I had an interesting discussion with a dear college friend the other night.
Our discussions are always exceptionally interesting. She has a sharp and agile mind and is never shy about expressing her opinions. When sufficiently stimulated, she is every bit as tenacious about her point of view as I am. I love and respect her, and think of her as a life-long friend –– no matter how much time may pass from one encounter to the next.
“Why don’t you write and speak more about your atheism?” Although she tends towards agnosticism, she has always encouraged me to express my atheism in a more frequent and aggressive fashion.
“I just don’t feel the need to shove it down people’s throat anymore.” There was a time when I felt this need. I was convinced that blind belief in a non-existent “god” was the root of humanity’s greatest failures.
“I could ask you a similar question.” I looked at her in the way I always do when I am about to challenge her. She could see it. “Why have you backed off from turning every issue in your life into a feminist issue?”
She smiled. “Every issue is still a feminist issue. I just don’t need to say it as much now.” I looked at her while she rolled her eyes. I smiled.
“To a hammer, everything in the world looks like…” She finished my familiar and tired refrain. “… yah, yah, everything looks like a nail. You really need to come up with some new material.”
I laughed in agreement. “Atheism, Feminism, Socialism, Environmentalism, Humanism, they are important ideas. But I think when they become your ‘religion’ they can potentially give you a myopic vision of the world.”
I refilled her wine glass and queued up “Little Broken Hearts” on my sound system. “This band is called ‘Puss n Boots’. They do country/jazzy/angsty tone. You probably know one or two of the artists.”
She looked at me with eyes that I could see were ready for rage. “Did you just say ‘Puss n Boots’?”
I smiled. “Beware the dangers of isms.”
My father was a big time doodler. He was a talented doodler. I remember him often observing his world with pen or pencil in hand. He was gifted at capturing a moment with the humor he saw.
In this doodle, Papa captures my niece and nephew, on Christmas morning many years ago, showing off their new pajamas.
Sometimes it is refreshing to see through another person’s eyes. Who knew about the doodle?
They appear momentarily scurrying between the keys in a frantic unknown race, then dive into the darker circuitry beneath the surface, making my fingertips buzz with a resonant frequency.
Even my next vowel could end a life.
Uncle Bob died 2 weeks ago and I went to Salt Lake City to attend a wonderful memorial in his honor. He was a remarkable man with a sharp mind and gracious heart. My fondest memories of uncle Bob were the many childhood summers and some winters spent with him and my aunt and cousins in their cabin in the canyon.
These magical moments were not spent in just any canyon in Utah’s vast landscape of canyons. These were spent in “The Canyon”: the upper north fork of Provo canyon. This is the canyon that uncle Bob’s father and uncle surveyed and then homesteaded in the 1890s. This is the canyon where Robert Redford purchased some of the Stewart family land, in 1969, including a simple little ski resort called Timp Haven. This ski resort eventually became Sundance.
But the magic of the canyon was less about the occasional Hollywood star sightings, and more about the canyon itself and the impressive Mount Timpanogos (12K elevation). My uncle was always extolling the virtues of “Timp” and the canyon.
After the memorial on Saturday, a cousin and I decided to make the 1-hour late-night journey just to spend the night and early morning in the cabin. We thought it a fitting way to say goodbye to the uncle who introduced us to the enchantment of the canyon.
I’m a chess geek. What can I say? I am proud of my garden. The vegetable and fruit bounty this season has been quite gratifying. My strawberries and Russian tomatoes were superb!
I’ve also entered the realm of succulents by way of some interesting plants given to me by my talented landscape artist sister. She is off to Morocco again to develop her talents in a Mediterranean climate. But, I have taken guardianship of some of her rare species.
Perhaps my proudest achievement this year in the garden is my stewardship of some relatively rare strains of cannabis. My indoor and outdoor growing skills have provided me with some opportunities to experiment with some very interesting strains of both sativa and indica.
I have a fair knowledge of the medicinal qualities of many plants, including cannabis.
This year, I am experimenting with 3 very interesting indica strains, and 3 wild-card strains of sativa. One of the sativa strains has caught my eye from the beginning. It’s growth pattern and structure is unlike any I’ve ever seen. It is also the last of the 6 to show flowers. Here we are at the end of the first week in August, and this lady is still in vegetative growth. I’m intrigued.
I’ve never been so excited to explore the fruits of this year’s foliage and flowers!