in Washington. She knew this from a story in the local newspaper. From a second hand source she heard he had moved back to town and bought a new house and was an investigator of some kind. Then she heard from a neighbor of his that within a few years he had left town never to return.
Still, she wondered. Did he die tragically young, perhaps from taking drugs. Ms. Miller quickly discounted this possibility because he never seemed like the type to abuse anything. Because he showed advanced talents as an artist did he become a serious painter? If so she couldn’t find any information about this under his name. She knew from his school days that he loved literature. Did he become a noted writer while using a pseudonym? Did he end up burying or setting aside his talents for some reason? Perhaps because he never reached the level he wanted to obtain?
As often as she wondered and longed to know, deep inside she really didn’t want her questions answered. Over time her mind had imagined him as an original who lived his life as it was meant to be and as she aged she wanted to, needed to, believe he found his true purpose in life and was living a long, fulfilling life.
Though she never admitted it to herself Ms. Miller lived vicariously though the perceived social rebels who had been, for a fleeting moment, some of her students and she did not want the illusions shattered. The illusions had personal names like Scott, Roxanne, Clifton, Sarah, Jack and, of course, Doc. She lived through their lives because during her own long life she never had their courage.
October 20th, 2017
|05:45 pm - A Conversation With One Of Them|
A Conversation With One Of Them
Like many other contractors and construction workers Daniel waited in the long checkout line of the lumber yard at his local Home Depot. He took the waiting in stride because, with four 4'x8' sheets of plywood on his hand truck, he was in no hurry to head out into the hot August sun.
When someone tapped him on the shoulder he assumed it was the man behind him who was pushing his own load of lumber and he welcomed the interaction as a diversion to both the heat and waiting.
“Can I ask you a question,” the man, who was a large middle aged redhead, asked cautiously.
“Of course,” Daniel replied as he looked over his shoulder while guiding his load forward a few steps.
“I don’t mean to be personal or anything but I’m curious because you look like one of us, you know.”
I suppose I am.”
“Well, I thought so but your shirt has me confused.”
“Confused? Why?” Daniel wondered.
“It’s just that that gay guy pride thing on your shirt, you know?.”
Daniel glanced down at the front of his t-shirt. Though the shirt was just one of many worn t-shirts he bought for work from the Salvation Army and the lettering was faded he was fond of it. Still, he quickly made the connection to the reference from the stranger and turned around to let him see the symbol and word on front of the shirt.
“Celtic?” he pondered aloud. “Is that like some Amazon lesbo logo thing?”
“No,” Daniel chuckled while trying not to mock the man’s lack of historic knowledge. “I think it means being a fan of the Boston Celtics.”
“That’s cool, but the pink ribbon and words look kinda lezzy to me.”
“They’re faded and were probably red before too many washings. I like this shirt because it reminds me my father’s side of the family is Scottish.”
“Good you’re one of us because you had me worried for awhile and there aren’t very many of us in this area,” the man laughed, nodded his head then winked knowingly.
Daniel did not reply because he was nearing the checkout counter. When the cashier scanned his plywood and he paid for the lumber he headed towards the exit door, letting the security guard check his receipt, then waited just outside the door until the stranger pushed his own lumber cart into the open.
“I figure it’s my turn to ask a few question it that’s okay with you,” Daniel suggested as the man neared where he was standing.
“Yeah, dude, go for it.”
“I was just thinking about expanding my collection of videos,” Daniel started casually while they pushed their carts in a parallel line into the parking lot.
“Videos? Like movies?”
“No, man, I can get those anywhere. I mean by, you know, the really hot stuff.”
Oh, yeah! I’ve got a pretty good stash of the best hard you can find. But I’m old school and like the old ones best when the chicks still had hair. All natural, no plastic and no kinky stuff either.”
“Me neither, all natural is the best, and man do I love the girls,” Daniel agreed. When the man nodded his head Daniel asked his intended question, “But how would you feel if the government, or even some church group sanctioned by the government, came in and took your porn stash, invaded your privacy and punished you for your lifestyle?”
“It ain’t gonna happen and I’ll protest like hell because it’s my private life and nobody else’s business.”
You’re totally right, my friend,” Daniel agreed, then continued, “but shouldn’t the same rights to personal privacy apply to everyone in a democracy?”
“Of course,” the man responded, then went silent for a moment. “But, wait now! Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
“Same personal rights for everyone.”
“No, dude, because being gay is anti-American, anti-Christian.”
“Except Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. I think He had a lot more to worry about, like hypocrisy, casting stones. But the Old Testament sure doesn’t like jerking off.”
“My hunch was right. You’re just one of them goddamn liberals trying to set me up and trick me!” he screamed as he jerked his hand truck away and headed in the opposite direction.
Daniel didn’t bother to respond and sadly shook his head as he pushed his own cart of plywood towards his truck’s parking space. Of course he had set the bigot up because he himself didn’t have a porn library at home and guessed rightly the other man did, but Daniel felt no guilt because the point he was making deserved to be made. And how does any rational person effectively reply to perceptions of stereotypes from those with ingrained bias? Daniel usually did what he could with a subtle metaphor and let the other person make the intended connection. Ironically, he didn’t even consider himself liberal or conservative. If a social, moral or religious explanation was expected of him he simply said he was a humanist and hoped there were enough people around who understand what being one means.
|05:38 pm - FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE|
FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE
After riding their bikes along the path that circled the park Gina and her father Doc were resting on one of the park benches adjacent the path. Perhaps thirty yards to their left was an enclave that housed a bicycle and skate rental shop and a concession stand. It was from that booth that Gina had gotten the cup of iced tea she was sipping from as they watched the Sunday afternoon parade of passerbys: the bikers, joggers, hikers and causal strollers who were democratically sharing the wide cement path.
“I should have bought one of those, Pop,” she suggested.
“Not too late,” he assured her as he followed her gaze towards the concession stand and made the connection to a young mother holding the hand of a little girl, between three and four, who was clutching a double scope ice come with her free hand as they headed in Gina’s direction.
When they were within five yards of the park benches the girl stumbled on a crack in the cement. The cone popped upwards from her grip and she instinctively fumbled to catch it from falling, doing so by pulling it safely into her chest as her mother responded to the sudden physical movement of her daughter.
“It’s okay, Mommy, I saved it,” the girl beamed with childhood pride while holding the cone out to show her mother.
“Oh, Honey, look at your Sunday dress!” the mother uttered with a deep sign when she noticed to the stain left by the ice cream.
The little girl looked down at the stain and emitted a muted cry as her face displayed a gauntlet of confused, conflicting emotions she was trying to control. A male voice laughed and Gina and her father glanced over towards the bench next to them where a young couple in their thirties had been cuddling. Hearing the man’s laughter, the girl stared at him and reacted with a sense of shame and embarrassment, letting the damaged cone fall to the pavement. When the young woman also laughed the little girl started crying.
“It’s okay, Honey,” the mother reassured her as she cradled her daughter. “We’ll just go back to the car and change your clothes.”
Gina watched while the mother scooped up what she could of the ice cream cone and drop it in the nearby trash can, then lead her daughter by the hand towards the parking lot. When they were out of hearing range Gina addressed the rude couple.
“Why were you laughing at her,” she demanded.
“Because it was funny,” the man stated. “I mean, that kid was acting like it was the worse thing that ever happened to her, like she was dying of cancer or something.”
“How do you know she isn’t?” Gina challenged him.
“That’s not likely and we didn’t ask for a lecture from a little kid,” the girlfriend smugly added.
“Little kid? I’m nine now and it wasn’t a lecture,” Gina scolded her.
“Look, I know you mean well and you seem to be smart,” the young woman replied while softening the tone of her voice, “but life can be a real bitch and the sooner she learns that the better for her.”
Trying to suppress her anger, Gina rose and started for their bench. Doc gently grabbed her arm and when she turned back to him he shook his head no. Gina shrugged her shoulders, leaned closer and whispered in his ear. Her father responded by pulling a five dollar bill from his pocket and handing it to her. Gina then walked turned towards the concession stand and as she passed the young couple she gave them a look of disgust.
“You think that little child knows anything about the wars in the Middle East, the mass bigoted shootings in this country or even our current political mess?” Doc sincerely addressed them both.
“Maybe not now, but she will soon enough,” the man answered with a retreating defiance.
“And the sooner the better for her,” the girlfriend repeated herself.
“Yes, we all know life can be tough,” Doc admitted, and when the woman nodded and smiled assuming he agreed with he continued, “ But don’t you think a childhood filled with wonder and joy and kindness received and given will help her to learn that even with evil there is still a lot more good, decent people in the world?”
“Maybe so,” the young man suggested rather timidly. “But she still needs to learn the truth.”
“And you two think you have the right to determine her growing up timetable, I suppose?”
As the boyfriend started to reply the girlfriend glared at him, abruptly stood, pulled his arm and guided him down the bicycle path in the opposite direction of the mother and daughter.
Doc sadly shook his head and then focused on the concession booth and watching Gina standing just to the right of the service window and noticed the attention she was paying to the area of the parking lot. When she saw the mother and daughter approaching the stand Gina quickly paid for a double scooped ice cream cone and waited for them.
“My dad says I’ve already had one and another will just spoil my appetite for supper,” Gina told the mother as she held out the cone.
“They wouldn’t take it back?“ the mother inquired.
“Nope, I tried and they won’t take it back and I don’t want it to be wasted.”
The little girl, now wearing a t-shirt and cut-offs, looked up at her mother and when the mother smiled and nodded Gina handed it to the daughter.
“Hold it with both hands. I know because I’ve dropped these myself.” Gina instructed her as the child accepted the cone. “And it’s okay if we drop things. Even grownups drop things all the time, too.”
Both the mother and daughter thanked her and as they walked away with the daughter smiling and clutching the ice cream cone with both hands Gina skipped back to the park bench.
“That was a sweet thing you just did, Kiddo” Doc proudly exclaimed while unlocking the bicycle chains.
“I guess,” Gina replied modestly. “Did you spank them with words?”
“Those silly lovers? I don’t do things like that.”
“Yeah, right, Pop,” was Gina’s retort as she mounted her bike.
“I just asked them if they had the right to set other people’s timetables. And I’m so proud of you, Sweety,” he told her as they started peddling towards the parking lot.
“Just remember that when I start getting an attitude like Janie,” she teased him with a laugh and a reference to her teenage cousin. Then she sped quickly ahead of her father.
“Don’t you dare think about growing up too quickly,” he called out to her.
March 27th, 2017
|08:29 pm - Not Your Average Masterpiece|
NOT YOUR AVERAGE MASTERPIECE
The stack of unsigned autographs was never used
because a lifetime of writing deceptive fluff
has never seemed to be enough
to earn pagan residuals,
so I turned my soul towards nostalgic amnesia.
With reluctant confidence I embraced the need
to drain my brain of all needless whimsical seeds,
lowering the heights my muse sought,
like the rational delusions
of thinking frivolous phrases were amusing.
Purged were contemplating artificial plastics,
being uniquely abundant and liquid dust,
clean mud and the defrocked mantis,
white coal and goose fur among us.
Gone were the provable gods and debated halves.
Banned were the adopted flesh and our own planned past,
ear lint, heavy lightness and foreign clarity.
What remained was the silent noise
that redefined creative joy,
allowing me to write my minor masterpiece.
January 7th, 2017
The Generic They
They do not look like us.
They do not act like us.
They do not talk like us.
They sometimes frighten us.
They do not think like us.
They never speak for us.
They are too young for us.
They are too old for us.
They do not live like us.
They don’t shed tears like us.
They try to oppress us.
They don’t want peace like us.
They don’t believe like us.
They must be against us.
They feel God rejects us.
They want God to damn us.
They implies absolutes
in a world without them.
Don’t stereotype all theys.
God doesn’t love this way.
SKIN IN NOT THE SIN
The master Architect conceived and rendered it
forever imperfectly perfect, by design
a physical realm just short of infinity
and filled with an abundance of variety.
With life sustaining and replenishing itself
in multitudes, from the simplistic to complex,
the Architect expected life to be maintained
by those given the usage of more advanced brains.
These were rewarded with their own varieties,
the epidermis being the palette of choice,
though under the surface they shared a common trait,
the capacity to determine their own fate.
The superficial shell, where the soul does not dwell,
was not destined to imply real significance.
Under the facade the value of compassion
was universally shared across all nations.
But too many imperfect humans began to
believe external appearance granted them the
false justifications to deny that we’re still
all related under the skin by nature’s will.
And those that chose to discriminate because of
body structure or pigmented skin will themselves
be segregated from the benevolent grace
reserved for all who embrace humanity’s face.
December 31st, 2016
|11:47 pm - An Essay|
ON GOD, SCIENCE, EVOLUTION AND RELIGION
There is absolutely no reason why God, science, evolution and religious beliefs can not or are fully compatible if we allow our God given minds, and not ingrained dogma, to think for us.
Before you turn a blind eye to this probability remember that up to the time of Columbus the majority of religious followers believed the world was flat, could not comprehend the natural effects of gravity and assumed the vast universe evolved around the Earth.
Considering God And Science:
With God being all things, from all knowing to all powerful, the creator of all things physical and spiritually celestial, He would also be the greatest scientist that has ever existed.
Because everything He’s done is infallible, when He created humans in His own image He gave us the rarest of gifts, the gift of abstract reasoning that elevated us above the instinctive primal survival and reproductive mechanisms instilled in the Earth’s less advanced living creations. God would not have awarded humans, created in His own image, with advanced brains if He did not expect us to use them to their fullest capacities.
In doing so He provided us with the ever expanding mental tools to develop cures to fight both physical and emotional illnesses, gave us the means to protect the environment He placed us in for present and future generations, the compassion to enhance the lives of all His children and the ability to decipher the mysteries the universe holds. The study of science and it’s importance in our lives is a gift from God not to be mocked.
What He did not do is grant us the right to us our advanced brains kill His children or wreck havoc on the environment to appease personal political, social or religious belief systems. He reserves the right to divine judgement and has not passed that right on to us.
Considering God And Evolution:
To God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. From the scriptures what this implies is that God did not create the heavens and the Earth on the human timetable of one sunset and one sunrise that equals one earth day. He created Earth and the universe on His own infinite timetable.
As such, based on His own infinite timetable, the creation of Earth and this universe and those beyond could have taken anywhere from six million to six billion years and beyond. His six days of unmeasurable Creation should never be measured by our human concept of time.
With God being all knowing, including being the greatest scientist that ever existed, it’s entirely likely He began life on Earth by creating an atmosphere that allowed single cell life forms to develop and flourish. And with His all knowing divine guidance He continued the evolutionary process through His experimentation in His metaphorical laboratory that is His universe.
In His infinite timetable, not ours, He likely developed more complex life forms, giving the planet it’s vast array of living diversity. At some point during his timetable He began developing the life form that resembled Him in His own image until He was satisfied with the results, the results being what we recognize today as modern humans. And the ultimate gift we humans created in his image received, beyond advanced intellectual capacities, was our intangible, mortal souls, a gift that dictates that we humans created in his image be accountable for our actions and their consequences during our limited life spans on His earth.
And because we do not know exactly when or how we were created we have no moral right to claim what only God Himself has knowledge of.
Considering God And Religious Doctrines:
Because we were created in His image and gifted with advanced brains we should analyze all pre-recorded events to decipher what can and can not be validated. Tales passed down before we advanced mentally enough to record unfolding history, tales told and re-told over multitudes of centuries, far too often embellished and exaggerated over time, should not be automatically qualified as gospel truths.
Natural phenomena witnessed by more primitive minds and assumed to be signs from a divine source should be considered within the realms of the imaginations of the unknowledgeable. The truths we should hold Divine began with recorded history.
Always remember that faith is called faith for a reason. The faith we have should be based on our abilities to think, to question and to determine the differences between agenda based tales and the truths that we believe, through faith, to be Divine truths.
God gifted us with advanced brains and it is our moral destiny to embrace the gift He gave us.
December 5th, 2016
|10:05 pm - An ode To Our Muses|
AN ODE TO OUR MUSES
Compatible souls harness entropy,
igniting releases of energy,
unleashing the shackles of dormant states,
freeing them from a closed system’s droll fate.
When applied to pure creativity,
writers, poets, painters and composers
instinctively comprehend that treasured
inspiration comes from the kindred muse.
The source of enrichment invariably
is a muse by the definition of
a cherished friend, a family member or
anyone that offers supportive love.
The process is seldom singular and,
partnered with the endearing muse, allows
compatible souls harmoniously
to merge to enhance the humanities.
September 24th, 2016
FALLING FROM EDEN’S GRACE
A Short Story By Watson Boyd
August 2nd., 1:45 A.M. Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine
No, it’s not God’s Eden. Although many who pass through here and the neighboring Acadia National Park might see it as such, this is a place west of God’s Eden, east of John Steinbeck’s Eden and James Dean’s Eden. This picturesque seaport town in Maine was given the name Eden in the late 1790s.
Once the home of pioneers, sailors and shipbuilders, later the summer home of the wealthy elite, now mostly it shelters a few thousand people who live here year round. And, during the summer months, another thousand take up residence here because of the added work. The work being to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of tourists who pass through here from spring to fall.
Next to the user friendly Saint Savior’s Episcopal Church, leaning against the old stone wall, I am sitting in the town’s two hundred year old graveyard at 1:30 in the morning.
Surprisingly well-lit by the nearby streetlights, this graveyard is a part of the appeal of this centauries old seaport town that now, for reasons that escape me, is called Bar Harbor.
Leaning against the wall, puffing on a real Cuban cigar brought across from Nova Scotia, I sit with a legal pad and pen waiting in my lap. But I am not writing anything. In fact, I’m probably not consciencely thinking. Just siting and absorbing. And this is not new to me. I have sit here a dozen times. Usually not writing. Silence is often a welcome alley for most writers.
At this time of the morning the sounds and movements given up by the night have become all too familiar. Tempered laughter and toned-down voices echo from across the nearby village green as the last of the tavern and night-club patrons amble towards their homes.
Because the tourists, with children in tow, have long since headed back to their hotel rooms, cabins or campsites, these late-night revelers are the college students who work in the gift shops and eateries until the usual ten o’clock closing time.
After ten the night belongs to the shop keepers, the locals, the artists and writers and the young at heart. And, except for the few serious or married or health conscience students, most of them head towards the flow of the alcohol and music.
Tavern closing time sends the young out onto the street and as they head towards their beds several dozen pass by the graveyard. They pass by on foot because they do not drive. In a town this small, with tourists season parking at a premium, walking has obvious advantages.
Most passing by do so with acknowledgment. On this island there is no isolation among the residents unless you choose to force it on others. Whole dimensions separate this world from an island down the coast called Manhattan.
Everyone acknowledges everyone else. And I heard and replied to a half-dozen “How’s it going, man?” or “Nice night” or “What you writing now?” greetings.
Towards 2:00 A.M. the last of the stragglers passed by. This group was comprised of three young men and two young women, all in various stages of intoxication.
One of these guys tells the others to wait, then he walks into the graveyard, passing me without notice, stops ten feet from me, turns his back towards his friends, unzips his jeans and pisses on the ground. The ground, in this case, being a grave site.
One of the girls giggles. One of the guys laughs. The third guy, a student named George, who I had talked to before, follows his friend’s lead and relieves himself the same way. The second girl senses something perhaps morally wrong and offers up a modest protect.
“Guys, this isn’t cool,” she scolds them.
“Why?” the first guy asks. “It’s not like we’re waking the dead or anything.
The first girl, thinking this profoundly humorous, laughs loudly.
As George and his friend zip up and turn to step back onto the sidewalk they notice me.
“Sorry, Doc, but we couldn’t wait,” George responds, upon seeing me.
“Yeah, too much beer,” the first guy snickers.
“What you still doing up?” George asks me.
“Just sitting here thinking about Stephen King,” I reply.
By now the third young man and the two young women had walked into the yard.
“Yeah, Steven King’s cool,” the first girl adds.
“He lives around here somewhere, doesn’t he?” her friend asks.
“No, up in Banger, ninety miles from here”, the third girl, obviously trying to impress with her knowledge, replies. “But sitting here could certainly make you think about him.”
“No, I just started wondering about him now,” I say as I rise from the grass. “I was thinking it’s too bad his powers couldn’t extend beyond his imagination, couldn’t take on a physical form like they do with his characters.”
“Yeah, that would be so cool, creepy cool but cool,” the first girl says.
“Yeah,” I respond. Looking at George and his friends. “It’s too bad he couldn’t somehow have Carrie, with her boney arm, reach up out of the ground and pull you guys down into her grave.”
They look at me and wonder what part is serious and what part is attempted humor.
“But that’s not Carrie’s grave”, George’s male friend finally replies.
“But it was still somebody’s grave,” the second girl, the one who had entered the mild protest earlier, answers.
Words are sheepishly mumbled, then the first girl takes her boyfriend’s arm and leads him out onto the sidewalk. With the other three close behind, they wander down the street. Several quick glances back at the graveyard are all that interrupt their journey home.
Alone, I stand for a moment looking at the headstones of the two graves.
One headstone read:
June 15, 1880
- 26 years old -
The second one read:
June 15, 1880
- 28 years old -
Were they sisters? Cousins? One a sister-in-law to the other? How would they have died the same day? A fire? An accident? A plague? It could not have been by local Native Americans, not in 1880. Not in Maine. So, what killed these young women?
Child birth? Women before our time faced so many dangers that we can only imagine how it must have been and difficult births often took the mother’s life. But not both young women giving birth on the same day?
Then I looked around at many of the other headstones. A few lived long, hopefully happy, lives. But so many of these people died young. Life in the late seventeen hundreds, through the mid eighteen hundreds, was not easy to live. It took most of these peoples’ energy and effort just to provide shelter and food for basic survival. These people were not blessed with the lives of the affluent.
Walking away from the graveyard the only things I could think to ask myself were:
How much more relevance would we put on the lives of others, on life itself, it we were required to work as hard just to acquire basic needs? Would our few possessions carry that much more value? Would our rare leisure time be more carefully cherished? Would our achievements resonate with more gusto? And would the aging process be held to higher esteem?