Murray’s – Waverly, OH, a set on Flickr.

I really enjoy coming to see Bree & Ethan when they’re at their Mama & Papa’s (my bro-in-law’s parents)! They live in the country, and have a real nice place. 🙂

The Painted Drum

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

Louise Erdrich — The Painted Drum LP

Eros & Philia

“Love is not a feeling. Love is an action, an activity…true love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love or cathexis, it is correct to say, ‘Love is as love does’.”
– M. Scott Peck

“Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.”
– Jean De La Fontaine

My thoughts and feelings about Valentine’s day range from desire to apathy. Desire is present in that I desire to have someone intimate in which to celebrate Eros Love. Apathy has been present because I haven’t had anyone with which to enjoy that for many years.

This year is something different. I still have the desire, but I am choosing to drop the apathy and focus on Philia Love. To show love and appreciation to those whom I call friends and family, as well as to my neighbors and strangers I greet. I believe Love is best when spread around!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Tell someone that you love them!!

Online Social Networks vs. Real Life

“Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.”
– Samuel Johnson

“Abstinence is the surety of temperance.”
– Plato

I think these two concepts are veritable twins of my feelings toward social networking and having it available 24/7 on a phone. I go through spurts of constantly checking my phone, even without notifications pinging or vibrating for my attention. Or conversely, posting most everything and anything that I am doing or thinking! Probably often appearing whiny or pretentious. I don’t think this is my goal by being a part of these networks.

I find myself needing abstinence from online social networks because temperance is so difficult. At which point, I inevitably delete the offending apps from my device. But only temporarily (of course). I find that temporarily removing them can force temperance into my routine. It becomes more difficult to view or post random thoughts and consequently helps to change my expectation that I have to post or see everything.

After reflecting on comments from friends, I am seeing a correlation between social networks, a lack of intimate companionship, and the need for peer approval. I think the answer to the question of abstinence versus temperance for me is this: PARTICIPATE IN REAL LIFE! When I am participating in real life events with people I enjoy, I don’t feel the need to tell the world every detail of my day. I have those I am participating with in life! And isn’t that what we are striving for in social networking? Bottom line is that I need to get involved in real life.

Marriage in our Time

How are we supposed to define marriage in our day? In years gone by, marriage was a relatively simple, well-known, straightforward concept. It had an acceptable description across most boundaries of society. It existed in similar forms across religious, racial, and class distinctions. It provided an opportunity for two people to become one, by sexual activity, without the expectation of being alone again.

By becoming one, it was clearly designed to support family units. This “becoming one” often produced the fruit of children. Coming together sexually then is obviously intended to procreate and continue the species. Marriage, in turn, ideally provided a stable environment in which to nurture children. From a Christian perspective, it also described the intended relationship between Christ and His church.

But why is it all “up-in-the-air” now? Doesn’t all of this still apply? What has changed over the last 50 years? Oh yeah…birth control and the sexual revolution. And this isn’t even getting into the discussion of non-heterosexual activity. Marriage is now…what?