Why That Picture?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why I called the blog “Green Eggs and Ham.” Today I’m writing about the picture that appears at the top of my posts.

I took the picture in the Adirondack High Peaks of New York. There’s a trail that runs below Wallface Mountain through a gap called Indian Pass. It’s a rugged trail, winding through a jumble of boulders fallen from the cliffs of Wallface over the centuries. Coming around a bend, one confronts this view. The trail doesn’t go under those boulders. It bends to the left.

But, to go through that passage, under that massive boulder, you would have to bend down. You would have to go down and come back up. That jagged hole is a door. You can’t see but a hint of what’s on the other side. It’s probably more of the same. But you don’t know until you go down, in, back up and out. Something might change. Something might be different. You might be different.

That pass below the cliffs of Wallface is a harsh environment. The birch trees you can see in the picture look like claws clinging to the rocks, sending their roots to find earth and nourishment. If you look closely, life is everywhere. Moss, lichens and other small plants cover the rocks. Life is persistent, adaptive. The spaces between the rocks provide shelter for hidden creatures.

That’s all I’ll say. You may see something else.

There is always more.

Why Green Eggs and Ham?

Two things occurred to me this week regarding this blog. One, I have not posted anything in six months. Two, people might wonder why I named my blog “Green Eggs and Ham.” I don’t know that I ever expounded on that when I began this endeavor years ago.

I am Sam. Well, what else can I say? That’s my name. Lines from the old Dr. Seuss book pop into my head now and then, especially when a situation requires me to supply my name. Sam-I-am was the character who pursued the other guy through the rain, on the train, in a park, in the dark, in a box, with a fox… and on and on until the poor guy relented and tried the green eggs and ham.

Toward the end of the book, Sam-I-am says to the other guy:

You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

And the other guy says, wearily:

If you will let me be,
I will try them.
You will see.

So the guy tries green eggs and ham, and discovers, much to his surprise, that he likes them. And he will now eat them in the rain… and all those other places repeatedly mentioned in the story.

So I thought, years ago when I began writing this very irregular blog, that I would be like Sam-I-am, although hopefully not so annoying, and invite people to try some new ideas, sharing my perspective which I hope is open and inclusive, contemplative and gentle, yet applying some critical thinking and spiritual perspective to the events of this increasingly frantic and fractious world.

The Franciscan priest and contemplative teacher, Richard Rohr, has pointed out (as I imagine have other wise teachers) that in order to transcend dualistic thinking and come to unity, first one must discern, identify, categorize, and judge, in order truly to see what is. Then, through listening, humility, prayer and contemplation, to come to a new, more unitive perspective.

I hope in this blog to offer some of that work from my own experience and location here in Central Upstate New York. And maybe, I hope, you will say, “I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am.”