Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Celeb Crushes

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Lake Ediza

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Three of everything

Earlier today I was tagged by Kelly to play a game which I will call the “game of three” because all of the questions come in threes. Here are the questions and if anyone wants to play along please be my guest.

Three screen names I’ve had: I’ve only had one screen name and guess what it is?...My close and long time friend Damon Johnson started calling me Bilbo years ago because of my obsession with anything related to the Lord of the Rings. I used this name from the get go on cyberspace in an effort to diffuse some of the tension on the various religious/philosophical groups I have belonged to over the years.

Three things I like about myself: Hmmmm???....How does one do this without sounding arrogant?...I like my sense of humor….The fact that I generally try to take into consideration other peoples needs when I make my decisions….and….I see myself as fairly well balanced in terms of the relationship between our emotions/intellect/spirituality.

Three things I don’t like about myself: My inability to make decisions at critical times. although I think I am getting better….My tendency to become obsessed about a wide range of things and experiences….My tendency to allow others to take advantage of me sometimes…

Three parts of my heritage: Don’t know too much about my family heritage because I was adopted and raised by my grandparents and saw my parents only a few times during my life….My grandparents came from Oklahoma looking for work back in the 40’s. They were true blue Okies. My grandparents on my father side were German and were actually born in Germany. My grandmother tells me there is significant Indian blood in our family tree. Suspect maybe Cherokee since most of my family on my mothers side is from Oklahoma.

Three things that scare me: The conflict in the Middle East, The Economy, and George Bush’s pre-emptive strike foreign policy.

Three of your everyday essentials: Freedom….Don’t like to be controlled, micro-managed, or manipulated, especially by friends, colleagues, or family members. Daily stimulation….Need daily intellectual, emotional, physical and visual stimulation. If I take the time to read, meditate, exercise, and expose my self to some form of beauty usually the day goes pretty well and my spirit is uplifted but if these things are absent than my soul suffers and my body feels it…..and…..Space. I need a time during each day where I can just relax, think, veg out, or whatever without the interference of others.

Three things you are wearing right now: Actually I am only wearing two things. Shorts and underwear. It gets pretty hot in my neck of the woods and let’s just say modesty is not one of my strong points.

Three of my favorite songs: Strange Waters and Child of the Wind, both by Bruce Cockburn….and….Knights in White Satin by the Moody Blues. Just love the poem at the end……

"Breathe deep in the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy's spent
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her sun
Senior citizens wish they were young
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is grey and yellow white
And we decide which is right
And which is an illusion?"

Things I want in a relationship: a partner where mutual give and take is a regular part of the relationship, intimacy…where both partners “feel safe” to share what they really think and feel. The motivation and desire to work on the relationship while being patient enough to accept each others shortcomings….

Two truths and a lie: I have climbed Mount Rainier, Mount Mckinley, and Mount Whitney all in one year, I once saw a UFO, and I once lost 22 pounds in one week while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Three things I can’t do without: An encouraging word from time to time, People who genuinely care about my welfare, and acceptance from family and friends.

Three places you want to go on vacation: New Zealand, the British Isles, and Switzerland.

Three things you just can’t do: Fixing things around the house, play an instrument, be nice to bullies and manipulators/abusers

Three kids names: Bainton, Alexander, and Autumn.

Things you want to do before you die: Hmmmm?....Take a grandchild on a trip to the mountains, get involved in community/social work/project that I feel passionate about, and get healthy enough again to take one more backpack trip to Iceberg Lake and walk along the shore of Ediza Lake which John Muir said was the most beautiful lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains…..and see U-2 in concert….Actually that's four if your'e keeping track....

Three celeb crushes: Ashley Judd, Janeane Garofalo, and Laura Linney…..

Astoria Oregon

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Redwood National Park

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Reflections during a quiet moment

It’s early….it’s quiet….it’s peaceful…I’m alone….but not alone…we’re never totally alone….My mother left yesterday to go back to live with my aunt in Northern California. We had a good three weeks together. Spent some quality time together, listened to a lot of country music, went for walks down the street together each morning, and sat in the swing and soaked in the warm rays of the sun each morning. Got a lot accomplished around the house, cleaned and decorated three bedrooms, and completely overhauled the living room. I’m tired, very tired, but a good kind of tired. Feel good about what I have accomplished and have created. People need creative outlets, otherwise a part of our soul becomes lost and we simply become another cog in the big machine of modern life. Much of the emphasis in modern life is about consumption and while I enjoy consumption as much as anyone we also need to give and create. Our soul needs it, our neighbor needs it, our community needs it, and our world needs it. I’m convinced it is an important aspect of why we were created. Otherwise, why would we have the ability and motivation?

Called my principal up yesterday and told him I would accept the transfer to the new high school. Still a little anxious about the big move but I’ll do fine. I’ve been doing this gig for 18 years now and the skills one learns along the way can certainly be transferred from one place to another. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me moving all my stuff from one school to another. I’ll do a little bit this week and do the rest when I get back from vacation. I have always wanted to be a part of a new school. New bright and shining clean rooms where everything is “hopefully” is in working order. I’ll be taking my action figure collection, tapestries, posters, music collection, and other “stuff” to the new school….The word on the street is that things are a bit stiff and too regimented at the new school. My music collection alone should provide a little razzle, dazzle. Pearl Jam, Staind, Moby, Santana, Dave Matthews, Led Zeppelin, and friends should help raise the blood pressure up quite a bit for both staff and students… I’ll try to keep a low profile but I don’t intend to make any major changes to the way I do things. It’s worked for me and my students for years and I feel proud about what I have accomplished up to this point in my career. Ultimately it’s about the kids. They need motivation, inspiration, guidance, creativity, stimulation of their senses, and a lot of patience and that’s what I am going to try to provide for them.

Vacation….I’ll be taking off for vacation on Saturday. We’re going to Redwood National Park and the Oregon Coast this year for three weeks. I hate hot weather and Northern California and the Oregon Coast is the only place I know, outside of Alaska and the tundra climate above 10,000 feet where the weather is constantly below 70 degrees. I love the Redwood National Park. It’s one of the few National parks where there’s not hoards of people. It’s very quiet and peaceful and they have North America’s best campgrounds, IMHO. Great campground programs for the kids and the showers are better than the one’s at my house!....I’ve been up and down the Oregon Coast a few times but have never really spent a lot of time exploring all the sights and sounds. We will be there for ten days exploring the various State Parks, and the towns of Newport, Astoria, Cannon Beach. Astoria is the oldest town west of the Mississippi and the stomping grounds of Lewis and Clark. I’ll bring back plenty of pictures….That’s it for now. Need to get out and get some exercise before the heat descends upon my neck of the woods.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bilbo's New Furniture

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The Summer of Change

About a month and a half ago I told my shrink that I needed a serious change of scenery regarding my living situation on several fronts but at the time I wasn’t exactly clear what I wanted or needed. I just knew something had to change….a person can only handle so much ambiguity, dysfunction, and ongoing lack of resolution… For the past two weeks I have been putting in 10 to 12 hour days cleaning, shampooing carpets, throwing junk away, and decorating my mom’s house where I have resided for the past three years since my divorce. Last week-end I went on a spending spree and bought some new furniture to replace my mom’s “very old” couches, love seats, and tables. At the moment I am feeling pretty good about what I have accomplished and bought but I have yet to slow down enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Today I started winding down quite a bit and am looking forward to taking some time to just smell the roses before I take off on one of my three week vacation jaunts to the wilderness.

Yesterday my principal called and asked if I would like to be transferred to Caesar Chavez High School which is a new state of the art High School in our District. My initial reaction was to say no. I have been at Delano High for 18 years now and it has been one of the few stable environments in my life for the past six difficult years. I have been in the same room for my entire tenure and I really love the kids, administration, and many of the relationships with other staff members… However… I have always wanted to work at a new high school and be a part of creating a new tradition and working environment from the ground up. Older schools and institutions, in general, have a history that is often very static and difficult to deal with particularly for someone like myself who is somewhat eccentric when it comes to my job and life in general. Right now I am leaning in the direction of accepting the transfer, in large part, because of the positive and long term relationship I have with the current head of the department at Caesar Chavez and the rapid deterioration of morale in my own department at Delano High School.

This is now beginning to look like a summer of change for me now on several important fronts and although I didn’t specifically plan any of the changes that have come my way I do welcome the changes. Change is often so hard for many of us I suppose because of the potential risk involved and the fear of the unknown…but….risk also has it’s potential rewards and we all need to get rewarded from time to time. At the end of the day I just don’t want to look back on my life and regret never taking a few chances here and there so I will probably take the plunge and move to the new school. I told the principal I would wait until Monday morning to contact him about my decision but right now it looks like I am going to take the new job…..I’ll finish up my recent spending spree this week-end and check out some of the new large screen televisions. I don’t watch a lot of t.v. but I do really like having friends and family over to watch special sporting events, movies, and concerts. Some of my most memorable moments over the past three years were with friends and family just hang in out and watching the Lord of the Rings ,Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, etc. in concert....It’s finally starting to feel a bit like spring time around here. It’s been a very long winter on the home front and I look forward to moving ahead and having a more normal life again. Of course, normal isn’t always what it is cracked up to be but when you have been traveling in the wilderness as long as I have been a little normalcy may be just what the doctor ordered…..

A Grateful Heart

Earlier this week my brother was involved in a serious head on collision on Interstate 5 in Central California while coming to visit my mom and I. Apparently the driver in the other car crossed a fifty foot divide going the opposite direction and hit my brother head on. The speculation at this point is that the other driver may have either fallen asleep at the wheel or had a heart attack because a fifty foot divide is a wide divide to cross while conscious. Upon impact my brother’s truck flipped an estimated four or five times before landing and than caught on fire and was totally consumed in flames minutes later. My brother’s son who was the only passenger escaped through the narrow back window. He was unable to pull his father from the wreck but with the help of others at the scene they were able to pull my brother from the truck just minutes before the truck burst into flames. My brother sustained serious injuries to his ankles and legs below the knees and is currently in a hospital in Sacramento California. He suffered no serious head or chest injuries. Thank God. His son walked away from the accident without any serious injuries and is now recuperating at home. This has been a dramatic week for my brother, his wife, and the rest of the family but we are all very grateful that the accident was not more serious than it was for my brother and his son. The same however cannot be said for the other driver who had to be flown to a hospital in a helicopter. Apparently he is in critical condition and was near death. It is our hope and prayers that he survived and may he and his family somehow find some comfort and hope in this most difficult time. I don’t really have anything more to add except to repeat that I am grateful that my brother and his son survived what could have easily been a much more serious situation…..

Friday, June 17, 2005

Fruits of my labor

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Part of my hat collection

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Last week and the first part of this week I was really in a funk…depressed…No need to go into any of the gory details why...Tuned the corner on Monday evening when I decided to devote myself to some major cleaning, rearranging, and decorating projects here on the home front. When I get depressed and am singing the blues I can rarely just think, pray, or spend my way out it. Generally a change of environment will perk me up which is probably why I often head for the beach, mountains, or forest, but since I couldn’t get away this week I decided to change the environment here at the house.

Over the past three days I have put in some really long hours cleaning the garage, carpets, bathrooms, and the walls. Not the most exciting way to spend ones summer but personally satisfying and therapeutic, nonetheless. Even my shrink said she thought it was good for me to put my hand to the plow. I have presently completed cleaning and decorating two rooms, if you want to call it decorating. Didn’t want to paint the rooms which is probably what really needs to be done so I just covered the walls with some Lord of the Rings posters and my extensive hat collection. How clever of me if I may say so myself. During the process of major cleaning I have no doubt destroyed many an insect habitat. Can’t say I feel bad about it though because they have had free reign around these parts going on three years now. Even got the bug spray out and doused their environment so they might think twice about setting up shop again anytime soon. I still have a ways to go to complete the mission at hand but think I will take a few days off to let my bad back recuperate. Next week I will recruit my two teenage sons to do some heavy lifting in the living room so I can clean and shampoo the carpet. It could be interesting to see what is behind some of the furniture in this house since I don’t think some of it has been moved for almost a decade now. Who knows, maybe I might find Jimmy Hoffa’s body. Oooops, I forgot. Jim Carey already found Hoffa….Will settle for finding a hundred dollar bill or diamond wedding ring left behind years ago. Realistically I am more likely to find the capital city of some little critter empire. If I do I will simply nuke em and claim they were insurgent terrorists. That should set my mind at ease. I wonder if I should contact the local Fox news station. They might be interested in local story about cleansing the world of terrorism. What do you think?...Better wrap this up. Getting off track and my imagination is starting to take over, again, which frequently happens when I have too much time on my hands…..

Saturday, June 11, 2005

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More Musings from the Shire

At one time in my life I was a social activist who was very much involved in local politics but once I got married and started a family it became impossible for me to juggle work, social activism, and family so I gradually dropped out of the social activist scene and have remained relatively quiet for the past 10 years or so. Despite my 10 year lack of social involvement this doesn’t mean I have not kept up with, nor no longer care about the state of affairs in the world today. While I may no longer march in the streets or go door to door campaigning for a particular candidate I do continue to have strong feelings and opinions about what is happening here and abroad. Here are a few of my thoughts and feelings about politics, foreign affairs, the economy, the state of education, and the culture in general.

General state of affairs: Before I began let me make a confession up front. I have a propensity to be pessimistic when it comes to talking about the culture, politics, etc. and acknowledge up front that a “dooms day scenario gene” exists in my biological make-up. In the past this has resulted in, lets just say, a “few” wrong predictions but while I am still prone to lean in that direction I will make an effort to keep the apocalyptic rantings and rhetoric to a minimum. Try I will but just remember that it’s very difficult if not impossible for a leopard to change it’s spots….

In the Revenge of the Sith there are a couple of scenes where master Yoda has a strong premonition that something very bad is happening. At one point in the movie he crouches over in obvious emotional and physical pain as the Jedi are being slaughtered throughout the galaxy and in the Jedi Temple. Well, this strong premonition that something very bad is happening pretty much sums up how I currently feel about the condition of our country’s soul. Of course I am no Jedi Master and I acknowledge that my biological “dooms day gene” may be working overtime, but, I also believe there is substantial evidence to at least suggest that we are in fact in the midst of some significant challenges on both the home front and abroad. During times of sudden or substantial cultural change and reform a lot of people are prone to feel anxious and a bit insecure, its only human nature, and I suppose only time will tell whether the current direction we are headed in will bear the kind of fruit our current leadership is promising. I am not as optimistic as the current powers that be and to be honest I feel more like our nation has entered the black gates of Mordor, or worse, perhaps we are “becoming” Mordor. Hope I am wrong but I have to call em as I feel em…..Also sense growing fear and angst in this great country of ours. Feel and sense it from a lot of different quarters, work, family, news, and general public. Grant that perhaps I indulge the “dark side” on my psychic too much but also acknowledge that my intuitive side may be trying to tell me something and have learned to at least give an ear to my intuition despite cultural bias and suspicion of this aspect of our nature.

9/11 and Iraq: At the root of America’s current angst and growing fear is 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Iraq. Have a hard time feeling anything good is going to come out of our gaff in invading Iraq, at least in the short term. If democracy is established and freedom does in fact take hold in this part of the world I suspect it will be awhile after Bush has left office. At this point it doesn’t appear the insurgents/terrorists, or significant number of people in the region are interested or motivated to embrace our gift of freedom/democracy/capitalism anytime soon….and….if by some miracle the Iraqi’s do bring the Trojan horse that contains democracy and capitalism within the gates of Baghdad than I am afraid this may open Pandora’s box to future pre-eminent strikes elsewhere in the region or rest of the world. In other words, damned if it works, damned if it doesn’t work…As a Christian I feel like we have gotten to the point in our nation where we have totally forgotten, abandoned, or chosen to ignore both the Old Testament and New Testament warnings regarding war….”He who lives by the sword will die by the sword”…and…”don’t put your trust in horses and chariots”…This may sound overly simplistic to the ears of modern men and women but it makes a hell of a lot more sense to my ears than what I have heard from our current leadership. At best, Iraq is a democratic skeleton at this point with no flesh. Skeletons are interesting if you are watching Jason and the Argonauts but an Iraqi skeleton is no match for a group of people who seem hell bent on destroying any Army of Darkness they encounter. Iraq still has along way to go and I wish them well but as long as we continue to wield the sword in that part of the world it is hard for me to imagine things are going to improve anytime soon and I suspect that even Fox News isn’t going to be able to change the perception of the masses here at home. In fact, if the polls are in the ball park than Bush and company are beginning to lose the public relations war at home at well and that does not bode well for our Republic….

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Shire

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Musings from the Shire

Upon reading my own blog one might conclude that my life is consumed with dealing with personal demons, watching movies, and traveling. While these things have and do preoccupy a good deal of my time especially since I started this blog I do in fact have a lot of other interests, passions, and personal concerns. Rather than write a series of lengthy treatises/monologues on my various passions and other interests I thought it might be more fun and accessible to just say what happens to be on mind and heart at the moment. Call it an exercise in free association. So grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable at the computer screen and give an ear, but don’t take too seriously, the latest musings and ramblings of a hobbit who currently has too much time on his hands for perhaps his own good…

Religion: While I enjoy engaging friends and anyone who will listen on the topic of religion I must confess I have lost interest for the most part with organized and institutional religion. Not sure all the reasons why. Do feel many, but not all, institutional leaders have become too insulated and lost touch with the people on the street. Not just religious leaders but politicians, educational folks, corporate leaders, etc. Base this in large part on their various proposed reforms and vision for those under their care. Just don’t think many are able to put themselves in the shoes of those under their care. IMO, has a lot to do with the widening gap between the have’s and the have nots.

I have currently taken total responsibility for my own spiritual development and am not particularly concerned because I do keep in contact with others and do frequent the institutional establishment a couple of times a month. Nice thing about my current situation is that I now have limited exposure to the culture war rhetoric and dogma. Everyone’s got their own brand of dogma I suppose but I have little patience these days for theological and metaphysical dogma. If people want to be dogmatic just wish they would put more emphasis on being dogmatic about living a life of nonviolence on all fronts, loving others, learning to love themselves, living a life of simplification, and just learning how to enjoy life in general…..Said I wouldn’t write a treatise so I better stop. Maybe add more later on this subject because it is near and dear to my heart…..

Music: Am currently listening to the Moody Blues as I write. Music has such a powerful effect on people. Ponder if there is something deeply metaphysical about music. Seems so fundmental to the human experience. Can’t imagine a world/universe or a future without music. Why does music effect us the way it does? I’ts such a mystery. It’s also so personal. No two people have exactly the same musical tastes. Kind of like a snowflake. Can’t help wondering if God programmed our propensity for melody into our genes like sex and the need to eat and sleep???.....Music comforts our souls, stimulates our senses/emotions, disgusts us at times, makes us think, moves our bodies, and gives us something to talk about and look forward to…thank God for music….

Summer: Mixed emotions. Since I am no longer teaching summer school I do enjoy summer more because I am now off for two months….but….do hate the heat….It gets really hot around my neck of the woods and it does effect my emotional state of mind…fortunately…. I am able to beat the heat each summer by heading for cooler climates. Will be taking off for a few days to the mountains in a couple of weeks and than I will spend three weeks on the Oregon and Northern California Coast where the temperature rarely gets to 70 degrees. This has been an unusually cool spring and early summer here in Bakersfield. Has been in the 70’s the last three days which is rare for these parts. Usually we are near a hundred every day by this time of the year. Got my fingers crossed that the temperature will remain under 100 until I take off for vacation. Once I am gone it can get as hot as hell as far as I am concerned. I revel in reading newspapers while I am gone and seeing the temps back home in the 100’s. Sounds sadistic…I know…When I was younger I spent my summers working in the heat. Suspect it probably fried some of my brain cells. Just chalk up my sadism to biology….

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

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Perplexity of Life

Haven’t written much lately regarding what I am thinking or feeling so I thought I would take the time to express what is on my heart and mind regarding myself and my general state of affairs…If there is one adjective/word to describe my state of mind/emotions the last week or so it would be “perplexity”. The dictionary defines the word perplex as a state of uncertainty.

When I look at my circumstances on a number of different fronts it seems to me that just about anyone in my shoes would probably feel the same way. I have learned from my ongoing “intellectual state of uncertainty” for years now that uncertainty need not be something to fear or be anxious about, however, I believe ongoing living conditions,work related, and interpersonal relationship perplexity is a far greater challenge than philosophical/theological uncertainty because the consequences and effects are physical as well as emotional. Or to put it simply, it’s one thing to be uncertain about whether the Red Sea ever literally parted and the Jews walked safely to the other side while it’s quite another thing to know where you are going to rest your head tonight and live for the near future. Over the years I have learned to accept intellectual philosophical/theological uncertainty, in large part, because deep down I do believe in a benevolent creator who is going to be loving and fair with us all, in the end…and….while I acknowledge that philosophy/theology has some very important implications regarding ethics, lifestyle choices, and emotional state of mind I also find much of the discussions and debates “a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

As I ponder my current state of affairs and psychological state of mind I find myself drawn back to a book I read last year called Timeshifting by Stephan Rechtschaffen. “There is only the present. There is only what is at hand.”...”For if we too anticipate what’s to come, then we often ignore what’s actually here”…”What I fear most about stress is not that it kills, but that it prevents one from savoring life”…and finally…”We can choose to create a slower rhythm that will allow us the time to feel and sense and enjoy the ordinary or we can choose to be in sync with the faster rhythm’s of the world around us”…My summer vacation away from work started last Friday and I initially was hoping to get away for a few days but I was unable to do so because I had to go pick up my mom and begin taking care of her for the next three weeks while my aunt who is currently the primary caretaker goes to Russia and Eastern Europe for a well deserved vacation. Initially I wasn’t too happy about not getting away myself for a few days but I am gradually settling into spending some valuable time with my mom here at the house listening to country music, taking her for walks, administering her medicine and listening to her talk about the past. I don’t have anything planned for the next three weeks except to hang around the house but I am no longer feeling anxious about my situation because I am reminded “there is only the present, there is only that which is at hand” and deep down inside I know that learning to live in the present is one of the most rewarding and important gifts of life… In the meantime my perplex living situation on numerous fronts will remain unresolved but that’s O.K., if I can learn to live in the present which is something I find most challenging at times…

Friday, June 03, 2005

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Recently I was tagged by Preacher Russ to participate in a book convoy. Since I have had a love affair with books for some time now I thought I would play along...So here goes....

1. Total number of books I own: Honestly, I have no idea. I have books scattered everywhere. At work, at home, and a fair number in boxes. Have sold alot of my books in the last five years. Used to hoard books but presently only own about 100 books I would have trouble parting with. I'm a somewhat quasi book collector. I have a nice collection of Illuminated Manuscript reproductions and quite a few nicely illustrated myths and children books. My prized collection includes a 1800 illustated Pilgrims Progress and an awesome reproduction of the Kelmscott Press release of the Cantebury Tales.

2. Last book I bought: I seldom buy one book at a time anymore. I keep a running list of books that I want to buy and than order maybe at least ten at a time at amazon. My most recent purchase included, Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair, Miriam Greenspan.... The Kalevala...A Finnish Classic Myth....We Love Each Other, But...Ellen Wachtel...and...Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway....Susan Jeffers....

3. Last Book I Read: Healing Through the Dark Emotions.

4. Five Books That Mean a lot to me: Francis Schaeffer True Spirituality...Vernard Eller Christian Anarchy...Stanley Grenz Primer on Postmodernism....Lord of the Rings.....A Severe Mercy....can't remember the author....I included these books because they all had a profound effect on my thinking at the time, my emotions, or my imagination. Lord of the Rings stimulated my imagination and opened doors to a side of me that was never developed as a child. Severe Mercy awakened my emotions and the other three books radically changed the way I thought about my understanding of Christianity, the church, and my own Christian interpretation of my faith and what it means to be a Christian.

5. Two Major books as a kid: I have none. I did not read as a kid and I only remember reading two books in high school: All Quiet On the Western Front and Willard...A story about rats. I did not start reading books until I was around 21 which might help explain why I became such a voracious reader during my latter 20's and 30's. I guess I was making up for lost time.....

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Reflection on the Revenge of the Sith

The late Joseph Campbell once stated that George Lucas was the best student he ever had. I am not exactly certain what Campbell meant by that comment but after seeing the Revenge of the Sith and reflecting a bit on the entire Star Wars saga I have my own suspicions. I have now seen the Revenge of the Sith twice and after the first showing I found myself a bit numb by the sheer magnitude of the special effects and the rapid action sequences that permeate the film but now that I have seen the film again and have spent some time in reflection I have gained a new and greater respect for what I believe Lucas has accomplished. Personally I don’t think Lucas gets enough credit for the incredibly unique and creative modern day myth that he has brought to life on the big screen. Star Wars is a fascinating story that operates on multiple levels. On one level it appears as a simple good verses evil story but this simplistic modern day moral approach IMO is shattered as the story unfolds in the Revenge of the Sith and we are exposed to the motives and personal anguish of young Anakin Skywalker. While the film is wildly entertaining with the sights and sounds of lightsabers clashing, space ships soaring through space, and the strange sights and sounds of creatures, robots, and otherworldly beings who inhabit the numerous galaxies of the universe the story also contains serious moral, political, and religious subplots. Personally I find the story fascinating and irresistible and while I may not find myself emotionally drawn to any of the characters I do find myself emotionally drawn to the story. Maybe it’s the power of the force???

Unfortunately, I think a fair amount of what Lucas has accomplished gets lost or is under appreciated because of his widespread use of special effects and the often hokey dialogue and humor which is frequently mentioned in the vast majority of the movie critic reviews of the Star War films. But critics beware…Lucas is the bard of our time who also just happens to possess the technological skills to appeal to the hungry masses who just can’t seem to get enough of this ongoing space saga. Of course, big isn’t always better nor does appealing to the masses mean much in the end of the day. But, in the case of George Lucas I do believe he has made a connection with the people of the our time because he has in fact created story worth hearing over and over again and the creativity and synthesis of the old world with our technological society has struck a cord with the masses in a way that will be remembered long after all his critics are dead and gone. We salute you Mr. Lucas because you have used your creativity and the gifts God has given you to stir our imaginations and entertain us like few people ever have and for that we are forever grateful and I suspect your work will be remembered for a long, long, time in our galaxy…