Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 2011

Hey there mathbaby,

You are no longer a baby. You are moving out of toddler to big girl. Still coming to terms with that. I'm writing this for you, speaking to where you are now and not to where you are going to be in 10 or 20 years. Here is hoping that you get through both well. Excellently. I want to be there for you, but the future is not something that comes with a guarantee - or at least not many.

All success in life requires having a team. The family is the first team. Mom, dad, sibs .. assuming you get all of those - they can be a good team or a bad one. You don't get to pick the team you are on except that you get to pick what kind of team-member you are. Later in life you get to pick your team, your goals, .. some. Not all but better than no selection. Read "Outliers" by Gladwell for some examples of team successes, and failures. I wish someone would have told me that - its good to know as an adult.

When I was a kid there was an amazing and noble friend for our family - Doc Dye. He was (and is) a good man. His greatest gift to me was to show me that it was possible to not live in the environment of economic, spiritual, and moral poverty that was around me for most of my childhood. The way out of the darkness is to choose the light - choose it with your mind, your heart, and your actions - every day. Every day. It took a while for the lessons to sink in, but that was the substance. As a grandfather he took in 12 (!) of his grandkids. He and his wife Suzy (I told you about her some) though they never had children of their own body - they were father and mother in many ways to a very large number of people. I admire him and aspire to be like him in a number of ways. As a troubled (half-crazy) 16-18 year old kid I was likely much more cost to him than benefit, but both he and his wife were very gracious. Though it is many years away, and we are all in a places in life that makes proximity impossible - they are still a team to me because they are in my heart and are defining parts of my self. As long as I exist, some part of them exists through me - not a child of the body, but a child of the consequence of their choices and actions. They are a good team to me still.

I wonder sometimes if you will ever read this. It goes back to the unknown future - I can know what I intend by the blog, by these letters, but not what I accomplish. I hope you do.

God gets me through. I'm like a blind man walking - i don't know the road either 1 foot, or 100 miles from me but he picks me up and helps me walk the line he wants me to walk. He has done me amazingly well - he brought you into my life as well as your mommy - so as scary as walking blind is I have some reasons to trust His intentions. God has been very good to me. I hope you find him good to you. He gives challenges, sometimes ones so big only he can think it possible they could be surmounted, but he gets us through them.

We are growing tomatoes (and eating them) and you like that. You pollinate flowers with mommy - crazy biologists doing what butterflies and other pollinators should do.

I am reading reports that the price of food could double in the next 20 years. That would be a big challenge. The biggest part of that is likely about big-oil. Land isn't disappearing, neither are seeds. Tractors, fertilizers, transports, processing equipment - they each get more expensive as oil prices rise, and they pay their bills using food prices. I have some very immature energy ideas, but they are going to take 5-10 years of work to get them going well. I don't think the folks here at ASU are interested in me, or the ideas. I have been fighting for as long as you have been alive and am not very far along. I wish I could do something about the upcoming challenges. In some significant ways I do not have the team required to make these things become a reality. I hope you do not know hunger. I starved at times as a kid - like my belly swelled up like the USA for Africa infomercial kids. This results in me being afraid of hunger, and being fat. It is part of a set of inputs .. letting my discipline to keep in shape go, indulging desire for rest, letting my fears define me. Don't give up on what you know is good. Do not let your fears define you. Let the excellent things that you hold on to - let them define you.

I gotta go kiddo. I hope to write you again.


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