Evening Dance

Chestnut_Oak_in_Weiser_State_Forest

The wind moves quietly among

soft-lobed leaves of chestnut oaks,

inviting them to join the dance

held at this time each ev’ning.

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Creativity As Sacred Act

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A therapist I was seeing once asked me, “What nurtures you?” This is a deep question, and it took me the remainder of the week to answer it. Many things nurture me to a greater or lesser degree, but the thing that stands out is “creativity.”

Creativity. Noun. The ability to make new things or think of new ideas. [Merriam-Webster]

Nurture. Noun. The care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing. [Merriam-Webster]

Nurturing Creativity. Two words that taken together have two meanings, both of which are true. Creativity is nurturing, and creativity has to be nurtured.

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My Brain Is Dying

DSC_0003_003There is a medical alert bracelet on my left wrist. Medical alert bracelets are there to notify others of some special condition in the event that the wearer cannot speak for himself. Things like diabetes, allergies, heart conditions, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Mine says:

Michael Gooding
Dementia – BV FTD
ICE <phone number>

The idea is that if someone finds me wandering around in my underwear at two o’clock in the morning, they can look at the bracelet to see why I’m behaving that way (I suffer from dementia) and who to call (my wife’s cell phone).

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One Night In Cabo

A literary short story (1265 words).

cabo-san-lucasA cool evening breeze greets me when I step out on to the small balcony. I have taken my wig off so the wind can caress my poor bald head. The horizon is painted in swaths of reds and oranges and yellows, floating above a darkening ocean, the sun almost gone. The only thing standing between me and the dying sun is a narrow stretch of gray sand and an endless sea. I breath in deeply and memories rush in.

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Who Ya Gonna Bless?

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If this were your church, would you approve this message?

Why? Why not?

WWJD?

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

 

 

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Review: It Happened One Doomsday

Author: Laurence MacNaughton

This is a well-written, action-packed urban fantasy.

I am not a fan of urban fantasy, or of the fantasy genre in general. I read (and write) science fiction. (And no, they are not the same thing, so shut up.) When I was asked to review MacNaughton’s novel as part of its upcoming book launch, I assumed — for reasons not entirely clear to me now — that it would be science fiction. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was an urban fantasy. I plowed ahead anyway and by the end of the first chapter, he had me hooked.

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Big ‘White’ Lies

This is a guest post by Charles McCallum, a good friend of mine and a person with excellent critical-thinking skills. I lean more to the Left than he does, and I do not agree with everything he says here. Nonetheless, he presents a cogent and thoughtful argument, which is why I am pleased to share it with you.

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Big ‘White’ Lies, by Charles McCallum

Picture of Charles McCallum

 

When I was in college (some 40 years ago) I had a part time job as a pool hall attendant. It was the only pool hall on a campus of ten thousand students so my observations of pool players left me with no illusions of being anything better than a mediocre player at best. One day during a work break I was trying to improve my game when I became very frustrated that on virtually every shot I was pulling to the left. No matter how much I tried to do it differently my shot was off by about the same amount and in the same direction.

Sometimes I talk like I have multiple personalities and I will indulge that tendency now when I say that in response to this frustration ‘one part of me’ thought “Hey, why don’t you just compensate for your pull to the left by aiming at a point to the right of your target.” At this point the memorable event occurred – a different part of my mind suddenly came forward with an extremely strong visceral objection to that suggestion. I was shocked to find that ‘the offended one’ was charging me with not just giving bad gaming advice but bad ethics and shamefully low integrity for even considering such a thing.

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Why Did You Do That?

confused_frog“Why did you do that?” she asks. I opt for honesty. “I have no idea.”

It’s true. I don’t know why I do most of the things I do. I never have.

I used to think I did. Back when I thought it was a simple matter of weighing the options and choosing the best one. Back when I thought decision-making was a logical and transparent process (make your pros-cons list and act accordingly) Back when I still believed I was free to choose whatever path I wanted to choose in life. Back when I hadn’t experienced enough of life to know that none of these things are true.

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Political Reform Ideas

My wife recently read Itʼs Even Worse Than It Looks by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. This book takes a critical and historical look at the current polarization of political parties in the USA and how we got to this point.

The first part of the book is analysis of the current political situation and how we got here. The second part is a series of ideas for political reform to get us out of the current situation. I think most of these are common sense and ought to appeal to most people. My wife put together a summary of their reform ideas, which follows.

Note: The authors refer to the Republican Party as an outlier party, because it has moved well outside the American mainstream.

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Last Words

A literary short story (900 words)

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It’s taking a long time, Diane, this dying thing. I am just waiting now.

I’m waiting for you, dear.

The hospice nurses take good care of me. They give me sponge baths and change my diapers and keep me high on morphine. Most of the indignities are behind me, and they’ve stopped trying to feed me, which is a relief since it’s more work than it’s worth and I don’t get hungry anymore. It’s just a matter of time now.

I didn’t have time to say goodbye. I’m glad you do.

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