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Friday Musings: Embodied Spirit

Friday Musings: Embodied Spirit

Earlier this week, as I was contemplating the idea of thankfulness for the upcoming holiday, I found myself struggling to put my thoughts on paper, so to speak, and it upset me a great deal. I am immensely grateful for my life and should therefore have little to no difficulty articulating my appreciation. And yet the words would not come. I know that I’m not alone in this place; we always seem to want to find the most eloquent words to express thanks. Because I believe that life’s gifts come from a higher source, I decided to seek some divine intervention and had a definite aha moment when I read the following quote by a French priest named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Hmmmm, right? Now if I said that I spent a lot of time perusing things this man has written, I would be telling you one big fat lie, so I’ll admit that I’m new to his work. What I loved about this particular concept was that I found it to be a bit mind bending, and since we are constantly barraged with recommendations to follow a spiritual path, his words also felt somewhat new and refreshing. But then again, are they really?

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Friday Musings: Object Oriented

Friday Musings: Object Oriented

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in a small armchair in the sun-filled lobby of Penn Princeton hospital waiting for good news and for inspiration to come to me about this blog post. There was another similar chair directly across from me that was unoccupied until a young girl in scrubs sat down and became absorbed in some very focused work on her laptop. She seemed to suddenly finish whatever it was that she was so intently doing and before I knew it, she was gone. A while passed before I realized that she’d left a small book on the arm of the chair that looked like a journal of some kind. It had flowers and leaves on it and a dark green ribbon that marked a place in its pages, maybe for the last entry she’d been working on earlier that day. I’m not certain if it was the reflective mood that I was in, or the lingering energy of the spooky eclipse that I’d watched at 6:00 am that morning, or the way in which the light was hitting the arm of that chair in such a particular way, but that little book began to take on a strange significance for me. It had to be important to the girl. Did she realize it was lost? Would she know where to find it? What was it meant to represent for me as it sat there looking so forlorn and left behind in that sunshiny place?

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Friday Musings Reprise: Finding Nuance

Friday Musings Reprise: Finding Nuance

As a brief introduction, I’m reprising this post because the circumstances of this past week made these words that I wrote over four years ago even more meaningful for me. On Tuesday, I accompanied my partner in crime / partner in life, Cathy, to what should have been routine hip surgery. It turned out to be anything but that. To say that I am grateful she is home and recovering (albeit without a new hip) and still filling my life with so much nuance is the greatest understatement I have every made. I hope you enjoy rereading this post, or reading it for the first time. I’ll be back next week with something new.  

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Friday Musings: To Build a Fire

Friday Musings: To Build a Fire

As I started considering ideas for today’s post, I consulted Merriam-Webster for the definition of the word desperation and found two entries listed with a very subtle difference between them. The first is simply the “loss of hope and surrender to despair.” Not much of a surprise there, right? The second one is a bit more interesting: “a state of hopelessness leading to rashness.” Last week, my book club met to discuss In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn, the story of a family torn apart and reassembled by tragedy, and a study of the lengths we are willing to go to in order to survive. The drive towards self-preservation is considered to be the strongest of the basic human instincts, and very few of us ever have an experience that puts this universally accepted theory to the test. Closely related to this concept of self-survival is our inclination to also protect those who reside in our innermost circle. What wouldn’t we be willing to do in order to keep our loved ones safe, especially in a moment of desperation? At the same time that I was reading In an Instant for my group, my co-worker and fellow idea lover Ben Donia recommended the short story entitled “To Build a Fire” by Jack London as something that might inspire a blog post. And so my wheels began to turn.

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Friday Musings: Table of Elements

Friday Musings: Table of Elements

I once read an article about technological advancement that centered around the idea that the biggest changes to come are those we can’t possibly imagine. I believe this to be true. My original career was in IT, and my first real job was in the cinder block basement of a hospital where I programmed in a computer language that was one level above those seriously annoying ones and zeros that comprise machine code. As I sat there writing spec sheets to be sent to keypunch operators, I could never have conjured up the idea that one day I would hold a device in my hand that housed an operating system capable of performing the most astonishing tasks at lightening speed. It would have been something that was truly outside the realm of my imagination. Over the years, I have thought about that article quite often, and at some point along the way I began to wonder whether we could apply its ideas to our own capabilities as human beings. What potential do we hold for reinvention? Is it possible to become that which we could never have imagined? I am certainly guilty of trying.

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