Monday, November 19, 2007


once, i was driving with my daughter on a rather large highway when she remarked "there's a lot of traffic out here today."

you know, sometimes we are in a state of mind where ordinary comments like this invoke odd responses. now i didn't say anything at the time, but that statement struck me in just such an unusual way.

i realized the phrase was a euphemism for the reality that we were neck and neck with people, all around us, piloting roughly 1.5 ton chunks of steel, glass, and rubber wheels sliding along at 70 miles per hour on this sluing, slippery ribbon of asphalt; people, that is, who were perfectly capable of making bad decisions--just like me.

not traffic. rather, people; people in control of heavy machinery. but that's not the clincher.

what struck me on that day was that those people were quite likely thinking of me and my daughter as traffic.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


the language of faith

many people never catch on to this idea. language is not about words--it's about communication. it includes all those things you do, too.

now one thing we all do is believe. nobody is omniscient. we all have gaps in our understanding of how the world works. we fill those gaps with assumptions; that is, my friend, a belief system. that's right, you have a belief system, i have a belief system, we all have faith, in something.

the way i express my beliefs is my religion. that is the language of faith. so you see, there can be no absolute 'way' to please our gods. religion, like myth and science, is who and what we are.

Friday, November 9, 2007

liberals and conservatives

on hearing phrases like "those liberals" and "those conservatives", i've begun to wonder what the speakers are really talking about. so, i've started asking people directly when i have the chance "are you a ... ?", and it sure seems to me like there's no such thing. nobody i know will admit to being either one--entirely. on the other hand, everybody is a mix of liberal and conservative attitudes on various topics. and sometimes we are conservative on an issue and then at other times we become liberal on the same issue. there's nothing wrong with this when you think about it, just a matter of timing.

so what are those people talking about? well, nothing really. they are using an emotionally loaded phrase for effect. they are telling me that they lack the imagination, or possibly the energy to really think things through for themselves.

(and) there you have it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007