Random AsidesReligion

summer ends

Please indulge me in a little self reflection.

It’s after Labor Day. Does that mean summer is over? To me, yes. Even if it’s still hot. We always went back to school after Labor Day when I was a kid, and for me that will eternally be the marker that ends the summer season. So now what?

I am going back to school, too. I have been working on my Lithuanian a little bit every day since I got back from my trip, but now I am making it an official part of the day. I am doing the same with writing exercises. I am going to somehow take 2 hours of my day and spend 1 hour on Lithuanian and 1 hour on writing — as courses, not for work projects. I am going to select a new, special place for studying and I am going to go there 5 days a week — Monday to Friday — just as if it were a real school. A few years ago, I had time to go to German classes 3 times a week for 3 hour classes, so there’s no reason I can’t fit this into my schedule now. Real classes may be better because you have to show up and put your butt in the seat and pay attention, but I can do that on my own if I make a plan. There are no Lithuanian classes taught in Colorado and there are no writing classes where you just work on exercises and play.

I am going to use the book Sing Me The Creation by Paul Matthews as my writing text. A new friend from Poland loaned me a copy of this book while I was in Vilnius and I just love it. It’s not a book I would have bought on my own. I don’t think it’s on the shelves of many American book stores, first. And second the author uses a lot of Christian references and, as you probably have noticed if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I am not a Christian. The thing is, even though I am basically a materialist or naturalist in my views, I believe there is a spiritual dimension to the human experience, and I am very interested in how we can develop spiritually, even in the absence of supernatural forces. I’ve also noticed that many of the people I am most attracted to, the people I find most interesting, the people who touch something deep in my own “soul,” are people who are also interested in spiritual growth. What does that even mean to those of us who don’t believe in gods or spirits or even souls? For me it means I believe that intelligence and culture and language and emotion and art give humans the ability to experience life on a level that is not available to most creatures, and that we can grow beyond our evolutionary limitations by using this new level of consciousness and we can use some of the language of religion metaphorically to express these ideas, because no other language of spirituality has (yet) been developed. Or something like that.

That’s enough for today. I have a lot of work to do but I hope to write (and think) more on these subjects in the coming weeks.

Cross posted on my personal blog.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Summer of us here in Phoenix, AZ, and the even hotter parts (I grew up right near Lake Havasu), will not be over until next month. If we’re lucky, early next month. If it’s anything like LAST year, then it will be closer to Halloween.

    We’ve had gorgeous weather, lately. Sure, it’s been humid as hell, but it’s been 100 or below. Hizz-ah!

  2. Same as above for me in L.A.. But chronologically, yeah, there is definitely the summer is over feeling. I’ve been out of school for 7 years now, and still feel the academic calendar…only I kind of apply it to my own life. It feels to me more like the “New Year” than actual New Years Eve/Day.

  3. Seattle has been summer-challenged this year. So as long as we have sunny days with a high above 60F/15C, I’m calling it summer!

  4. Down here in Georgia, it will be summer until at least mid-October, with high humidity temperatures in the high seventies and low eighties all throughout September.

    It doesn’t really start to cool down until November, and even the temperatures can spike into the mid seventies on occasion.

  5. Oh, mid-seventies… That’s our winters haha. If it dips below 70, we freeze!

    Our summer lowes are in the mid-to-high-90s, and it will sometimes not dip below 100 for weeks at a time, even at 3am. That, I think, is honestly the worst part. Not so much the heat of the day, but the 105 degrees at 6am. Sigh, I hate that.

    83 this morning at 6:30 was lovely and a bit cooler than it has been, aside from late last week when we were hit with SUPER monsoon storms.

    Anyone else live in Phoenix and get hit with those awesome storms? I live in Central Phoenix and it was like a hurricane had passed (100mph winds, so it kind of was!). Tempe got it even worse. It looked like Gustav, except in a more concentrated area (and no ocean to deal with, thankfully).

  6. I love the idea of the self-directed schooling. That’s how I became certified in microbiology for my job. Trying to do it at home can be very tough, even for somebody with strong self-discipline. Too many distractions. Going to the library or something similar is usually a better option.

    I also live in Phoenix, and work in a clinical laboratory. When those storms hit, our power went out for over 3 hours, ruining many ongoing tests in our department.
    I heard the other major lab in the area had their roof collapse.

    So if you’ve had medical tests done basically anywhere in AZ, even into Nevada, recently, any delays may be due to “acts of God.”

    Maybe people could sue, like in the movie “The Man Who Sued God,” with Billy Connolly?

  7. Ok, no one in the desert is allowed to complain about the heat. I lived in Arizona for a year, and I’m here to tell you, it’s nothing. I wore a trench coat every day in the summer. You see, in Arizona, sweat actually works. It cools you off, you see. Here, no such luck. The air is so damp that the wind feels like you’re being slapped with a wet towel some days.

    In Houston, we only have two seasons: summer, and Jan. 15

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