Love me, love my svithe
Hate me, hate my svithe


Being a general optimist and having a high opinion of humanity in general, I sometimes forget that people hate me. People who hate Americans. People who hate whitie. People who hate Mormons. People who hate those who never get enough sleep.

These people necessarily hate me.

But I forget.

I just looked up "Mormon" on Google News; most of the articles were about that Romney fellow and many of those were about how some people just hate Mormons. What really gets me is good Christians who start frothing at the mention of Mormonism, but I'm not looking to pick a fight. Let 'em hate. Whatever.

The reason I was googling though was to find this article which recently ran in a local paper. The article's about how Mormon's are trying to be perceived differently--as less secretive for example.

It's a funny thing, being perceived as secretive, because we're really anything but. Those 60000 missionaries aren't out there making sure secrets get kept, after all.

Lady Steed recently told our neighbor what my forthcoming book is about (August! Start saving pennies now!), viz, Mormon kids at BYU. She said that she would be very interested in such a book because Mormons are so mysterious and secrety.


Well I guess we do need to be less secretive then.

I'm not about to make any huge pronouncements or groundbreaking suggestions, but I do wonder what sort of line is between Seeming Secretive and Overwhelmingly Proselytory. It is one-dimensional? An inch wide? Six miles?

Don't know. But apparently I'm still to one side of it.

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Starting with Psalm One verse one:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Links to:

Prov. 1: 10--My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Links to:

Isa. 59: 7--Their feet run to evil, and they make chaste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

Links to:

Hel. 12: 4--O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!

Links to:

Heb. 3: 12--Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Okay....something cheerful, maybe?

That linked to:

Gen. 6: 5--And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Hmm. Links to:

Gen. 8: 21--And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Yes! Okay! Let's stop there!

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(svithe) Mahogany Reign


So there I was. In a kindergarten class. We were going over the three-plusses. Three plus one is four. Three plus two is five. Three plus three . . . .

Then this one kid, Lucy, raised her hand and asked what the difference was between sines and cosines.

I tried to explain it, but she was having trouble grasping it.

So I tried another way. No luck.

I admitted that I wasn't so good with this stuff myself and had a hard time keeping them straight. Then I foolishly mentioned tangents.

At this point she pushed aside her worksheet with the dancing threes and the flamingo and rejected math now, today, and forever, her whole life. She called herself an amatheist and encouraged her classmates to follow her example.

If I can't understand this sine/cosine business(she said) then it is clear to me that the difference is false and imagined. And if sines and cosines are a lie, we must therefore assume that all math is a lie. Told to enslave us to life of adding and subtracting. Lie upon lie until we can no longer distinguish between the feel-good "truth" of one plus one equals two and the obvious untruth of what is a sine.

Her classmates nodded and began to push away their papers.

I argued. I suggested that just because they did not understand one thing, they should not throw away what they already knew. I pleaded with them, suggesting that in time and with effort, all things would become known.

My cries fell on deaf ears.

So I let them eat their snack, then we went out to play foursquare.


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If I should die before I wake (a svithe)



It seems like we've been having earthquakes every week--one's big enough to feel--one's big enough to make you panic and realize you really haven't come up with a plan re: What-to-Do-When-the-House-Starts-Falling-Down-Around-You-as-You-Watch-The-Office, and, ergo, now you will die.

Fortunately, none of them have knocked the house down yet--in fact, Thursday's, a 4.2, was the biggest yet and you really had to concentrate to tell that the chandalier was wiggling.

Of course, when we decided to move to the East Bay, I knew that decision would prove fatal. The Big One, the much-fretted-about Hayward Quake, is due to go off any day now and, in so doing, will wipe out UC Berkeley, Mervyn's California HQ, and our house. Oakland and Hyward and San Lorenzo and Berkeley and Richmond will make New Orleans look merely dusty and no one will have been warned to evacuate by colorful Doppler imaging. Food will be scarce, riots will break out, rotting corpses will stink the air, packs of dogs will hunt down the survivors . . . .

In short, we're all going to die.


Not that death, in general, should be a big surprise. Such (death) is life. It's an important part of the definition.

You're going to die.

That's not a threat.

That's a promise.

It's just what it means to be alive.

This begs two questions:
    --What shall we do with the time that we have? and

    --What then?
Those are both perfect svithe material. Those are the questions religions are built on, battles are waged on, books are written on, nights are lost to, and dinners pushed aside for.

What then life?

Why for death?

And in the end--?

I am one man. Tallish. Slight of figure. Overgrown hair. Moderately ambitious. Possessor of one life of uncertain length. There is nothing outlandishly special about me as compared to you. We are the same:a fragile biology, a limited span of time, a limited number of tomorrows.

We make our own cocktails of hope and fear, planning and delaying, doing and stalling. Our lives are our own. To do with what we will. Or not. As we will.

We are the same. We choose our own answers, day by day, till the earthquake, and we are through.

And then?

Well, I have some opinions. But for now, let's focus on choosing to live.

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