Sunday, January 23, 2005

It's a girl! She has moved in the womb and there are pictures of her via the amazing technology of the sonogram! Probable name: Emma.

Meantime, back on the ranch, we had a visit from a stray dog the other day, a sad, old, crippled, skinny hunting dog whom I'd seen a day or two before wandering across the road above our house. Amos played with him for a little bit before he wandered off up the hill towards the main road. We let him go, hoping one of the children further down the road would take him in, feed him, love him, and keep him in his old age. But we let him go.

Which is to say that I'm guilty of a kind of callousness I'm about to ciriticize in others.

We're told that hunters sometimes abandon their old dogs when they can't hunt anymore. Sometimes they let them out at the side of the road, sometimes they tie them to trees and leave them to die.

If hunting deer (or living a too full and comfortable life) can produce this kind of callousness towards other creatures, imagine the callousness produced by killing other human beings. Defenses go up like dukes; guilt hardens the heart.

Guilt is one of the major character defects. When unjustified, it cripples us like that old dog. When justified, it makes us all deeper and deeper hunters.