Start with the sky - part 1

One winter I slept many nights on the Earlham college soccer field.  I bought a second sleeping bag and put one inside the other, a balaclava on my head and fresh socks on my feet so I was toasty warm. 

The main attraction for me was the night sky.  I'd camped a lot with my family growing up but there were always so many mosquitoes we were glad to seal ourselves into our tents at night.  With no bugs on the winter soccer field I enjoyed a front row seat at the greatest show on earth.

I believe that large truths ignored build like sores under the skin of a culture.  Death is one, thought better kept out of sight, until someone is taken and the unprepared survivors feel like they've been hit by a truck.  Play out a denial of death for enough generations and a culture becomes so neurotic it prefers making war to pondering impermanence.

The sky is another big one.  Beyond the fact that it exists, which is strange enough, stranger still is the amount of effort required to fully experience it first hand: almost nothing, or exactly nothing if you're laying on your back as I was. And nothing is a lot less effort than it takes to experience death.  In fact, considering what's involved in dying it seems best to try everything else first.

I wanted to start with the sky.

My eye reaches but little ways, I cannot calculate the curve

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice." 

- Unitarian minister Theodore Parker, 1853

Think of it, always

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.. think of it, always."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Close the curtain quickly

I read the script version of Peter Pan when I was young and I've always remembered the stage directions written by James M. Barrie at the end of the scene in which Peter backs Captain Hook off the ship's plank, presumably to fall to the crocodile below.  "Close the curtain quickly," he wrote as I recall, " lest we should see Captain Hook's evil sneer across Peter's face."

Remember the broom

Toward the end of The Wizard of Oz, just after Dorothy has melted the witch, Dorothy is tested.  "Hail Dorothy!" shout the kneeling guards.  But Dorothy is not flattered by obsequiousness.  She knows why she came and keeps her eyes on the prize. "The broom." she says, "May we have it?"

A victory for nonviolence

Congratulations to the brave and disciplined people of Egypt.  A victory for them, and for the cause of nonviolence.