Despite sufferering, one  does not fall into despair when there is still hope.

Some think that despair is a noble way to live, but despair is really only useful if it is a transitional state.

Despair is really only an option when you are bound and determined not to transition.

It’s a hard thing, to make that leap. For instance, where does cowardice transition to bravery? The brave heart is as afraid as the cowardly one. There comes a moment in the gloaming, though, where the day becomes night, the butterfly emerges from the caterpillar, and no one can pinpoint where it is except to guess that it is the same thing. But it isn’t the same thing. It had better not be.

Things here are hard. Grim, in that I do not see where the change will come from. Hopeful in the knowledge that unforeseen change does come. Hopeful in the knowledge that we do not really see what is happening until it’s happened. While we are busy writing the alternative fictional version of reality, the Berlin Wall falls. Regimes collapse. We learn from that, not to believe so much in the story that we are writing, to instead hope in the sure knowledge of the unseen, or we don’t; we keep on chasing our own tails.

We are long past the point of despair here, but we are looking in hope for grace. The grace of opportunity and the grace of the willingness to seize it. The grace to transition.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.




Sorta kinda maybe

I’m drinking a beer and thinking about writing some thoughts. I’m on my mobile device and I have 29% power. I think I’m logged in to WordPress. Sorta kinda maybe.

Interesting times here, in the words of the ancient Chinese curse. Camp went astoundingly well, the adjustment back to home not well at all, and then came a possible revelation that camp went hideously awry,  but the only one who can say so cannot speak. So, there is a lump in everyone’s belly’s. And he won’t stop screaming at us for very long. Or sleep more than five hours. Anyway. Life is full of challenges. And ice cream.

I am addicted to Minecraft right now. I have an addictive personality, not the kind where people can’t get enough of you,  but the kind where you can’t get enough of everything else. I kicked Candy Crush and Angry Birds. I kick Facebook four times a year. I’m sure I’ll kick this. Only right now I’m not sure I want to.

It’s just one beer. That’s not everyone’s idea of drinking.

I’m usually the one in this house who faces life. I’m not sure what happened.

“I’ll get whatever I want and destroy anyone who gets in my way.” That’s how the bad guys used to sound when I was itty. There isn’t any right or wrong anymore, no good or bad wolf, as I understand it. Just whatever the wolf wants and whatever might stand in its way. I guess in the end it is the wolf who swallows its own tail.

I don’t get angry at people for disagreeing with me or trying to find their own bliss. I do become frustrated when they’re people I care about and their bliss seems to be suffering. Suffering ain’t all bad, but there’s a real art to it if it’s to mean anything.

I don’t even become all that frustrated. I get frustrated with myself for not praying when I know that’s the one thing that might actually help. It’s abundantly clear close to no one is interested in my point of view, and those who are are not among my nearest and dearest.

There is a book I’ve been meaning to read called Exlusion & Embrace by Miroslav Volf. The idea in it, as I understand, is that one of the most damaging forms of violence is to simply turn our back on or ignore people (the excluding part, I suppose), whereas…well, I don’t know, I haven’t read it.

What I do know is my beer is gone, people are still awake though not particularly loud or and much less demanding, and my power is down to 16%. Here’s looking at you. We’ll have to see if I can manage to find the right account and get logged in again.


When it seems like time

I thought that I should write something. Or could write something. Or would write something. Now that I’m logged into my old account and staring at the editor, it may turn out I’m wrong on all counts.

I’ve had a fear of writing anything. There are reasons for vows of silence, after all. It is easy to misstep when you open your lips. Silence, too, can be a misstep. It can send wrong messages, false signals.

The worst of all word dangers, perhaps, is sending wrong messages and false messages to ourselves. Rather than excavating hidden truths, they can be used to bury the obvious. They can be a pile of covers to hide under when we don’t want to see what’s lurking close to the bed. The words we tell ourselves can dangerously skew our view of reality.

Shame is another thing that can lead to silence. Those who feel ashamed can feel it is better not to speak.

So what in my life is leading to silence? What is leading me to want to break it?

This isn’t so much an update so far as it is psycho-analysis. This isn’t 2008, for goodness sake. I’ll try to change course.

Then again, reality seems too personal. What’s going on with the one kid. What’s going on with the other. Spouses, jobs, religion. Everything is a tightly balled knot of anxiety. Of things in a state of precarious balance or things already pushed and falling and waiting to meet their terminus. And the rest of it is just coping.

Sometimes the coping is the deepest reality. Am I coping, am I not? How do things really stand with me? How do things stand between me and, not any circumstance, not anyone or anything, but how they stand between me and the life I have been given? How is my relationship to my being and the source of that being, whatever it might be? The word ‘coping’ doesn’t really do that relationship justice.

So here I am, writing to connect, or to cope, or to obscure. Maybe for a little of all three. Or maybe for a lot.

If I write again, I’ll try to write about actual things. I’m sure there are some.

New blog

In the hopes of exploring my nerdy philosophical and religious interests without boring, imposing upon, or alienating my good friends, I am launching a Catholic-oriented blog, where I will learn, explore, and teach whatever happens to interest me at the moment. (I will continue to maintain and contribute to this site.) Though I don’t expect anyone to follow me there, I offer the link below in the interests of transparency. 😀


I saw a strange thing.

I saw a blind man with two legs

carrying on his back

a man with two eyes

and no legs.

I said to the man,

“Where are your legs?”

He replied, “I cut them off,

for I did not want to rely on crutches

to carry me through life.”

I said to the other man,

“Why do you carry him, when he was

born with two perfectly good legs

and decided to cut them off?”

The blind man said,

“Even so, I was born with two eyes,

and yet I plucked them out.

Now I carry him

and he sees for me.”

I saw a strange thing.

Poems or not

I thought I would do the poems today. I may or may not. 

We know there’s a lot to do. That goes without saying. 

There is heavy machinery working in the wooded lot behind us. Greenery is disappearing, little by little. The end point is uncertain. Grace is sitting by the window, quite distressed. It touches some deep, unrevealed part of her inner landscape. 

We have a job offer. We took it. The contract is supposed to be sent today. 

We aren’t going anywhere, but with the heavy machinery in the lot behind us, one does think…

I don’t like writing poems on my phone. 

Lot of chaos on the messy floor world.  A lot of people judging each other, on all sides. Loud voices. I sometimes wonder if I’m judgey enough, or if I’m too insecure about my own moral character to feel such. If I’m lacking, or less than, morally and emotionally. Sometimes I wonder if the loud voices are the same and are just trying to drown out the hum of their own internal chatter. 

I need to find a better device for poems.