Monday, September 7, 2020

Centered But Not Too Centered

Spring 1994
For Ben's birthday, back as summer began, I shared the facebook challenge (thanks Milly, Jackie, and Candy!) to post some look - alike pictures of us moms and our kids. Now, with Sam's birthday falling precisely on Labor Day, it's only fair to post a follow - up display in honor of his 27th:
Fall 1998
Parent Visiting Day at Kindergarten

Christmas 2000

Summer 2005 ~ Chester, England

September 2013

September 2020
Uncle Sam with Baby Ellie

Some random birthday thoughts for Sam

from God: A Biography
by Jack Miles
" . . . peripherally and implicitly [we] have also grown accustomed and then attached, over the centuries, to what we may call God's anxiety. God is . . . an amalgam of several personalities in one character. Tension among these personalities makes God difficult, but . . . also . . . compelling, even addictive. . . . In the end, despite the longing Westerners sometimes feel for a simpler, less anxious, more 'centered' human ideal, the only people whom we find satisfyingly real are people whose identity binds several incompatible subidentities together. As Westerners get to know one another personally, this is what we seek to learn about one another. Incongruity and inner conflict are not just permitted in Western culture; they are all but required. People who are merely clever without playing various roles fall short of this ideal. They have personality -- or a repertory of personalities -- but lack character. Uncomplicated, simple people, who know who they are without ado and embrace an assigned role without struggle, also fall short of the ideal. We may admire their inner peace, but in the West we are unlikely to imitate them. Centered and all too centered, they have character but little personality. They bore us as we would bore ourselves if we were like them. . . .

God is no saint, strange to say . . . [but] a difficult . . . dynamic secular ideal."

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