Tuesday, December 16, 2014


So I've ended up with a cat. I don't like cats. I was praying for a new laptop or an e-reader, and I got a cat. Did I mention that I don't like cats? And yet this cat seems to insist that it's exactly where it's supposed to be - to whit, in my unwilling care. You will note that I say "it"; and on 'it', I shall insist.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Evening Stroll

Always such a pleasure to take an evening stroll in Renon, especially on mild evenings such as this. It is always an adventure of some sort - a quiet adventure of chance meetings, pleasant chats, curious children wearing wide-open smiles. A man named Wayan wants to know what I'm doing, where I'm going, where I live, where I'm from, where my wife is from, whether I have children and what ages they are. Strangely, my life seems suddenly significant. Anonymity is marvelously banished by simple words of uncalled for friendship. A band of children skip along behind me as I leave my new friend. It's only a trip down the street to the store. You could do it in America in 10 minutes without uttering one word or enjoying a single smile.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Old Times

I sure miss my parents and my brother sometimes. For a moment, a split second, it feels as if they had died just yesterday, or indeed as if I could go home and they would be there, the windows lit from within, the porch light shining, the TV casting colors and shadows on the ceiling and walls, food waiting in the kitchen, the fireplace burning. I would shake the rain off my coat and enter the side door and there, in the next room, would be my father in his chair, my mother on the sofa, while my brother would be back down the hall in his room, listening to music. Weren't they all there just a moment ago? And yet they have been gone for 15, 20 and 30 years. How can it be? How can it be? This was my family, my parents and my brother, the last great people in the world.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Nowadays, communication is practically instantaneous - a miracle of modern technology. And yet it often seems that more vital, longer lasting relationships were forged and perpetuated in the day of the written letter, which would sometimes require months for delivery. People devoted themselves to these efforts because they were precious and meaningful. Despite our unparalleled opportunities, we live in an age of the trite remark, the smiley face, the abbreviation, the careless barb, the single word and the fragmented sentence. We are not connected after all, but increasingly disconnected.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gotta Love It

Gotta love it. I left my newly bought pack of cigarettes on the table at the nearby Circle K, came home, eventually realized I had left the cigarettes, and so drove back to the Circle K. Probably about 45 minutes had passed in between times, partly because a car had parked pretty much in the middle of the street and two garbage trucks had tried to go around it at the same time. Anyway, arriving back at the Circle K, I find that the cigarettes are still there! Even though people have come and gone, and there are now new people sitting at the table, the pack is still there. Folks, this just doesn't happen in America. You can forget about those cigarettes. Don't even bother to go back and look. Guaranteed, they're gone. Even if a nonsmoker has come along, he'll take them anyway, just because they're there. And this is not an isolated incident. Same thing happened to me last week at a different CK. I find this sort of thing tirelessly amazing. I have seen people leave laptop computers on a table while they went to the restroom. I've seen people leave cellphones on a table or on a beach chair. I've seen women leave their purses on a chair, for heaven's sake! No one takes these things because they recognize a simple fact that we in America seem to have lost sight of. They belong to someone else.

We Are the World

Really, we all have so much in common. We should concentrate on those things, rather than on our differences. For instance, we all suffer from itches that cannot be scratched. No matter how you contort your limbs, you cannot reach the spot that itches. We are all good drivers stuck in a world of bad drivers. We are all aware of the flaws of others but not of our own. When we try to throw something into the trash bin. we almost always miss. If we drop something on the floor, it almost always rolls under some immovable piece of furniture. If we put on our raincoat in anticipation of rain, it doesn't rain. And vice versa. In like manner, if we leave our laundry out overnight, it gets rained on; if we bring it in, it doesn't rain. We all think of what we should have said several days after we should have said it. Whenever we are trying to concentrate on something, there is bound to be a fly disturbing our train of thought. Truly, the list goes on and on. We are all the same.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I've always made things very easy for takers. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I believe that they will eventually learn something and begin to give in return. Yet, I must admit that that's probably not likely. Having taken without shame, they will likely only take more. So why? I always remember the words of the Lord. "If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." The road is both short and long. Some are focused on their own feet, some on the unseen, though truly authentic goal. This is the foolishness of God, wherein being emptied is the same as being filled.