Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Solving the Matter of Creation

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

Read that sentence again. Doesn’t it sound like the creator was just a bit surprised? And I think he was. And that is what I want to talk about today.

First I have to tell you that my head is no good at complex theories. So to set the context of a simplified approach, allow me to digress for just one moment.

A few years ago I was literally floundering in a university-level course on Administration. The assignment – to discuss the role of an Administrator. But where to start? It was so impossible to extract anything meaningful from my workplace environment. Too much stuff to sift through. So finally in desperation I turned my study to the limited details of running my own home. Here I found great examples of administration and resource management. Then, surprisingly, within those very simple limitations, I fleshed out a grand essay about Corporate Jungle Administration. Despite the difference in the size and arena, the application was still there. But simplifying the problem allowed me to back away from the forest enough to see the trees.

So I backed away from Administration in order to see how an Administrator works. And now I want to back away from Creation enough to see how the Creator works.

So first of all, can we simplify the definition of creation? When brought to its lowest common denominator it is a conversion of an inanimate thing into an animate thing. So when I think about it that way, the big question is not the one we have so long puzzled over. “Is there a God? Is there a creator?” But rather, “Could Creation, as we know it, happen without a Creator?”

And that is the question that came to mind while watching Hub creating his newest batch of rhubarb wine. It struck me, that here, for me to observe, was a simplified version of creation. So now I need to assess from this observation whether this creation is the work of a Creator or nothing more than a coincidental reaction of natural forces?

And so I watched as Hub took inanimate matter (rhubarb, sugar, water, etc), and put it in a big pail and stored it in a warm place. Without interference on his part the mix fermented. And then after a space of time, Hub drained and clarified the brew. We tasted it and, to the Creator’s surprise, “Behold, it was very good!” But yet, it was a creation that was not all hands-on. Some of what occurred happened without any direct influence by him. Yet, without him, all that happened would not have happened. So he is the Creator.

Now my mother, on the other hand, made wine through the process of the ‘Big Bang Theory’. She canned fruit, often using recycled lids. And so some of that fruit became wine though that is not what it was meant to be. And “Behold, it was very good!” In this instance the Creator was both surprised and dismayed. But just because it was not her intent to make wine, does that mean she was not the creator of that wine? In the final analysis it wouldn’t have happened without her. So yes, she was the Creator. So even the ‘Big Bang Theory’ has a creator.

So now Hub, as a Creator, and my mother, as a Creator, cannot be dismissed because without their effort and involvement, there would be neither rhubarb wine or fruit wine. Yet in each of these processes things happened without their interference that were spontaneous reactions. And that spontaneous reaction thing, that thing that happened without their interference, does not mean that they are removed from the process. Or that creator-involvement can be denied.

No matter how much evolution, time, or space occurred in the beginning of Planet Earth, is not this simple proof that there was still, within that process, the involvement of a Creator? So what’s to debate about Creation and the Creator? Absolutely nothing.

Excuse me. Could I have more wine, please?

Friday, November 24, 2006

You Must Have Wrote it Down

It goes without saying, that all of us, at one time or another have done silly things. But not Hub. He prefers to think he is an exception to that rule. And so when I remind him of something foolish he did in the past, he usually says, “I don’t remember any such thing,” and truly he doesn’t. But when I start fleshing out the moment, he says, “How do you remember all that?” And then with a snort of disgust, “You must have wrote it down.”

But no, I didn’t. Still I understand why he thinks I did. He sees me writing all the time. But I share with him only a tiny segment of what I write. The odd bit that I think might pique his interest. But no point in telling him that. He’s totally convinced that all that I don’t share is about him.

And so I write and write. I also read. And in my reading, it took me long enough, but I finally realized that every book is about lives lived, whether fact or fiction. And in reading about literature what I also discovered is that for years Auto-Biographies were solidly shunned. They were branded, (and in many minds still are), as dull, self-centered, egotistical, bloody blither. And understandably, if all an Auto-Biography contains is a resume of occupations and acquisitions, it is definitely that. On the other hand, Biographies, (the story of a life told by another), were acceptable almost from the get go. Even the Bible is a Biography of sorts.

But why? If literature is about life experiences, and its appeal is the interpretation of those experiences, then who better to write about a life than the heart and liver (no pun intended)? And why should the interpretation of a life be scoffed at or penalized with non-compliance just because it cannot be woven from first person into a third person voice and moved to an exotic clime?

Now when I think about the things we enjoy most in life, I think we would agree that it is the social interaction between family, friends, and community. Relationships with family have never been smooth. But we’ll ignore that for now and consider the other interactions I mentioned. Unfortunately, what has happened, in a rather insidious way, is as our lives have become more transient, valued friendships are tattered. And community has become pretty much non-existent. An ideology, rather than a facet of life. Both seriously damaged by a pot forever stirred where nothing can gel. We move, change jobs, change locale so frequently that even as stalwart life-long residents in a small town, we find ourselves nodding more often to strangers on the street than familiar faces. And even bosom friends, when separated by space and an accumulation of time, drift apart. So the only way we can gel those life experiences that we used to share in unexpected places like a coffee shop or the post office, is to write them down.

I wonder if I should share this rant with Hub.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I Don't Want New Stuff!

I think I'll just hide out here for a time. At the old place I got so tired of the spam and then my blog host told me about the new system and warned me the old system might be unstable (scare tactics are so not cool). So I felt compelled to move along to the new system but didn't bother with transferring anything. It's kind of nice to have a new page in a new journal.

And meanwhile in normal life there used to be the occasional salesman come to the door or the odd telephone caller wanting to sell something. But now there is another species to add to the list. Those companies that I've dealt with without complaint for twenty years and now they want me to check out their new options, their new package. They want me to juggle everything around and redo my contract. Like enough already. If I've dealt with you for twenty years without bitching then don't start harassing me now. Just be glad I'm hanging in there, paying the bills, and keeping my mouth shut even when the phone is down, the power is down, and although I've had both hail and wind damage to my shingles, did you see any claims coming from me. No. I just patched them up and let you off the hook.

So do you mind? If I want a new package, I'll let you know. Otherwise I'm not interested. Because no matter how fancy you wrap it, one thing I do know. If it isn't going to make more profit for you in some oblique way (through hidden or artfully disguised fees), you wouldn't be offering it to me. Would you now?