Some Thoughts on Thinking (and Emotions)

Caterpillar by Wendelin Jacober

Like most writers, I keep a cache of mostly random thoughts, snippets, excerpts, ideas for future projects that I store in a folder on my digital desktop. It’s a big file that I add to whenever I can catch myself in the act of thinking, and in doing so, step outside of that thinking just far and long enough to say, “Hmmm…there may be a blog (or sermon or poem) in that.”

This process, of interrupting one’s unself-conscious immersion in a thoughtstream to consciously note that one is having a thoughtstream that may be worthy of further thinking, is a rather interesting occurrence itself. It is thought reflecting upon thought, which, by virtue of its interruptive qualities, inevitably changes the original thoughtstream that prompted the whole enterprise.

So very meta.

(“I just saw this movie about these people making a movie, and the movie they were making was about the movie industry…” goes on...

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Gauntlet Thrown: President Obama’s Howard University Commencement Speech

President Obama by DonkeyHotey

We live in such a cynical, angry, contentious political climate that there’s a popular meme circulating and reproducing itself like a virus with every blustery speech on the campaign trail: We’ve lost our way; America is hopelessly gridlocked, wayward, paralyzed. The only hope for our country, of course, is if the candidate describing this abysmal state of affairs is elected and can thus wave a magic wand, turn three times in each direction, stomp both feet and wipe out all of our problems (ISIS, the immigrants, the atheists, Wall Street tycoons…).

This is a far cry from the themes that permeated then-candidate Obama’s rhetoric on the campaign trail eight years ago. Sure, he sounded a few pointed barbs at the way things were, but his predominant message and tone was about how things could be.

Not deriding the country’s deficiencies but pointing the way to still more improvements before we could ful...

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Contemplating “President Trump”

Donald Trump by Donkey Hotey

Like the entire Republican Party establishment and, in a profound sense, much of the country at large, I am coming to grips with the cold, hard, heretofore unimaginable fact that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. And having achieved that status, he is just a few more improbable steps away from the presidency in a year that has scuttled everything we thought we knew about probability.

The thought amazes and appalls. And there is more than a middling chance it will come to pass. “President Trump.”

And we, who laughed heartily at the petty, petulant, juvenile showman with the orange hair who was slated to be our comic relief for a few early months of the campaign, until he either torpedoed himself with one too many offensive absurdities or the Old Guard had him summarily removed with a show of Old Money and Influence, now wring our hands and wonder why we didn’t, couldn’t, see it c...

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water words

wet   life   drip   moist   damp   cloud

here   yes   drink   suck   slurp   gulp

gone   none   parched   pinched   paucity

salve   swim   immerse   cleanse   anoint

where   there   mirage   drought   dry

slip   slide   ease   merge   one   spurt

grasp   groan   cracked   arid   shrivel

douse   dunk   splash   soak   wade.

now oh lord deep bless bliss wet

Water Play by Prashant Godbole

Hands to Heavens by Rob McIlvaine

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Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhidas/

Deep appreciation to the photographers!

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banne...

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Oh, the Troubles I Seen: A Photo Essay on Labor and Toil

Short of being completely disabled or extremely young or elderly, we must work. From the lowliest worm to the sparrow to kings and queens, we have to get after our daily labor.

In one form or other, we bring the vegetables in from the fields, the meat from the plain, the water from the river, going about our appointed tasks to keep ourselves fed and hydrated.

Call it Darwin’s first imperative: Do what we must do to get food and liquid down our gullets; survive for another day.

Farmer Taking Banana Crop to Market, Uganda, by Robert Muckley

Here in the West, we often conflate work with life itself—as our passion, our very identity, with a not-always-clear demarcation between it and the other forces of family, romance, leisure, recreation that make competing claims on human time and energy (in civilized places, that is, like Canada, or Europe…).

Or we apply the “work ethic” to all of life in vaingloriou...

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