A clearinghouse for Ideas; because Ideas have consequences.

The View From Here

By idaflo | December 10th, 2016 | No Comments » 

My Dear Sons,

It’s early, but that’s nothing new, I always wake up at three or four a.m. these days with early morning heat flashes. It isn’t a glamorous reason to greet the morning, but it works.

It sets me to thinking.  I have no control over it (spare me the hormone pills, they don’t set well) so I just keep something to read on my bedside table, since reading helps me go back to sleep…until the next heat flash.  Sometimes I get up and do things, taking advantage of the internal alarm clock, but when I do, mid-morning I hit the wall of exhaustion…   So we work with it. One day at a time, some days better than others.

So as I get older I realize there is a profound difference emerging.  I control less and less of how my body reacts and bounces back.  Like last night,  the full moon was such that I could only stare in wonder at the sky.  But I noticed that the moon isn’t quite as perfect as it used to be…. things have gotten just so ever slightly more fuzzy around the edges.  I have no control over that, it is evidence of my age.  I’m not complaining, but it’s hard not to notice and grieve just a little. Most of the time it’s no problem, and I accept and embrace God’s gift of ongoing life and good health, but there are those moments when I have a hint of panic, not because of the symptoms of age, but because of the realization about how little control we have over so much.

In this media saturated culture we constantly note the toll age takes on our appearance.  The wrong stuff is important.  You can’t go through a grocery check out line without seeing actresses that were once breathtakingly beautiful, rendered almost unrecognizable by all the plastic surgery they get to keep them in the end, not looking like a younger version of themselves, but like somebody else.  In spite of their technological and medically aided denial, age changes them too, no matter how much money they have.  Who on earth was more stunning than say, Elizabeth Taylor in her youth.  But in the end….her personal habits caught up with her and she wore them on her face.  But even if she’d been a marathon runner, by the time she hit 50, she’d still look like a 50 year old runner.   But she is me.  No,  I’ve never looked like THAT, and we don’t share any semblance of a lifestyle but what happened to her is happening to me.  Having such a unique level of beauty, she had further to fall.

But appearance isn’t what concerns me.  It’s the sense of loss of control and independence.  It’s being more frail and so more vulnerable.  Yesterday I saw in the news where an 82 year old woman in San Francisco was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was physically assaulted and nearly killed.  Age teaches me that as it increases, I must rely more and more on the best or worst urges of any person present to be safe.  If they decide to be an aggressor, I am not as strong to defend myself as I once was.  That is frightening.  But that is inevitable.

So today I am asking for your mercy.  Growing old gracefully is not automatic, it takes work.  I am here and now going to make a commitment, a contract of sorts with you. I want to set an example, because boys, you are aging too.  I want never to lose that sense of urgency.  To wake up each morning giving thanks to God for the morning.  To proceed into the day determined to see what causes wonder.  To tell people thank you.  To address issues, even when it is difficult, maybe because it is difficult. You aren’t here, so you won’t be seeing it, but your Dad will, and he will benefit from it.  I want you  to know we won’t sit back on our laurels and get lazy on purpose.  We do this because we are Christians, we do this because we are forgiven in Christ, we do this because we want to be the kind of people you can respect, even when you are not looking.

Having you boys was life-changing.  I never want to lose the wonder; not only in being part of bringing new life into the world, but in seeing life as a precious investment of time God has entrusted us with, regardless of the more  faltering countenance it may bring with it.

TAGS:  CATEGORIES: children, Current Events, education, History, humor, Letters, Religion, Uncategorized, Who Knew!?

Letter to my Sons

By idaflo | January 4th, 2011 | No Comments » 

Roadway through the forest, Northern California

Memories

Hello Dear Sons,

So glad you were home for Christmas, we are always glad to see you.

I had the privilege of staying home to raise you (much to the chagrin of my educated peers who wondered at my making such a domestic choice) so you will recall a cliche’ thought up and often used on you while you were growing up – “I’d rather have a bad day with you than a good day with someone else”.  May God grant that you have children someday so that you will REALLY know how that originated from my heart and soul about our time together. So many precious hours of growing… yet now that stage is past.

Wanted to talk with you about why I decided to give you books for Christmas.  I know we could have gone with something more fun (though the cash we gave you counts for something there) but I want you to have a book to hold in your hands because we spent so many hours engaged in reading when you were smaller.  Those are some of the best moments of your childhood for me – as we explored the wonders of the mind.  We focused, we imagined, we discussed, we had to really THINK; that was the tremendous gift that literature gave you.

But now, there is the internet.  Instant messaging, flashing images, stimulation, always the immediate sensory stimulation…I understand the attraction, but I am repelled by the media and its message at the same time.  What is this doing to our brains?  What is happening to our souls?  I know more about the internet than I wish I did.  I wonder if I’m a better person for it.

Am impressed by the people who write, the sites I check for news, the videos, both artistic and informative that I am able to download… and yet it is fearsome, the amount of time that can be wasted on the computer.  And it’s against such, that I wish to warn you.

You have all chosen fields of study and ultimately places of employment, that implement electronic media.  Please, I plead with you, PLEASE take the time to shut it off and just read and think each day.

Read the Bible, look at GOOD books, force your mind to include the writings of great thinkers and the compositions of great musicians.  Not just pleasant, but GREAT.  It’s all available on the net? But it’s not the same. As Lutherans you know the power of a solid medium, like liturgy in worship for example, to deliver a quieter, deeper, stronger, even eternal  message.  That’s what I am concerned about.  That you still continue to pour over messages with a deeper meaning.

Please do that.  It is my hope and prayer that as you do, you will remind others to do it too.  And someday, if and when you have children, they will also share that ability and opportunity.  Good learning is always just one generation away from being lost.  I remind you, you must not lose it; we  teach our children, but as we work with them, we are teaching our grandchildren.  That matters.  That is how we pass the best we have and are, on.

Blessings, peace, power and joy through Christ be with you.

Take care, I love you,

Mom.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , CATEGORIES: children, Current Events, education, History, Letters, Pop Culture, Religion, Science

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Attacked Pro-Life Advocates in 1980 Essay

By idaflo | May 11th, 2010 | No Comments » 

Elena Kagan. Perhaps the folks in Washington will use your history to affect our present.

PLEASE Washington, man up.


by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 11, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An essay that Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote in 1980 has been unearthed and it provides some insight into her view of pro-life advocates. The article she wrote for the Daily Princetonian a week after Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election has Kagan disparaging pro-life advocates.

Reagan won a landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter and Kagan’s essay lamented that victory and had her hoping for a “more leftist left” in the 1984 elections.“Even after the returns came in, I found it hard to conceive of the victories of these anonymous but Moral Majority-backed opponents” of certain pro-abortion candidates, Kagan wrote.She called them “avengers of ‘innocent life’” who were “beneficiaries of a general turn to the right and a profound disorganization on the left.” Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee noticed the comment and the scare quotes….(continue reading here)

TAGS: , , , , , , CATEGORIES: Current Events, History, Letters, Politics, Religion

Little Girl – by Michael Yon

By idaflo | May 10th, 2010 | No Comments » 

Little Girl and American Soldier by Michael Yon

One of my all-time favorite photos. This deeply felt moment was captured on film by Michael Yon. I include it here, along with the back-story Michael tells about it, from his own page, linked here.

First Published May 14, 2005 – From Michael Yon

Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn’t make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her. Read More »

TAGS: , , , , , CATEGORIES: Current Events, History, Letters

Dear Milton

By idaflo | May 4th, 2010 | No Comments » 

Dear Milton,

Yes, sometimes it is scary to post stories and thoughts concerning events, politics or religion on the internet.  It can get one in trouble, not only with folks who disagree, but also with folks who agree but who are too scared to admit it…

Just by bringing it up, you are blowing their cover, forcing them to decide whether they can respond with an “amen” or pretend that they didn’t see it and so lapse into silence.  We can’t pretend not to know what we now know; you know?  Many folks are desperate to find a distraction that enables them to disengage and blend in.  But then the question becomes, what are you blending into?  Cultural suicide?

Three other questions to be asked: 1) What is truth? 2) What does this mean? And, knowing all this 3) How best do I serve my neighbor?

TAGS: , , , CATEGORIES: Letters

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