Category Archives: Metaphor

The New Ptolemy

The evolution of consciousness since the Enlightenment can be thought of as the progressive, and unwelcome realization of human insignificance. We inhabit this rock, spinning in infinity*, the center of nothing, outweighed in biomass by ants. God still loves us, … Continue reading

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Wild Rogue

It had been fourteen years since last running the wilderness section of the Rogue river with my two younger kids then chest high. The first June of the new millennium saw very high flows and few other boaters. The river … Continue reading

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On Being a Sheepherder and an Ignoramus

Most of us these days have never herded sheep. It is an ancient human occupation that afforded lots of time for contemplation and gazing at the stars. The reverie was punctuated by emergencies and predators and the mystique of living … Continue reading

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The Revenge of Gaia (and the Origional Sin)

Our brains are layered in the same way sedimentary rocks are. In our lower brains lie the basic functions: breathe, eat and drink, thermoregulate, and reproduce. These are Archean functions we share with all living things. All beautiful, non-predictive analogies can be … Continue reading

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The Alpine Zone and the Colonization of Land, or Plants Make Dirt

There have been several concepts that have no predictive value in an era of reductive science, but nonetheless contain poetic truth. One of these is the notion that the atom is a microcosm of the solar system, the galaxy, and … Continue reading

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The Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and the Apple of Eden

We were camping in Eastern Oregon the night before a raft trip near the put in for Hells Canyon. It was a popular campsite and I noticed a young man with a striking tendency to put his hand to his … Continue reading

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Manual Prayer

We pray with our hands. Not only clasped in church or other supplication, but in the everyday actions of our lives. Cooking and gardening are prayerful acts as is building or repairing things we need. Music, art…. Hands are primate things. Perhaps our simian … Continue reading

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Subjective and Objective

Those who have studied English might call this a “watershed”. As a carpenter and mountaineer I always objected to this term as imprecise because what is really meant is ridge or divide where water flows one way or the other. … Continue reading

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Something In Us Loves a Witch

Something in us loves a witch. We’ve already explored the irrational behavior demonstrated by Prohibition and the Salem Witch Trials. See “Global Warming and Prohibition”. The nature of the human condition is that we are constantly confronted with forces beyond … Continue reading

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Wine, Volcanoes, and the Dioxides

Making wine teaches important lessons about the wee beastie soup we live in, call it the dim sum. It also holds lessons about Carbon and Sulfur. Carbon and Sulfur were instrumental in the evolution of life on this planet, and … Continue reading

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