To hesitate before one speaks. To gauge the territory recently trodden and that ahead. The value of collecting. This is patience.

I think I am an excellent observer. I study people. I tend to have a good idea how a converstion will transpire with a given individual. I have a good sense of what subjects are comfortable and which effect bristle at the nape.

I study.

All the while, I scrutinize, organize, compartmentalize. I imagine I have a file drawer of information in the form of nuances, reactions, and unconscious gestures for each person I know that magically is accessible upon reuniting.

My collection has tremendous worth. By analyzing the situation and the person, I can extract as much as I want and give as little as I’d like – all without offense, if I’m eloquent. And patient.

Sounds like a beast in wait of its prey.

When the niceties are stripped away, isn’t every conversation a give and take? I see nothing wrong in using judgment to develop a conversation. Yet, somehow, the description I set before you is repulsive. Is a conversation ever completely valueless to one of its participants?

Do we not all weigh carefully (how careful depends on the collaborator) what we say to a given person? Why?

When we don’t, do we not regret? Why?

Must we live off each other and wrestle with this host/parasite paradox?

I will be patient and listen for the answer…because then I will have gained more knowledge for my file.


Parenting from scratch

I have parented from scratch. That is to say, I have attempted to impart on my children the values I deem most precious: learn, love, explore, commit.

I did not take a poll and vote on what the majority believe to be the current temperature for moral standards. I continued to gather useful ideas, of course, but my main themes have stood solid. I trusted my instincts and stood by them. It has not been easy. It has not been completely successful…yet.

I think with any good recipe made from scratch, I have to be patient. I have to keep an eye on it, but DON’T lift the lid or open the oven door. I have to rely on the purity of the fresh ingredients and allow them to work their magic ever so carefully. When time takes its course, the final product is heaven-sent.

I also know that if any one ingredient is sour, the recipe collapses. No stirring or watering down will do. It’s a total loss. I spend a great deal of time wondering which element I contributed could have destroyed what I nourished these many years. I hope it will pull through.

I want to see it rise and blossom and feed the world.

I have to wait.

Is my mind more open because of you?


Beautiful or dangerous, craggy mess?

It’s been a while since the dawn of instant information. We’ve been in contact with parts of the world we’ll never see in person. How has this benefitted us? Are we better off because we can communicate this way?

This venue allows us, invisibly, to deliberately intrude or accidentally spy upon opposing ideas. Do we seek other perspectives? Altruistically or to cache an arsenal? How do we respond to the world of philosophies? What compels us to leave a response? Anonymity? Resolve? Conceit? Concern?

Ultimately, the answer depends on the individual. Some will further their own agendas, seeking out supporters of beliefs perhaps not well fleshed out or, conversely, architecturally steadfast. Some will waffle. Some will flip.

Is this any different than in the three-dimensional world? Perhaps it’s in fast-forward format. Does that mean we’ll sooner fashion firmer ideas with stout defenses?

What affect does this space have on me? I’m exposed to poor spelling, fractured sentences (of which I have contributed – sorry), garish opinions. I, too, am introduced to heart-stopping images and outrageously profound insights. I wonder if I would have been equally affected had I seen the face of the person behind them first. Would judgment have closed that door too quickly?

I don’t yet know the answer. I am too much enjoying the journey. Come along and see what you think.