Filters

drip coffee filterFilters help us relate to other people. When we see someone with their hair messed up (and not on purpose), do we tell them about their problem or keep it to ourselves? Do we share our political views without considering the majority perspective of those in the room? When we see something wrong, do we speak up and fight for what we feel is right?

Everyone falls somewhere on the scale of having a weak filter (readily saying what’s on our minds) to having a powerful filter (rarely saying anything). And it’s good that both types exist. If confronting people didn’t exist, nothing would ever get done. (And there would be a lot of mismatched outfits). If sensitive types didn’t exist, there would be a lot more wars.

I am glad for the diversity of creation.

Special thanks to my brother Bill. Our brief discussion of filters during his recent visit spurred this post.

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The Death Star

The Greenwood Village Death StarEvery day I pass the Death Star. At least that’s what I call it. It’s an outdoor sculpture along one of the office-lined roads of Greenwood Village — part of The Tech Center, a section of suburban Denver with a ton of corporate offices. Specifically, it is in front of an expensive private fitness center.

There is no prominent plaque describing the sculpture or naming the artist. So I am sticking with, “The Death Star.”

Public art is one of those things that often defies logic. In this instance, I’m not sure how a large disc that is disintegrating — or partially destroyed — relates to corporate office parks. But apparently a decision-making committee did.

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The bass in the basement

basement-closetEvery Sunday they played so well. Sometimes the music touched my soul so much that I cried.

We were part of a church in Oxford, England called St Aldate’s. One Sunday, on the way home after church, I told Heather than I wanted to play the bass. I have always been able to hum the bass line in my head. I played violin in elementary and middle school. My sister is a professional musician. My dad could pick up any instrument and create music in less than an hour.

We returned to live in the States, and Heather bought me a bass, an amplifier, and a few learning videos — including one by a favorite bassist, Abraham Laboriel. I spent a little time trying to learn to play. It was not as easy as I hoped. I tucked the bass in a corner. A year later, the bass went into the basement closet. Two years later, I sold it.

Seeing the bass in the basement became a guilt trip for me. Heather bugged me to wipe the dust off and give it another try. We finally realized it was not going to happen, and I admitted defeat.

Selling that bass was a freeing experience. So maybe if you let go, you will find freedom. But maybe it’s worth fighting till you win.

Footnote: There is no period — or full stop — after the “t” in St.” That’s just how they spell it in England.

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