Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Alan!

A birthday celebration in Vancouver, August 1964.

You said this earlier; reaching 52 is the "playing with a full deck" number. 

After this, I don't know.

Anyway, the scene recorded was Terry's 12th birthday, however, the 7th person, front left, was you Alan.

Summer 1964 was that time Mom made her first visit to Vancouver to visit Aunt Shirley. You went with her. As you can probably guess, the rest of us ended up in Milan those weeks Mom was away.

More than half a century has passed since and it took me a while to remember and figure it out.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The Highway - busy enough but nowhere near as busy as it could be and often is.

Highways are those hideous open wounds; battered asphalt slashes across the face of the earth festering with a never ending noisy chaotic rush and clash of vehicles. Call it modern day jousting, if you will.

So who says good manners, chivalry and knighthood is dead?

I do!

Just go out and drive the highways if you dare.

Driving is nut-hood today. After all, who is that nut sitting behind the hood of that other guy's car? Then again, who is the nut occupying the driver's seat of your car?

Highways are an integral part of what we wish to delude ourselves into believing is a part of "civilization" however; highways have also become North America's longest wildlife cemeteries that dispense with the formalities of burials. 

Highways are not very civilized, are they?

Wildlife is not the only road-kill casualty.

Yes, I concede that highways are a necessity for getting us and other stuff from here to there, but how much of the getting from here to there is really a necessity?

So tell me, what is "there" that is not "here" to make it a necessity to go "there" in the first place?

I do not know and I do not need to know, and given a choice I would rather not go. If I must go, then I would rather take the train... but the train does not go "there" anymore.

Written in summer 1994
The Oddblock Station Agent

Sorry... too Busy

The world has become busy... very busy.

Human nature is beyond my comprehension. Experts analyze it, study it, explain it, and yet nonetheless I simply do not understand it. People baffle me. Sorry about that.

While seeing and observing an increasingly busy world, with an increasingly busy and impatient population what is increasingly busy, three question keep haunting me.

What are we so busy with?

Do we need to be so busy with whatever it is we are so busy with?

If we are so busy doing things, then why does it seem as if nothing ever gets done?

The Bible tells us, "There is nothing new under the sun."

I find this ancient statement to be comforting because the Bible tells me that I am not the first to be confused by human nature or the first to be baffled by it. These words of wisdom also indicate to me that I am not the first person to travel along this confused route through life, but even so, the trail does seem to be terribly overgrown. Solomon's accurate assessment of the situation also means this same trail shall remain terribly overgrown for anyone who follows this way long after I have passed by.

Do our lives in these busy cities appear before God to be like a kicked ant hill?

Truly I do not know. Sorry about that. 

I have just been too busy to stop, look and listen. Sorry about that too.

Written March 06, 1994
The Oddblock Station Agent

What is the Purpose of Life?

Too often life is trying to make sense of the past, grappling with the present and worrying about the future, but it does not have to be this way.

If I am ever asked for any advice to pass on, then I shall tell my children to learn to deal with their fears.

Shyness must surely be one of the most severe and least understood of social fears. Shyness can also be emotionally crippling. I can say this from having lived through it and constantly having to confront my own shyness still.

If you want something strongly enough, then go after it! Ask God for it! Reach out for it!

Do not simply do nothing and pine for whatever it is you strongly desire.

True, some goals will be impossible to achieve when God says no; or possibly when other people are involved. So learn to recognize and abandon those futile quests and then let those unattainable objectives go.

My approaching 40th birthday has irked me with unwanted incentive to think and reflect upon life.

What we do, what we accomplish, who we are and what we are shall not add up to very much if anything at all. Spending a lifetime accumulating possessions seems so trite and meaningless. Fame and fortune cannot possibly be any different than obscurity and poverty. All adds up to nothing when we die. All remains behind for others do with as they choose.

Is the value of life so little, so seemingly worthless and so empty of purpose?


Is the God of Israel real? Is Jesus the Son of the God of Israel?

If not, then life is really an empty waste and truly a meaningless wander from birth to death.

If God is real and Jesus is the Son of God, then all that is life and that life becomes is trying to discern and follow the will of God. In the end, all that shall have counted here is our relationship with God, our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with mankind; this last part meaning every individual we encounter or have encountered every single day of our lives.

Does the little we do, or try to do really make any impact at all? Does our lifetime of work and existence do any good? Is our life really of any use, of any value, or of any help?

Man's search for meaning in life never changes.

The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes already asked these and other questions, and then discovered God's answers to us centuries earlier.

Written January 22, 1994
The Oddblock Station Agent