Friday, November 13, 2020


In last week's video mention was made of boundaries being fluid instead of rigid. I believe we are to live grace-filled lives not encumbered by the past, but flowing into our current setting.  In the November 9 reading from Ryan Holiday's, "The Daily Stoic", the story of a battle ship of the Athenian hero (Theseus) is being preserved in its battle ready form. Over time boards rotted and were replaced. Eventually every piece of wood on the vessel had been replaced. So the question is asked, "Is it still the ship of Theseus or is it a new ship?"

I see life as constantly changing, evolving, and fluid. Included are 3 pictures of business in Fargo ND. The first is looking at West Acres Mall from the southeast. It opened in August 1972, near the intersection of I-29 & I-94. Originally this area was crop land on the edge of town. I remember in the early 80's on a trip to Fargo, eating in the mall at the Grainery. First time ever for beer cheese soup with popcorn on the top.     

Additions, renovations, retail transitions, and consumer shopping habits have changed over the years. How long will this massive structure remain viable? Are investors wanting to place resources into an aging retail concept? Soon a 1 million square foot Amazon Fulfillment Center will open on the north edge of Fargo. It will be 50,000 square feet larger that West Acres.

The purple painted building was originally a Krispy Kreme which opened in 2002. The "hot light" drew thousands of people to this place for about 6 years before it closed. Now a custom made mattress store has a drive up window. And I believe the "hot light" is gone. I wonder why I have never seen a line outside of this store for people waiting to get a mattress? I guess sleep is more important than donuts. However, just as 

you use your smartphone for an alarm clock, there is a "hot light" app which will alert you when fresh, sugary, melt away donuts are available. 

The final structure housed the "Toys "R" Us." The open square footage must make for easy display of massive Halloween products. How many blow-up pumpkins can fit in one store? As Halloween is now the second largest commercial holiday in the United States who needs toys? Not to short the toy industry, I fondly remember the Lionel train my bothers and I

shared for a Christmas present. The black transformer box would get hot the longer the train went in its circular track. Pushing the red button created a horn sound.  Later in life I attempted to regain an interest in trains, HO scale. In this effort to recreate the past, all I achieved was spent money and time. 

Yes, I mourn the loss of people, places, events, and institutions that were a part of my life. Memories bring a smile to my face and comfort to my being. Yet memories are not reality. Memories are ephemeral constructs of the mind. Longing for the past does not help me live freely in the present. To reiterate a phrase from last week: "We need to listen to the music of the past, so we can sing in the present, and dance into the future."  Creation is continually being recreated. It is still creation, but it is not the creation of decades, weeks, or even hours ago. Everything is flowing and fluid. What enhances life is the ability to live unencumbered each day. This does not make for comfortable living. Constant adjustment and new visions consume physical and emotional energy. In other words, it is exhausting. AND, I believe it is worth the energy expended. 

This 50k ultra running event in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico will not occur again. I got to share in my son-in-law's first ultra finish two years.

These are the 2 race directors who not only created a great event for many ultra runners, but were the pinnacle of hospitality. When you picked up your bib number you picked up placement into their family.

39 years ago in a small church in rural Faribault County, MN a person not known for impulsivity made a commitment to be my partner. What occurred in that church is recorded in the Courthouse. What has happened over the years does not define our relationship today.  

I am not a singer or a dancer. Many rotten and misaligned boards in my life have been replaced. Everything is fluid. We are the ones who place opinions and make reactions to the events of life. I continue to believe that living with the fluidity of each day. especially in the realities of human behavior and viral behavior is worth the effort.

I end with an email quote from a friend who watched last week's video, "I think that if you are not challenged in the way that you think about things that you begin to die and what you hold true becomes.....moldy."  Very well said, Mark!

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