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"Pedro Lasch in his map and article "Latino/a America" envisions the Americas without any boundaries. He discusses how a map can show traces of immigrants travels. His work explores how globalization enforces boundaries to loosen the flow of capital while preventing movement of people."

"Pedro Lasch en su mapa y artículo, 'Latino/a America,' considera las Américas sin fronteras. Él discute cómo un mapa puede mostrar rastros de los viajes de inmigrantes. Su obra explora como globalización impone limites para aflojar el flujo de capital mientras se prohibe el movimiento de las personas."

Text from "Mapping Very Large Complicated Machines"
by Ted English for the online broadside Molossus– August 4, 2009.

Cita de "Mapear Maquinas Grandotes y Complicadas" por Ted English para el volante online Molossus– el 4 de Agosto, 2009

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Universe, Hobos, Aliens, and the Universe: 4/17/10

"Now I see that the only question is, 'Is the universe friendly?'... I have begun to discover its physical meanings but the question that haunts me is, 'Is it friendly?'"
Albert Einstein nearing the end of his physical life.


My childhood memories are beautiful. Some carry hints of fright while most could be categorized as travel-adventure. Nostalgia flares up when I think of all the moving, different states, schools, houses, duplexes, apartments, secret forts, clubs, and neighborhood novelties and hangouts for those neighborhood denizens fifteen years and younger. But like most kids I had a lot of insecurities and fears in the world I was living in. Young me was DEATHLY afraid of the forest, its big trees, hobos on trains, and above all, extraterrestrials. Naturally, the fears were nocturnal, except for the hobos. My fears of the forest, trees, and hobos formed while living in Thermopolis,Wyoming and Missoula, Montana.

At our house on S. Easy St. my room had a huge sliding glass door. This particular door overlooked our backyard, the Clark Fork river. To my disdain the rivers view was heavily guarded by forestation. Across the river Mt. Jumbo towered out of the ground covered in more ominous forest. From the frontside of house, if you were standing there looking to the other side of the neighborhood, there were train tracks. The trains frequently passed, maybe a few times each day. The legend goes, every time an empty boxcar has an open door, there is a hobo on the move and close by. Every time I saw an open empty boxcar, my heart would either race or drop into my stomach. If the hobos were present, I just knew that they had jumped off to capture all of us kids from the neighborhood. If that wasn't enough to keep my imagination on edge, I had a vast wilderness for my mind to ponder during the night. For a good year I spent my days exploring the neighborhood. I always made sure to keep a low profile in order to avoid the hobos. It was imperative to not be seen, unless I wanted  to be captured. From time to time my mini explorations ended in sprints home, through the memorized secret routes of the area; trails, streets, and passes between the yards without fences. It seems I was always faster and more clever than the hobos.

Every day as I would watch the sun set down behind the mountain, my mind would ponder the bears, wolves, mountain lions, and curious deer that would be creeping up to my sliding glass door. Throughout the night, they were usually looking for dinner, or even worse, take a stare or glance at me, the mysterious human.

Fortunately, I was blessed with a tiny and secret cubby hole under the stairs that descended down right by my room. It was furnished with a bean bag. For hours, or so it seemed, I would sit in there and hide. Usually, I would stay until the creatures of the night satisfied their hunger. If the secret bunker could not ease my mind my sister's room was down the hall. To my dismay, Kate also had a huge sliding glass door.

Then came the day when I discovered that the world was much bigger than this great Western territory. From the train tracks to the river bank, there was a vast sky with stars, planets, and galaxies. Some others of the neighborhood called this place simply, Space. Others called it the Universe. Supposedly this place had no end. The worst news of all was that other beings existed and they did not come to earth to be friends. They were not human either. They were Aliens! This fear began with E.T. the supposedly friendly little extraterrestrial that just wanted to phone home . . . I had my doubts. This long necked, wrinkly, weird voiced, glowing heart, sickly, candy eating alien was out to get me.

Luckily most of these fears subsided around my mid-teens even though E.T. still tops the list on most evil and feared things in my life. But one that has not passed is the thought of the universe.

This fear is not rooted in what is out there, rather in what is not out there and the emptiness this instills in me. The sense of being nothing; nothingness itself. There are no boundaries. It goes on forever; its eternal. 
During certain moments I try to imagine the universe. I put myself in the picture and I am unable to see myself in the mental image. The ominous belief of death and the thereafter. I imagine my soul rising up, or down, and floating out into the vastness of an unending eternity.

But then comes God. There must be a creator.
The God who created Mt. Jumbo, the Hobo, the Alien, all things; the Universe. The God who formed the Clark Fork river. The God who carved the Bitteroot Valley. The God who created every hobo, every animal, every imagination in every young child and human. The God who created me. The God of the universe. The God that gives a place in this universe to all creation. 

Everywhere I go, everything thing I see, touch, smell and hear. God is there. God is here.
Now I ask, is this inclusivity good?


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post Paul! Made me laugh as you reminded me of our amazing God!
    I love that you guys lived on "Easy Street"! And that you were afraid of DEER!!
    I was always afraid of vampires. And, when I heard noises in the night, I was sure it was some murdered burying my parents in the back yard! It was actually raccoons eating the food we left out for them! Kids have great imaginations!

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