Sometimes, a topic that I've touched on in one of my log entries may need a little elaboration, or
I may want to express a little creativity through poetry or stories. Writing such things requires a little more work
than writing blog posts, but it also gives me a chance to really shape and express my thoughts.
It's too easy to fall into the trap -- the habit -- of only thinking simple thoughts
about simple things.
The mind will atrophy if it simply absorbs
things, information, ideas and does nothing to manipulate that into something new.
Bedside Journal II, 10/8/11
July 27, 2005
I must listen to the words of my heart. I
cannot dismiss what they say. My heart leads me, whether it is easy or hard, and I cannot help but listen.
Others may fall victim to the half-hearted vision of the world, but I will walk the straight path. There
is no other for me.
God has made me this way. It is painful
to try and vary from it. I don’t know how others can ignore their conscience. The
voice of my conscience is loud and cannot be ignored. It tells me “this is right” or “this
is wrong” and there is no arguing with it. How can others not do what is right? I do not understand.
Do I sometimes make mistakes? Of course. And I pay for it. The
error eats at me, and I must try and rectify it.
To conquer this, we must always try to do right. We
must always try to do better, to make this world a better place than it was when we found it. From the
smallest to the greatest things we can manage, we must strive for this. What are we here for if not to
make things better for those who come after? A burden lighter, a song more beautiful, a vista more enchanting,
a child more safe.
I was talking to my Dad today, and, as usual, the conversation led him into a story,
this one from his childhood:
In the flint-lined creeks and woods of Arkansas, the extended Nutt family lived in
land owned and worked and loved by generations. Most of your family lived within a short ride away from each other.
Dad's great Uncle Fred owned a car, but he never drove it. He always drove his team across the creek near
Dad's house when heading into town. Dad said you could hear the rattle and jangle of the wagon and harness a long
Being a little boy, not even old enough for school, he especially loved on going on a ride into
town. At the first jangle of the traces he would run inside to ask permission to ride into town with Uncle Fred.
Once getting into town, Uncle Fred would stop at the store or the smithy, whever he needed to conduct business that
day. Most places had a wagon yard where you could rest your team in the shade while in town.
Now, Uncle Fred
had a team made up of a tall thin mule and a big white mare. It was well known that the mule would kick, with little
or no provocation. It was just a given.
Once they had pulled into the wagon yard and stopped, the first thing
that mule would do is take his left hind foot and step outside the trace chain, giving him unrestricted access to kick at
anyone coming up on his left side.
Coming back to the wagon, Fred would take the trace chain and whack the mule
on the hock to make him put his foot back where it should be.
One day, Dad told him, "Uncle Fred, you're
going to reach down there one day and that mule is gonna kick you in the head and kill you."
Uncle Fred chewed
on his tobacco a couple of times, spit, and said, "He knows better than to kick me...."