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“All the leaves have gone,” sang The Mamas and the Papas in their short but brilliant musical career.
Their words come to mind as I look out my office window. Joan and I planted a Japanese red maple out there, 20 years ago. All its leaves have gone.
Except for two lonely twigs that still have bright red leaves clinging to their tips. The twigs lash about in winter winds. But those last leaves won’t let go.
Perhaps I should go outside and say a prayer for the last leaves on my maple tree. So that they can let go too.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: life, death, autumn, leaves, atonement
I got an email from my friend Doug Hodgkinson the other day. Which was odd. Because Doug died seven years ago.
I wondered where he was writing from. And if they have wi-fi connections there, wherever “there” is. They don’t have gmail addresses, anyway. Doug had a gmail address before his death, but this message came from Hestbript@ibh1mnhk6k.rereprsente.us, which reads like the proverbial roomful of monkeys whacking typewriter keys at random.
Just in case there’s any doubt, I don’t think the message came from either heaven or hell – unless it’s the kind of hell that exploiters of human weakness and gullibility create. I gave up believing in hell long ago; I gave up on heaven a little later.
The two go together, because they both assume a God who hands out rewards and punishments.
Tags: life, Hell, heaven, death, email
Towards the end of the cross-country ski season, a friend mused, “Does snow feel pain when I jab it with my ski pole?”
We all laughed.
“Why not?” she persisted. “Aren’t we all made of the same stardust? Everything in the universe came from the Big Bang. Whether it’s snow or trees or me, we all consist of the matter that was created 14 billion years ago. So why should I assume that I’m the only one who feels pain when I get jabbed with something sharp?”
A physicist will tell you that all matter is made up of particles. For convenience, we call them electrons and protons. But there are no exclusively human electrons and protons; no uniquely human quarks or gluons. At the sub-atomic level, water is made of exactly the same stuff as humans.
So why can’t water feel pain?
Tags: life, Snow, water, pain
Tags: bubbles, life