Exploring life without Providence


Husband, father, grandfather (and sometime foster father); sailor (Vietnam War Era) and son of a sailor, grandson, great and great-great grandson of mariners; educated entirely in Catholic institutions, with degrees in theology and literature, I once intended to be a priest but have not believed in supernatural claims since my late forties.  As a youth, when the meme of Divine Providence provided my most powerful sense of security (and old sailing ships my most beguiling fantasy), I called my personal journal Log: HMS Ward.  No longer believing myself the ward of any divine providence, and deeply engaged in trying to discover what it really means to live with only the legitimate needs of myself and others as a moral compass, I’ve decided to call this blog noWard, and to use it in exploring life without providence.

I’m the retired U.S. business manager of a Canadian multinational corporation and later CFO of a major nonprofit performing arts organization, now providing the benefit of my professional experience pro bono to nonprofit organizations.

A husband since 1969; father of three sons; sometime foster father and current grandfather of eight young grandchildren, in both cases on an interracial basis; I was raised Roman Catholic, and educated entirely by church institutions under various orders of nuns, brothers and priests, spent four years in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War era before finally (after six years total) receiving two undergraduate degrees (in theology and literature) while courting and marrying my wife and beginning my career in corporate accounting and finance.

In middle age I underwent an emotional crisis (who doesn’t?) and a significantly freeing expansion of my perspective on life, reality and personal perfectionism, which led to my conversion from Catholicism to a fully atheistic life stance**: a more accurate relationship with reality and (increasingly, I hope) more authentic relationships with other people.  ** (By temperament I often don’t do things by half-measures, so I sailed right through agnosticism to atheism and took it to heart in a thorough-going embrace.)

I have during various periods of my life dabbled in music (choral and solo performance while I had a voice I could control, and various instruments – not composition) verse, prose and drawing, and have recently come to believe from the reactions I am receiving that I may have some small talent worth developing through more focused practice. Convinced that feedback can help set me right wherever there is something in my writing that needs improvement, I more than welcome criticism, and have decided that “writing out loud”(1) in a public space offers the best opportunity to receive it. Just as important (to me, at least) I hope by writing in a public space to strengthen the discipline without which I have not honed my writing skills up to now.

My most daunting assignment when I first began to write publicly (at Red Room, my first Blog site) was the subject of my first blog post: “Building Cultivating Mountain”.

(1) With apologies to Anna Quindlen, Nina Bingham and Keri Smith, and perhaps others of whom I am not even aware.


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