January 6th, 2007

tiger swallowtail butterfly

the luxury of lassitude

"There are two alternatives, and only two, before us. First, which is unlikely, is that we unscramble our modern interdependent culture, returning to separate and isolationist lives. . . Such a world would not demand greatness. The other alternative is to so expand our spiritual powers that we vastly increase the range of our understanding and sympathy. There is no middle way. It is greatness — universalism — or perish". --Clarence Russell Skinner

Today proved a very busy day, leading into a rather busy weekend. Tonight we went to Wasabi for dinner. My wife favors a dish there called the Alamo Roll. I can't describe it, except that it has something tartly mustard-ish and something mildly crunchy amid the rice.

We saw "The Pursuit of Happyness", an unapologetic paean to determination and ambition in an effort to escape poverty through attaining an opportunity for devotedly material success. I think sometimes that people who never taste want have a tendency to look down on those who pursue freedom from want ambitiously. Similarly, those whose creative needs are met by their experiences sometimes fail to understand the need for self-expression that those with more boundless experience of the creative exhibit. Those who never know the complexities of dysfunction may not realize how vigorously some fight to avoid dwelling among it. Ambition is rather a devalued word--but determination has its place, and its uses, and its sausage-making ugly beauty.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that everything requires a work--and all roads are toll roads. Sometimes the toll is hidden--a highway tax embedded in the price of each gallon of gas. The apparent freedom of complacency is not an end, but merely an interval--and in virtually every life conflict arises, the game is on, and salvations work out, with fear, trembling, and often a surprising amount of joy.