Midnight Thoughts, With Root Beer

In the middle of the night, I’m eating (or drinking) a root beer float while sitting on the floor with my laptop.  For a brief moment I was sitting in the twilight between the kitchen light, which we leave on at night (in case of emergency), and the darkness of the hallway back to where everyone else is asleep.

In a telling movie, I shifted slightly toward the darkness.  For a while I’ll pretend that this isn’t soteriologically significant.

Shifting toward the darkness is always easier.  As a metaphor, I suspect this is true of everyone.  It’s also literally true for me.  I have eye issues.

The root beer float I can’t really explain.  (Although I will try to keep from calling it a root BEAR float, which is how I type it every single time.)  I had a hankering for something mellow, and found root beer.  I wanted something smooth and sweet with it, but not overly sweet like candy, and I found ice cream.  The rest, as they say….

Well, to be fair, I think God suggested the float.  One of his many graces.

If you’ve never had a root beer float, don’t worry.

I actually don’t know what I meant by that.

In any event, it’s been about ten minutes and I haven’t actually started typing ABOUT anything yet.  Unless you count all of the stuff about my current circumstances which I was typing just to get something on the page.  My idea was to poke the dam and see what burst through.  Apparently my reservoir is full of meaningless comments, vague metaphysical suggestions, and an affection for soda-dairy desserts.

Today I learned about Canada, and I learned that monarchs don’t have a choice about being monarch.  When Edward VIII abdicated, he had to get permission from the government.  They could have said, “No.”  I find this fascinating.  I wonder if people would want to be monarch if they didn’t have the choice.

At least where I’m from, people don’t want to be anything unless they have the choice.  Which causes trouble of course since most of us don’t have choices about a lot of significant features in our lives.  The project of society is to make as many things a choice as possible.

Some of these I don’t object to, I suppose.  People born into poverty, or born in areas where they’ll starve….  They should have the choice not to be destitute and starving.  Maybe.

That maybe was not to indicate that I think people should actually be destitute and starving, but that my brain had detected some sort of problem with my sentence as it was written.  Sadly, my brain will probably take days to tell me what it detected.

But I think a part of it has to do with elevating choice as a virtue in and of itself.  Let’s say that William is born in a place where he will be destitute and starving, those features would become choices if we (being well-fed and at least less destitute) offered to kidnap him.  But I would still object to offering that kind of choice.  Or, for example, we could give him power irrespective of responsibility–hand him a machine gun and let him loose in a shopping mall–then he would be able to choose to be both richer and better fed.  But that’s not good either, especially because if he’s hungry enough and poor enough, he may do something egregious and not know it.

So apparently I think that there are times when it’s better to be destitute and hungry than it is to have a choice about those things?

Nope, I change my mind.  (I would delete a bunch of stuff, but that would violate the rules.)

Situations are finite; choices are everlasting.  We were created to be choosing creatures, and it’s good that we be able to have choices, even if we often abuse them.  But we should know that we often abuse them, and try to choose with care?

It’s late and I’m out of time again.  Here are my midnight ramblings.


Father Thoughts

I figure that forgetting early infancy is probably essential to human sanity. I don’t think anyone could grow up to be content and happy if he or she remembered how rocky the start was.

First you get evicted from your comfortable home and extruded into a world where people Continue reading