The Backdrop – A Brief Autobiography | 2007-2017

March 20, 2017 1:30pm | River City Roasters Coffee Shop in Wheaton, IL The past ten years have been incredibly important in my life journey. It’s hard to even conceive how productive these years have been in terms of wayfaring; it’s even harder to explain how difficult these years have been—but, as the aphorism goes... Continue Reading →

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Love and Concern for Others

[A man] once said, "It is thirty years that I have been seeking forgiveness for one phrase, 'Praise be God's', that I allowed to pass my lips." When asked to explain he replied, "One night the marketplace caught fire, and I left my house to see if the fire had reached my shop. When I... Continue Reading →

Summer Photos and Trips

This Summer I traveled to NYC to meet with a bunch of friends, then off to Baltimore for a friend's wedding. Later I went to Mom and Dad's, Colorado, and saw AT and Shae and the boys after too-many years. Here are a few photos of me that people snapped.  

Late-Night Sketches I

I cannot sleep. A friend asked a question that occurs to me every so often: how much news is too much news? Building off of that: what is the point of news anyway? Another friend offered some insight that I'd like to share in a slightly edited form: [T]his is a great question, as a... Continue Reading →

Accosting Mother Earth

Ecology and Environmental Justice are always on my mind. I ran across this article today. The damage is overwhelming; it fatigues the heart. 38 million pieces of plastic waste found on uninhabited South Pacific island https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/15/38-million-pieces-of-plastic-waste-found-on-uninhabited-south-pacific-island "Have we forgotten our future? Earth Mother, life giver, we can't live without her So foolish, men who say... Continue Reading →

On Fasting

I wanted to share this with you all. The month of Ramadan is quickly approaching and I will begin my annual month-long fast (sunup to sundown). My friend David encapsulates the spirit of the season of Ramadan in his reflections here.

A Mercy Case

People long ago, their bodies now disintegrated, fasted for the sake of God. They did not have the same variety and access to foodstuffs that we do today, yet still they restrained from eating and drinking in order to cultivate their spirits. Why?

It states in a book by Fayd Kashani: “It has been said that were there no benefit to fasting except ascension from the low point of the animalistic soul to the spiritual summit like the angels, this would have been enough of a virtue and merit for fasting.” (Spiritual Mysteries and Ethical Secrets, p. 535) God created us with bodily needs and desires, and fulfilling them is what makes the world go around. All of human civilization is built upon having a surplus of calories and successful reproduction. In short, without food and sex, the traces of humanity would long ago have disappeared from the Earth.

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