Early this morning, four years ago, I lost my son. Like every suicide I had ever dealt with, his had more subterranean dynamics than even Daniel @ 6 yrsCharles Dickens or Eleanor Catton would want to drag their readers through.

After walking over to my neighborhood Starbucks for a quick espresso, a cousin of mine, who is barely two years older than Dan, texted me about her remembering playing with him. Those two were like puppies with one another. I love remembering Tannith, Jordan and Dan playing, quarreling and even occasionally fighting with one another.

Last evening, knowing what was already churning within me, Jordan sent a text. In it she said, simply and well, “I love you.” Her laying those words among many others intent on our getting together in the next day or so brought tears of joy to my eyes. Those tears weren’t cried over losing her brother, but over my having her.

Jordan hasn’t replaced Dan. Back then he had struggled with a natural conflict over fathers’ loving their daughters more than sons. Even today, I have to plod my way through memories of that conflict. A year or so before he took his life, Dan had called angry and upset with me. His true sorrow was over my seemingly loving his sister more than him. It took courage to let him try and bruise my ego, by confronting me with how I do more things for his sister, Jordan, than for him.Daniel @ 19

So, proving to himself that he was right wouldn’t have lessened his pain, it would have only justified his certainty of being worth less to me. By letting him carry on with his lambasting me without refuting nor returning salvos of self-defense his feelings quelled, a bit. After he settled, only a little, I told him, “I love the two of you differently but never less.”

Those words took him by surprise. He’d never suspected such a difference. It offered him a chance to both see that my choices may still be fault laden, but not in whether I loved him as I loved his sister. My hearing him calm down and cry to me about being wrong didn’t give me justification as a righteous dad. It ladened me with a deeper desire to make my motivations in choices between the two of them more obvious, especially to him.

Up front I must tell you that I’ve stolen a title. The APA titled their article in the Observer with “Getting it in Writing” which caught my attention. Their choice is one the mark and is the right one for my own attempt to push this idea out.

Like most everyone else, I figure that you had to take a typing class or two during high school. That wasn’t though treated as an escape from the pen and pencil. Rather, it was only one more means to communicate. Today, we are beginning to treat those two items as obsolete. If you could be watching me as I type this quick posting, you’d see me sitting in the library with an iPad and keyboard in my lap.

So, am I an expression of a new concern? Well, perhaps I am but I had already begun learning to express myself by “writing” with a pencil and paper. My kids had done the same, but computers came into their lives well ahead of when it entered mine.

For the moment, I want us taking a long critical look at both this initial research and our socially insisting on the keyboard being in the laps of our kids. Should we adeptly look into this concern, I doubt the keyboard will be eliminated. It might though be forced to the side, at times.

A little earlier this morning I found this posted on Facebook.

10402768_10152579002551117_3584285232003233123_n

 

This is one of the best statements about my kind of business I’ve ever seen.

 

Early this morning I’d set up an appointment at the Apple Store in Aspen Grove. I need to see one of their Geniuses because of a sporadic problem with my iPhone.

10262206_10152126950081837_1967335045037721340_nIt was only after discovering that its’ SIM card had begun pretending it was no longer in my iPhone. Some of you know, that messages on the screen saying “NO SIM card”. As far as I knew before making this trip I’d not missed any calls since no one had harassed me.

Rather than riding the bus and light rail down here I mounted my trike and rode south beside the South Platte. It is a lovely trip. This time of year the river is much lower than the photo, but I like this one.  As I traversed those few miles of small hills and was passed by and passed a few fellow bikers a storm cloud was crawling over the Rockies. Those four or so miles between my apartment and the mall were dry with in a cool breeze in spite of rain clearly falling on the foot hills. By the time I had arrived the clouds had already begun tinkling on the South Platte. IMG_0536

My first stop was at Panera Bread to eat one of their bagels with cream cheese. I have long loved having an assortment of breads from this store. Unfortunately, the soon to be hard rain forced me to quickly ran from my half eaten cream cheese filled bagel and on down toward the Apple store. To my good fortune I found a great spot next to that malls Starbucks along with a large trash bag from a barista to protect my recumbent trike’s seat.

lAfter trash bagging the seat, I came back in to order a cold decaf coffee and noticed the owner of another local coffee shop imbibing some of his oppositions beverage. Day’s like this are mixed with thorns and roses!

Brad had come down here to hide in a corner and do his paperwork. That makes sense. No one in here knows who he is, except me. So he was able to sit there and work without being bothered for anything, except my intruding into this quiet corner of his life. My intrusion, though, feed some more fun into this afternoon. He is the first friend to hit on me about whether I am thinking about taking hold of the new iPhone 6. His face light up, brighter with each word. I’m wondering if he isn’t thinking of snagging one for himself?

154211248-the-signage-on-a-branch-of-starbucks-coffee-on-october.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge Okay, I’ve set this page aside and headed over to the Apple Store with a gentle rain falling. My assigned Genius took me on about 5 minutes before the 2pm appointment. Because I’d made a note about the SIM problem he came prepared to suggested it may simply be my iPhone’s SIM card. Now that’s a no brainer and was part of what I thought.

So, now I’m back over at Starbucks finishing this posting. I’ll make the AT&T call and switch the SIM cards once I’m home. However, I won’t know for severals days whether this is the solution or I’ll be triking back down here.

This afternoon, I picked up on an APA article they titled “Literary Character“. Our beginning to discover differences between learning by reading versus watching is important. From my point of view we do not need to see a devaluing of movies but rather a rethinking of how both fashions can be used.Books Since both touch into us in different fashions each sets off different parts of our neural nets and that is the whole point.

While physical reading is important, I have discovered that I do better listening than trying to use just my eyes. Why? I am uncertain but I know that by listening I am able to gain a broader time span than I can muster by being just visual. My daughter, though, is able to read with an amazing speed and cannot truly stomach listening to a book as her father can.

I see grave differences between the movies of Alfred Hitchcock and those of George Lucas. Both accomplished stirring up my body but only Hitchcock was able to agitate my mind and push it beyond excitement into terror, intrigue and the kind of thinking I love doing. Lucas was able to ruffle my emotional feathers going close to nowhere with my thought and emotional intellect. I am not demeaning that focus. Rather, I am wishing this fashioning of movies was never the dominant side it has always been.

“But a number of studies suggest that books — and specifically literary fiction — can also affect social skills, emotional intelligence, and behavior throughout life. As Canadian novelist and psychological scientist Keith Oatley, an APS Fellow, has written, stories appear to offer a deeply felt simulation of social experience, expanding our understanding of ourselves and others.” 

Was it the contrasting works of Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allen Poe, Søren Kierkegaard, Douglas Adams, Robert Arthur, Darren Aronofsky, Isaac Asimov; Greg Bear; Ray Bradbury; Roald Dahl; Aldous Huxley; Paul Levinson, Larry Niven or even H. G. Wells that helped to shape my personality and that professional life I lived?Reading_web Did those books come close to completely shaping me? I doubt any of those authors, especially the plethora of Sci-Fi I listed carried much of my life between their pages. Those did though generate massive amounts of thoughts and fantasies which proved a treasure.

So then, I do not want to see movies disappear. I do want to see the use of movies moved well past simply accepting the shape shifting of their only listening to the whims of the social psyche.

RanchOver the past decades, I have made many trips to and from the ranch I grew up on. This time, I was afforded a marginally different trip to and from the same location.

Mid-morning on the Friday nuzzling up to this past weekend that difference began crawling out from under a rock. My sister-in-law, Shelley, called telling me that Kelly would be picking me up early that afternoon and hauling  my carcass out to their place.

The young lady showed just as Shelley had said in a dark blue and fairly new Mercedes. As I folded up to fit in, I was afforded the first opportunity to catch sight of Brandon’s fiancee. His mother, Shelley’s voice had betrayed a touch of enthusiasm about her fortunes. I had know about the girl and their decision, but only then did I have the opportunity to meet her.

From that point on, I found myself pleased, across the weekend, with this evolving mixture of people. Carting me along was a young lady who’d earned her B.A. and yet was taking additional pre-med classes. She also proved to be a lady who wanted to read from my latest copy of Scientific American Mind. Things like this put her right in the mix of people I love being around. On top of that she’s another of those cute little girls I love to cluster up around my daughter. Yah, the dad in me connects with and encourages young ladies to group up with Jordan in her part of my mind.

05237a-1Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of those few marvelous escapades with a young lady who’d not really spent time on a farm. So, let’s just pick up on her first run with an ATV. Kelly had ridden the four wheeler over the hill and we were waiting for her return. I suppose it was at least a good five minutes before we saw her walking back over the little hill. Of course, Brandon took off on the run toward her. It was another good 10 minutes before we saw the two of them riding back over the hill on the ATV.

Of course we had imagined every kind of mishap but none of those proved true. She had tried everything except to shift the device into neutral to restart it. So then, her only problem was in getting the device to carry her back. The best part of this little fumble was the attitude the young lady showed us. She was able to laugh like the rest of us about it.

At least, this weekend exposed several qualities in this young lady capable of making me hope the two of them wed. Even my daughter has had little trouble in getting me to see the current man of her life this way. All I can imagine this child was truly capable of wasn’t tapping into my own bias. If she really does become an MD than the two of us can carry on many heavy conversations over the years to come.

Delightful minutes were spent scrolling down through Kenan Malik’s  FAITH IN RUINS. I wish you a few minutes, as well, to read and traipse down through the rest of his photos.

lindisfarne1

Over the past, nearly two weeks, I’ve been gentle with my body. For instance, I’ve not ridden my recumbent trike the typical 10 miles  I had usually been putting on it.68611 Today, though, I decided to take the dive. So after church and a quick lunch, I carefully moved the over 7 foot long trike out of my apartment out onto the curb. After donning those few essential pieces of garb I took to the road.

A wonderful and only warm afternoon beckoned me to peddle down the South Platte trail to Nixon’s Coffee House. While there I had, of necessity, a decaf espresso and a conversation with the barista. He and I have over the past couple years exchanged lots of laughs and a few seriously bad puns.Nixon's Coffee House
On the way back I took my time. Still being on the tail end of a cold I figured it was better to not push myself, so I kept my beast in a lower gear and took my sweet time going back up a short climb of 146 ft. over that 5 or so miles. Once I arrived back home it didn’t take me long to decide that I needed to head over to the park and library, just to spend some more time out.

I’m back home, now, and pulling things together for a shower and to listen to a few more chapters from Cormac McCathy’s 2nd book, “The Crossing“, from his “Border Trilogy”.

 

Dave:

Just too well said!

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

what-us-related

“So if someone asks, “Do you believe in evolution,” they are framing it wrong. That’s like asking, “Do you believe in blue?”
Evolution is nothing more than a fairly simple way of understanding what is unquestionably happening. You don’t believe in it — you either understand it or you don’t. But pretending evolution is a matter of faith can be a clever way to hijack the conversation, and pit it in a false duality against religion. And that’s how we end up with people decrying evolution, even as they eat their strawberries and pet their dogs, because they’ve been led to believe faith can only be held in one or the other.
‘But there’s no reason for people of faith to reject the mountains of data and the evidence of their own senses. Reconciling is easy: Believe, if you want to, that God set up the rules of evolution among…

View original 88 more words

Dave:

I read most of Berdyaev’s works nearly 20 years ago and am still in love.

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

Nikolai Berdyaev

“The meaning of conservatism is not that it impedes movement forward and upward, but that it impedes movement backwards and downwards—to chaotic darkness and the return to a primitive state.”
– Nikolai Berdyaev

View original

Old Posts

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 522 other followers