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August 3rd, 2003

I've always found the concept of "Seven Deadly Sins" and "Seven Saving Graces" somewhat too literary for my tastes. It smacks to me far too much of a certain Middle Ages piety far removed from what I consider the very real challenge of living a moral life in a coarse, difficult world. Last night, during a steak cook-out with two other couples, I found myself resisting the notion that our kids today face a far worse world than we faced as kids. I remember racial segregation, Vietnam War body counts on the morning news, and the childhood certainty that I would live through nuclear holocaust. So I am not "signed on" for this "contempt for the world" thing, which seems to always preach that this world is far worse than some imaginary world decades ago. Neither do I find myself thinking about my immortal soul, if such there be, in terms of Seven Deadly Sins or Seven Saving Graces. But I was just thinking about them, and it seemed to me that they make ideal poll fodder. They remind me somehow of easy shows of faith and certitude, like knights spending chaste nights with "ladies fair" in a courtly love show of self-restraint (and I'll place this parenthetical phrase after this sentence merely to emphasize that I see the immense opportunity for wordplay and innuendo here,and am virtuously resisting it).

I love to learn about each of you. I need not know your special virtues, nor your secret vices. But will you share with me 7 sins and 7 graces? I wish to take a journey to the moral center of your particular earth, and, yes, when a few answers are up, I will share, too.

The Deadly Sins and Saving Graces PollCollapse )

The deep symbolic power of non-sequitur

"Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?"--David Bowie

fighting facts with well-chosen triviaCollapse )

Desert Vistas, Prairie Vistas

I did not have as much time during my desert sojourn to experience nature as I would have preferred. But eight days ago, I did get up at dawn to go to South Mountain Park, just south of Phoenix. Yesterday, I walked on the Trinity Trail, twenty minutes from my home. Both of these are western locales, but they are very different places. At the risk of boring my friends through yet another post, I set forth these pictures. Adventures in Desert and Prairie LandscapesCollapse )

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