Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Shepherd

Yesterday I drove to Charlotte to attend the Flavors of Carolina conference. On the way I listened to Michael Crichton's book, State of Fear, and passed cable service trucks, pick-ups, and semi-trailers which decorate the daytime U.S. highway.

The conference was being held in the Shriner Conference Center, a large one-story building located in a shopping center and festooned with two white globes on the top. Bland tile covered the floor before running into dull carpet in a cave like room made dark coming in from the sun.

People were busy setting up displays for their various food businesses. The atmosphere was the strange blend of anticipation and gravity that results from being in a large room with lots of people.

I helped my Mom set up her booth displaying business items for her bakery business Mediterranean Treats. The booth next to us belonged to Twiddle Dee Farm, and James.

James was a tall black man, young in his look and happy in his nature. After he got out of the army, he went to raising sheep.
"Was the army a good experience?" I asked.
James paused "Good and Bad." He said, then let out a laugh.
"Why sheep?"
"Well, I just couldn't go back to raising cattle, and I was looking for something new. I am a retired veteran really, but I knew I needed to do something, I would go crazy just sitting around."

I knew what James meant, and the more I talked to him, the more I fell in love with his story. How he tends and herds sheep. How he spends time out in a field. It drew me in. The retired soldier gone from the world of conflict to quietly tend his flock and become a shepherd.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is it really not worth writing about...

Abundance, or having more than you can handle, is strange feeling, but that is how I feel. Like I am trying to cope with opportunity. It is like when you try to carry too many apples and you know that one is going to slip out of your hand, so your start running to the table, hoping to make it, while the voice in the back of your head is screaming for you to go back and just carry sensible amounts.

That is what it feels like.

I want to travel, or more to the point, I feel obligated to travel considering my life situation. The truth of it though, is that I want to learn and explore ideas. I love it, I love reading history, I love writing my perspective of the facts. I love having my curiousity pulled in novel ways. And it seems odd to be given the chance to do this, nothing but time to explore, no obligations, no struggles, just the pleasure of exploring.

It seems like nothing worth writing about. Like all movies that fade out on the lovers once they go off to live happily ever after. At the same time, it seems like the perfect thing to write about.

If anyone is interested to keep up with what I have been reading, you can check out my media review: