Friday, February 25, 2011

The Speed of Dark

I have an uncle who is always making up riddles.  He loves to have fun with me and my relatives who also have a background in physics. . . I am the fourth of six physicists in my family!  So, one day, my uncle unveiled his latest riddle: They say that nothing else can travel the speed of light, but what about dark?  What is the speed of dark?  It has to be at least as fast as the speed of light, because as soon as I turn off the light, there's the dark.

Now, he meant this all in fun, but it occurred to me that there could be a profound underlying principle here.  Maybe it's a limitation of our language, but sometimes we confuse our condition with a 'real' thing.  Take my uncle for example.  He is confusing 'the dark' for a physical thing when it is really just a condition.  Light is a thing.  It can travel.  You can measure how much light you have.  Dark, on the other hand, is not a measurable thing that travels.  It is simply the condition you find yourself in when you don't have light.

I began thinking about this when pondering the question of the creation of sin: Why did God create sin in the first place?  Well, if I apply my principle from above, I think it reveals what we all know to be true.  God didn't exactly create sin.  He created people.  He created us with an ability to choose His way, or not.  When we choose His way, we find ourselves in the condition of being blessed, peaceful, fulfilled, etc.  When we don't choose his way, we end up carrying baggage, hurt, stress, and emptiness.  Sin, then, is the stuff that brings this condition of emptiness.

So, God created fulfillment.  Sin is simply a churchy word we apply to the stuff that precludes the condition of fulfillment.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Man of the house: the 50's man and the puppy dog.

(c) 2004, Lexington, KY.  Eric Graf photography.

I've been thinking for a long time about the conflicting thoughts and emotions I have when I think about my role as 'the man of the house.'  I think this is one area--one of many--where traditions, both social and religious, should be called into question.  I have thus far been dissatisfied with what I perceive to be the general consensus in either group.

I think about this a lot.  Every man wants to be 'the man of the house.'  I know that's a general statement, but I believe on some level, it's true.  It won't always look the same, but in some way I think we all want to be 'the man.'  I think that's why I have such a tough time with silly things like pink shirts, purses, matching attire and. . . the aisle.  Now, just to be clear, I do all of those things.  I don't think I've ever even complained about any of them, because I realize they're silly.  That doesn't mean I don't feel silly while I'm holding her purse, and I don't spend any extra time in the aisle.  But, she's never even tried to force any of these issues and for that I'm eternally grateful.  She's never been anything but grateful for the things I do. 

That being said, let's get back to my quandary about roles: there seem to be two major camps.  Most people I see fit one or the other. . . more or less.  I don't like either one.  I have seen both kinds all over the place, and the funny thing is, the happiest husbands--and correspondingly happiest wives--I've seen don't fall into either category.  I call them, the 50's man and the puppy dog.

The 50's man has 51% of the vote.  He of course gets input from everyone, and then HE makes the decision.  He always is employed full time.  His wife may work, but preferably not full-time and she can't make more money than he does.  After all, he is The Provider.  If she does work, she should still not neglect the household chores. 

The contemporary husband is very doting.  He does his best to fulfill the every whim and desire of his beloved.  Everyone knows how he has fallen for her and some might even feel a bit badly about how hard he has to work to keep her perfectly content.  He tends to follow her around like a little puppy dog.  I had one such friend that used to joke, "I'm the man of my house.  My wife said I could be."

So, it seems you can fall into a bit of a ditch on either side of the husbanding continuum.  Where's the middle?  Well, I don't think it's in the middle.  I think it's an entirely different philosophy altogether.  I think the husband and wife are happiest when they are a team.  When he dotes on her and she admires him.  When he responds to the things that undermine her security and when she allows him to be the problem solver that he wants to be.  When there's no hierarchy.  When we don't think of it as one being strong and one being weak, but rather one being strong here and the other being strong there.  When we are each free to give and receive input without judgment.  When we can each be loved as we are: fallible, imperfect, and wonderful.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Man of the house: irrational fears

Real men wear pink, right?  What about carrying a purse?  Pink shirts and purses. . . those are a few of the other things I find that cause even the burliest of men to quiver. 

I do have a pink shirt, and I wear if often.  Mrs. O says she really likes pink on me.  So, I'm stuck. . . not really stuck, but I'm ambivalent.  On the one hand, I want Mrs. O to like what she sees when she sees me.  I want to be attractive to her.  If she likes pink, then I will wear it.  I confess, however, that it took me a long, long time to be comfortable in my pink shirt.  I've almost worn it out and just now I'm at the point where I don't feel like everyone is looking at me all day long when I wear it.  I really did feel that way for a long time.  I was suspicious of every glance. . . surely, they're all thinking, "Can you believe that guy is wearing a pink shirt?"

Or, what about if she asks me to carry her purse?  There have been a few situations where Mrs. O has run to the little girls room and asked me to hold her purse. . . so there I am.  Standing.  Holding a purse.  Once again, the looks.  The glances.  I'm suspicious of all of them.  I feel the desire to defend myself: This isn't mine.  It's hers.  She's just. . .


. . . nevermind.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day: Reminder!

Ok, boys.  Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away.

Don't forget!  Monday, February 14th. . .

. . . do you know what you're going to get her? 

Give her a custom made gift bag:

Box of notecards?

Flowers or chocolate?

Perfume, body splash or shower gel?

Make-up or lipgloss?

Or, you can always think outside the box and make something by hand.  Involve the kids if you have them.

Ladies, chime in with your all-time favorite Valentine's Day gifts!