Religious Reflexes

4 min readJan 14, 2022
Bearing Down, Photo by BradensEye featuring a strange marketing campaign

The attitude of your beliefs matters. Politicking and god complexities are relentlessly charged conversation pieces. They’re an interlacing superhighway of twisted connectivity ideation. A bit akin to the chicken and egg philosophy debate, I’ve long pictured our cavepeople ancestors duking out their dogma on par with our contemporary wordy battles. How one cave dweller was sold on the opinion of anyone who lived across that high ridge over yonder invoked to a swelling fear of fighting mightily if they ever dared to deliver their thoughts close to ‘our’ stretch of rock. Or when the group of mammoth, rain or blazing heat ball in the sky ritualists gathered to yell at the heavens to bring on the needed goods, that somewhere else there were those cave humanoids who opposed. Therefore, I’ve heartily funneled myself around simply marinating meditatively when it comes to religious reflexes.

It’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. ~Samwise Gamgee by Sean Astin, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Certain things puzzle me more than advertising your point of view so loudly as if everyone should be on board with welcoming its messaging. So, I’ve been ruminating about this anti-communism Smokey the Bear billboard image that I snapped during my winter holiday in Tennessee, on an evening cruise passing through Mt. Juliet. I even hesitated listing the location, but it seemed like that evoked a level of hiding from part of my needed excavation on the mental cerebration about what this brought up for me privately. According to the Bear’s licensing, his use has to be government-approved. Well, that merely got me thinking at warp speed about what the heck this iconically well-known safety symbol ever did to anyone to get looped into the politics of the bible belt region anyway? Although, it’s been reported that Smokey’s had plenty to say on beyond fires throughout our history. Poor bear used without his individual voice!

Meanwhile, during my Christmas visit, I shared an influential conversation with the new handyman at my sister’s home. The fairly attractive man was all business, yet startled being caught off-guard by the look of my scabby lesions from the recent cancer-preventative treatments that were still in the process of healing. Forgetting the…


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