May 16, 2009


Filed under: Think on These Things — Katryna Starks @ 11:38 am

by Anonymous

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents. A Mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it…and a Father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other.

It was the time for fixing things–a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, re-heating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.

Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more. But then my Mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any ‘more.’

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return. So…while we have it…it’s best we love it. . .and care for it…..and fix it when it’s broken. . .and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true…..for marriage…..and old cars . . .and children with bad report cards…..and dogs with bad hips…..and aging parents…..and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep.

Like a best friend that moved away-or-a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special . . . and so, we keep them close.

December 31, 2008

The Hope of a New Year

Filed under: Think on These Things — Katryna Starks @ 1:34 am

I love New Year’s. It’s a time to start over, refresh and renew. Most people make resolutions about what they will change for the new year and those resolutions usually have to do with making ourselves more “acceptable”. We want to lose weight. We want to get makeovers, get a new job with better pay. There isn’t anything wrong with having goals for the new year, but it’s also a great time to remember that God loves us just as we are. He doesn’t care whether we’re apple or pear shaped, whether our clothes are in the latest styles. He loves models and metrosexuals, but he loves us ordinary folks, too. In that light, I think an interesting resolution would be to spend the next year trying to see yourself and others through God’s eyes. Ask him to show you how he sees you – and how he sees others. It may change the way you view yourself. If, after seeing yourself as God sees you, you still want to lose weight and change your hairstyle, go for it! But you can do it with the spirit of adventure that goes with trying something new rather than with the anxiety of wanting to be accepted or loved.

You are loved.

May 12, 2007

Second Life, Sim Therapy and CyberPsychology

Filed under: Good Health To You!,Think on These Things — Katryna Starks @ 7:21 pm

There are several games that people call “God games” because the player controls a bunch of little human-like avatars, usually created in his/her own image, or the idealized one. I have played The Sims and it is, quite frankly, addictive. A similar online game called Second Life is popular now. These games blur the line between artificial reality and real reality. In Second Life, people buy virtual real estate with real money, and some companies even set up virtual presences – complete with online staff meetings.

When I played The Sims, I noticed something about my playing style. It was almost like free therapy (well, free minus the $20 I payed for the game). When I started playing, I created a little “me” and gave her my values, my attributes and my lifestyle. Then, I played the game. Soon after starting, I crashed and burned. But, I learned something. The little life meter for my SimSelf was always low in certain areas, like “social” and “rest”. When I backed away from my computer, I realized that my real life meter was low in those areas as well. I soon stopped playing the game and resolved to enhance my real life.

I think that is the real value of “God games.” Not the ability to control and create our own little selves in our ideal worlds, but the ability to learn from our mistakes in a virtual environment, where the consequences aren’t as dire. Instead of using these sorts of games as an escape from reality, we can use them as a learning tool to enhance our real lives and make them even more thrilling than a game.