Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When my wife yells things like "Hit him in the mouth!" at a hockey game, I know we'll be together forever.

Last night was amazing. I've always known that I like hockey, ever since Disney's immortal classic, The Mighty Ducks, came out, but now we actually have a team where I live, that plays five minutes from my house. Leah and Robin surprised Jeremy and I with tickets to last nights game and so we all went to see the Texas Stars (our team) battle the Houston Aeros (we lost in overtime 2-3).

There's not a lot of points scored in hockey but I think that just makes each goal mean that much more. When someone finally puts one in the net, you know they've been working their collective asses off to do so. Hockey is also the best sport to watch because it combines skill, aggression, violence, and grace so seamlessly.

I also enjoy watching tennis.

We're going to go to more games, and Leah will probably always cheer for the visiting team because she feels bad for them. Maybe I'll join her if we're sitting far enough away from other people and I feel like we won't incite an angry mob.

I finished My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn just a few minutes ago. It was really good but there's something frustrating with Daniel Quinn's books and its not his short-coming really, but mine.

Almost everything I've read by Daniel Quinn makes perfect sense to me in that way that the concepts seem so obvious that you wonder why you never saw the world in this way before. After I read Ishmael I must confess that, initially, I thought he was suggesting that the only way to really save the world was to return to our Hunter/Gatherer origins. After some thought I realized that he wasn't really suggesting that since that is an impossibility and a ridiculous one at that. When I read The Story of B I began to see a little more clearly and now that I've finished My Ishmael, I think I've got everything he means to give. However, that doesn't make it any less frustrating, and here's why.

Daniel Quinn isn't a messiah and the laziest parts of me want him to be.

He's an amazing teacher/philosopher/writer and his books have forever changed me, but he hasn't told us how to live. And why should he? Why should I expect him to know? How could he? After all, one of the biggest truths in his work is that there is no one right way to live, so why am I so hungry for him to give me one? I finally understand that the burden is on those of us with changed minds to figure out how to live sustainably, not on a leader to show us the way.

I have no idea (yet) how to live my life outside of what Quinn calls "Mother Culture," but I know that I have to start with these truths:
-There is no one right way to live.
-It is possible to adapt our culture into one that is sustainable.
-There is nothing inherently wrong with people, just as there is nothing inherently wrong with butterflies or grizzly bears.
-Human beings like us lived with a culture that worked for them for hundreds of thousands of years and these peoples can serve as models for us to learn from.
-We must be inventive and fearless. Keep what works and prune what doesn't.

I'm probably not smart enough to do much good in this world, but I can do my part by raising my child to be aware of these things and maybe she'll be smart enough to do a lot of good.


  1. That was really sweet of Leah to think of you with hockey tickets.
    Love you

  2. "I finally understand that the burden is on those of us with changed minds to figure out how to live sustainably, not on a leader to show us the way."

    Yes! This is what I love about Humanism.