Thursday, December 24, 2009


It takes faith to walk on water because that's what faith is -- trying to stand on nothing. It's a bargain with the future, backed by, what, hope? Experience? We trust physics because it never fails. Even miracles prove it -- they prove a presiding intelligence, a spirit in the clay. But with people it's different. Physics doesn't betray. People do. You just can never be sure, with that sort of trust.

So here it is, Christmas Eve. I got up early and worked most of the day. Then I slept in the evening. Now I'm brooding. Not the morbid kind, although I'm a bit dark. Just grappling with fundamental questions of existence again. You know, same old.

It was a hard year, but it was good, had a kind of goodness to it. Like getting kicked in the head, and no concussion, or even bruises. Teaches you that you can be kicked in the head. Something about strength, or resilience. Opposites, sort of.

There must always be that worm of dissatisfaction, in anyone who has any depth. Things should be better -- one's potential hasn't been reached, or there are harmed children in the world. But wisdom reminds us sometimes, like a kick in the head, that we had better be fall-on-your-face grateful, if only for the air in our lungs, because it could be so much worse. We take for granted the lack of torment for the people we love, as if it were a given. But inflicting torment is Christmas morning, for much of humanity.

There's a dog I'm around sometimes that barks and snarls at me, actual snorting nostril snarling. I want to beat that dog to death, a part of me, because that's how it greets me. I deserved that? Being screamed at incessantly? And it just will not learn. Untrainable. Is that how God feels about us? But the dog will not train me. It's not okay, that its instincts are wrong. Because that's its greeting. It wags its tail, runs up and stands against my leg, yapping. Must have been abused, or it's insane or something.

There's the scholarly dating convention of CE, rather than AD. CE, for Common Era. Same number, but Jews and secularists may not feel comfortable with the implied Anno Domini, Year of Our Lord. It's an imposed or demanded courtesy. But it's a repudiation. If it's a common era, it should date from Alexander the Great, 300 years prior, or from Constantine, 300 post. Christ is common? Yes. They do not understand it, but those who use CE are just expressing the universal rather than the personal nature of potential salvation. Ironic.

It's about wrong expectations, and misread signals. Insane dogs and sojourning aliens, and people who don't dare trust. But the world we reside in is only partly physical, and that, the lesser part. We live inside our heads, and that makes everything subjective, and vulnerable to shadows of insanity. The opposite of insanity isn't mental health. The oppose moves through honesty, to courage.


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