Wednesday, September 15, 2010

strength and weakness

It's not always easy to tell the difference between strength and weakness.

Sometimes belligerence and a willingness to use force seem bold and courageous, when they're really not. Sometimes tolerance and forgiveness seem weak or wimpy when they're actually just the opposite.

It seems ironic to me at times that at the same time I gather strength with age, the society I find myself living in falls ever more deeply into irreversible and fatal weakness. The profound spiritual illness we've suffered as a people is nothing new, but it becomes more intense as the nation clings ever more tightly to bad habits and destructive behaviors, especially indulging in perpetual and pointless wars, and abandoning the national conversation to a professional commentariat employed by a mercenary and commercialized mass electronic media.

That latter group has taken over the function of thinking for us, so we don't have to.

I contrast this sad situation with my own, personal circumstances. My body is getting gradually stronger, even though I have a couple of degenerative conditions which will no doubt grow worse at some point. My breath is still troubled, but improved and progressing. My mind is clear; my spirit becoming aware of itself, and acquiring shape and substance.

This is strange and interesting, and it's hard telling what my long-range reaction to the combined set of circumstances will be, or what it should be.

Illustration: St. Michael the Archangel defeats the Devil and kicks him down to hell.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

fall sunshine

It was a wonderful, gorgeous fall day in Seattle today, with lots of clouds but lots of sunshine too, and temps in the low sixties.

I did a long, slow, indoor yoga practice, but spent most of the day outside on the bike, just cruising around the neighborhood and soaking up as much sun as possible. Winters last a long time around here, and you have to take advantage when you can.

I have to say, hardly anything has ever given me a sense of empowerment, or of powerful independence, like this bike has. I think it could make the average person feel twice as strong.

I really have to get out and explore the Burke-Gilman Trail a little bit before winter sets in.