Category Archives: Philosophy

Programmed Oblivion

No matter how hard we attempt to position humanity as a special gift to the universe, we’re sometimes forced to remember we’re eventually all forgotten. Regardless how noble or ignoble our acts, no matter what damage we do or what … Continue reading

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Architectural Emotions in a Mid-Century Mind

Yesterday, after an email from Dwell prompted me to view photos of a restored and updated Joseph L. Eichler mid-century modern house in the San Francisco Bay area, I fell in love with the architectural style all over again. That … Continue reading

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Philosophizing in a Cold Room

Recently, I was thinking about good and evil (I use both words advisedly, as I do not attribute to them any religious significance) in humankind. I wondered why, when we as humans generally agree that good is the preferable of … Continue reading

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Still Walking Each Other Home

A quote from Ram Dass is on my mind this morning. “After all, we’re just walking each other home.” Those words often find their way to my consciousness, but I never seem to be able to fathom precisely why they … Continue reading

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Friends versus Acquaintances

Last night, the concepts of “friend” versus “acquaintance” spun through my mind. I won’t try to explain why, because I think the explanation would only serve to erroneously paint me as a depressed skeptic. I’d rather think of myself as … Continue reading

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Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Regret

Forgiveness does not excuse a person from having done wrong, nor is it a gift of redemption one gives to someone else. Forgiveness is not extended to another person for the other person’s benefit. It is a gift to oneself … Continue reading

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When Things Fall Apart

Years ago, when I stilled lived in Dallas, I bought a book by Pema Chödrön, an American Tibetan Buddhist monk. A guy I had worked with years before recommended it to me during a phone conversation I initiated to reconnect … Continue reading

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Beginning 2019

In my first post of 2018, I espoused the desire that we might all dedicate our new year to restoring hope from the ashes of despair.  I think we failed. Instead, we (those who hold similar political and moral positions … Continue reading

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Spontaneity

Spontaneity matters to me. Spontaneity is real. It mines desires and motivations and wishes from the substance of day-to-day life and turns that raw ore into experience. Friends who can adapt to spontaneity and who become part of it are … Continue reading

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Tells Stories and Believes Them

About four years ago, I wrote a very brief post that began, “Tells stories and believes them.” The quote was my memory (which I believe is correct) of a statement in a psychological inventory’s assessment of my personality. I didn’t … Continue reading

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Cultural Adjustments

Americans tend to overestimate their culture’s superiority and to underestimate the value of other cultures. I think two processes are going on that perpetuate these attitudes. The overestimation of American culture is, I believe, trained into us. We are told … Continue reading

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A Proper Burial

Long ago, a friend taught me the meaning of the phrase “you die twice” and I wrote about it. I’ll get to that in a moment. It surprises me that the very modest traffic that reaches this blog usually gets … Continue reading

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Thinking Beyond the Stars

I sat on the deck for at least three hours last evening, watching dull daylight wash into a dim darkness interrupted ever-so-slightly by a few bright stars, the red planet, and the blinking lights of airplanes. The planet I assumed … Continue reading

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Musings on a Wednesday Evening

I got word late this afternoon that my brother will be released from the hospital on Saturday. So, I’ll head down to welcome him to my niece’s home; I should arrive by late afternoon. There’s no time-frame for my visit. … Continue reading

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Stuck in My Brain

My recent post about a guy picking up the tab for my wife’s lunch and some comments that followed prompted me to think quite a lot. My thoughts, both purely philosophical and emotionally introspective, led to no firm “position” on … Continue reading

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Euthanizing a Sick Year

I’ve skimmed along the surface of an angry, tumultuous time until I’ve finally reached it: the last day of 2017. This year, one of monstrous upheaval, forced us to reckon with the reality that U.S. world dominance in transitory. By … Continue reading

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Sitting in Judgment

I’ve given considerable thought of late to whether the behavior of movie stars, politicians, and other public figures who are accused of—or actually admit to—being sexual predators warrants nullifying the value of any contributions they may have made to society. … Continue reading

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Who Are We?

Calvin stood motionless as he observed the magnificent beast walk past him, just a few feet away. Apparently, the unicorn did not see Calvin. Otherwise, the animal would have bolted. Instead, it was the picture of serenity as it grazed … Continue reading

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Wabi-sabi

Two years ago today, I read an article entitled The Art of the Mistake, by Alice Driver. The article moved me to tears. I doubt others would be moved to tears the way I was. But the ideas offered in … Continue reading

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All Things in Moderation

The purposes of our trip to Oklahoma and Kansas were twofold: 1) take a long-delayed road trip, with the intent of “chilling” a bit; and 2) gather material from and become familiar with Kansas—Manhattan in particular—as a resource for a novel … Continue reading

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Aha

I’m late in writing this morning because I’ve been thinking, the kind of thinking with which writing would interfere. Most of the time, writing propels my thoughts, but some thoughts require me to abandon writing for a while so I … Continue reading

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In Disgusted Defense of Ann Coulter’s Right to Speak

As I read news of the cancellation, reinstatement, and subsequent cancellation of Anne Coulter’s speech at the University of California at Berkeley, I question the intelligence of the people who violently oppose the her speech. Do those people not understand … Continue reading

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Psycholinguistic Musings

Sinew. That word can evoke, for me, images of sturdy steel bands, thick in the middle but narrowing almost to points on the ends; ribbons of metallic lies constrained at either end by truth. It’s as if truth confines the streamer of … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Philosophy, Ruminations, Writing | 1 Comment

Ethiopian Food and Human Decency

I’ve discovered that my wife and I are not the only people around Hot Springs who enjoy Ethiopian food. Recently, I posted a query, to a Facebook group dedicated to Hot Springs area restaurant reviews, about whether my unsuccessful efforts to find … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Food, Philosophy, Politics, Serenity, Stereotypes | 2 Comments

Broken Promises

I did it again. I sat outside on the deck, staring up at the sky. The stars and planets, again, transfixed me and held me in a state bordering between awe and confusion and deep appreciation for mysteries beyond my capacity … Continue reading

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