Category 2. Personal Perspectives/Faith

Family

Two of our grandchildren, ages four and two, stayed over last night in happy anticipation of Thanksgiving’s festivities. The mayhem they always bring to our household has been kicked up to eleven since puppy Sunny’s arrival a little over three weeks ago. Our now 21-pound bundle of energy can’t restrain her eagerness to jump on, lick and chew the small humans, so I have to restrain her with a leash when the kids are around. Our grandchildren react to her with a kinetic mixture of interest, excitement and fear. A happy scene, with much joy and some wariness on the part of all.

This morning I awakened at 3:15, thinking about something that happened nearly fifty years ago and about what happened yesterday.

The older memory was of a mildly embarrassing moment...

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Under a Steel-Gray Sky

Two days ago I slipped in some mud while carrying my kayak up a hill. I caught myself, but in doing so I seem to have hurt something deep in my right shoulder. Since then the right side of my torso has ached.

This morning, at the suggestion of my Beloved Spouse, I went outside to sit in the hot tub by our pool. I am not really a hot tub guy – I have probably used it a dozen times in as many years – but she thought the heat and bubble jets might help lessen my shoulder pain.

So I sat in the steaming water under a steel-gray sky; to my surprise, my thoughts turned to an old friend.

***

Doug and I went to boarding school together. We got to know each other through rowing; he was a big, athletic guy – a gentle giant. Though we were two years apart, we became fast friends.

For we were nur...

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The Internet, Life as We Know It, and Christmas

The Internet is a tool of astonishing power, but it is not an unmixed blessing.

Its dangers were prefigured with amazing prescience in the 1940s by Tolkien’s palantir. Like a palantir, the web exerts a powerful draw by offering us the ability to see whatever we wish; but, also as when using a palantir, we are watched as well as watchers: the web tracks us and subtly guides what we see. It gives us the illusion of control, while denying us the reality of physical human contact. Its world is a shadow of our own.

The Internet is a two dimensional world, but we live in three dimensions (or rather, four, including the great limiter, time)...

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