Where I work

October 30, 2010

Here’s a picture of where I work.

It doesn’t always look like this, but within a very short 10 minute time-span of the year, it all comes together for an in-camera capture, and an in-consciousness celebration.  If you miss this particular moment in time, whether because of weather, or indifference, it takes a whole year for everything to align just so for a new opportunity.

Life is like this.  The grandest moments are fleeting.  We savor them, or we miss them, perchance to never encounter them again.

You have moments and opportunities like this in your life, and your town.  Don’t let them pass without a serious gander. 

Indeed, the magnificence among us is more about perception.  It has little to do with manifestation.


Fallen Leaves

October 27, 2010

There I was, some years ago, coming back from a meeting in Pennsylvania, doing 80 on Route 80.  Climbing a mild grade in the middle lane, as soon as I hit the crest, spread out in front of me lay the most gorgeous, crystalline display, as the setting sun irradiated a forest of barren trees coated with ice.

Feeling tired, even though I had a camera on the passenger seat, I convinced myself to keep going, in the sense that another such scene would appear on my horizon at a more convenient time.

Almost 30 years have passed, and that convenience has never arrived.  A magnificent opportunity had manifest itself, and I passed it by.

So, it came to pass that yesterday, on my own block, a neighbor’s brown house was enveloped in a sea of ruddy, iridescent magic.  I needed to get to work.  But this time I knew that I could not assume the beauty before me would repeat itself, even the next day.

Running back home, I grabbed my camera, and captured it all as best as I could.

I cannot say whether or not scenes of natural grandeur are rare.  Yet, I am certain that they are fleeting.  The light changes, colors fade, and even if things do abide, we move on and away, often never to return.

Only the arrogance of our assumption keeps us from stopping to soak in and savor the moments and instances of life that are real gifts to behold.  As we move toward a given destination, I, for one, now feel the need to hit the brakes, so as not to skip past displays and events that define the journey.

Indeed, it is the way that is wonderful.  It is the unexpected vista that renders meaning for our passage and appreciation for our lives.

Yesterday, the light and the leaves were perfect.  Today, it rains.

McVeigh, Muslims, Whoopi and O’Reilly

October 21, 2010

How quickly some desperately want to assert that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian!  This, in defensive response to the fact that the 9/11 killers were Muslim!

Actually, it appears that Mr. McVeigh was an agnostic for most, if not all of his adult life.  He didn’t blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in service to Jesus Christ.  Sorry, but he just didn’t.

On the other hand, the 9/11 perpetrators saw their deed primarily as a faith-based initiative.  So they were not nominal Muslims (which would not then be of interest).  They explicitly and continuously invoked their faith in the wanton, deliberate, callous and calculated murder of 3,000 people.

This is a sad reality, to be sure, and completely at odds with peace-loving Muslims around the world.  But it is an unavoidable reality as well.

Screaming down O’Reilly might have achieved something (?) on The View, but it didn’t obscure the bottom line truth.

The truth O’Reilly spoke is a truth the 9/11 killers-wanna-be-martyrs would have agreed with.  It is not a biased characterization heaped on the perpetrators from the outside, it is the religious connection they openly and vehemently made for themselves.