Monday, June 27, 2005

When I was younger, a lot younger, I had an older guy tell me "all women are crazy" as advice. At the time I thought he was an idiot (to be blunt), but now I think he just didn't phrase it right. From a guy's perspective, all women aren't guys and don't think like guys. That doesn't make them crazy, so much, as make them women.

Kind of like my wife stopping sometimes and saying "you are such a guy" when I've acted normally (but "wrong" from a woman's perspective). For example, ask a guy to do something and he does it. A woman almost always will think he hasn't because he hasn't done the related things. A guy doesn't seem them as part of the same thing (and if the woman asking him to do whatever the task is also asks him to do the other jobs, what she would call "the rest of the job" he will happily do that too).

Such as "please fold the clothes" means also to put them up after folding and put the fresh sheets on the bed after folding them. It is amazing how much happier you can make young couples by teaching the wives to ask their husbands to do the other related things and by teaching guys that their wife means "do a, b & c" -- once they understand it, they are much happier doing what what make things go well. Twenty years of their wife saying "you didn't do 'a'" won't work. Because they did do "a." Five minutes of saying, "your wife may say 'a' but she means 'a, b & c'" works like a charm.

Anyway, are all women crazy? No more than all men are crazy. But, with work and patience they can not only love each other, they can make each other happy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's day has often been very hard for me. I felt such a sense of personal failure at the deaths of each of the three daughters we buried. I would ask myself the question: "What good am I if I failed to keep my children safe and well" and asked it every Father's day. I had made my children the function to measure myself against, and with their deaths the value of my life seemed voided.

As time passes, I take so much joy in the children Win and I have in our home now that I am regaining hope in life. This June 19th it was good to wake up and see my daughters and to be not a survivor of tragedy living with loss, but to be happy at being a father and their dad. Time returns me to the basics of being in love with my wife and loving my children.

Finding meanings that work is not only the heart of an individual's life, but is the core of a successful communal enterprise. There must always be meanings that matter.

I will return to utopias and life and hopes of Zion, but for now I am glad that my life has returned to meaning.

Some links:

Nate Oman's latest on Utopia

Sojourner's Net

Ozarque on the meaning of words

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

So often I read someone urging someone else to just "drop their baggage" -- with the baggage being their job, their religious quirks, their spouse or something else the urger doesn't see, feel or hear as important.

How important is the "baggage" -- the things that we are certain that God doesn't really care about?

Laying aside the idea of a child or a spouse or a parent or a job as "baggage" -- what about God and the rules in the Old Testament? Surely God didn't really care about them, did He?

But those rules are what preserved the Children of Israel as a people and prevented them from being swallowed and assimilated. Without those rules to preserve the Jews as a peculiar people, they would have ceased to be a people.

It is easy for us to take a census, eat shrimp, use butter on our potatoes while eating steak or have some bacon for breakfast, while wearing a cotton/nylon blend and to think that anything to the contrary is just “baggage.”

But all of those prohibitions were, at one time, important to God. It was obedience as a people that made it possible for Christ to be born of Mary.

So I look at our world, our times and wonder what of the things we have that we might consider “baggage” are important like having blue threads in our hems, observing a Sabbath on Friday nights or reserving the priesthood to a family line of less than 10% of the population.

How many of the things we work with and are asked to obey work together in ways we do not understand, for purposes that we just fail to grasp, but that have meanings as significant as those had by the Macabeans who resisted the urge to drop their baggage and be one with what was the modern world of their time, and led the resistance against the Hellenic forces that sought to destroy the culture and heritage prepared for the birth of Christ?

I do not know, and I do not know the meaning of all things, but I do know that God loves his children.

BTW, for an interesting perspective on this, Someday Saint has an essay on her site:
Part Two