September 27, 2012


Stray thoughts of seeming relevance:

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Wouldn't it be weird to go to a Hollywood party back during the silent film era and hear Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford and such talking? Or wouldn't it be funny if they came to a party and just started moving their mouths without any sound coming out?

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A fond wish, as a child, was to travel to the end of a rainbow. Not for imaginary gold - i didn't believe that any more than i believed there was a man on the moon- but simply to substantiate and locate what seemed ephemeral and elusive. I've tried the same with God and had similar results.

I couldn't enjoy the rainbow simply as it was - I needed to travel to it, touch it, make it more tangible.

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I search the Internet for welcome confirmation that I'm not the only perverted individual who thinks amazon.com's logo looks like a long penis.

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If beer didn't already exitst, it would have to have been invented.

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I can't believe I've become one of THOSE people.

You know, the type that celebrate the announcement of gadget upgrade like it's a national holiday. The sort that follows press conferences from Apple or Amazon. It's unsettling given my proud heritage as not being prone to merchandising. Ultimately it's artificially stimulative. All the sensations of excitement but without the substance.

So I wait with great anticipation for the first reviews to get posted on amazon.com's website for the new Paperwhite despite the fact that it's basically the same as an other Kindle but for the light! Since the dawn of literacy we've managed to produce light of some sort. It wouldn't seem a big deal to simply sit next to a light source when reading the Kindle.

Admittedly the e-reader concept is cool: a papyrus-like look that holds thousands of books in an instrument the size of a small page. And it was definitely cool to get one. But there's a sense that the upgrades - be it for the iPhone 5 or the Kindle Paperwhite - have a huge diminishing utility compared to the earliest version. Maybe we want to get the new gadgets because we want to re-experience that "gee whiz" moment of wonder when we first carried a smartphone or an e-reader.

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Late to confession, I felt appreciative that the priest was so long-toiling. The hours for confession read: "12:15-until done. Yes "until done". Now that's priestly vocation in action. I thanked Fr. afterward for his availability. He said happily, "No problem. Gets me out of the office!" I was thankful also for the mercy of Christ. It seems too good to be true, that you can go into the confessional and come out as if if nothing had happened between you and God. It's a weird feeling: it's like if I did something bad to my wife and then asked forgiveness and then I just carried on like we we could go back to the way things were before I did something bad to her.

It's not like anything in my experience which is more or less predicated on "once burned, twice shy." We burn Christ and yet he doesn't seem the shyer for it. And so must we be. It should, theoretically, be easier for us to forgive others when we see how we are forgiven but Jesus told a parable that refuted that notion.

I remember a Protestant friend back in the late '80s named Jeff who said that the rap on Catholics was they sinned like crazy all week then went to confession, only to sin again. That potential for abuse was completely foreign to me at the time but now I see how it could be a problem. Of course the firm purpose of amendment is a critical issue. But really Confession is a sort of amazing thing (well, amazing Person) in that you can instantly become undefined by your sins. The definition of ourselves is what God sees. His view of us is the only one that counts. So it's no wonder that Catholics in the '50s, back when there were actually self-admitted "bad Catholics", had the confession lines were hummin'.

There's always the temptation to treat God as an ATM teller or a machine in some way simply because He is so consistent (unlike human beings). His love is unvarying, uncomplicated. The way I, a computer programmer, tell the difference between machines and humans is that humans are the ones who make errors. A machine never does. So naturally I am tempted to think of God, who never makes a mistake, as machine-like.

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The morning feels downright morningly. Neighborly. Civilized sixty degrees, first time in a week. Able to sit out on the front porch as the light INCREASES for once. The air is alive with the glory of God, graced with the scent of water from a recent rain. I'll so miss the outdoors this winter, even the "pseudo" out-of-doors of a suburban front porch and its ceiling overhang.

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