Reflections and Revelations...often irrelevant or irreverent ramblings of a fellow who doesn't seem to fit well in any of the tidy categories out there. So, here I find a place to ponder "aloud" my thoughts, questions and observations. Perhaps another misfit may find comfort in the wilderness.
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.
No question elicits more anxiety than this one. At times, I even avoid meeting new people just to side-step this question. “Where are you from?”—seems like such an easy question that should have such an easy answer. For me and others like me, not so. I am a part of that societal anomaly called “Third Culture Kids”—those are born in one culture, raised in another, and never completely ‘at home’ anywhere. Allow me to explain… I was born in south Alabama…way down south where the peanut and cotton fields fill the landscape. I came into that world in the mid-60’s…long before cable TV, central a/c, cell phones, and anything akin to ‘urban sprawl.’ My daddy was the Baptist preacher at a small and growin’ church outside of Dothan, Alabama…that’s ‘Dothan’ – “DOOOE-thun.” My momma, a school teacher, and daddy raised my two older brothers and me in a good Southern home. My few memories of this time include hot summer evenings, a kiddie-pool full of frogs my brothers and their friends had caug
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 certa