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You wouldn’t think a power outage in Los Angeles would affect me too much. It’s just that my webhost is there, who hosts all the various sites I run. If you tried to stop by, that’s why there wasn’t anything to find for a few hours.

I may have missed some emails too… I know of at least one that didn’t seem to make it.

Lady of the Evening

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Full moons are eerie pleasures. The majesty of the lighted orb gives pause to even the most blighted soul, and the very most blighted begin to rejoice anew. Only the most passionless of any orientation feel no veneration whatsoever. This moon was high in the sky; it was very late. Distinct shadows danced only slightly in the fair blowing breeze. The large unpruned rose bushes swayed along, creating intricate patterns of darkness on whatever was touched by the reflected light. Branches of alder trees became ghastly arms reaching along the grass. This fact disturbed her.

Light, in any form, was something she always tried to avoid. In it she could be noticed, she could be identified for what she was. Long ago she learned the folly of being seen in the midst of her quiet explorations. Though she would never hurt anyone, the mere sight of her caused worry far beyond her means to inspire. This was not something she thought about, it was simply something she knew, something she filed away in those recesses of her mind which allowed her survival.

She had no art in her, no poetry. There was nothing in her which could appreciate a well-turned phrase or take delight in a melodic passage. Whatever part of the divine which touches others with this kind of eternal aptitude was not to be found in her soul. Sad to say it never was to be found, not for generations upon generations.
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Good Tilled Earth

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The farmer stood staring, not at anything particular mind you, just staring. A hoe in his hands provided support for his momentary loss of purpose, letting him simply take in the aroma of good tilled earth and the sounds of the many birds chattering away around him. The sun was still low in the sky. The cool breeze of the morning was a refreshing change from the heat he knew would come later. A single, small puffy cloud wafted above him with a breeze from the west. He stood in his smaller garden, letting his senses become attuned to the world.

Mechanical equipment heard in the distance was not really loud enough to produce irritation but it did push him out of his meditations. He was not what one would call a man of prayer, but he did feel some kind of profound touch with something higher whenever he stopped and let the music of the fields fill his soul. At these times he didn’t say any words, with his voice or mind, but rather let his response be as subtle as what he felt, his inner self adjusting to whatever his instincts prompted.

The grinding of the small engine echoed over the flat, rolling fields, bringing a reminder he was a man of work. His soul was expressed in what he did; his spirituality seemed to reside in the activity of his hands, the exertions of his energy. Being snapped out of a quiet moment may have bothered some. Not he. He reveled in the work before him as much as he delighted in those rare occasions of respite.
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There’s nothing like waking up on a late summer day and feeling a chill breeze, causing one to grab a coat, and stand outside a bit pondering beauty and truth.

Tis a beautiful morning on this mountain.
State of Things

Late Summer morn

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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Here’s a worthy cause. Maria has this to say about it:

I want to make you aware of a special organization that I’m involved in: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT) program. TNT is a fundraising and half-marathon training program that will prepare me, along with my teammates, for the challenges of running a half marathon while fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

I am running (which is a miracle in and of itself) with my teammates in honor of two great kids, Alex and Sophie, both of whom have been affected by leukemia. Alex is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) 2 years ago. ALL is considered the most curable of all major forms of leukemia. Sophie is 14 years old and was diagnosed with Refractory Leukemia a year ago. Refractory Leukemia is known for accompanying one of the lowest rates of survival among blood cancers.

I invite you to support Alex, Sophie, and me as I fund raise for TNT and train for the Santa Barbara Half Marathon on November 5, 2005. I have made a commitment to raise $1900. Your tax-deductible donation to LLS goes directly to the cause.

My personal fundraising deadline is fast approaching so I ask that you send your donation by October 1, 2005.

Please use the link donate online quickly & securely. You will receive email confirmation of your donation, and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. I thank you in advance for your support, and really appreciate your generosity!!

Donate if you can.

Well Done

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He smiled as the applause continued, raised his arm in a subtle wave to his audience and mouthed, “Thank you, thank you,” nodding his head in deference to their acclamation. His smile grew into a rather charming chuckle as the applause continued.

Well, this went rather better than I had expected, he said to himself, feeling the weight of the previous several weeks washed away in an instant.

It had all been leading up to this, this speech, this presentation of what had taken so long to determine and organize. The present acknowledgment of his efforts was simply icing on the cake. Much work remained to be done. Much still had to be processed and settled, but the basics, the foundations were ‘out there’.

Apparently, he made a good argument for it all. He knew he would.

“We’ll see, we’ll see,” he whispered quietly, smiling all the while, knowing the vagaries of a crowd.
The applause died down, with many of the audience beginning to pick up their belongings and move towards the exits. A number, a number which surprised even him, walked towards the stage, hoping apparently for a further greeting or discussion.

“Great speech, John,” an attractive woman in a red pantsuit said, reaching up to the stage to shake his hand, her long, wavy brown hair falling across her face as she did so. She was attractive in that way women in their early forties can be if they are not trying to look like they are still in their twenties.

“Excellent. It really was. I think you’ve got something here.” She swished her hair back into place. “Are we still on for Tuesday?”

“Thanks Carol. Yeah, we’re still on.”

A hand touched the back of his shoulder. Letting go of Carol’s hand with an ingratiating smile, he turned to see three men standing behind him. She continued to stare at him. He knew she was, for the entire fifteen seconds before she turned and left.
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Thoughts for the Day

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He who stands in awe of God searches for the divine principles that God has implanted within creation; the lover of truth finds them.

Stillness and prayer are the greatest weapons of virtue, for they purify the intellect and confer on it spiritual insight.

If you have been given spiritual knowledge, you have been given noetic light; should you dishonor that light, you will see darkness.

The flesh revolts when prayer, frugality, and blessed stillness are neglected.

–Thalassios the Libyan

Afternoon Delight

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There is a unique tedium about being given a task but not being yet allowed to begin working at it. The mind, still full of expectations, is forced to stew while occupying itself with peripheral activities, chores which are vaguely useful, and can be rationalized as even being essential for the eventual real job, but which generally encourage the heart and mind to drift into different realms, foreign lands, impossible places. The mind wanders and flows, out of the building into the heavens or about the earth, pondering people, specific and general, and events. Simple things catch one’s eye as the mind searches for its own satisfaction in the midst of a less than engaging hour.

Begun, but not yet beginning. Arrived, but not quite there. All the expectations that had built up still residing as questions remain unanswered and hopes unsatisfied. It is those moments in life in which we are still in the waiting room, rummaging about for a magazine even vaguely interesting. Some spend only hours in these kinds of moments, some spend years. The very holy and the very unholy have been known to spend entire lives pondering existence in such a way.

She had only been at this for a little over a week. Having finished the initial training and introduction to her new job she found herself perched high above the urban suburb as she began her second week. There was a calling, she knew, a strong urging into the direction she was going, a persistent push which did not seem to let her stray too far away. But it was imprecise yet, not relating specifics or details, and letting her wander through the wilderness on her own, though certainly not alone. It is the searching that develops faith. It is the yearning which is itself a prayer to the Divine, the grasping after a life lived as intended, which points to a person of true faith and character, whose heart and soul are willing to do anything, as long as that anything involves remaining in the place of peace which only something higher than us can provide. These places are oftentimes peculiar.
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Random Rumination

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The dance, the rhythm, the explosion of creativity, the wild exciting ride which life is supposed to encompass, which the Church is supposed to illustrate, has been subsumed under a doctrine of God which even mildly put is terribly boring. This enervating force, this grounding of a live wire, has bored to death, literally, countless numbers who sought theoria more than theory. It is the living, breathing active relationship of God which we are seeking in our depths, which we yearn for with our entire being, a taste of which we would do many things, serious and silly.

Links and such

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You may have noticed I removed my list of links there to the right. No offense or meaning intended to those who are no longer represented.

My reasoning is personal, and related to the fact that I spend too much time flitting from place to place, trying to find a semblance of community through anemic blog conversations. I heartily valued each of those sites, and yet my heart yearns for that which is deeper and fuller and more vibrant, leading me to arrange my context to best facilitate my own use of time.

It’s not that I am offended or not interested, or devoid of online community spirit. Rather it’s just the opposite. I find it all too interesting and important.

Such things are not permanently removed, so if in coming weeks I feel I’ve renewed the rhythms of my life I may return the links for approval and perusal.

So, as the classic line goes, “It’s not about you, it’s about me.”