Dream snippets: Last one was about me having gone back to school

Dream snippets: Last one was about me having gone back to school, but I’m not sure what I went back to learn. The class I was in was some kind of multimedia/video production class, but there was also a grammar class or something I was taking. The campus looked like it could have been any campus, community college or state school, in America. D from seminary was in the video class. I was trying to watch all of the videos one of the teaching assistants had made on YouTube. His intro blurb at the start of each video contained atrocious feedback that was causing my speakers to suddenly be extremely loud for the rest of the class, even though I’d turned the volume way down to barely hear what he was saying. An older woman, who was apparently a librarian, came by and found equalizer controls on my computer that were large and physical, like the ones on my old jukebox. I was furious about all of it–about not being able to find the equalizer controls and about one of the teachers making a video whose volume was so poorly done. I told everyone I was done with school and fed up with it all, and stormed out. D and some lady from the dream decided to leave with me. Both of them held glass doors open for me at the entrance to the building, and I tried to go out both doors to defer to their gesture of politeness. The lady complained that she couldn’t shut the door because I was going out both of them, and so I screamed at her. Then I said to D, I really need to just go somewhere and sort all of this out.

The dream before that saw me in bed with L from high school, but she wouldn’t let me do anything with her, just sleep next to her. I kept trying to change my position in sleep to get close enough in hopes that she would change her mind, but she just kept saying, you’re hurting me.
I understood in the dream that she’d done something with every other guy in the place where we were living. I was extremely upset about this, but didn’t say or do anything about it other than mope. Someone from an old job came up and started playing a tiny kid’s piano that was out in the hall and it was a beautiful display of talent. He was nonchalant about it, and sauntered on, and I was envious of his ability. L and I got up and went into a room where the group was having much discussion about something they thought was important, like what movie to watch next. I very badly wanted to get away from it all but couldn’t for some reason.

There was some dream where I worked for an American school that partnered with an Australian school to send American students down under to learn about education practices in Australia. My job was to call prospective students and see how they were doing and if they needed anything before their departure. The first person I called was a girl whose dad answered the phone. He was really snide and sarcastic with me as I tried to explain why I was making the call. I was hoping he would say something like, sure, I will let her know you called, but he kept saying things like, I know that you really treasure this call, but I don’t.

It’s weird that there was one other dream between the above two, which I remembered clearly when I started to write this, but as I was writing it, I remembered the earlier dream about working at the Australian school, and so I wrote it down so as not to forget it, and in the process forgot the dream that came after it.

It might seem like a colossal study in narcissism to spend so much time obsessing over one’s dreams, but it is really more about my attempts to understand how my memory works–especially the parts of it that have little or no reference to the physical world. For the most part, dreams are usually just manifestations of fears and desires, latent or not, and the exploration of what they mean isn’t as interesting to me as trying to understand why and how I am capable of remembering some of them vividly and not others, though there may be many times throughout the night that I wake up thinking, I will surely remember that one in the morning, and I even give myself some coaching and quick mnemonic techniques to try to bring the dream to mind again in the morning.

My son woke me up before 5 today, and I felt like complete ass. I have started drinking too much beer again, and know that I shouldn’t but by the time evening comes, it’s what I want to do to try take the edge off of all the stress that comes with this class and worrying about money and what I’m going to be doing next and where we are going to live next.

I have realized that all of my big dreams about walking or working out while my son was at daycare

I have realized that all of my big dreams about walking or working out while my son was at daycare, following six hours of studying Greek, were remaining dreams even up to this final week of Greek class. My belly was looking pretty large, since I’d mostly been napping for an hour before going and getting my son, and then getting up later in the evening to study more Greek and drink a lot more beer. At some point the Greek studying in the evening ceased, but the beer drinking didn’t. The Fitbit had gone untouched with its battery uncharged on the counter for about two or three months.

I recharged it last week and am trying to do 10K steps a day on the weekdays and 15K steps a day on the weekends. So far so good after four days.

Today, Austin was mostly empty of people walking or running or riding their bikes. It felt to me like every other Central Texas summer day–the same old, same old hot, dry 100 degree days that last until the end of September. I think my body just kind of said, whatever, I’m used to this, let’s go walk and run, and so we did.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I was in a grocery store on a Sunday morning in Texas, and so the beer didn’t get purchased, and it’s waiting until a more respectable time for me to buy it–like 4 PM. We loaded up on energy drinks, sugary drinks, snacks, beef jerkey, pork rinds etc at the grocery store–the kind of stuff that tastes great when you’ve been driving for about two hours and you still have ten to go, though, on this trip we’ve broken every leg up into about 4-5 hours each so that we can actually do something in every single city we visit instead of rushing to the next town so that we can be in Charlotte for dinner.

I’m sort of looking forward to this vacation, but really, at this point, kind of wish that we hadn’t planned it so that I could get a new job lined up along with a new place to live so that we don’t have two weeks or less to try to do that when we get back. However, I am confident that it will all take care of itself and do whatever it is meant to do.

I’m not really feeling nearly guilty as I should feel about dropping out of school and going back to work. I’m excited at the thought of having my free time outside of work all to myself and having money to spend during that free time, and actually being a contributor to my family again. I am excited about getting more focused on doing a few things well–things that I’ve been doing for the past twenty or so years anyway, but now I’m going to do them without wondering if I’m doing what I was put on earth to do.

I write, read books, drink beer, run and walk, play with my son, take care of the dog, and go to work to talk about work stuff exclusively between the hours of 8 and 12 and 1 and 5 on most weekdays of the year. The rest of the time outside of work, I live my life, I enjoy life, I enjoy being an American instead of constantly beat up on myself about how privileged I am and how I should be constantly apologizing for who I am and reading only books by writers who are not white, hetero and male. I like reading books by Russians, Chinese, Japanese, West African, Chilean, Native American, Indian, Tibetan, Filipino people and people whose voices are marginalized or were marginalized at one time, but I also occasionally like to read books by rich old white guys like this poet Frederick Seidel who seems like a bit of a bastard, but an honest, interesting one. I will never write poetry like he does or like anyone else does. My poems are pretty much my own messy attempts to restructure these more chaotic journal entries into lines that look like some kind of verse.

Anyway, there is one last week of this Greek class that has only gone on for five weeks so far, but feels like it has been happening since the time the kind of Greek we are studying was written down. I couldn’t tell you how to decline much of anything, or what tense, case, voice, etc. any verb is in but I can now read the Bible in Greek and get a vague idea of what they are talking about, which I think was the point after all. I appreciate the Bible more after getting to know how it has come to be. Knowing that it is mostly the work of men (and possibly a few women) who were probably not much more inspired by God than I am makes me more interested in it, than less. I don’t mind that the original Greek we know the New Testament to be written in was still Greek that was copied many times over before the first document was preserved centuries later. I think that my relationship with Christianity has now become realistic and healthy–I am not on a path to become the most pious monk ever, nor am I on a path to have my faith completely thrown out after so many crises of asking if it is all worth having this kind of faith or not. I am not bothered by fundamentalist Christians or Atheists as long as they don’t call for violence. They believe and think the way they do and so do I and we all live in this world together and then we will die and go off to separate places or the same place or no place, and it will probably all be okay in the end, as long as we learn to stop treating fellow human beings who don’t look and talk like us as if they were subhuman.

As for staying in Texas, I’ve more or less resigned myself to it, although if I do land this job and we go back to renting in Austin, I will probably ask us to revisit one last time the possibility of leaving here for some place like Portland or North Carolina, and if we decide that we don’t want to put ourselves through the stress of the completely unfamiliar, then we will live out our lives here, and so be it. I’m resigned to living in a state that is full of people who don’t think or drive like I do.

The other thing that I was hoping to do during my time off was move more of my old journal entries from 1997-2010 onto my primary WordPress instance, but this is a rather slow and laborious process that requires some blocks of dedicated time, because I have to go through and strike out the names of anyone who might be too easily identifiable and get rid of any sex stuff that would probably shame my family if they ever happen to read everything I’ve written, though that is highly unlikely.

In short, I am going to go back to doing what I’d been doing, only now I’ve more or less come to terms with the fact that I’m one of those people who hasn’t been called or chosen to do anything incredibly special–not special in the sense of being sensational and noteworthy for the sake of human history, anyway. I am happy to think that maybe God has called me to just be a dad and a regular human who is still working through all of the crap that prevents me from being a better human–and this is more than enough to occupy someone for an entire lifetime. Trying to be a great pastoral leader or healer or mystic or Bible academic is for the superhuman few who really are truly special and chosen.

We are living in an era where we don’t use cash much

We are living in an era where we don’t use cash much, those of us who live outside of places where they still do. I don’t like cash, it’s not easy. It’s only fun when you can place it in the hands of someone who clearly needs it–you know who needs it and who doesn’t if you give it out long enough. You can now make a lot of purchases with your mobile phone. That awkward new chip in your credit card can’t last for long–that damn thing takes forever to process, and the card slides out half the time at the grocery store. How many people will gladly accept the idea of swiping a mobile phone to pay for everything? I probably will, when that day comes.

From there, it is a short hop, skip and jump to making payments with something they’ve put inside you. Would you risk losing the ability to provide for your family, and eventually have your children taken away, if you refused to get a chip? If everyone else in the workplace is skyrocketing ahead of you because they access the Internet instantly while you reach in your pocket and fumble about on your phone, why wouldn’t you go ahead with that neural lace or chip inside your brain?

The technology and wealth has already arrived that would enable every man, woman and child on earth to have apartment housing, healthcare, nutritious food, and a four-year college education–all for free. Why aren’t we paying for everyone to have this so that everyone has more free time to create more art, math, science, music, beneficial ideas for everyone? The technology in California exists where solar power is so damn cheap that they pay Arizona to take it to not overload their grid. The food is so abundant that it rots in the fields because no red-blooded American wants to pick it for $15 an hour. Our perfect world has arrived, and we don’t even want it for ourselves, much less for others. We would prefer to continue living under the assumption that each person must struggle and fight their way out of the lobster pot or get boiled up and eaten.

We could actually turn this planet into something that even the most pampered of elites would love to have happen. Having people suffer and starve because they don’t have enough access to food, healthcare, decent education and jobs that engage their minds is ultimately hurting people like Donald Trump, but Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn, because he thinks that a few percentage points taken off of his wealth is just as awful as some guy coming along and chopping his nuts off or taking the wealth his kids will inherit completely away. We are living under flawed philosophies and assumptions from the 1700s, and our refusal to evolve to an exceptional race of beings where all human beings, nay, all creatures benefit, is going to kill us all in the end unless we can shut off the old assumptions and create new ones.

This isn’t about Marxism vs. Ayn Rand. This is about benefiting all of humanity vs. ultimately wiping all of it out after the elites of the world get an extra decade to survive before their stupidity kills them as well.

Why wouldn’t you want every single person on this earth freed from their basic quest from survival so that they can use their brains instead to make your life even better? We will not harness the energy of stars and advance out of this solar system into the kind of space conquest we’ve dreamed about for a century or more until we are all working together to solve the problems that keep us earthbound.

I would rather be 5% poorer knowing that a child is fed and educated so that he can save my life one day when he becomes a great researcher, than hold onto that 5% of extra wealth so that I can buy one more Bentley, Mercedes or whatever the fuck these billionaire assholes feel like they need more of that they can’t possibly consume in a trillion lifetimes. My philosophy will win in the end, or nobody’s philosophy will at all, and we will, at best, retreat to the stone age.

It isn’t up for me to decide, but I’ll be damned if I go quietly into that good night.

The dream last night was of the “I’m on the run from someone sinister” variety.

The dream last night was of the “I’m on the run from someone sinister” variety. Or, sometimes, the “on the run” dream will simply consist of me getting fed up with it all, and running away. I think it’s an archetype that’s been with me since childhood or before. Maybe it’s with everyone, this sense of needing to run away from everything and just be a bum of no account.

In this particular dream, though, I had apparently been kidnapped by a wealthy notable at the age of fourteen, which was around ten years ago in the dream. The notable is someone I won’t mention, since in the dream I killed him. So, anyway, I had finally decided that I was all fed up with being sexually abused by this individual, and one night discovered that he’d left a gun laying around in his garage. Some random guy out of the blue told me that the gun required “54 gauge ammunition” and lo and behold, there happened to be some of these bullets lying around. This was the second dream as of late where I’d grabbed a gun and was prepared to use it, and it felt good holding the gun in my hand in the dream.

In a previous dream, I’d suddenly found myself training to be a police officer with my friend S from high school and college and our instructor was our drunk old gym/driver’s ed teacher from high school. The gun in that dream was some kind of automatic pistol that had the faces and names of celebrities on it who preferred this brand of weapon. I kept trying to find a suitable place to practice discharging the weapon, but there were people everywhere. Finally, finding an area with a target, I saw that my friend S was practicing his bow and arrow shooting. I asked if it was a target practice for “bow and arrow only” and he said yes. Then, the gun kept having additional safety locks added to it even as I hoped to still be able to shoot it.

In my dream last night, I successfully discharged the weapon and killed my tormentor who was running for political office. I soon discovered that there was a camera in the room and hoped that I had been far enough out of the camera’s range when I shot him. I immediately sauntered into the room following his death acting as if I hadn’t just witnessed the shooting so that it would look like on camera that I was innocent. When I began to realize that people watching the video were finding it hard to believe I could have gotten into the room so fast after the shooting without having witnessed it, I decided to go on the run.

The next sequence of the dream saw me hiding out in this weird public shelter for homeless people and stealing any toiletries and clothing they left behind. The shelter was like the bathroom at a campground–you came and went as you pleased and locked the door behind you to sleep on a tiny bench that was barely small enough to sit on. I’d taken the sleeping area of a lady who’d already arrived, but she didn’t seem too mad at me when I apologized and found somewhere else to sleep.

I kept changing my disguises and wandering through areas near where I’d escaped. However, I continued to withdraw cash at ATMs, and didn’t realize for a long time that I could be tracked this way. Along the way, I passed surgeons performing emergency surgery on people in an open-air hospital, and a school that intensely prided itself on making all kinds of crafts for kids. L from mce worked there as a teacher and didn’t recognize me at first. In the dream, my real name was John, but I had been using the name Ghan as a pseudonym. I asked her if she recognized who I really was, and she mouthed the name Jesus, as in the Hispanic version of the name. I proceeded to try to get away, but lost my sense of direction. Somehow, I had started in California, but was trying to cross the Missouri River to get to Missouri. I picked up friends along the way who wanted me to escape.

The interesting thing here is the appearance of guns in dreams almost two days in a row. In both dreams, I felt very good about the idea of shooting a gun, and in the second one was happy to have a somewhat legitimate reason to kill a person with a gun. I don’t know if this is my subconscious reacting to my decision to all but leave my “less worldly” calling and return to a more secular career. I do know that I kind of drooled yesterday when I saw a Ducati motorcycle parked in front of the wing restaurant we ate at, and all of the old desires to have a motorcycle came back.

We decided to do something all-American this weekend, and eating extremely hot wings while drinking an oversize frosty mug of beer and then bowling seemed like the right thing to do. I was glad we did it, though this morning I have been less-than-excited over my choice to order the spiciest wings on the menu last night and sweat it out eating them. I had to sweat it out again today.

My son was pretty thrilled about going bowling for the first time, though he could often not quite get the lightest ball they had to go down the lane all of the way. I don’t know if the fellow who had to run out on the lane and retrieve his ball eight times was happy about that or not, but who cares? That’s what they were paying him to do.

I am trying to think about what makes returning to the old work so appealing for me, but I think that the conversation I had with the last guy who interviewed me sums it up pretty well: at it’s best, there is no bullshit about trying to generate more business for a company. At it’s worst, it’s just as much bullshit as anything else. I guess the same thing could be said for religion and spirituality, but the problem here among a lot of these folks is that they seem constantly concerned and worried that they are not virtuous enough in the politically correct, social justice sense of being virtuous. If they aren’t awake enough to intersectionality, others’ triggers and need for safe spaces, and everything that comes with it, then they are terrified that their white privilege will shine through and they will be exposed as being hypocrites and frauds.

All of that stuff is part of being in your twenties and not yet accepting who you are is who you will inevitably be. You might get to go on a few more heavily-sponsored mission trips that marginally help others on the other side of the world. Maybe you will get to be the pastor of the downtown church that opens its doors once a week so the homeless can have a breakfast. But, at the end of your striving to be the most perfectly virtuous crusader of social justice, you will probably not be that different of a pastor from your fathers and grandfathers.

So, I guess the point I’m trying to make is that most of the folks I’ve been sitting with in these classes are still trying to get out from under all of the bullshit and posturing that comes from being a young adult at the start of your career when you still think that you alone of all people will go on to become the greatest person who ever lived and show everyone else the dust of your sandals as they are left far behind in their mediocre jobs and lives.

To be for sure, the corporate world is chock full of bullshit as well. The people who get especially ra ra and gung ho about their company when you know they’ve been at three other companies more or less like it in the past three years and have left after becoming disillusioned by the management and the product and the clients. The ones who actually believe that they are changing the world and saving lives by selling software to other businesspeople. The ones who are so full of themselves that they can’t be bothered to talk to you half the time.

Up late for me, walking the dog at 7:30 AM…can’t help but notice what I’ve noticed before–nobody is ever out early in the morning unless they have to be. For all the people who declare “I’m not a morning person” as if that were something rare–it would seem that almost the entire world is not a morning person.

Can I help it if there is much about being an American in America that I love?

Can I help it if there is much about being an American in America that I love? Can I help it if I would prefer Budweiser half the time instead of a microbrew IPA? Sure, I love to try new beer, and most American mass-marketed beer is not very good, but I have no problem drinking a Budweiser at a Chili’s or Buffalo Wild Wings and eating a hamburger or wings. Sometimes I do like football. If I want to be entertained by a movie, I generally prefer mass-marketed sci-fi or action/thriller movies over some historical film that wins a lot of Academy nominations. On the other hand, I prefer to listen to Classical or Jazz over Hip Hop, Country or Rock. I would rather go to an art museum in a big city than go shopping or go to a sporting event. I prefer to read poetry instead of read detective novels off the airport bestseller rack. My manner of appreciation of the hoity-toity things seems to me to sometimes more like how NASCAR and American beer are consumed by others. I approach these things with a gusto and want to nosh them down indiscriminately without trying to become overly cultured in the way I consume them. In short, I consume high art and fine culture like an American mutt.

Where was I going with this? It seems like lately it’s become almost a sin to be too much like your typical American slob kid from the 80s who loved Spielberg and Lucas films and liked to eat baloney sandwiches. Since coming to school I’ve learned about this term intersectionality, along with safe spaces, triggers, microaggressions, being woke, etc. As a middle-aged white man, I almost feel as if I am expected to not have any sort of understanding of social issues. A lot of these kids here seem to think they’ve invented the idea of having a social conscience and consciousness. They seem to think they have all the answers and we older folks do not. I hear these terms bandied about in the same way so much sales and marketing jargon was thrown about by people in my old profession when they wanted to sound like they were tapped into the latest and greatest in best practices after having heard jargon the month before at a conference.

There is something inherently misguided about this kind of elitist attitude concerning who is the most virtuous socially, and I see it come out in weird places like a woman at a pride rally being kicked out because she has a Star of David on her flag and the promoters of the rally are worried about someone’s triggers. It’s almost like people who are either consummately liberal or conservative want to have a checklist of what they should be for and against so they can shut their minds off and not be concerned about having to form their own opinions about things which may run contra to their herd.

I woke up from a lot of dreams, and then almost immediately after that, my son came running in

I woke up from a lot of dreams, and then almost immediately after that, my son came running in. It was almost 6. I dreamed that he’d finally gone to the bathroom properly, though it took some coaxing. I dreamed that I was in some place like Walmart, but it was grimier, and a guy I don’t think I know in real life was recommending a German techno band to help me get through grad school. The CD cost $96, but there were cassette tapes of some of their previous albums ranging from $3-$9. I decided to buy all of the cassette tapes, remembering that I still owned my old boombox. I left briefly and came back, and some kind of civil war or chaos had started. The store was covered with thick mud, and there were tons of people in it. I realized that I could fly even as people were jumping out of a window to serious injury or even death. I told everyone that they just had to believe they could fly and they would fly. I discovered that a lady S from school was there and told her to grab onto me from behind (like riding a motorcycle, nothing intimate) I was calling her someone else named S who is the wife of M from school, but it was clearly this lady S. I jumped out of the window with her holding onto me from behind, and we flew over some buildings.

I came upon my ex-girlfriend D, who happened to own my old bike that I’ve loaned my dad. She seemed sort of interested in seeing me, but didn’t want to talk. She went into her work and S and I walked on to this place that was kind of like a mall. In the mall, two political groups had formed around those who used Windows PCs and those who used Linux PCs. Some older guys were taking light jabs at each other about their preferred political party. Even though their humor was light, there was also a sense of great tension in the air, like a real civil war was about to break out like in the other place. I walked on, and came upon a room where my mom was staying, much like the last hospital room she’d been in before she was moved to hospice. She jumped down to see me and we both cried. My dad was there, and so was D from school, who has recently been talking about putting her mom in hospice care. My mom was clearly not well, but she was in better shape than she had been before she died. We were both very happy to see each other and started crying.

This has been the first relatively happy and normal dream I’ve had about my mom in a long time. Usually, I am screaming at her or unable to connect with her, or some other terrible thing has come between us in the dream.

I woke up feeling slightly uneasy about my recent decision to work aggressively toward finding a new job and leaving school. Lately, I’ve often felt a little uneasy or less than certain this is going to be a good decision upon waking from naps or sleep, though I quickly find myself rationally seeing that this can only be a good thing for me and my family.

I have tried to envision a path out of here into a career that would make sense and enable us to have the kind of financial stability we need even for one child. I’ve wrestled with the biblical statement about not being fit for the kingdom of heaven if I put my hand back on the plow, even though I know that for many pastors, chaplains and academics in this field, they are, for all intents and purposes, seeking as much of a pragmatic career within an organization as I have been with trying to find new work at various companies. I could also make the argument that there are plenty of people in “normal” jobs who are doing more of the Lord’s work by exemplifying Christ in their workplace or in their communities and churches than some of the careerist pastor types who will come out of this seminary.

There is no question that people who have already had at least some significant professional or voluntary experience in ministry are doing so much better here than those of us who don’t have it. In the first category, I would certainly include all of these children of ministers and other notables of our denomination who have been immersed in this denomination and its traditions from their birth. They are like fishes perfectly swimming in water, and to this day, I still feel like I am scuba diving with defective gear that might cause my lungs to implode at any minute. What’s more, I would argue that most of the pastor’s kids and professional ministers here have more often than not (with a few notable and very worthy exceptions) have done little to make the rest of us who aren’t coming from those backgrounds feel welcome or like we really belong here. I’ve heard professors say flat out that the church just doesn’t need any more white, male voices in it, and I’ve gotten the same sentiment almost explicitly from a recent pastor. Probably the one standout moment where I felt like I was truly called to be doing this sort of work was when I bought a homeless fellow shoes during a volunteering morning, instead of simply telling him the usual routine that we didn’t have any shoes in his size. That, I felt, almost singly, was true doing of the Lord’s work, and all this bullshit declining of Greek nouns is on the far end of the spectrum away from doing the Lord’s work. I should stress that I don’t think that studying the Bible in its original text is without merit–I’ve bought a linear Bible to use for private study and reflection for the rest of my life. But, I do think that much of the content in our Greek class has been carried over from a hundred plus years ago when ministers (of a few select Protestant denominations and sometimes Catholic priests) were expected to be perfect academics first who could explain at length any passage of the Bible as well as your average German bible scholar. However, the kinds of ministry and non-traditional work most of these students will be going into is work that will require them to have much better people skills and bedside manner than a lot of them do. Some of their lack of bedside manner is mostly just due to being young, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected to have encountered so many shy and awkward introverts in one place.

At any rate, I need a lot more than just vague feelings of unease upon waking to be certain that I should be staying here. I need to be connecting with people and opportunities in ways that I haven’t been able to. A lot of this may be due to all of my own social phobias kicking in, and me falling back on running on autopilot rather than continuing to try to be more outgoing, but I also think that if this really is the Lord’s will for me to be here and to be on a path toward some form of ministry, I need more evidence of some kind, not necessarily a sign or an epiphany, just a feeling like I really do belong here.

When I mentioned the passage about “he who puts his hand on the plow” I think I should be fair in also mentioning that there are passages in the Bible about would-be prophets thinking they’ve been called by God when they have not, and James 3:1 about “not many of you should become teachers, because we will have heavier judgement,” and those words about not aiming for things that are too high for you. I have written before about how I may be like a fourth sort of archetypal person in the parable of talents–one who is given a few talents but instead of hiding them like the third guy or using them well like the first two, I continually try to act as if I’ve been given more talents than I really do have and so, in effect, in up misusing the talents I have been given, or end up keeping them more hidden in continually hoping that I was actually the guy who was given ten talents.

At any rate, any time you go thinking that the Bible has verses that speak to you one way and lead you in one direction, you will find plenty of other verses that can just as easily send you in another direction.

Some of us are the rind, some are the fruit, some are the seeds.

Some of us are the rind, some are the fruit, some are the seeds. Some of us are juicy and tasty, and the whole world wants to eat us up. Our value is immediate and immediately used up. We provide nothing that future generations would want.

Some taste awful, and the world spits us out and we do nothing but rot on the ground. Perhaps if you pickle us, we might taste all right to a few who have peculiar tastes.

A few are spit out by the world, and go into the ground and bear more fruit. We will not survive our time here on earth to witness the fruit we bear.

It is almost impossible to be two of the three. Most who rot away and are good for nothing alive or dead do not bear any fruit from their dying. Most who bear fruit long after they are dead do not taste good to the world of their generation, their time and place.

I’ve long since given up on being the fruit, and my only hope is that I don’t end up discovering long after my death that I was nothing but a damn rotten rind.

Those are my rather paltry and unoriginal thoughts for the morning. I’m afraid I have nothing more than that to offer. It is a day in July like most any other day I’ve experienced in my adult life, except that the work involves going to Greek class, and the leisure time is generally spent reading poetry instead of wandering up and down an urban jogging trail.

The vacation begins in about a week and a half, and I am trying not to get too excited about it, because adult vacations generally mean a lot of work to make sure you get where you need to go and the place you booked is still there waiting for you, and to make sure you don’t spend up all of your money while trying to relax and not worry about money.
I’ve almost entirely warmed up to the idea of simply going back to work, renting for a year, then buying a cookie cutter in the suburbs and being a good suburban dad for twenty to thirty more years while the children become adults and reach the place where they are financially and emotionally stable enough to bear and raise children of their own. Then, a few sad European vacations and cruises on wornout bones, and a happy death at eighty in an assisted living home.

This gives me twenty-thirty more years to read books, write, and contemplate my existence. Why? Who? How? etc.

I am too big of a sinner and a selfish, petty man to ever become a pastor. I don’t have the largeness of self and heart to constantly give of myself to others while maintaining a family that clearly sees I can also make time for them as well. Some weekends, I just want to drift off into books, dreams and old movies and not care one whit about the problems of this world. Perhaps this will ultimately mean I go to hell, but I think that I will be in vast, good company if that is how it ends up being.