Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Little Explanation

I have not been posting or making the rounds lately in the blogosphere and I want to give a bit of an explanation as to why.  I promised everyone a ways back that I had a surprise announcement and then was promptly upstaged by the birth of my newest little granddaughter!  How rude!

Everyone assumed that was the new announcement, but that one was scheduled for the second week in January and just came a bit early.  The good news is that Newbie Fossil is doing just fine and I am going to rename her Peanut Fossil at this stage.  It just fits her better!  But, back to my surprise announcement ...

I took a job!  There is a company that I did initial contract work for beginning in September of 1995.  Eventually, they hired one of my employees in 2001 to handle their needs onsite - and this was done with my blessing - and now they have run into some programming needs over the past year that I was best suited to help them with.   They then, at the end of the year, put together a package they offered me to see if I would come to work for them as an employee and it was definitely worth my time.

I have been way busy!  And now I have to board a flight!  Later ...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Give us this day our daily ...

This painting hung on a wall in our dining room - or that of my grandparents, perhaps, before that - for as long as I can remember.  It is, of course, an old man in prayer, saying grace over that which he has received and that which he treasures, the items of true sustenance, food and the written word.  It is very Christian at its best, a beautiful visual portrayal of simplicity, humility and gratitude.

As children, we were taught The Lord's Prayer with its line, "Give us this day our daily bread." and I cannot count the number of times in my life I have repeated this prayer in private and in communion with others.  This, I assume, is the source of the topic brought to the LBC today (yesterday, really, but among friends ...) by Padmini.  It embodies a very interesting stance toward the world, saying that sustenance is not earned as capitalism portrays, but rather that it is a gift of the divine to be appreciated, a gift to be shared and multiplied in our caring one for another.

For those who cannot see their way past the fact that Christianity was incorporated here, it can be stated with some variation of meaning in a different context by Omar Khayyam in his Rubaiyat:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,

A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness--

Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

It is a good way to be.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Religion and Me

I posted this as a response over at Ashok's blog to his avowed atheism coupled with appreciation of the beauty of spirit shone him by some believers:

I am not an atheist, but I do not believe in “an omnipotent person looking over you,” for there are very different ways to construct being and its roots. Indeed, I have never seen any of the descriptions of ultimate reality to match my vision in any of the religions, but I can see all of them as local representations of it, each with greater or lesser distortion and none of them complete. I am nonetheless appreciative of the truth of the serious believer when shone in love and humility.

And, I love that we all share seats in a magnificent mystery!

For once, I expressed well what I feel within.  I am like the new Pope, if a person is atheist and lives well, with compassion, caring and justice, I have embrace them.  If a person is a believer and lives poorly in terms of caring and love, I don't see salvation in their belief.


This is a sad post.  We as a family have been incredibly blessed this holiday season with the healthy birth of our newest addition, Newbie Fossil.  We had a much closer flirt with disaster, however, with the drowning and resuscitation of Innocence Fokker, my daughter's neice.  The doctors said she only had a 7% chance of even survival, so we count her full recovery as blessing beyond belief!  Our experience with Innocence made us very sensitive to the plight of kids in danger and, unfortunately, of kids dying.  

On the same day that Innocence drowned, 2 other children drowned in the same area.  Innocence was the only one to survive.

On the day that Innocence was released from the hospital, a 13 year-old girl was brought into the same hospital for a routine tonsillectomy.  But, routine or not, she began bleeding and went into cardiac arrest over the next few days.  She has been declared brain dead by several specialists.  Still,the family refuses to have her removed from life support and now it has been announced (as I've been typing this piece) that she will be transferred to a long term care facility.

The sadness we feel and the empathy runs VERY deep!  However, the scientist in me no longer has any hope, for brain death cannot be recovered from.  If ever she recovers, it will indeed be miraculous.  Short of that miracle, I fear that this will be a source of further pain for the family in ways hard to imagine.

Rarely, something like the recovery of Innocence happens.  Unfortunately, all too often, broken is broken and there is no repair available.  And there is no broken worse than that which happens to your child.

I hope that the other members of the Loose Blogger Consortium, listed on the right, have happier takes on this topic.  Nothing in me would be happier than being wrong about this 13 year-old.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


In this holiday season - and a quite unusual, intense and busy one for me and mine, I might add - I am running a bit late on my LBC blogging.  But, Maria / Gaelikaa brought this topic to us and I am determined to do my part!  Today, I will be channeling another person, a little person who will be a regular participant from this point forward.

Hi, I'm the newest member of the family, Newbie Fossil!  It isn't easy coming out of one of the nicest spas in the universe to the harsh light of day.  The responsibilities they lay on a kid!  Wake up.  Eat.  Poop.  Sleep.  Repeat.  I mean, it is unending!

Oh, and did I tell you that they packed me up from the hospital and brought me to some place they call home?

I think this is more work than it's supposed to be, right?  I mean, it even wears out my Dad:

I mean, Mom is carrying a load right now and I get how she could be tired:

Still, all of us women in this family hang together and she seems to be doing great in spite of it all!

If they can do it, I can do it!  I'm determined!

But, there are times ...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is Global Peace Possible?

Ramana can at times throw a hard one at the LBC for the weekly topic.  Wow.  Well, here goes.

The optimist and the realist in me live in different time periods on this one.  In the present, there seems to be no viable path to global peace.  Human evolution just isn't at that stage and I can only see it happening with a few more millennia of progress.  If we can possibly survive to that point.

There is the rub.  Survival to the point that peace could be global.  We are on several collision courses in the path to global peace, and the most alarming is the one capable of triggering all the other disasters we fear most, the one that can truly bring the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse - Conquest (or Pestilence), War, Famine and Death - into our presence.  That single source is not JUST iniquity, although the true believers of the literal will no doubt fault me on this, it is the inevitable collision with reality that an unsupportable population brings.

At our current acceleration of population, we are heading for a collapse of the bridge to the human future, for we will be unable to supply the resources necessary to sustain ourselves.  This, under present reckoning, is an unavoidable fact.  The result is the entrance of the Four Horsemen and the less literal interpretation is that these are the necessary forces that will come into play as the conflict of over populating hits the full tipping point.

We are already well on our way and can see the results all around us.  We have global warming.  We are polluting.  People are starving.  We have wars.  Ultimately, many people will die on a mass scale.

But ... this is where the optimist in me walks in, my internal version of the True Believer.  Given mankind's drive to survive, it will become apparent even to the ignorant that extinction is a very real possibility.  Existence itself will become intolerable on a more massive scale and humankind will either need to mount a massive defense of its viability ... or die.  When confronted with these options, it is amazing what people can do.

Is global peace possible?  Yes, I think so.  But it looks like a great deal of trauma may be necessary to truly awaken us to a better potential.  Do you agree?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Brain of Innocence ...

... suffered no damage!  The word just came in from the neurologist.

And, more good news: she is now walking around on her own!