Thursday, June 21, 2018

In sight and insight...

Off to Hendersonville bright and early tomorrow morning for my appointment at Laborde Eye Group. For the past several days my right eye has been rather creative in its interpretation of the scenery. Hopefully, I'll be able to drive myself home and won't have to get a bigger computer monitor right away.

So far, I'm not too worried. I can still read all the labels down at Meanwhile Back in Saluda.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


When I noticed the beautifully crafted nest in the old dogwood tree beside our front porch, I began to keep watch, hoping to discover who the builders were. When I went out this morning to take a peek, I surprised a crow about to pilfer the nest. He flew away then, but probably will be back as soon as he figures I am out of range.

However, I observed later that the parent was back on the nest. Apparently, the marauder had not time to do damage before I came along. I could only see the tail feathers from where I stood, and was afraid to approach any closer and risk further disturbance, so still can’t identify the species.

Despite what Martin Luther King says, there seems to be no discernible moral ark to the universe, long or short. The large devour the small, the powerful prey on the weak, the guilty terrorize the innocent. Sins are rewarded as often as they are punished. The righteous are pilloried and monsters are elected president.

History is a repetitive sequence of slaughter and resurrection. Only by faith can one have hope that the final phase of the universe will be resurrection rather than dissolution. The only sufficient last word is forgiveness, and that is a hard word to swallow.

It is possible to develop a taste for darkness if you eat enough of it. A lot of people in this present world order seem to think it is nourishing. It is painful to hold to love, which is the only alternative to the dark. There are still a relative few in this culture who practice it, however. Love is not a moral proposition. It involves a response to need rather than to merit.

So, whatever we believe or if we harbor no belief at all, in our deepest heart we pray that when we go down guilty and broken under time, we will be forgiven. We will be loved. If we are asked anything at all at that final reckoning, it won’t be whether we were right or wrong, or if we understood the mystery at all. The question will be simply, Did you? Did you forgive? Did you love?

So, I can forgive the crow for being a crow. But I'll drive him away if I can, when he threatens my neighbors.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

...what we know.

No, he isn't my president. His goals and policies are antithetical to the values my parents and church taught me. He does everything he can get away with to make America hate again. Our country can never be great or good following this odious megalomaniac. We need to say out loud what we know in our hearts.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Five weeks and twenty-eight gallons. Thanks to Ryan and Ryan and all the crew. They start when they're ready and quit when they're done.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018

What we're reading at our house this week...

 Hubris is perhaps the most universal human sin. It has us hooked before we are three years on the planet. By the time we are grown to size, we have forgotten our most important lessons, including that we were not here first, that God thought up us and not the other way around, that other embodied souls were manifesting the Creator’s glory and presence eons before our species managed our first theological word. The living Earth is our original and abiding teacher. Apart from her nurture and influence, we could not begin to conceive any idea of God at all.

Whether humankind is the crowning of God’s earthly creation, or just a divine afterthought, is still an open question, that will be answered not by us, but by the Earth who bears us into our brief moment. In Encountering Earth, Trevor Bechtel, Matthew Eaton, and Timothy Harvie have edited a collection of illuminating and convicting essays that explore this question in territory beyond the boundaries of easy comfort, reminding us that the truth of Being is more than human. Contributors include:
Kimberly Carfore
Colleen Mary Carpenter
David Clough,
Lisa E. Dahill
Celia Deane-Drummond
Heather Eaton
Nathan Kowalsky
Abigail Lofte
Jame Schaefer
Cristina D. Vanin
Mark Wallace
Grace Y. Kao
Chris Carter

Friday, June 15, 2018

All my life...

All my life I’ve wanted to be somebody. The first time I realized that I will be a nobody until I die, it bothered me a lot. No matter how well I write, I can’t present the kind of package that attracts the notice of people who make literary reputations. I will never be as dangerous and important as I expected to be by now.

Gradually, though, I've begun to realize that there is no law against living in a good place among good people and being happy to be there. I will always to the end be just an old guy in a little hill town, trying to be kind to his neighbors. If I can learn to be good at that, it will be more pleasing to God than if I became an obsessed jerk with a Pulitzer Prize.