Essays and Stories On Life

From the quiet places of the universe to the chaos that is parenting

Life

Handicap Jesus

Maybe He looked out upon humanity and decided we were more work than He imagined. He could be tired of being handicapped at every turn by our inability to progress in the ways He imagined.

I rounded a corner on my bike toward the end of my normal Saturday morning ride and there He was. It was the first morning in a long while where the sun was secluded, hidden behind clouds and a general mist that also made the morning feel quite cold. Fifty degrees in September in Denver used to be illegal. Now, unexpected weather thrusts at the extremes at odd times and is sprouting up all over like weeds and becoming the norm. But Jesus didn’t seem to notice or care. He wasn’t wearing lycra ... more »

Invest In Me

It looks like Trump really is a Russian puppet and conspirator. The evidence rolls in hourly and the muck is getting deeper. No surprise there.

It looks like Trump really is a Russian puppet and conspirator. The evidence rolls in hourly and the muck is getting deeper. No surprise there. For all of their flag-waving, fist-pounding, constitution-celebrating madness, the Republicans seem to be comfortable turning a blind eye to our new president's treasonous machinations. Again, no surprise there. When were they ever anything but myopic, self-serving simpletons who put beliefs before truth? I could see The Donald saying to Putin: “Make America great again. Invest in me.” ... more »

The Great Wall and Logan

I recently saw two movies I liked for vastly different reasons--Logan and The Great Wall. I loved the grittiness and dark tone of Logan.

I recently saw two movies I liked for vastly different reasons—Logan and The Great Wall. I loved the grittiness and dark tone of Logan. ... more »

Our Tiny Piece Of Humanity's Soul

This is a battle of world views. It is a battle for our tiny piece of humanity's soul. Trump isn't the wizard or Grand Master of conservatism. He is an outlier.

What we need to realize, before we completely sink into the abyss of totalitarianism in this ever darkening nightmare, is that the battle isn't about one man. He is all of the things we knew he was. He is deplorable, heinous and obsessed with power. He doesn't care about anyone who can't or won't further his agenda, which clearly has personal strings attached. But this battle isn't about him. ... more »

The Dominoes Fall

Our job as Americans and as Republicans is to dislodge the traitors from every place where they've been sent to do their traitorous work.

One by one the dominoes fall, each makes a small clicking sound as it tumbles into its neighbor and then settles on the ground, metronomic in nature these days, like clockwork. Individually they seem meaningless. Individually they make little noise. And yet, when those single dominoes represent rights and freedoms that are supposed to be sacrosanct here in the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” they should be screams that each of us hears like fingernails on a chalkboard. ... more »

National Treasures

Something missing from our treasure trove today are the heroes who carry our country on their backs and blaze a unique trail for the rest of us to follow. They are the stuff of ticker tape parades and universal admiration.

Ask any man or woman on the street to name a national treasure – something so far removed from the public psyche that many will stutter or stumble over their own words – and you are likely to hear things like the Grand Canyon, Lincoln Memorial and Disney World. All are important cultural places, to be sure. The Grand Canyon is one of the few spaces in nature that still inspires and moves us collectively. No small feat in our CGI world. The Lincoln Memorial, with its hulking size, marble edifice and piercing gaze, reminds us of a difficult past that is still unifying and fracturing our nation in its own perspective-dependent way. And what would our world be like without the genius of Disney and those who have helped sculpt generations of imagination. ... more »

New Car Smell

I love the Apple ecosystem, the fluid ownership, and the fact that I can have my applications, files and settings immediately transferred to a new device. And I hate it.

My daughter often laments the fact that I have mostly forsaken books composed of wood pulp and glue for their electronic brothers. Like many, she believes there is something to be gained from turning actual pages and holding in her hands something with a bit of heft and density. A forest of binary numbers, translated to their representative letters, spaces and punctuation marks and projected through a screen of glass, lack a sense of permanence for her, somehow aren’t as real. She shares this perspective with others who still have a foot firmly planted in a past that is quickly receding in our collective rear-view mirror. ... more »

It Isn't 42

The problem with our search for meaning is that we are attempting to place a pin on a map and beat a path to a fixed destination. But there is no map. And where we are going is anyone’s guess. But, still, just a guess.

One truism consistently reveals itself to us in all parts of life: the simple answer is usually the accurate answer. Fabricating complex reasons for something – anything – using circular logic and impossible leaps of reason isn’t the simple answer. There has to be something else. ... more »

Loss Of Innocence

It’s not the woods that have changed. It’s more that the freedom I experienced as a youth – that letting go and just being – always ends up in shackles, dragging the weight of time behind it

Our favorite thing to do everywhere in the woods was to turn over the large stones and fallen branches and look at the things living beneath them. We wanted to know what was underneath. A few minutes along the path and at the bottom of a hill was a creek. In the creek it was even more true about turning over rocks, except there we were looking for crawdads. Sometimes we would capture them, sometimes not. It was more about the hunt. ... more »

To My Daughter Upon Graduating High School

I have many expectations of you, not the least of which is this: I expect you to fail. A lot, and often. I don’t say this because I am angry or doubtful of your future. Quite the opposite.

Our models of work and career are no longer relevant. They are no longer capable of feeding us, either literally or spiritually. Let me explain. Your world is the world of revolution and change. It is the world of connectedness and empowerment. It is the world of your own individual making. And you are - if you choose - the leader of this world. ... more »

The Sapient Rift

One of the reasons the sapient rift could be so difficult to cross is how quickly intelligent life advances in terms of its technological prowess. It is difficult to imagine any intelligent civilization progressing slowly. Curiosity fuels intelligence.

Sapient Rift

I love science fiction, always have. Television shows, movies and, especially, books have been a staple part of my diet since I used to sit in my underwear watching Batman & Robin, The Green Hornet and Star Trek on my parents' black and white Zenith television.

Ever since I discovered sci-fi I have been enamored with the unlimited possibilities I saw out there – “where no man has gone before.” The stars and the greater universe made me curious about a lot of things. I suppose at some point most of us ask the question “are we alone”? The odds seem to be in the favor of “no, we aren’t”. There are billions of galaxies containing billions of stars and billions upon billions of habitable planets. Given those numbers life can’t be so uncommon as to make our presence upon the universal stage singular. What a tragedy that would be! ... more »

No, You May Not Punch Some Girl In The Face

When it comes to parenting I’m like most guys with a teenage daughter: clueless and making stuff up as I go along. Any guy claiming otherwise is full of it.

Junior Prom has come and gone, which was mostly uneventful, but quite costly. That’s okay. As any father will tell you, once your daughter becomes a teenager you turn into a 24 hour ATM. Currency equals love. That’s why some of us with lots of greenbacks go for younger women when we age. It’s learned behavior. ... more »

Stacks Of Notebooks

I sometimes wonder if the notebooks forced certain habits upon me, or if I use them because they lend themselves nicely to the way I do things.

In a kitchen closet is a box containing 30 notebooks, give or take a few. There are a couple more notebooks at my office. Then, there is my current notebook, a soft cover large Moleskine, sitting on the kitchen counter. They vary in style and sometimes purpose, especially the older ones. There are spiral ring-bound notebooks with college ruled paper. A few of them are hard backed with heavier paper. I almost never think about them. They are an extension of me, taken for granted and never questioned. ... more »

I Miss America

Everywhere we go there we are. We have surrendered our uniqueness for convenience and conformity

I miss our straight-forward approach to solving big problems. I miss the willingness to tackle those problems without agendas or motives, simply because they existed and needed solving and who better than us to provide the solution. ... more »

The Obstacles In Our Way

Navigating the crooked path to truth and honesty

We have entered an era where “proofiness” trumps all. The statement “I believe …” coming from anyone causes us to stop in our tracks and give added weight to any explanation. It’s as if the belief in something – anything – is more important than the veracity of what the person actually believes. Sarah Palin can say on national television (with a straight face!) and no one in the media even questions her competency to be before a microphone: "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant – they're quite clear – that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.” Somehow, questioning the idiocy of her “belief” is off-limits, so no one in the media does, and this lends more credence to her statement with the listening and watching public, blurring lines between fact and folly. ... more »

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JACK MCDANIEL :: AGENTS OF THE UNDERTOW