Talk or Walk

I’m not much for conversation.
The smalltalk in our lives.
I’m waiting for something special;
whenever it arrives.

Standing straight and watching
Spoken words go flying by.
Concentration blurs, and eyes drift off,
My ears have said goodbye

Waiting on my own two feet,
With patience gazing far.
I close my eyes, and breathing deep
I fly out to the stars.

Wishful thinking of our youth;
It’s so easy to forget.
Waiting on the stairs of life
Remorse and fear, regret.

Is there reason in the world?
Is there a joker in my hand?
Is there a reason to even try?
Should I even make a stand?

We punctuate our lives with work.
Does quality even matter?
From all I’ve seen it surely doesn’t,
At least that’s what I gather.

If no one cares or wants to try,
Then I’ll just pack and walk.
I’ll find a place inside this world,
Where I’m not afraid to talk.

I Wish I Had a Camera

I can think of two times that I wish I had a camera, or at least that someone had taken a picture of me.

The first is the time I wanted to see how fast I could run. I ran alongside a car while the driver kept pace with me tracking my speed. I started slow but quickly built speed until my legs were a blur of supernatural running power. Somewhere around thirty-five miles per hour on the car’s speedometer (I’m pretty sure I remember that speed correctly), I disappeared from the driver’s view.

“You were right there…and then you were gone.” said the driver, “I looked into the rearview mirror and saw you behind the car.”

What the driver saw is what I wish I had a picture of; my body rolling and bouncing down the road. I had attempted to slow down and ended up locking my knee by accident which caused me to “spin out of control”. I landed on the pavement hard, rolled a few times, and eventually came to a sliding stop, which is where most of the damage to my skin came from. Don’t worry, nothing permanent.

Why do I wish there was a picture? Because that must have been one of the funniest things in the world to see…and i didn’t get to see it. I can only hope that someone saw it from their house and now has an awesome story to tell about the “day they saw this dumbass roll down the road.” I know we tell that story at least once a month in my house because it’s always good for a laugh, but if we had pictures it would be so much better.

What’s the second time I wish I had a camera? I’m not going to tell you because it doesn’t sound nearly as funny as the story I just told. I’m going to ammend my answer, I can think of only one time I wish I had a camera, but I’m sure there’s more.

Largest Garlic Clove


largest_garlic_clove

Originally uploaded by firstdivision.

The largest clove of garlic I have ever cut into. Keep in mind, this is just one clove of an entire head!

This was actually a clove of garlic tha was inside a gift basket that we recieved. Since we were cooking up some chicken that was also in the gift basket, I decided to take on the garlic.

I minced about 3/4 of this clove and quickly fried it in butter,making sure not to burn or even brown it. This was added to a pan of fettucini with fresh-cut tomatoes and the garlic. This pasta/garlic mixture served as a bed for the chicken.

Yummy! Almost (but not quite) as good as Chicken Cordon Blue from Mama T’s.

Rowing into Fog

Rowing into the fog, steady and sure, a captain steers his boat. To attempt such a thing, they said, would be crazy. The boat is too small, and the distance too long. Yet standing on the shore, they watch him leave.

Expressionless and stern, the rowboat captain dips the oars into the water and takes another stroke. He pulls hard and the boat rushes forward, gladly accepting the captain’s direction. Friends forever, the boat and man’s trust in each other is complete. One would never fail the other.

The shore is gone; enclosed in a shroud of fog they continue their journey.

“Trust is important.” The captain says to the boat. The boat agrees and accepts another pull of the oars. In fog there is no time, only gray suspense, and the sound of your motion.

A shore appears ahead, a black smudge in the gray. It becomes a beach and the captain takes the boat there. The beach is sand, not stone.

“This is better.” The captain says to the boat. The boat agrees and lets itself be pulled up onto the sand which feels better than the rocks of their old beach. The captain walks away and the rowboat waits for his return, it waits for their next journey into the fog.

On Religion

A recent conversation at a coffee shop caused me to start thinking about religion, specifically mine. I’ve never been an ultra religious person, but sometimes you can’t avoid being asked the question. I ended up writing the text below at around 3 in the morning in order to answer the question more thoroughly for myself. And for anyone else who is interested….obviously.

—————————————————————————————
“So Andrew, what about you?” John asked.

“I guess I would have to say agnostic.” Andrew replied.
—————————————————————————————

Discussions on religion, like politics, are ones I tend to do my best to stay out of, partly because of their ability to so quickly divide a group. I realize that submitting a typed document on the subject is directly opposed to that behavior, but my answer has been bothering me and I think it needs clarification. Since I tend to write better than I speak, this seems like a good way to submit that clarification.

As I spoke aloud my original answer to John’s question, I felt like I lost standing in John’s eyes, and possibly Jane’s as well. This is certainly what bothers me about my response most, enough so that I had to get up out of bed and work out this explanation. I definitely feel like the answer I gave was incomplete, and that I need to fill in the gaps.

A better, but still incomplete answer to John’s question would have been to reply that I’m a non-practicing Congregationalist (Protestant). This is how someone else at the table responded to the question, although for a different faith. Basically, Congregationalism has as a defining characteristic no select Priesthood; the Ministers and Deacons are “leaders in a community of equals” 1. This is the religion I was taught and baptized as a child; I just haven’t been to the church in a while except for the occasional wedding or funeral, thankfully more of the former than the latter. In fact, as is obvious from the footnote above, I had to do some research just to make sure I had the correct definition of Congregationalist.

In order to begin my search for more information, I first need to see exactly what it is I said in my original answer to John’s question. My first stop was a few Google searches, the first of which led me to a page defining agnostic as:

An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time. 2

I agree with those two sentences. Actually, after reading that entire page it turns out that I agree with a lot of what is said. However, that’s just one person’s view on agnostic beliefs.

I suppose that’s what bothered me a little about my original answer, the fact that I was compelled to place beliefs after agnostic in that last sentence. Also, agnostic seems to carry with it a negative connotation, which is why I felt like I had lost some standing in both John and Jane’s eyes. Being labeled agnostic by my own answer to a question, I begin to feel constrained already by the limits of a definition.

One day I took one of those “See what religion you should be” tests. One of the religions that came to the top of the list was Buddhism. Another Google search led me to the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order web site where they offer a definition of Buddhism as:

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. 3

Another definition I can agree with. Who can deny that awareness, kindness and wisdom are things that we should strive for? However, I again run into the same problem of feeling constrained by the boundaries of one particular system. Why should we have to force ourselves into one definition when most religions contain things we believe anyway? I have a feeling I could probably continue this exercise of investigating different religions and find that I agree with a lot of what is said, but there may always be a few things here and there that make me take pause.

I suppose the conclusion I’m starting to arrive at is that I have no answer for the question “What is your religion?” because I shy away from anything labeled as such. I definitely have a personal set of beliefs and principles that I try to follow to the best of my ability, but I cannot say that they all belong to one religion. So the real answer to John’s question is that I have no answer, and yes, I realize that that’s a lousy answer.

Footnotes:
1)
http://www.haverfordwest.freeserve.co.uk/cfwales/beliefs.html

2)
http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/humftp/E-text/Russell/agnostic.htm

3)
http://www.fwbo.org/buddhism.html