Archive for the ‘goodness’ Category

This morning I awoke to my wife’s warm back against my back, soft blankets over me, pillows all around me, my cat warm against the back of my legs and the sound of a central air unit heating my home. 

I give thanks! 

The simplest things are the best things and may bring us into a lucid state of robust and capacious tranquillity.

Everyday things like warm blankets create hygge, the centuries old Scandinavian concept of a moment of well being, a cozy, warm, special and charming essence. 

My sweet wife and I keep our home simple and uncluttered. We are aiming for hygge. We want to experience the essence of the simple and yet refined. 

Our hardwood hickory floors are to me the great forests of the world and I love their knots and their grain patterns and their woody imperfections too. Our granite countertops, the producets of great heat and pressure, swilled and chunked with quartz and feldspar and mica, these are our ancient cliffs and lovely mountain peaks. The many windows and glass doors in our home —  these invite in the sunshine, green trees, blue sky and evening sunsets.. 

This afternoon I walked into the family room. The light streamed through the blinds and pane windows, jalousied, glorious, lambent, splendid, divine!

I see the essence of each thing and am grateful. I want to drop into a state of allostasis, emotional stability, and be at peace with my world. I try. I move a little way in. I want to go deeper. I want to see and give thanks. 

I think of Martin Burber and his book I And Thou. Buber writes of  “I-It” relationships, it being an object or even idea that is separate in itself, which we either use or experience.

The flowering pear tree I see though my double-paned windows, what this it to me? It’s now in full bloom. It looks like a bride, decked in white. If I comprehend its essence, if I respect it’s being, if I sense its center of value it becomes to me an entheogen. Inviting me into the presence it becomes a Thou, it moves from it to you, and I enter into a reciprocal, enlarging relationship with it. I become a transparent eyeball absorbent and give thanks for all trees, all plants and all living things great and small, and we are I and Thou.

Too often the things around me are assumed by me, undervalued, under-noted, unrecognized. I see them merely as out-of-focus background.

But what I am longing for is to see things for what they are and to rejoice in them and be thankful for them.

Simple things create the Japanese sense of wabi sabi. Wabi” is  defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” with a focus on a less-is-more mentality. “Sabi” is translated to “taking pleasure in the imperfect.”

The Japanese idea of Shibusa is similar. It is an enriched, subdued appearance of something, say a vase, or the experience of intrinsically fine quality in an object with economy of form, line, and effort, producing a timeless tranquility. 

We have many decorative vases in our home, some bursting over with dried flowers. We have placed vases in our home because they are grace and beauty, their lines form curves of tranquility.  We take in their je ne sais quoi and intuit their household salience, surd, voiceless, aphonic yet known. 

I am very thankful, but there is even more and even greater to be thankful for.

I sat with my wife this morning over hot coffees discussing the highlights of our marriage. Her pour-over coffee equipment, my espresso machine, our its that are also thou’s fueled us with the jolt that made us talk. We love our technology, how it dialogs with us, hissing and beeping and gurgling life-giving juice. In steaming coffee mugs there is hygge.

 I give thanks. 

And as we talked we entered into Buber’s I-Thou, an  “I” relating to a “Thou,” a sacred relationship with each other in which the other is not separated by discrete bounds.

My wife and I are two but we are One. Our experiences have merged. The boundaries between us have faded. Ant yet they haven’t, and yet they move closer than ever before. We have been through fire and rain and it has put us in each other more. 

I’m putting her first more often now, to honor her uniqueness and make it my own. She often thinks of me and puts me first and often thinks of others. She’s a problem solver. She bakes for others, finds books for them, recommends doctors for them, sews for them, helps them raise their  babies. To me she is a thou that leads me toward deeper relationships with other Thou’s. 

I am so thankful for her! I surge forward, seeking more thankfulness for her. I am her, and so I take care of her as I take care of myself. This comes from God! All good things come from God. For Martin Buber the ultimate thou was God. 

God is not an it but a Thou who created all the its and they reflect him and he made all the thous and they have value because his image, his Thou, is in them, and his purpose is to make them one and so I long for a relationship with all things great and small and with all people and with all of God, a dialogic, value-laden, knowledge-heavy intimacy — hygge and wabi sabi in all things. 

Oh world, you can be so savage and so horrible but at the same time you are so beautiful and so intimate and so present as essence, quintessence and incandescence of God. 

I have a new appetency for gratitude.

I long and press on with all of you as you all long with me, and we long together to be scandalously, shamelessly and infamously grateful. 

This morning I went out and sat on the front porch about 9 AM. I was stressed, a medical procedure is scheduled for later today. The sun was warm on my face and arms. It’s January. But it’s the Southwest. I shed my long sleeve workout shirt and pulled my jammies up to my knees so I could feel the heat on my legs.

My wife came out to join me. We noted that the ornamental pear tree in the front yard is beginning to bloom; tiny red buds will soon pop out into white blossoms. Later in the season the bright white pedals will fall to the ground like spring snow when the wind blows. it’s turning spring in Southern California. The lantana’s in the yard are flowering purple, yellow and red. Weeds are popping up in the flowerbeds; grass is turning green in the driveway cracks. Life is renewing.

As we sat in the sun, small birds came and went from the pear tree like commuters arriving and leaving from a major airport.

We went in and grabbed some binoculars and bird identification books. I’ve always loved the birds, their amazing ability to fly, their beautiful markings and coloration, their robust busyness, their characteristic insouciance.

This morning the birds were like flowers in the trees, “There’s a red one! There’s a yellow one! Is that a warbler, no I think it’s a goldfinch. It’s so yellow but it has a white wing bar. And the red ones. I think the’re house finches. Look at all the striping on the chest, the red throat and head.

I’m never sure about some of these identifications. Maybe the goldfinches were warblers. It doesn’t matter. We saw them. We grounded ourselves in reality. We grounded ourselves in the supernatural.

We sat in the gold. The cool breeze brushed against our faces. We turned our eyes upward to sun, blue sky and tree. More birds came, a black phoebe, an Anna’s hummingbird. We heard a dove cooing.

These fragile, beautiful lifeforms remind us of something important. They reminders that we are taken care of, that we have been taken care of and that we will be taken care of, fed, sheltered, treasured.

They remind us that we are valued, cared for, that someone is watching us, someone who knows our names— without uncertainty — who knows our identities and knows our futures.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 6

So don’t worry. And don’t be afraid, the best you can. Right! This can be hard. I know. There is harm in our world. You will experience trouble at times. I understand. But be reminded that we overthink what we fear. Try to stop that. The habitual, mental loop goes nowhere. Stop trying to control what you can’t control. Let life, God, good come to you more rather than trying to wrestle it from the world. Practice good psycho-hygiene. Lean into the burgeoning good all around you. Breathe in provisions deeply. Be grateful.

Live like the birds. Take found food. It will be there in the tree in bloom near you. Fly with the flock from one safe space to another, unless you need to roost and rest. Find safe places to roost. Don’t be afraid to rest alone.

My heart is for you and with you. You are not alone. Your Heavenly Father is near and so am I, in this small blog, caring for you the best I can.

The secret to an increased level of contentment and peacefulness is to live in the present, see the good in the moment, embrace the “is.”

The current is has the best fizz.

One of my favorite is’s today was a sip of espresso this morning. Sip pause, swallow —- “Ah.” And hold.

They say “seize the day.” Usually we wrestle the hour, but I say unto you sit in the second.

When we arrived at the top of the Coronado bay bridge today the Pacific opened up in front of us with clear views all the way out to the Coronado Islands — halcyon, blue sea, silvery shimmery expanse, Coronado red tile roof tops aglow, green palms lining the white beaches, puffy clouds above in a brilliant azure sky.

I sat in the second. Seized it. “Gorgeous world! I love you!” It is still with me.

To live inside the here — gawk, clap, hoot and cheer!

Take a moment now. Close your eyes. Take a long slow deep breath’s. Imagine the most beautiful things you saw today. Those were today’s beautiful moments of “is.”

Now open your eyes and gawk, see clearly what’s near you — perhaps someone you love, perhaps the view through the window, perhaps a piece of art in your home, perhaps your precious hands.

Hug the now; kiss the “Wow!; take a vow.

Take a vow to banish what is negative, for even just a moment, banish the negative past and negative present too, and also refuse the future that scares you, even just for a moment, and wrap your mental arms around what is in front of you, what is real, what is good.

That is your reality if you let it be.

Fools drink a case of was; the wise drink up a lake of is.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

“NO PASSPORT REQUIRED,” a new six-part PBS series hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson takes viewers on an journey across the U.S. to celebrate the diversity of immigrant traditions and cuisine woven into American food and culture.

In an interview about the show Marcus says, “ As an immigrant myself [born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and now living in Harlem] it is a dream to be a part of a show that shines light on the food culture of immigrant communities all around us. I love nothing more that heading to a new city and making my way to a local market or being invited into a family home for dinner. My hope is that the program helps show people how similar we all are, —something that I think is incredibly important in our current climate.”

I agree! We are so similar to the many diverse immigrants and refugees who have come to the United States, and we were different too, and those similarities and the differences too need to be celebrated and honored!

As a Christian, I am sometimes saddened by my fellow countrymen who have so much anger toward and mistrust of immigrants. Jesus modeled what should be our attitude, a willingness, a warmth — much like Marcus Sammuelsson’s — to embrace the stranger, to love the alien, to eat with them, and more than that, to provide for the weary or wounded traveler we meet along the road. Jesus told us to go out to all the nations to make friends with people, and yet now we see that they have come to us to be friends with us. How cool is that?

In the show “No Passport Required” we meet many immigrants who were brought to the United States by the UN because of the wars in Iraq and Syria, people who are now America’s business owners, contributing members of their American community and providing jobs for others in their community.

How courageous! How admirable! How worthy of respect and love.

There’s nothing wrong with us being proud of our country. But it is also noble, profoundly Christian and loving to be proud of people from other countries too, and to embrace them.

For the Christian this isn’t optional. We have been told to exude warmth and love to all people.

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:34

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:26

Jesus offers an invitation.


Instead of worrying, look.

Look at the birds, or the rain, or a family member, or even something as simple as your good food, even if it imperfect or limited.

It was and is provided. Be grateful. This is mental health. Gratitude for the present replaces worry about the future.

Looking is therapy!

Seeing what is present and understanding why and how it is present is healing. What is present is grace. What we worry over is not, it is a kind of self-inflicted punishment. Worry rushes from the present to live in a tortuous future.

But to look at the in-your-face good is to enter into a divine reality, to pick up a spirit of gratitude, a sense of safety, and this drives us away from our obsessive tendency to worry.

I am practicing this today. This morning I felt the fluffy of my cat which is the same fluffy of my sweet wife’s bathrobe. Comfort there.

I listen to the rain. I listen to the soft flicker of the fire. I listen to the click of the refrigerator door. The microwave plays a four note tune to tell me it has heated my drink properly.

Wisdom is about the present, noticing the beauty of the present, as it is, being grateful for the things smack dab in front of us without wanting them to be different.

“Look” said Jesus. Look at what is around you that reminds you that God is present, that he is in control, that he is taking care of the smallest things.

Look and see, God is all over the abc’s, the basics, the 1,2,3’s of living. Understand the beauty of what is now, the “what” or the “whatness” of our everyday life. To see and appreciate this is to make friends with reality and with God.

When we ground ourselves in the sentient now and revel in immediate “here” — the sounds, smells, colors that waft over the sides of our boats, the sensory gift fish we happen to haul in today, then we are following Jesus and making peace with ourselves and our world.

One of the ways that we derive acute meaning and pleasure and see beauty in life lies in our ability to experience the quiddity or essence of persons or things.

Rembrandt’s genius was his unparalleled ability to render a person’s quiddity in a single portrait.

My wife’s genius, her quiddity, lies in her ability to see a problem and devise a solution that helps another person get something they need.

The word quiddity originated in the Latin word quid meaning “what.” Quiddity was defined by the ancients as the real nature of a thing; its essence.

In medieval scholastic philosophy “quiddity” quidditas literally meant “whatness.” For these philosophers quiddity described properties that a particular substance ( say a person) shared in with others of its kind, and so entails a description by way of commonality.

The quest for a quiddity represents a romantic and idealistic human quest for meaning. It represents a way of thinking, an effort to get to a main thing, something bordering on a quest for universals, something Platonic, a quest for the Plato’s forms, something that helps us understand a complex thing in a simple way.

And yet it’s not so high flying as all that. Quiddity is smaller than universal. It is more attainable. It is that fleeting fragrance of the flower I just passed by, the honeysuckle in my backyard, experienced for a brief moment, absorbed, loved but not catalogued as eternal or forever fixed. What is the quest for beauty. 

Quiddity, at its simplest and most sensory, is a brief flash of recognition and pleasure of essence.

This is how we were meant to live, philosophically and joyfully sentient. Wise Jesus said that he came to give us life, life abundantly, life flowing over the edge of the cup. He came to empower us to experience the quality of being human, and of being one with each other and himself. He designed us to receive essences, to be in receipt of the ultimate essence, love.

But not wanting to fly too high over our own heads, although we can soar into the best things life has to offer (connection, community, love, the divine) we can also talk about this kind of thing, about quiddity, in earthy, historical, everyday, garden variety terms.

Consider Frank Loyd Wright, the famed American architect. It has been said that his architecture is organic. This is a rough and crude distinction, but it helps understand the man. The structures he designed vary widely in look, but the theme of fitting in with the environment is common to many of them.

He himself said about this:

“A building should appear to grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonize with its surroundings if Nature is manifest there.”

“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”

By such statements we begin to get at the quiddity of his designs, a harmony between hill and house. He built to nature. His buildings honor their environments, his “Falling Water” house being perhaps the finest example. A rushing waterfall runs out from under the house.

So why labor to identify quiddity?

For this reason: To discover the nature of a thing is to understand and to increase pleasure in living through our amazing world. It may also help us to understand evil, and injustice, but then that is another exploration for another time.

The quest for quiddity is one mechanism for increasing our understanding and pleasure. As applied to the good things of life, it is a quest to experience beauty. 

So what would it take for you and I to apprehend the quiddity present in people and things around us on a day-to-day basis?

The question is fraught with philosophical, epistemological and ontological problems.

Let’s skip those. We will never all agree on the universal essence of anything, or even on how we come to that, but what we can do is simply savor what we perceive to be the essence or essences of something in any given moment.

How might we do that? How might we dive deeper into the rich essence of experience? How might we see, know, apprehend and classify our experiences of the “other,” the “what” better?

This way: Make the choice to pause, to be in the present moment and to suck it up, straw it up into our awareness. It will take the extended pause needed to really see and hear and feel. It will take the pause that hovers over something, that lets it be for us what it is. It will take the willingness to savor the thing, the thing’s “what,” its pleasure rating, its place on the pleasure spectrum. This will have to be done without rushing on to the next moment in which the lovely, glowing, fragrant, sensuous quiddity of the previous moment is always lost.

This morning as I ground my espresso beans and packed them into the portafilter basket, I breathed them. I breathed in the sweet, poignant, nutty, earthy fragrance of ground coffee, freshly baked.

The quiddity of good espresso exists in its smell and taste, which exists in the art of how it was originally dried, baked and processed. It’s real essence is the land it came from, it’s elevation, it’s rainfall, it’s soil.

When I drink espresso, I drink it’s quiddity, it’s immediate history, the machine it was just extruded from, the water it is dissolved in, the heat that helped extract it, the ratio of water to bean. And when I drink espresso I drink its older history, the place it grew, its geography, the people who grew and harvested it. I drink a complex old-new quiddity that is reduced for me to a beautiful smell and taste that I and so many others know and love so well. And then there is the jolt, the caffeine rush, another very personalized quiddity of the much loved coffee bean.

Quiddity, the word has such a fluid sound. It easily slides into place with its definition. And it offers us a pointer, a crude gesture toward living well.

To pause, over each person and thing we encounter, and closing our eyes to breathe in an essence, a gorgeous “whatness,” the what that is right in front of us — ahhhh.

This is one way to live well.

The devil is in the details; so is the divine.

In other words, microcosmic stuff matters — atoms, quarks, corners, specks, chips, flakes.

It must; it’s everywhere, the particulate.

Recently, we installed dark hardwood floors in our home. Suddenly we notice tiny bits of white stuff — flakes, chips, particles — on the floor, everyday! Was the wood magnetized? Was it sucking white stuff out of the air?

Nope, it was always there, the small pieces  — tracked in from the outside, falling off our shoes, the litter from things dropped in the kitchen, the tiny residuals from snacks eaten in the family room  —  we just didn’t see it in the former, light carpet.


What to do? Vacuum more, sweep more, dust more; otherwise, we are living in a trash dump.

I’m currently building a wall at the front of the house. Millimeters matter. If the first course of block isn’t level, the next course won’t be and the error will worsens as I go up.

But, fortunately, this think concerning detail all works in the opposite direction too. Sweep everyday, adjust the level constantly, pay attention to detail and we then live with the good, clean, safe, healthy and beautiful — constantly.

I recently had to have a potentially hurtful conversation with someone. I suffered — for several weeks — as I literally extruded the right words from my brain, finessed the right tones out of the air and perfected a perfectly efficacious linguistic and proxemic  demeanor.

It worked, the conversation; it went well; it had the desired result, because I had paid attention to detail.

Today, I’ll bring to exact level some decomposed granite in the backyard to prep for some beautiful wedge shaped stone pavers that will make up a new circular patio. Tomorrow I’ll order eleven new double paned windows for the house, measured to an eighth inch, for a precise, weather tight fit. And then in two months, I’ll do a bigger thing — I’ll retire from a profession I’ve practiced for thirty years.

And when I retire, I’ll do that carefully too. I’ll handle my people carefully, my precious people carefully, with finely measured responses and with finely tuned and bubble-leveled affirmations —  as I have learned to do with everything.

The molecular matters.

Slivers and morsels and smithereens and iotas matter — especially when it come to each other.

This week I noted that in the news there was the usual hustle, activity and commotion around the country  — a new electric car on the market, some political wrangling, the usual celebrity gossip, the leaks about a new high-end smart phone, an incredible dinosaur discovery and some news about the latest self-appointed church apostles. There was also the Dow at a new high and the numbers concerning the cash raked in by the new block-buster movies.

The people get bored, and so there is the new stuff, in the news.

Sometime I guess we all want to live “the life” — or at least to hear about the life  —   the fast, fun, cutting edge, shocking, resourced, healed, powerful, cool life. We seem to have a ubiquitous interest in the best boost, the latest break, the newest go-to gadget, Gidget or gaggle. We seemed to be manic for the latest mission, mansion, murder, miracle or marketing “Wow!”

From business to government to church it sometimes seems as if the most common ambition is to get the next great thing, get the next good deal, aim for the next nearest star, to get rich or powerful — spirit-slain or financially insane in our own jet plane.

We seem to want to power up and move on out — a lot. We Americans are a fairly ambitious sort.

But a few days ago, digging around in my Bible for personal sanity, I ran across this line, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:11)

Hmm, “ambition,” to “lead a quiet life”?

Don’t usually put those two together.

I think I like it, and need it, because I also get bored and I too fall into wanting more, or else or other-better-bigger-digger-jigger.

But it helped me, this idea, this admonition to go for quietness. And so this week I worked on taking pleasure and quiet satisfaction in the small, simple things that I needed to do.

I helped an older disabled woman pay her rent. Interesting, driving her to the bank, giving her the money, talking to her about her limited budget, working with her on getting more affordable housing. Simple, quiet, good.

I also took someone who I wanted to to keep in a leadership loop out to lunch. She is super-special to me. We’ve made quiet history together, empowering women in the church. She was the first female elder I had the privilege to appoint and work with. Cool!

This week I also helped an NA group get established in a new location. Very mundane perhaps —  a new room — but very good for a whole group of people trying to recover.  Good for them!

Quiet things.

There were more, some very humble activities.

I took a person with special needs out to coffee; she had asked for some special attention. I took some time to drive her to Starbucks, to sit and talk to her, to ask questions and listen. She left smiling. I knew that was time well-spent.

At home, more of the mundane. I washed my cat, I paid my bills, I made dinner two nights, I washed dishes. One evening, I had a nice quiet dinner with just my wife. Then we watched some favorite TV together.  After that, I drove out and picked up my daughter and a disable friend from a late evening event.

I must say, upon reflection, that I like doing these kind of quiet things. Today, alone in my office,  I laid out a schedule at work for the things that we will deal with and talk about at church for the rest of the year, including Christmas. I like thinking ahead about Christmas. Looking ahead, thinking ahead, alone, in a peaceful room — for the good of some other people —  hmm, nice.

What is a quiet life? What does it mean to be ambitious for a quiet life?

It is this: it is simply being wiling and open and even eager to be doing what needs to be done, what is next, what is needed, what is helpful, what is gentle, what is loving, what others need. It means doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

I don’t mean to demean progress or vision or big dreams or big successes or stages or lights or healings or awards or news.  I’ve dreamed. I’ve surged forward. I’ve gone for more. I’ve had public successes, good moments on the stage of life. It was fun. Some of it was good.

And yet, and yet, and yet-by-yet, what deep peace, what excellent feelings of integrity, what quiet satisfaction lies in small, silent, simple everyday, unselfish things.

I think about it. I breathe this in. Today, after a simple, quiet week, I  breathe as if breathing a great, deep, calming silence.

Yeah, go for it when you can — if you must —  but the scripture does say to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.

I think that this is in part, because God loves us so much, and because he wants us to love each other so much, and because God himself is deep and quiet and simply good — and because he wants us to experience great satisfaction.

“If you run after them then you create false sincerity,” she said — straight up, just  perfectly, “What?” — just what I needed to hear.

My brain turned over, picked up this verbal dollop, this insight topping, this perfectly selected accent of sweet wisdom, applied it to the person I have been over-pursuing, and laid it down in a neural groove for later retrieval.


The neurons are firing now.

I’ve have learned the “false sincerity” lesson before, by another name, but I have forgotten it before too, and when she said it just right, I added the “false sincerity” moniker to my labeling file and considered it the morning’s bon mot, cup of proverbial tea, fine phrase and then I took it under advisement — and it helped.

Be advised.

Helping people is an fine art, a subtle art, a nuanced art.  If you do too much for them, if they do too little, if you ask them to do stuff like come to the recovery group, come to church, come to water aerobics, but too much, and they don’t want to, often they will still come — but with false sincerity, to please you, to assauage guilt, to look good — and then they won’t come again until asked again, shamed again or bribed.

All this wastes everybody’s time and trashes hope too. People must want to change to change. They must get it, inside, and want it, in their deep brain, and intend to go after it with all they have, or they won’t.

Sincerity of the real, good, person-changing type is self-motivated.

I love it when they cut, stab, drill and peer into me with their cruel machines. I literally exult. I consider myself among the most privileged persons on the planet. Later I remember their tortures with the greatest fondnesses.

She pulls my mouth open with her fingers, slides the needle into my jaw gently and says, “Relax.” Then she starts humming in the way that I like.

He takes the top of my head with both his hands, firmly rotates it, and then with his right hand he cuts me. “Excellent,” he says. I agree, as I always do regarding his work. It’s why I keep coming back.

“Put you hands here,” she says, “side-by-side on the machine. Then place your eye against the rubber until you see the bright green circle.”

I love them. I love their machines. Each instrument does for me what I can’t do for myself. Each one achieves a goal, and yet it is not consumed in the process. Each one — masterfully manipulated — and I am better. Dig, scrape, lift, hammer, screw, compute — good, better, best me and you

Instrument, utensil, implement, machine, device, and apparatus — tools and the people who skillfully manipulate them — these greatly improve our lives.

We who are resourced, we who have multiple, modern armamentariums at our disposal, we who can hire dentists, surgeons, hair stylists, mechanics and  optometrists, we live so well, better than any ancient royalty.

Healthy care, beauty care, eye care, car care, soul care  — if you have it, suffer it gladly, you proviledged elite, you resourced rich, you spoiled pampered. Complain not that you have to go to the doctor or dentist; that’s unenlightened. It’s ungrateful.

For every time they stick a needle or drill or scrapple into you, for every time you get your hair cut, for every pedicure and pill and partial panacea that blesses you — be thankful.