Ordinary Life?

Many times I consider my life completely ordinary--I imagine we all do. Then, there are moments like this morning.... Sitting, having a coffee at the Texas Cafe, I look out the window to see the palm trees rustling in the winds that make their way from the coast some 100 miles to the east; I overhear some 'old timers,' speaking in slurred Spanish, trading stories about rattlesnakes; at another table, a 'gringito,' architect, pours over drawings of some local project; the coffee I drink--beans from Colombia, sugar from Mexico--is hot, smooth, enlivening...and I realize that life is anything but ordinary. Life is amazing....

After a While....

After way too long, I’m back.
In the last three years, I pretty much exchanged the world of words, ideas and thoughts for a world of pictures, memes, pithy sayings and ‘likes.’ No more. There is no less.
The world in which I wish to live is a world of words and ideas, of thoughts and musings. I want to live in a more meaningful world, a thoughtful world, a purposefully expressed world. If there are pictures, I want to share pictures that have meaning, that capture more than breakfast omelets, that will have meaning and purpose and arouse feelings and thoughts long after I am gone. I want what I write to be accessible again and again…and to have meaning, to invite people to think, to capture moments, ideas and events that merit remembrance.
May I find myself a part of a growing community of like-minded, mindful, mind-enriching men and women who want their lives to matter, who want their thoughts to be heard and remembered, who live beyond ‘8hrs ago.’

So, I return to the world of writi…

An Underlying Sense of Urgency

I feel it all around me.  When I’m at the college, I feel it.  When I’m at the grocery store, I feel it.  When I’m at church, I feel it.  I speak of that underlying sense of urgency that seems to permeate so many parts of our lives, that subsonic, subliminal message of “hurry, hurry; do it now; let’s get it done….”  Perhaps I show my West Indian hand here.  But, if that is the case, then we here in North America have something to learn from the West Indies…and much of Latin America, Africa and Asia.  Okay…we have something to learn from most of the rest of the world!
Why the urgency?  Perhaps it has something to do with our American perception that we must be “first” in the world.  Biggest, best, fastest, strongest…pick the superlative adjective, and we want to apply it to ourselves here in the US.  On a local level, apply these same superlatives to individual companies, schools, etc.  And, if we’re going to be the best, first, biggest, etc., I imagine that would indicate a certain s…

Simple Joys

An empty cup sits before me, a gift from friends…given to me when I was in Prague, Czech Republic, in October 2008, a small token of remembrance on my birthday while I was away from home. That cup is now my espresso cup, filled and drained daily…much to my mind’s content.

I keep learning that the greatest joy and contentment usually comes from the simple things in life. I think back to the really expensive gifts I’ve received or even the expensive things I’ve bought…and I struggle to bring them to mind; they’re all but forgotten. But those simple things that brought and bring such joy? They are there at the mere thought:
My espresso cup. A small fire on a cool, Fall evening. Sitting on a beach, shore or rocky edge overlooking a bay or the sea. The smell of cookies in the oven. Reading through “The Sermon on the Mount”…again. My old copies of Orthodoxy (G.K. Chesterton) and Mere Christianity (C.S.Lewis). My children laughing together as they tell a tale from days past. A nap sitting i…

Good Friday - 2014

Good Friday…. Darkness covers the land. Despair covers the disciples. We see the walk to Golgotha, that place of death, of crucifixion. We see Jesus and others whipped, beaten…and finally nailed to rough wooden beams. They are lifted, exposed to the crowds…jeered at, laughed, wept for. Jesus...King of the Jews? Son of God? He asks His Father to forgive them…offers some words of consolation to those around…and breathes His last. It is finished. …Or is it?

Viernes Santo... La oscuridad cubre la tierra. Desesperación cubre a los discípulos. Vemos el camino al Gólgota, el lugar de la muerte, de la crucifixión. Vemos a Jesús y otros azotado, golpeado... y finalmente clavados a las vigas de madera duros. Ellos se levantan, expuestos a las multitudes... burlas, risas, lágrimas. ¿Jesús, rey de los judíos? ¿Hijo de Dios? Pide a su padre a perdonarlos... ofrece algunas palabras de consuelo a quienes lo rodean... y respira su última.  Se acabó. ¿O no?

Who Stole "Halloween" from Whom?

Finally, a voice of reason: “The idea that Christians “stole” [Halloween] from pagans, therefore, seems pretty far-fetched. In fact the evidence seems to point the other way: the neopagans seem to have unintentionally “stolen” it from the Christians….”!

Lunch in the Park

I’ve started taking my lunch in Retama Park on Maple Avenue.  It’s a three minute walk from my office…and few people are ever there in the middle of day.  This park has become a delightful escape from the technology, air-conditioning, and straight lines of the office.

Today, as in other days, I sit on a bench towards the center of the park, the only bench that’s actually in the shade.   A large water-oak spreads it limbs to block the harsh south Texas sun.  In the shade, the constant breezes making their way from the Gulf make the spot perfect for reading, thinking…or dozing.

I’m reading a novel—Tony Hillerman (The Walking Wind).  Out of the corner of my eye, a person comes into view…a boy…a young boy…a BIG boy…maybe 10-years-old?  He has his basketball.  He makes his way onto the concrete courts where the netting is half torn away from the baskets.  He begins to dribble and shoot—duip, duip, duip, duip….plunk!...duip, duip, duip….
I return to my novel.  Shortly, my mind begins to wa…