samedi, juin 23, 2007

Near death experiences: beyond belief?

I'm reading a book by a Christian author on what happens when we die. It is full of stories from folks who had those "near-death" or "post-death" (in other words, they were clinically dead) experiences. The man who wrote the volume sounds pretty conventional-there is nothing vaguely New Age about his exegesis. He is actually fairly reticent about his ideas, but offers them as his own. It is a bit harder for the faithful to dismiss him as a nut case-but as he says, not everything in his stories fits neatly into an orthodox Christian package.

At the same time, life after death experiences are a very controversial topic-both among scientists and among traditional Christians.

Scientists who don't belief in life after death keep trying to find chemical or biological explanations for the experiences-and it is possible that some day they will, in a way that convinces believers that they are just a vision of the dying brain. On the other hand, there is a lot of variety to the ones recounted by this writer.

I'm personally not sure what to make of this authors theology or beliefs. His thoughts and hermenuetic makes me a bit uncomfortable, in part because I can't dismiss him as a New Ager with whom I have no doctrine in common. Not that dying is a topic most of us enjoy pondering. But it's not bad to ask (again) what I believe-and why.

jeudi, juin 21, 2007


Pulling out of my street to go down to the Lake, I notice the lady across the street (the wealthy one, with the big ol' house) is standing by the fence, watching her horse. The donkey (Sian admits now it is one, instead of a miniature pony) runs across the pasture. It's a fabulous night, cool, a little windy, a great night for the summer solstice.

I crank up a Chris Daughtry song, which just happens to be "Home"...I'm going home, to the place where I belong, where your love has always been enough for me."

I walk, and then I run, past the fishermen and women, watching the boats on the lake, reveling in the beauty. I knew as soon as I ran down the road to the Marsh Creek Lake that I belonged. I wonder why it took me so long to find the place that reaches out to me in memory even when I am miles away-my spirits lifting when the Wallace sign shows up right before the bridge.

Coming home, I almost run down a man and a woman walking in the dusk down Fairview. Idiots, I think to myself. Then I recall the first time I came through Glenmoore on Creek Road.

Down the empty road a woman and her children walked, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. I want to live here, I thought-so close to suburbia and so far.

Go for it, I say silently to the couple as they walk out of the darkness of the trees. Have fun. Just be glad I saw you this time!

mardi, juin 19, 2007

I've never gone through immigration, but I'm seeking amnesty.

I'm not an immigrant. My grandparents and great grandparents were, but that's going back about a hundred or more years. Yet when I happen to see golf on television, I wonder if there was a class (GSL) that I was supposed to take when I left NYC for the 'burbs.

I happened to be at the gym when the US Open was on, and I might as well have been watching France play Italy in World Cup Soccer for all that I understood.

He's going for the third putt, says one announcer to another. They lament how bad the "rough" is on a particular hole. Tiger's plus 6 at 18, they tell us. I know that means he's six over par at hole 18, but I have almost no idea what par is. All I know is that, unlike the real world, to have six of something in golf is worse than having minus 6.

The only part I really understand is when the little white ball drops into the hole.

I have friends who adore the 'sport' of golf. They become vice presidents of banks and COO's so that they can spend half of their work weeks out there on the golf course socializing...I mean, getting to know potential business partners. I even have a friend whose husband sells photographs of golf courses that are so lovely I wouldn't mind having one in the kitchen or dining room. But somehow the language of golf has evaded me for years, posing an invisible but powerful barrier to intimacy with the sport.

Perhaps that's not such a bad thing-if I don't understand the fundamentals, I won't know what it is I'm missing.

lundi, juin 18, 2007

After Sian had an improper website pop up on the computer in our family room yesterday, I installed parental controls.

We were worried that somehow "Club Penguin" be banned in Glenmoore. What happened, of course, is that it was very difficult for anyone to get online. Sian forgot her password. Colin did not have a password. The computer wanted me to add an administrator. Who else is there in this house? The cat?

While I was inside I left the hose in my flower garden. The kids quickly took it to another part of the garden and the so called "mud hole." I can't remember what that was like when we bought the house, but now it is a refuge for all things muddy. Like my 12 year old daughter, dresssed in a tankini and six layers of mud. Sometimes she looks like a young Leslie Caron, a lovely hatchling. Sometimes she looks like a seven year old, pushing the hose under a pile of wet dirt, and waiting, with Colin and Tyler, to see the water push up the dirt and seep through the ground.

Come and see, Colin suggested as I pushed the lawn mower up and down in the humid air. So I did, enjoying the sight of children behaving like they have for centuries--dirty and wet and loving every filthy minute.