Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

4 April 2004

Time

Sunday evening, Anna and I went to a friend’s house, as we do each Sunday, for supper and a reading and discussion time. We treasure these times, and look forward to them each week. They go something like this…

Everybody brings something to eat. We talk sometime during the week to make sure everybody isn’t bringing a salad. Typically someone experiments with something so it can be pretty interesting. This time, we had potato and leek soup, pasta spinach salad, hot German potato salad (no hot germans harmed in the making of this salad), and pasta with red sauce. Leftovers abound and everybody ate enough. Perfect.

As we relaxed over wine and talked, little Mark (almost 2 years old) ran around pointing things out or playing with found objects around the house. We usually have a chat or discussion before the reading time. The previous week we establish who will read the following week. People always have the option to bow out of their reading or just pass all together. Matt read this week.

Matt is an interesting character. He loves science fiction and loves thinking about things. He loves blurting out what’s on his mind without giving it the second thought. He’s not crass or obnoxious, but he certainly blurs the line between what’s appropriate or not. To Matt, politically correctness is just another silly way of keeping people from saying what’s on their mind.

Matt picked out a couple great readings today. He read from The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker, a book discussing how we can use fear as a tool to avoid being in harmful situations. He read from a true account of a woman who was raped by someone helping her carry her groceries to her apartment. Scary stuff, however very interesting and thought-provoking.

Light of Other Days, by Bob Shaw, Matt’s second reading, was a short story about a man and his wife purchasing “slow glass” from a farmer in England. Slow glass is a type of glass that slows the light coming through it. They purchased “ten year glass”, meaning that light takes ten years to pass through the quarter-inch pane. In ten years they will be able to see the events occurring now.

In the story, people typically bought the glass that had been sitting in a wooded area or other serene places. So they can take home that scene and put it up in their dismal shabby windows in the city.

Thinking about this makes me want to soak in each situation, each view, each person I experience. As my time in Alaska draws to a close (for now), I realize that time will never give back these experiences. I can look back on them, but that’s all I can do: look.