Snakes Alive! Me Oh My Oh!

Alright, it is that time of year. Yep. Halloween. A time for creepiness. Except, sometimes creepiness happens when you live near a rainforest in Malaysia…and you have a Hank Williams song in your mind while running. Talk about a weird intercultural/interspecies encounter. Perhaps the weirdest. Ever.

Do remember that I grew up in Kansas and that it is rattlesnake country. I often came across them in my front yard and the pastures when I brought the cattle in for the evening. I even encountered one on a grade school field trip to Coronado Heights in Lindsborg, Kansas, where Francisco Vásquez de Coronado gave up searching for the seven cities of gold and headed back to Mexico.

I now am known to be able to spot snakes in any hiking group before anyone else. Consequently, I have become the lead guide when in the jungle, prairies, or woods.

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A to Z with C.S. Lewis: Q is for Quest

questIn the western world, the most famous quest is that for the Holy Grail.  But every nation, every culture, every religion has its great quest story.  Something deep within our psyche compels us to go on pilgrimage, to leave our home and take to the road.  The inner call that sends us forth promises to provide us with adventure and mystery but with something else as well—something less tangible.  At the end of the quest lies the promise of meaning, purpose, fulfillment.

The Greeks used the beautiful word “telos” to refer to that purposeful end that we spend our lives in search of, but in English we have a similar word that rivals the Greek in its beauty and power.  Continue reading

“The Birthday Present”; Or, Sylvia Plath at 81

Doni M. Wilson:

Today Sylvia Plath would have been 82. We still have much to learn from her stirring words.

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

For Linda Wagner-Martin

Sylvia, you were so young.


If you had lived, you might have been on a television show, with Oprah fawning all over you, cooing about your brilliant career.  You might have been a spokesperson for so many things:  surviving infidelity, channeling betrayal into art, being a grandmother while winning awards for spinning out words.  You would have known something about multitasking. You could have helped others live Their Best Life Now, or something close to it.  You might have been an endowed chair at a university and taught whenever you felt like it.  You might have said things like “I have never felt more alive” and had a line or two about knives and lying to prove your point.

You could have written poems about your tragedies, and how they leave one reeling, but then there is a center, and it holds, and then it is flying, not…

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