Paint Splatter Philosophy

A friend I had used to say I was overly fond of analogies. I concede the point. There are many things that the more I compare them, the more comparisons suggest themselves, and the funnier and more perfect it seems, until everything is wrapped up in this analogy! So I perhaps used them over much. I tried to tone them down since then.

But this one was just too strong.

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Prosopagnosia in Literature, and the Strange Importance of Photos

I was re-reading an old series: the well-known Anne of Green Gables books, when I was surprised to discover a character with prosopagnosia! I’ve written about this condition before as I have this problem myself, a difficulty or inability to recognize people from their faces. Here are some relevant excerpts, from “Anne of Windy Poplars”  by L.M. Montgomery (book 4):
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Talk About, Talk About, Talk About Movin’

I think one of the strongest guiding principles in my life is to do The Right Thing. The difficulty, then, usually comes not so much in doing it, though that may present challenges, but in figuring out what the right thing for me is at that time. Sometimes, external influence helps to cloud what I internally truly believe is the right thing, sometimes, it’s internal self-deception or fear. I don’t count lack of knowledge, because knowledge can change what the right thing is… you have to do the right thing with the knowledge you currently have… to seek more as possible, yes, but you can only work with what you can know or figure out.

These last couple of months then, have been a period of a lot of change and upheaval, in putting aside my fears and anxieties and expectations and digging down another layer into what I truly thought was Continue reading

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A Question Of Hijab?

Cartoon titled "A Question Of Hijab?"

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“Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah” Children’s Book Review

At lunch, my son was pondering a number of theological questions, which he issued to me as usual as I hustled around with eggs and plates while trying to avoid knocking over the yogurt I had set up precariously draining on the counter. The queries continued during the meal, new questions coming as I was struggling to explain the previous questions! If you have kids you may have run into some of the same: “Where is Allah? Is Allah God? Is Allah real? Are other gods real? Is Allah a person?”

In between coming up with answers, I decided that after lunch would be the perfect time to pull out a copy of a book I recently was sent to review, called “Ilyas and Duck Search For Allah.” It was written by Omar Khawaja, a father of three, in response to his own children’s thought-provoking questions. While my son and I had discussed these questions before, you never know which approach will resonate at a particular time, and it was a good opportunity to try another take. I had already pre-examined the book and was saving it for a good time to pull out so I could see my son’s reaction.


In my initial read through, I found it to be engaging, repetitive in a way that kids generally like, and with some unique parts to add interest. The pictures were enjoyable and colorful (it is illustrated by Leo Antolini). Ilyas, a boy of 5, and his friend Duck journey enthusiastically around the world and even outer space searching for Allah. Along the way they encounter various animals which share their knowledge of Allah, and finally, Ilyas arrives at a conclusion.  Continue reading

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