The Taker

He walks the sterilized halls, beeps and silence and white walls. Occasionally he hears groans or calls for help. Out of the room toward the end of the hall he hears vomiting and choking. 

It is this room he chooses.

As he walks in, the patient is pale and sweating. A nurse assists with a vomit receptacle as the patient heaves. She is hooked up to monitors and wires and her hair was gone months ago. Her searching eyes are like holes into a portal of pain.

Happiness Only Real When Shared

In the spring of 1992, a young college graduate named Christopher McCandless walked into the Alaskan wilderness. It was not merely a backpacking trip, it was a journey of enlightenment. He was ill-prepared for the Alaskan wilderness, which can be unkind to strangers - but he could not be deterred. He was dead-set on living a life in the wild, away from society and away from the pain of people.

Ostensibly, he found what he was looking for: solitude, beauty, and freedom from the trappings of modern civilization. But what he so earnestly desired - that freedom and isolation - ended up driving him mad with hunger and loneliness. 

And it killed him.

Rethinking Garbage Service

We recently moved into a new house. It's our fifth house in 11 years of marriage, not because of job transfers but because we're gypsies. Anyway, we've got this moving thing down, and one thing that inevitably comes toward the end of a move it trash. Lots and lots of trash. Like villages of trash.

You know how sometimes as a human you have moments where you realize what you're doing is weird? You wonder what God thinks about your behavior or what you would think if you visited another planet and saw someone doing what you're doing. Just me? Okay, then. Well, taking the trash out the other day was just such a moment. 

So in my part of the world - that is, suburban Texas - we have trash service. So that means you consume a bunch of stuff and then leave the unwanted parts in a pile for someone else to pick up. Lions do this, too - but their refuse biodegrades or gets eaten by scavengers. We humans have created a bunch of products which don't biodegrade (I hear my Dad saying "styrofoam!"). Either that or they will biodegrade but we don't want to sit around and watch them rot. We want them to go elsewhere, now.