Friday, July 24, 2009


Medication is a wonderful thing. But too much medicine not only costs a lot of money, it can also make us placid.

With mind-bending meds, you want just enough medicine in your system to keep you off the bridge railings, but not so much meds that you don't have incentive to change. Too much medication makes you content with the status quo. You're just all right - not too happy, not too sad. It doesn't matter if you lose weight or exercise, because it doesn't really make a difference. It doesn't matter if you go to a party at the neighbors, because you don't need to meet new people and make new friends - you'll still feel the same tomorrow.

Well, it's time to end the status quo. Between my pocketbook and the lack of measurable progress these last few years, it is time for me to stop being content. So, I'm going off my meds.

Oh, not all at once. Nope; the meds I'm on don't like it when you try to quit them. The side effects kick in - brain "shivers" (the wierd tingly sensation in your head), disconnection, etc., etc., etc. - when you don't take your daily dose. I'm about half way through a slow tapering off. And it is going surprisingly well - proof that it really is the right time.

Yes, the events of this month - the neighbors, the health problems - did set me back. But for every day of light, there must be night, and darkness. True depression, desperate depression, scuttles back from any hint of light, believing all is hopeless. I, for the first time in years, saw the light of dawn, and embraced it.

Oh, I know there will be setbacks along the way. Light can't be without dark. Contrast is the natural enemy of status quo. But maybe, just maybe, I've learned enough to wait out those stormy nights and hold out hope for the brilliant light of dawn.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Is redemption ever truly possible? How far can we fall and God still lift us up? 

How do we measure atonement? In years in prison, or dollars of restitution? 

All the advances of science owing to testing on "lesser races" or the "mentally inferior" - do we throw them aside as bites of the poisoned apple? If a doctor discovered a cure for AIDS, but only as the result of a study that infected hundreds of unknowing subjects, is he a saviour or a sinner? By curing them, does he ultimately obtain absolution? 

What of the frustrated boy, saddled too young with the responsibilities of man, who kills a baby? Is his redemption possible? Is atonement achieved by years of jail or is something more required? 

And what of us, those who stood by and did nothing? Can we be redeemed, or is too late?  

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blind Faith

What are the biggest moments of our life? Birth, marriage, death. 

When we are born, our family, our community, gathers to bear witness - to the parents' promise to raise a child of faith, to a child's promise to abide by that faith. 

When we are married, we again invite families and communities to bear witness to our lovers' declarations of love everlasting. 

And in death, it is our final duty as witnesses to give testimony, to bestow "life everlasting". 

So what is the most sacred duty of our faith? To stand witness. Not just to passively observe, but to actively witness, and testify. To remind our larger communities of the promises they made before God and man. 

But, when He asked me to bear witness, I closed my windows and my blinds, and tried not to hear. If I could not see, then I could not know. In being blind, I broke faith with God.  

"Our Father, who art in Heaven, 
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy Kingdom come, 
Thy Will be done, 
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
And give us this day, our daily bread, 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
As we forgive those who trespass against us, 
And lead us not into Temptation, 
But deliver us from Evil."

I understand now.