Is God Natural?

Doubters Alert
What commonly accepted truth (or “truth”) do you think is wrong, or at least seriously doubt? Why?


A walk among nature proves the existence of God. How can you look at the beauty of a tree and doubt the existence of God? Believers espouse that the natural world screams out the fact that only a Creator could lay out a plan so perfect and beautiful. Peek out a window to witness the truth.

I’m a city girl that has no great love of untamed nature. But I do love the little bit of nature in my backyard. If anyone reads my blog, they know that I love the birds and cultivate them with birdseed, nectar, and a clean birdbath. I would rather gaze at the few annuals I plant in my yard than get daily deliveries of fresh flowers from a florist. I don’t care for insects in my house, but I do enjoy viewing their buzzy, crawly activities outside.

Nature has beauty. It does not prove the existence of God.

For this lack of belief, I blame modern times. As a medieval human, I’m sure no doubts would exist in my brain. In particular, I blame two modern strains of thought: existentialism and science fiction.

The play by Sartre, No Exit, squelches any ideas of a cut-and-dried heaven and hell. Perception is changeable, not subject to finite rules.

Earth is our sanctuary. In science fiction, one can find vastly different worlds that suit other life forms or machine forms perfectly well, but are a torment to our eyes. Likewise, our earth can be one huge horror movie to some Others in this universe.

Biting into the apple of modern times puts an end to certainty. I can’t un-see or un-think this point of view. What I love, proves nothing. In turn this tinges everything with sadness. I would prefer a kinder point of view.

China Travel in Four Days

China is evil according to some of the news reports in America. I’m skeptical since agendas abound.

What I do know is that I found another author to read and he is Chinese: Cixin Liu, the award-winning author of The Three Body Trilogy. I just finished the second of the series, “The Dark Forest” and look forward to the translation of the last book in his series next year.

A book on the philosophy of Confucius is the only other book I remember reading from China.

I may have missed the author’s intentions, but here is some stuff I found interesting in his books so far:

History and evolution of communist forces in China. I started reading up on some of the incidents he mentioned.

Technology holds a positive place in the future of mankind. A different spin on the debate between environmentalists and industry. When technology is held hostage by an alien force, the world may be doomed.

Spirituality has a place. Many of the characters in his books are atheists and they wish they had the ability to believe in something. A piece of the puzzle eludes them even if it is only a comforting piece.

Love lends a hand in solving problems for some of the lead characters.

The humanities, the arts clarify reality. They are a useful tool even in a high-tech world.

A frequent refrain in “The Dark Forest” is, “If I destroy you, what business is it of yours?” Despite the harshness, it is something to contemplate. Historical, societal, and personal concerns alter the meaning of this idea.

The firefly refrain: it is everywhere in the book and thought by different characters. I just love the symbolism.

A spaceship named Natural Selection. What a fun, not too subtle reference. All the names of the earth spaceships are interesting to note.

Cixin’s description of nanotechnology, space stairs, and the potential immensity of a photon brings me a bit closer to getting these scientific concepts into my unscientific mind.

I find it harder to separate fact from fiction in the real world. Statistics lie and so does the mutable Internet. I trust well-written, solidly researched books instead. If nothing else, good fiction and non-fiction books start a conversation in my head. Unravel with a book.

Snow in the Summer

That Stings!
Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?


That last book was “Snow” by Orhan Pamuk. His books give me a glimpse into a land and culture that I am blind to and gives me inklings of understanding.

“Snow” explores the author’s country of Turkey. His land has been and is at the crossroads of the east and west where a complex pull of secular and religious ideologies struggle for power.

The whole book had a scorpion effect on me, but I remember a particular bite and sting in Chapter 32, “I Have Two Souls Inside My Body.”

In this chapter Ka,the main character, writes a poem that speaks of a “. . . sadness of a city forgotten by the outside world and banished from history.” He imagines that he is in a Hollywood movie, the image of the earth spinning pans in, the camera moves closer until you see only one country — Turkey — with its surrounding seas, Istanbul, trees. and laundry, until the film stops at Ka’s own bedroom window.

I received a bit of a jolt when the camera settled in on a location several thousand of miles away from my personal view of the same Hollywood movie. My earth stops spinning on the Great Lakes, Detroit, a Ford motor plant, a birdbath. This may be my American egocentrism at work here, but it is probably a natural vision most people go to in their minds.

I love to read books that take me out of my skin and for a second puts me in another’s place. To me this is better than physical travel. Travel may take you to tourist spots and remove you from controversial images or people. Your mind can take you more places. I prefer Dickinson’s room to Melville’s open seas.

What the Bee Sees

Bumblebee transformed

ED’s garden companion,

Drone slips into room.

Mrs. Feminist

Women of my age have long ago adopted the term “Ms.” as a preferable courtesy title for a woman. Calling a married woman “Mrs.” seems archaic and somewhat derogatory. This puts an end to defining a woman by her marital status. “Ms. Magazine” hammered home this idea since it was first published in 1972.

My nursing student daughter-in-law wears a necklace with the letters “Mrs.” on it. Her good friend gave her a pillow with the words Mr. and Mrs. emblazoned across it. She also took my son’s last name as her own.

A very smart young woman I know became a nurse practitioner. Her professors told her to go to medical school because she could definitely handle it. She said no. She wanted to have a family and did not want the intense work schedule of most doctors. She felt passionate about working in the medical field, but she wanted a better balance between her work hours and her personal life. She married, had a child,  and is happy to use her husband’s last name. Mrs. doesn’t seem to offend her.

Conversely, another smart young woman I know wanted to become a doctor and her advisors told her to go into nursing instead. She ignored them and she became a medical doctor at the age of 25 while graduating in the top 2% of her class.  When she got married she took her husband’s last name. Not even a hyphen connects her to her former last name.

Is it contradictory for a woman to pursue a profession and still call herself a Mrs.?  Are millennial women enjoying the fruits of the feminist movement while reverting to some patriarchal mindsets?

Maybe the feminism of Camille Paglia is winning here. Camille is an academic that attacks academia. She is a lesbian that doesn’t get along with lesbians. Her opinions often veer toward Harold Bloom.

In her wild and complicated book, “Sexual Personae,” she writes:

One of feminism’s irritating reflexes is its fashionable disdain for “patriarchal society,” to which nothing good is ever attributed. But it is patriarchal society that has freed me as a woman. It is capitalism that has given me the leisure to sit at this desk writing this book. Let us stop being small-minded about men and freely acknowledge what treasures their obsessiveness has poured into culture.

You may disagree with Paglia, but exposure to her ideas won’t hurt you. I prefer to move freely along the political spectrum and pick and modify ideas of all sorts. Reading and thinking are the some of the most enjoyable and useful activities a human can pursue.

I’ll keep using Ms., but the Mrs. title doesn’t offend me. Does it offend you?

Do Not Disturb the Boring

Nothin’ But A Good Time
Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?



Coffee again.

Egg, fruit.

Sweating, exercising, showering.

Book reading, reading, and reading.

Salad, crackers, maybe sandwich, maybe soup.

Some combination.

Bird watching, bird feeding, bird watering.

Bird seed, hummingbird nectar.

By bird bath spying.

Flower and plant eyeballing.

Insects, squirrels acting squirrelly.

Reading, fiction or non.

Writing and inadequacies explore.

Salmon and broccoli.

Clean, wash, some home upkeep.

Read, Read.

TV, perhaps.

Resist overdose on Internet.

Resist. Reflect.


Chucking Dangerous

Cars fly on roadside

Woodchuck grazing grass so near

Danger so tasty