nature

October 2017 – In Love with Life

photo of looking up through branches full of red leaves at the sky

As I move forward in my relationship with God, I find myself more in love with life. I don’t mean daily living; I mean human life, animal life, and plant life – the actual state of being alive. For a short while this morning, I found myself staring lovingly at a little plant my brother had planted and dreaming of planting something myself just to watch it grow. It wouldn’t need to be a fruit tree or a vegetable producer or even flower. It would need merely to be alive.
Green is my favorite color. It is the color of life. I have read that most color that enters the human eye is interpreted as green. Perhaps God wanted us to see it more than any of the other colors. The place I live is brown and tan, sadly, so it always has a feeling of being dead. Even where there are patches of green grass, it is never rich and lush, but it is hardy. Yet even the brown grass and wheat are alive. God has blessed both of them, and somehow in the incredible heat of the summers here, they flourish for the blessing of other creatures. The brown grass looks prettiest in the fall when there are changing leaves. In this way, all of the world dies together and is baptized in the waters of the snow. And every year, it is reborn to new life even though – like humans – many trees retain the same body they grew in the years prior.
How beautiful it is that this cycle repeats year after year as a reminder that new growth always follows the coldest parts of our lives.
There is a young tree on the west side of the place I live. It needs protection from the wildlife that wants to scrap it. So far, it has managed to survive a couple of winters here and continues to grow. Such young sprouts, in contrast to their larger, more mature counterparts, invite me to think of trees as the hair of the earth. When the earth is alive and well, it grows hair and its hair grows.
As I look outside my window, I can’t help but smile at the bushy leaves on the ends of branches. When old age comes and the earth goes grey, I’ll be out with a rake, sweeping up the earth’s dandruff and thinking what a gift God has given us of life and season. And that will bring a smile to my face once again.

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global issues, psychology

“Right” is not the right idea

An analogy I often use to demonstrate the term “rhetoric” is to say “ice cubes are cool, therefore ice cubes are awesome”. What is going on here is the alteration of an idea based on the abstracting of an original idea. Certainly ice cubes can be awesome, and the appreciation of ice cubes being cool makes them awesome (subjectively speaking), but the coolness alone does not make the ice cube awesome. Yet this change in an idea often goes unnoticed when the word attempts to describe a more complex framework. In short, we may find ourselves applying rhetoric without even realizing it. The word we are actually searching for may be more limited in scope and definition but be supported by reality. Let us start with an analogy.

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media, visual novels

Clannad – The Past Path – Review

Last time I reviewed a visual novel, it was Narcissu / Narcissus by Stage Nana. Having been done professionally, it had the benefit of a good team working behind it for custom art and contributions by talented musicians. It was very kind of the company to allow the English translation to be produced and released free to the public. To date, it’s the only professionally-done visual novel for English speakers (at least, it’s the only one I know of).

Those of us working solo don’t necessarily have the luxuries of a professional team or talented artists, but that doesn’t mean something can’t be cobbled together and still provide a quality experience.

This review focuses on a visual novel created by Scope Games, which is for the most part, a single individual. After scrounging the internet for images, image templates, and songs, they pieced together this entertaining this work free for you to enjoy. Download here.

Table of Contents

  • Story – I briefly outline what we’re looking at.
  • Gameplay – What kind of game experience to expect
  • Non-spoiler Review – Basic idea of the content
  • Guide to Gameplay – How to get what you want in the game (without really spoiling it for you)
  • (Ambiguous) Spoiler Review – For if you really want to know what’s wrong with the content
  • Remarks on Realism
  • Rating – The overall quality rating, including content you might want to be aware of (ambiguous spoilers)
  • Credits

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