11 September 2005
The transition points in our
lives can arise from the depths of misfortune and despair, when we feel we have
no options remaining; but it neednít be always thus.
The alternative requires for us to
live with our doors left ajar. We must meander from our daily routine, permitting
serendipity into our familiar. It is inefficient; it
is inconvenient; it is essential.
More difficult yet is to
recognize opportunity while it is yet a glimmer on the horizon, and, far
from beckoning, it is strange and fascinating and terrifying to us.
~ Josh Mitteldorf
10 September 2005
"There is no such thing as chance;
and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny."
Of course, we have know way
of knowing if this is literally true, but many of us have deep, intuitive
convictions on the subject. We comfort ourselves when things go wrong,
with the knowledge that a higher purpose is being served. We excuse
our own faults, and forgive others their shortcomings. We hold out hope, and
remember a humble appreciation of mystery in contemplating larger purposes
Paradox arises when we
consider this principle applied to ourselves. If we think that
"destiny is being served, in any case" we may be tempted not to
act, or even to act irresponsibly. If there is a destiny, we are part
of it, and so are our deliberations. Fate is not an excuse.
The quote is from Johann
Friedrich von Schiller, born this day in 1759.
9 September 2005
"Sometimes snakes canít
slough. They canít burst their old skin. Then they get sick and die inside
the old skin, and nobody sees the new pattern. It needs a real desperate
recklessness to burst your old skin at last. You simply donít care what
happens to you if you rip yourself in two, so long as you do get out."
H. Lawrence, Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Novels
8 September 2005
Researchers at the Wake
Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have been working for 15
years at growing human tissues outside the body. They aim to replace
pancreas cells in diabetics, livers in hepatitis patients, kidneys and
bladders and trachea and blood vessels in patients where these organs have
failed. They start with a few of the patientís
own cells, so that there are no issues of rejection, and no immune
suppression is needed. Amazingly, the cells organize themselves into
tissues, and blood vessels grow to feed them once they are implanted in the
The Institute is already doing these operations on an
experimental basis in people, and hope to have procedures ready for full
clinical trials in coming years.
7 September 2005
When yesterday can say goodbye
And carry away her worn-out bags
Filled with broken promises
And broken hearts
When tomorrow can wait outside the door
And keep her gifts ready
But politely wrapped
So as not to spoil the surprise
Then today can come
And hold you in her strong embrace
While she opens her own box of blessings
Lying buried in the shadows
Beneath yesterday's clutter
~ Tim Wright
6 September 2005
"When the government
violates the people's rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each
portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most
indispensable of duties."
~Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, born this day in 1757.
The man who led the French support for the American Revolution was also a
forthright and idealistic critic:
"I would never have
drawn my sword in the cause of America if I could have conceived thereby
that I was founding a land of slavery,"
"If the liberties of the
American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the
5 September 2005
"Work is love
made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is
better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and
take alms of those who work with joy."
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
written, today it can be taken as a Marxist call to arms rather than a
spiritual call to personal revival. For work has become so alienating and
the worker so disdained that Gibranís imperative is inconceivable for most
of us, while coercion permeates our lives, and the opportunities to live on
alms dispensed at the temple gate has disappeared.
we work ? From necessity or love ? If the former, then our world is failing
us, we are being exploited, being made slaves for the benefit of others. The
ethic that work is a 'good thing' is a throwback to a Victorian mentality of
puritanical pain and denial of our humanity, an ethic that is so far removed
from the reality of our human nature as to be pathological."
- Chris Lucas, Freeing
Us From Labor