Writing these occasional short essays is a strange experience. When my wife encouraged me several years ago to get into it, I wondered what I would write about. I still wonder about that. The past few weeks have been a dry spell during which nothing special has triggered my mind into writing mode. It makes me ask what it is that triggers that mode. Most often it seems to be something that has got under my skin, raising enough ire to want to say something about it. At other times it is something I’ve read or witnessed that inspires more lofty thoughts about God and people.
Things are just simmering right now. Nothing seems to be pushing its way through. Among the simmering subjects are questions about the meaning of hospitality and inhospitality; the dynamics of small town life, especially church life, which is much less, and yet more, idyllic than many might think; the romanticization of guns and vigilantly justice; why the working poor are so easily seduced by the tea party; concern that so much of the recent job growth is in low paying work; wondering what a healthy personal relationship with God in Christ Jesus looks like; wondering why God in Christ Jesus does snot resonate with those who want everyone to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior; rediscovering my own amazement that so many don’t know how the bible came into being, and how hearing of it shakes their belief; wondering if the people I know who claim to read The Economist actually read it; why the WSJ can have such good reporting and lousy editorials – don’t they read their own articles?; why the NRA is so powerful these days.
Those are a few of my favorite things – to think about. Maybe I need to turn to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up with strings. They seemed to work for Maria (otherwise known as Julie Andrews) and are far more conducive to a good night’s sleep.
So how about something more trivial. My friend Earl gets up early each morning and goes into the country to get terrific wildlife photos. I get up early too, but spend those hours in morning prayer and reading, especially the comics. I go into the same country area that he does, but about two or three in the afternoon – not a critter is stirring at those hours, so I’ve left off carrying my camera. If I really want photos like Earl’s, I guess I’m going to have to go outside early in the morning. I’m not too keen on that.
An old college friend I have not talked with in forty years or more called me the other day. He’s building a kit airplane. When he gets done he’ll work on getting his pilot’s license. Not bad for man in his 70s. A current old friend just bought two kayaks and wonders if I might join him in some river kayaking this summer, and, also, would I teach him how to paddle board. My wife is running in a 10k this weekend. It’s sandwich in between two shows featuring her art while she prepares for yet a third. I know nothing about fly fishing, but have a date this coming Thursday to begin learning. This decade of the 70s is turning out to be a good one.
So, what shall I fulminate about next? We shall see.