To my son on his birthday…

“…dear son of mine, the baby days are over,
I can no longer shield you from the earth…”

It was on this day, eight years ago, when my eldest son Israel was born in an Oklahoma City hospital. The second child of our family, he has come a long way over this past year.

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Springtime calls her children…

“…there are sailing ships that pass
all our bodies in the grass,
Springtime calls her children
’til she lets them go at last…”

March in Rusk County has been the proverbial lion and roared forth in Springtime blossoms of bright white, blazing red, and royal purple.

Though our mornings yet remain quite cool, the afternoons act as prelude for a hot and heavy East Texas summer still to come. Warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, without the oppressive swelter of Julius and Augustus the lesser.

I think it is in this season, far more than others, where a redemptive understanding of our tiny place in Creation is most apparent.

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A man named Patrick

“…I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul’s desire. I arise today through the strength of heaven…”

When most people think about St. Patrick’s Day, they usually think about shamrocks, leprechauns, parades, and legions of fraternity boys intoxicated on green beer. But even the most astute cultural observers may assume it has something to do with the folk tale of an earnest fellow driving the snakes out of Ireland æons ago.

It may surprise you to know that the man in whom this day is named is neither Irish, nor a proper Roman Catholic saint.

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Medium as the (ego) Massage

Well, it took longer than I thought it would, but it finally happened. I recently had my first “Marshall McLuhan” moment and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, let me give you a little context.

There’s a scene from the 1977 Woody Allen comedy “Annie Hall” where the main character is in an argument with a pretentious college professor in line at a movie theater. The professor is pontificating about the ideas of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, to the great annoyance of the protagonist.

Finally, fed up with the professor’s wrong-headed analysis of McLuhan’s ideas, McLuhan himself suddenly appears from off-screen and informs the professor: “You know nothing of my work.”

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To my daughter on her birthday…

It was on this day, eleven years ago, that my firstborn entered the world and changed my world forever.

Gaelynn Trinity Rose Prosser was born late on the evening/early in the morning of March 6 in the 2000th year of our Lord. She came bawling into the world at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, where a relieved throng of in-laws and kinfolk greeted her.

The time that has passed between then and now has passed quickly…  far too quickly for my liking. Sometimes I’ll watch her from across a room and marvel at the graceful creature she has become.

From a precocious and darling little infant to a tall and slender girl on the cusp of maidenhood, all in the batting of an eye. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t seem fair, at the same time I am keen to discover the woman she is gradually becoming.

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a Wise man ignores an insult

It’s August of 2007, a humid early Summer morning on the Chesapeake Bay. I’m scraping rank barnacles off the bottom of a boat in Port Annapolis as a co-worker scours the chrome above deck. Calling my name suddenly, he points to a Catamaran yacht gliding gracefully past us.

Emblazoned along the starboard side of the craft was the phrase: “Born okay the first time!”

My colleague, believing me to be (as he described it), “fanatically religious,” asked what I thought of it, and what I thought of someone who’d make such a broadside at my belief in needing to be “born again” before one could enter in Heaven.

“I think I have a lot of work to do,” I responded.

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