August Ramblings

* I was called back yet again for an encore of my Spanish language singing in the Catholic service here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. Except this time, instead of a solo, it was an unexpected duet with another inmate. Even the band was surprised that he decided to sing with me. He's a good man who unfortunately can't sing a lick. He was off key, both sharp and flat at various times, and had no rhythm. But he more than overcame those limitations by singing really loudly in my ear. Apparently the Catholics will let anyone sing. Oh, wait...

* I've heard various writers explain the difference between happiness and joy, but none better than David Brooks in his latest book The Second Mountain. Brooks writes "We can create happiness, but we are seized by joy...Happiness tends to be individual; we measure it by asking, 'Are you happy?' Joy tends to be self transcending. Happiness is something you pursue; joy is something that rises up unexpectedly and sweeps over you. Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades, we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn't fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude and hope."

* While I couldn't buy a furlough to attend my daughter's wedding, one-year-old Freddy has no problem getting one for any reason. Thankfully, he needed an escort on his recent road trip to Home Depot and Petco in Bastrop. He was a perfect gentleman dressed in his Canine Companions For Independence cape. Of course, strolling the aisles of Home Depot was like a trip to heaven for me, while Freddy probably had the same spiritual experience at Petco.

* According to Carl Jung, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

* A sign up sheet was posted here recently asking for volunteers to go to the Oakdale, Louisiana, Satellite Prison Camp to take part in a construction project. When the group left this month, 2 of the departing 9 inmates were a little surprised as they had not signed up to go. These 2 will not be missed and are now Oakdale's problem.