unanticipated variables.

Some things I don’t understand:
What do people see in my work tie? I bought it at D.I. To me it’s fine. I don’t see anything particularly special about it at all. It’s just like a million other ties I’ve seen. I don’t even know why I picked it out of all the ties I was choosing from. And yet…I constantly receive complements on it. Customers are always telling me how much they like my tie.

I don’t understand why some people vehemently oppose the name Phippen for my cousin’s baby. I’ve heard of Phineas and Pippen and Phin and Phillup. Phippen sounds like a name to me. I am actually quite shocked that it isn’t a name already.  In fact, let’s talk about weird Utah names briefly (sorry if I offend anyone), Breckyn, Bristen, Decklyn, Tad, Coit, Cadyn just look at this website http://wesclark.com/ubn/

I had to close the window after a while because it literally started to make me angry.

Also, the next person to call something “epic”- whyIoughta!

Furthermore – and not without reason – I hate concentric circles and I love Excel, recently introduced to the magical world of spreadsheets.

I read an article a few days ago that I just fell head over heels for.
Cosmos and culture on NPR.org today Beyond Science vs. Religion: re-enchanting the World.

In a nutshell what I loved was – first he presents Max Weber‘s theory that the world will become ever more secular until, one day, at last, religion will become a relic; if not altogether disappear from modern society. Then he says

“While there is much to Weber’s description that still rings true, something happened on the way to our fully secular, fully disenchanted world.  We never got there.”

“Just as the human world as a whole was growing colder and more machine-like, individuals kept finding ways to create vitality and wonder, like grass growing up from cracks in the pavement.  While the march of “progress” had its share of ways to disenchant human experience, our ability to re-enchant the world in a scientific culture is only beginning to become clear to us today.  It’s is taking forms, including science itself, that would have taken Weber by surprise.”

I like what this says about spiritual truth, I like what this says about the human spirit.

I also like what this says about expectations.

How can you expect the unexpected? How many un-inspired prophesies and predictions never come to fruition because of the unanticipated variable?

I know it’s a stretch but, humor me.
Maybe the human spirit, in that it adds that touch of unpredictability to the progression of the world is our greatest hope for good. That as predictable as human nature can be, individual and world histories are shaped by the surprising choices people make.

Also, I am currently reading, “The Slave Ship”, an historical account of the mechanisms that made it possible for human slavery to become booming market during the 18th century. Of the captives on board it reads:

Amid the brutal imprisonment, terror, and premature death, they managed a creative, life-affirming response: they fashioned new languages, new cultural practices, new bonds, and a nascent community among themselves aboard the ship…Their creativity and resistance made them collectively indestructible, and herein lay the greatest magnificence of the drama.”

What if our greatest asset in fighting off spiritually corrosive influences in life (be they oppression, enslavement or depression and disappointment) is our own creative power? Our power to create works of art but also our power to create meaning, identity and hope; out of virtually nothing. The potential resiliency of a soul is illimitable. Our capacity to create engenders self awareness and self respect. 

I imagine a person cornered in, nowhere left to go, no glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, surrounded by 4 concrete walls and a bare floor. Yet they channel what thoughts and emotions are in them into a painting, a poem, and in it there is evidence of life still remaining. In the physical manifestation of their own desires and heart they’ve created a small space in which to pour their hope. 

To create anything is an act of faith. It’s to reach out into the void and make what you imagine a reality.
We are the unanticipated variable, more specifically our capacity to make creative choices. We make the future unpredictable, and the past full of meaning, at our own whim.

So, why in the world do we just keep naming babies John? 

2 thoughts on “unanticipated variables.

  1. Rick

    Because my mom’s name was John, and her mother’s name was John. Of course her mother’s, mother’s name was John. etc.


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