Saturday, October 9, 2010


So we are half-way through the expectancy.
(I am glad there are 40 weeks to pregnancy. Finding out you are pregnant and having a baby the next week would scare the living daylights out of me ((living daylights? where does that phrase come from? I'm not just making that up, am I? that's a real phrase, right?)). It gives you plenty of time to get ready (((is there such a thing as being ready for a baby?))))

Fatherhood is blowing my mind a little bit. What traits will I pass down to my child?
its just not fair
Luckily, Whit will moderate whatever craziness I send down the line.

Here was my reaction, roughly in chronological order:
a. wow.
b. wow.
c. wow.
d. what are we going to do?
e. wow.

Exactly how are you suppose to raise a child in the world if you don't have it all together? I guess everyone does it though, because honestly, who actually has it all together?
Then I realized that Whit and I are a good team. We are complementary (you look lovely). Our little baby is going to have an incredible range of influences to become the most well-rounded individual in history. (Is it strange that I am already bragging on / am swelling with pride for my baby, who is currently weighing in around half a pound?)
I feel like it is normal for expectant fathers to be nervous about being 1/2 of the biggest influence on a child. I suppose teaching has helped me be prepared to influence the future through molding the minds of children, but I feel a little more responsibility for my little one. Teaching juniors and seniors, they already have a lot of molding under their belts, so its not quite as much pressure.
I think I can handle it. I can teach my baby how to love music, how to love family, how to love nature, how to love its moma. (just noticed a theme.)
Maybe the most important thing I can do is teach my baby to love.
I think I'm good at that.
I've got this.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

mr. withers

I attended a mission trip somewhere around a millennium ago that discussed the word righteousness.
The speaker suggested that the correct pronunciation of the word was "right-usefulness."
The idea here is that when we are doing what we were designed to do, it's a good thing. We are being used for the right thing.
Tasks are much easier and more fulfilling when you have the right tools for the job. Eating soup with a fork is difficult and unsatisfying, because the fork is not being rightly-used. A spoon would be happy to help. But a spoon would be useless in cutting lumber. A skilsaw would come in handy though.
I am a husband and a teacher and a friend and a brother and a son and an uncle and a father to three furry animals. I get the feeling every now and then that things are exactly as they are supposed to be; that I am doing what I am supposed to do. There is a contentedness that comes along with that, but content is too subtle a term; its an excited content, an exhilarating peace with my life.
This weekend I watched the first class from my first year teaching walk across a stage and graduate. Next weekend I will watch a group of young men and women I taught for two whole years graduate. Seeing the change and watching them grow and learn, and feeling partially responsible for that, creates an amazing feeling.
There was an art installation in Tolliver Hall that said
"every raindrop in a flood feels responsible."
I feel incredible knowing that I played some small part in the education, inspiration and lives of my students. It fulfills me.
Waking up next to my wife everyday and smiling, spending time with good friends, talking to my family, watching my nephews and nieces grow, and being greeting every afternoon by the most excited dog in the world lets me know that I am at least coming close to what I am supposed to be doing.
Life is happily great when you find you are doing what you are designed to do; when you are righteous; when you are rightly-used.
And I want to spread the news: If it feels this good getting used, keep on using me until you use me up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I once knew this guy named Adam and he once noted that it had been a long time since he had seen the ocean, and he guessed that he should. I think he had a valid point.

There is something incredible about the ocean. I think its a combination of its size and constancy and change. Same kind of thing with mountains and the open road.

Another guy I once knew named Trey asked "Can't this wait til I'm old? Can't I live while I'm young?" I think he had a valid point too.

If autumn is the time for revolution, I think summer might be the season of adventure. I don't think that is really true, because I watched Alexander Supertramp engage in his escapades throughout the year. And I know real adventurers know no season. But I suppose idle summer hands (like those of idle college students) create more adventuretunities. And my hands have been itching.

The problem with adventure is what you have to give up. The old-school explorers and sailors were giving up everything for adventure. Soldiers who join up to go on adventures give up a lot. Even beatniks and hippies and bums who go out on the road or to the woods for adventure give up their place in society. It takes a lot to give it up and live in a van down by the river or to quit your job and backpack through India for a few months. Adventures are not easy.

I believe that somewhere in everyone there is an internal need for adventure that can be met in a million different ways.

Buying a house is definitely an adventure. So is having a child. Or a dog. Or a killer puffer fish.
So is climbing mountains, bonking, getting altitude sickness and splurting from both ends. So is canoeing. So is beach camping. So is sailing a catamaran. So is teaching the future of our nation. So is being married. So is trying new food.

So when your hands start itching for adventure and you feel like you've got to be a Kerouac or a Supertramp or a Persig or a Columbus or that guy from Kon Tiki or a Hilary or a Finn or a pirate/cowboy/revolutionary sailing/riding into the sunset, remember that adventure comes in all kinds of packages and to appreciate the everyday adventures instead of pining away for the adventure that might be a billion times better in your head or requires too much of a sacrifice.

Remember that, but don't forget to keep wanting adventure.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


after a couple days of not blogging, its not hard to start back up again.
let a couple weeks go by and you begin feeling like you really have to have something worth saying to blog again.
the feeling gets stronger after 8 months or so.
i decided the feeling is wrong.

so i am posting about nothing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

thinking of renaming the blog "Archibald Quarterly"

On this autumnal day, I feel like I must sit by a fire, with my dog, a cardigan, and a pipe. Sitting is not enough though. I crave revolution; I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. Maybe the age of revolutions is over. Maybe I was born too late. Maybe, if a revolution did occur in my backyard, I would not even have the chutzpah to step outside. I guess the thing with revolutions in the Fall is that someone has to start them. And what would be the revolutionary cause for which I would fight? Is there anything really worth fighting for?
I heard once the only real purpose for revolutions is to be able to love who you want, how you want, when you want and where you want...
I think that's worth donning a Phrygian cap and marching somewhere. But against whom does one revolt when our rallying cry is love?
I guess I, with my pipe, my cardigan, and my dog will just sit by the fire until we figure out the answers to these questions.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

if atticus wrote a book of philosophy what would it say?

listen more than you speak.
live with excitement.
enjoy everyday things everyday.
life is too short to not do what you want.
love unconditionally.

i feel like i would buy his book and like it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

you are what is most beautiful about me

this painting won the 2008 archibald prize.
when i find myself in an existential mood, i feel justified by the amazing people i call my family and friends.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Menagerie

We tried our hand at zoo keeping...

Then there was a terrible accident...

And we had to downsize.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

noun verb sentence structure (with one exception)

the sun warms.
the dog plays.
the wife loves.
the sky rains.
the clouds shade.
the trees wave.
the frisbees fly.
the kids learn.
the chair sits.
the faces smile.

i am happy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This weekend we had a rare treat in Shreveport...Snow! Yes, actual snow. Not just a winter mix. For the entire afternoon on Friday we had snow fall to the ground. No, there wasn't any accumumulaction, but still it was snow. As I was driving home from work all bundled up (thermals and all)... I thought here is a little piece of Oregon right here in Shreveport. Now if we could just get a mountian... we might live in the perfect place! I miss my Oregon peeps...yo!
love, whit