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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Took our two youngest to Spot Pond this afternoon. The light gleamed gold through the autumn leaves, witnessing their tumbling fall. The water rippled despite no discernible breeze. We saw a garter snake slither away from us, found a dead, half-eaten hawk. The kids played with sticks and threw rocks in the water.

Looking to my own childhood, I have a thick sheaf of memories of myself with my parents in the woods, on rocky seashores, near rivers and lakes. I always felt greatly at ease in such places, with my family. I remember exploring the woods around our house in Stillwater, NJ, at age 6, walking behind my father through the trackless forest. I was a little worried, since there was no path and no way to know where we were going, but I trusted him. My trust was rewarded, and we always found our way home.

Appreciating parenthood can be tricky. It’s exhausting, and goes very quickly. Which is why it can be nice to be with your kids in the wild, because it allows you to simply watch them for a time, to appreciate who they are at that moment. It’s a great advantage of nature, of taking yourselves out of the defining haunts of home and work and school and being outside, part of something larger. Perhaps it’s a way of saying to biology “Look, I reproduced! Just like you told me to!” but that’s a little materialistic for me. I think more it’s an abeyance of time as we experience it, a refuge in the endless cycle of the seasons. Our lives come and go, childhood especially, but the light will always be there.

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Last night I dreamed about Facebook discussion of a plant, resembling a leafy lettuce, but waist-high and large, with a myriad of nutritional and industrial uses. New evidence suggested its cultivation during the Middle Ages was much more widespread than previously believed.

But some were still skeptical, because no matter how useful this plant was, there was a 1 in 100 chance that when the harvester laid the sickle to it, it would explode.

Upon waking, it occurred to me this would make a perfect Monty Python skit.

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Next on the BBC, we bring you “The Snorgweed: An English Tradition”

(Title card: A woodcut-style drawing of a snorgweed next to, in mock old typeface, THE SNORGWEED: AN ENGLISH TRADITION)

Narrator (John Cleese): The snorgweed. An emblem of the English countryside. Here, on this beautiful September morning, the snorgweeds are ready for the harvest.

(Footage of driving past a field of ripe snorgweeds. In the middle distance, there’s an explosion and a column of fire)

N: This is the farm of Thomas Miller. Here he and his sons take in the snorgweeds, as their family has done for generations)

(Footage of Thomas Miller, played by Eric Idle. Caption: THOMAS MILLER, FARMER. He carries a pitchfork, his face is covered with soot, and his hair is on fire)

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Maybe we’ve got this ass backwards. Maybe, on the Judgement Day, we will be doing the judging.

That is, God will allow us a taste of his omniscience, just enough for us to see everything we have ever thought and done, in context, to feel empirically all the effect we had on the world, to honestly see ourselves for the first time. We will judge ourselves.

Practically all of us will elect for damnation, of course.

And the task of Jesus, the Savior, will be to talk us out of it.