Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Lotus of Pleasure

The trees around them all their food produce:
Lotus the name: divine, nectareous juice!
(Thence call'd Lo'ophagi); which whose tastes,
Insatiate riots in the sweet repasts,
Nor other home, nor other care intends,
But quits his house, his country, and his friends.
- The Odyssey, Homer

We need a new car.

Well, need is a strong word. But here, you be the judge. On our 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan, there is a huge crack in the windshield. The CD player is broken. Right turning signal doesn't work. Driver and passenger side windows do not roll down. (The passenger side window is kept up by two sticks lodged at the base. That's right, sticks.) The tag light is out (I know because I recently got pulled over for that one). Now the passenger side door interior is falling off the metal frame when you open the door. My patient wife has driven this van for about 9 years, and we claim to hold on to vehicles until they fall apart. Well, it's falling apart.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Music Inside

The rain beat heavily on the windshield, my wipers wiping furiously as I sped down the highway. The wind blew with even greater fury as small leafy branches flew across my path, ripped from the strong arms of their trees and carried helplessly now by the will of the storm.

Inside my truck, I was driven by another will. I was on a mission.

I had just dropped off my children in the safety of my parents' home where they were staying the night. The task now before me was to pick up dinner and a movie before my wife returned home from work. On the other side of this storm was a Friday night stay-at-home date: hot wings and The King's Speech. Meanwhile, there was only the torrent of wind and rain and highway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graduation Party Speech

Me with my wife, children, and parents

Last Saturday evening, my parents hosted a graduation party in my honor. Many of my closest family and friends were present, so I felt compelled to give a speech in their honor. The following is a transcript of that speech.

Dear Family and Friends:

I want to thank you all for coming this evening to my graduation party. I could scarcely be more excited if I were celebrating my eleventy-first birthday. Special thanks to my parents are in order for all of preparations for tonight and for hosting the party here at their home. It is fitting that we should celebrate my academic accomplishments here, because it reminds me that whatever academic or vocational success I could hope to have, I am still the boy who played in this very yard, cut its grass on hot summer days, rode my bike up and down this dirt road, and had countless adventures through these very woods. What I mean is that there are greater things that go into shaping a person than getting a degree. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Eyes to See

"Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people." Isaiah 12:2

Someone recently asked me what I enjoy about blogging. I immediately knew my answer. Blogging, when I write regularly, gives me eyes to see. It's the same thing that happens in the discipline of journaling, which is why the tagline for this blog is "a journal." Referring to journaling, or blogging, as a discipline is fitting, as anyone knows who has tried to maintain one. It takes commitment and work. In the case of blogging, your thoughts are formatted to be shared and read by others. Sometimes you wonder if anyone out there is reading, but in the end it doesn't matter if they are or not. (Dear reader, let me assure you that you are appreciated. I do thank you for reading. What I mean is that...) It's not about the writing itself (lines on a screen or page) but more about what the process of writing causes you to see in the world. It's about having eyes to see.