Tuesday, June 11, 2013

From NASA to NSA

Let is be noted that now our formerly Frontier attitude of exploration has now morphed to something else: a national obsession with Security.

We Americans have changed, within my lifetime, our emphasis from NASA (National Aeronotics and Space Administration) to NSA (National Security Administration.)

From discovering the outer limits of our potential, to collecting data on the inner workings of citizens.

From expansive exploration to morbid introspection.

Not a good sign, but life goes on in spite of the digital mountains of accumulated metadata. New peaks of human endeavor to conquer? Just watch your p's and q's and you'll have nothing to worry about.

As for me, a Christian, I see it this way: My Lord instructs me through his word that my life should be an open book of Christian witness anyway. So what does it matter if Little Brother has nothing better to do than collect my metadata and then occasionally read it when the bureacrats in Washington or in Utah go looking for wild things under the beds? Maybe he'll catch a glimpse of the Gospel somewhere in my dirty laundry.

If they can find nothing better than that to do with their time, I feel sorry for 'em. Maybe one day they'll get bored with all that info-collecting and take a trip to the moon or something.

Good luck, and don't give up.

Glass Chimera

Saturday, June 8, 2013

On the Trail

My almost-62 years of this life have yielded a precious array of experiences. I praise the Lord for all of them.

One in particular that I remember was, as it turned out, a life-threatening little jaunt through the Utah desert with my son, Micah.

What he did on the trail in a moment of quick judgement that dusty day-- back in '05 I believe it was-- probably saved my life.

We were out in the middle of nowhere where the scrubby country was dry and the sun was high, packing into an overnight camping adventure somewhere west of Moab and east of Cedar City. Maybe it was going in, or maybe it was going out, I don't remember-- We were hiking along a trail out in the flat parts, before or after visiting the gorgeous sandstone artistry of God that had been sculpted out of red rock many an eon ago by some ancient swirl of flood or receding inland sea or some such force of nature but that was then and this is now and its dry as a yucca bone out there in this particular geologic age.

I can hear well enough, but not as keenly as my young son, and by n' by as we were progressin along he heard something that compelled his young whippersnappin mind to jerk into action and arrest my development, very suddenly, along the trail.

I was trekkin along as contentedly as you please, probably whistling' Grofe's On the Trail melody from the Grand Canyon Suite, although we were many a mile from that landmark. (The Grand Canyon leg of my life's journey would come a year or two later on a little jaunt out West with my daughter, Kim.)

But there I was trekking right along on the trail in the middle of nowhere, Utah, when suddenly my forward progress was arrested abruptly by a force of nature that Newton might call the inertia of jerk, or-- your son grabbing your pack-straps from behind and jerkin it hard so that dad couldn't take another step forward because right there in the middle of the trail. . .


I'm blessed to be alive, I tell ya. No tellin how quickly I might have expired that day, with the breath of life wispin out of me for the last time if Micah hadn't heard that critter when I didn't, and jerked me back into this present life instead of kingdom come!

Btw, that Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe, composed in 1931,(you've heard it in some old western or cartoon movie somewhere) that I was probably whistling when this near-death episode happened out there in Utah--it can be heard here-- one of the greatest musical expressions that God ever laid on the mind and hand of man, or back of burro beast. Give it a listen. You can almost hear the trail-donkeys a brayin' in that middle movement--the one called "On the Trail".

I wish I had had one of them trail donkeys that day; I would have been a little further off the ground. But I guess it doesn't matter 'cause my boy saved me anyway from certain death out in the middle of nowhere. Thank you, Jesus!

CR, with new novel, Smoke, in progress