Thursday, February 19, 2015

Passings!



I turn 58 next month. I still look in the mirror for the long haired bright eyed youth and I still see him in there somewhere. At least I feel him when I look out from this side of my face.  I was browsing facebook today during a quick lunch. I came across an article about Oliver Sacks. The Neurologist who if I remember correctly the Robin Williams movie was based on Dr. Sacks. Anyway, he is into his eighties and has been diagnosed with cancer and is in the last days of his life. Truly, we are all in the last days of our lives but until an authority such as a medical doctor tells us we are able to live the illusion of endless days ahead. 

He wrote a short blurb and I thought “Oh, boy” here comes the humanist bull crap about it not mattering that we go into oblivion that we will live on in memory. Thankfully, I was wrong about that. Instead he wrote of the wonder of walking this planet and the privilege of being a human on this world. He talked of how he is tuning out the political stuff. Not, because he doesn’t care. But, because he is maximizing his days and not worrying about that stuff that is beyond his control and soon beyond his concern. He also talked about his confidence in the coming generation present and future. About his generation and how when they are gone (as  with all of us) there is nobody else exactly like them and they can’t be replaced. 

I think about my own life. I’ve just had a little bit of an edgy day at work. I look in the mirror and see this older man looking back at me. I  think about some of my own peers that have gone on so soon and I realize this goes so very fast. 

Those of us with faith always feel especially, when we are young. That we will have confidence and an easy transition when it comes. But, the truth is we are whistling past the graveyard. I have seen people who  are so quick to judge others. Quote the bible and call down the wrath of god on sinners. Praise god and they know they will be in heaven as soon as they die. But, once the pain or the growth or he diagnosis is in they are (as would and more than likely I will be unless I go so quickly I’m not aware of it.) Anyway, once the diagnosis is in they are scared to death. No, glory I’m going home. No, wow I’m about to get my reward. Instead they face and we all face the same questions. What does it all mean? Does it mean anything? 

I notice when people die it doesn’t matter how old they are. Even if they have been in a nursing home for years and have had loneliness and pain. The first response is I’m so sorry. How horrible. We are not comfortable with death. We are not comfortable or sure of who and what we are. So, we distract ourselves with sports and politics and even religion. 

I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

The above quote is from Paul in 2 Corinthians . 

Now, I know a man. Surely in the body but also at times in dreams and meditations seeming to find something more. This man believe in a personal source of all being. This man honors the reality of love taking on flesh. Not to save from tribulation but to endure it alongside those who are loved. Which is everyone. To sit beside you and me in the burning building. Not to be superman and carry you out. That is heroic and might or might not be love.

 But, to be willing to experience the situation personally when no physical or emotional rescue is possible. Not run out and save oneself or to say I’m sorry for you. But to stay with you, even to experience the same fate. That’s love. 

Still, the religion of this man I know. It didn’t hold out much when life experience reared and the years went by. The platitudes of the preachers and the certainty of the chosen when the storms and questions arose. Still there was and is this relationship. 

Thing is this relationship had become broken and worn. 

But, as the years went by it started to strengthen in the broken places. All of a sudden it was strong enough to say “I don’t know.” “I’m not sure.” “I’m afraid.”  Even, strong enough to say “I don’t believe that anymore.” 

So, what will I say if I have a diagnosis and have to accept death before I should? Which in my mind is never. I don’t know. I know what I have come to experience and I have my way of looking at life. I have confidence that the universe is sane and meaningful for each of us. The needs of the many Do Not outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. That’s the great thing. 

I looked into some Buddhist writings during my journey through the planet. I found some wonderful meditation and letting go of attachments. But, I also found a certain bleakness that I just couldn’t and wouldn’t come to accept. So, I respect the part that I found helpful and kept my own mind on the part that I found unhelpful. 

So, what about the faith of my youth. Christianity. Well, as I said before. For me the part that makes sense to me isn’t the dogma and the insistence of some to apply a little understood scripture as a measuring stick to politics and other people’s sexuality. I think that is a misuse. Still, everybody has to be honest with their own spirit.

 The part that I hold onto is the part where love becomes like me. Stays with me in the burning building and leads me at last across that river. 

Finally, I knew a man in the body or out of the body it was still and is still one thing. This man stood in a dream on the banks of a very cold and narrow running river. Looking across this man knew he had to go through the river to get to the other side. “I’m afraid” he said to one there both beside him and on the other side. Such is nature of dreams and unlimited mind. “I’ll die.” You have to go in. I’m here. “But, I’ll die.” Go in. Go across.
It was so cold. So intensely cold. The body was dying, it was freezing. It was wonderful!

Peace!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Then oh why can't I?

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2002. Behavioral Health Facility working in social services. I open my mouth to say something and the "Bama" or southern accent comes out. A nurse, highly educated and well spoken says: "I hate Racist." Why you might ask? Why would she say that? Hollywood and books and talk shows fault? Hear a white southerner talk and you automatically think racist? I don't know. Maybe.

But, I'm telling you that I'm from Alabama and I'm not racist. Most of us are not racist. Honest!

2014: Talk radio: Paul Finebaum Show: Next caller is Tammy from Alabama: Pawllll, them bammers is lying bout Awbarn Pawlllll. Also, them damn yankees at the New York Times Pawlllll. They hate uz and Pawllllllll.

But, honestly most people from Alabama don't judge you on a football team. Great people from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Auburn, Alabama and all points in between. Honest.

1960's: University of Alabama: "School House Door." I don't even have to tell ya do I?

But, honestly, I promise. Most of us realize that there is only one race. The human race. I promise we are ready to join civilization.

2002: Colorado Springs, Colorado: Coffee shop. Overhear two ladies talking. "I'm telling you I went through Alabama. The things I heard about race and politics was scary.

But, honest. We are not all like that. I promise.

Present Day: The United States of America will not make a law that promotes religion or makes anybody subject to another person's religious views. All people will be treated equal and what two consenting adults do is their own business.

Judge Roy: We are Gawd's country. Now them Muslims and Buddhist and all them others they don't have rights. Why, I will fine any of my judges that issue a license to homo's.

But, honestly, we are not all.....Ah hell, I give up!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What, me worry?

I was looking through facebook the other day. A post came up. You know the kind. Click here if you love God or Country or like if you hate racism. This one wasn't that though. This one said "Click here to see what you will look like in twenty years. Twenty Years? I'm fifty seven years old. Do ya think I really have an urge to "advance" to see how I'll look? ;-)

Assuming of course that God gives me twenty years of health and hope and life. I once read where Stephen King said something along the lines of "After 60 years the expiration date is void." So, is it all gravy from there? I don't know. I do know there are some things I would still like to do. But, I was talking with my mother on the phone. She had me as a teenager (her, not me) I was born at a very young age. :-) Someone once said "What sign were you born under?" I said I wasn't born under a sign. My mother was a decent woman. I was born in a hospital. Ba dump bump.

Anyway, my mother asked me what it was that I "know" not what I believe. So, that got me to thinking. At almost fifty eight years old what is it that I know from my journey so far?

Honesty! That's the only think I really know after fifty seven years on the planet so far. No, not the honesty of admitting to the police officer that I was going over the speed limit. Not, admitting to my wife that I really did eat a blueberry scone this morning after saying I would cut down on eating out or on sweets. No, not the little everyday lies and fibs that we tell ourselves and others to get through the day without hurt feelings. Those are fine and God Bess you for it if you are totally honest. But, that's not what I mean.

I'm talking about honesty with the source of my being. God, if you will. Now, that might sound silly or you might even say "Of course you are honest with God and yourself." But, you would be wrong. I spent a great deal of my life trying to "be a good Christian." that meant reciting the creeds and dogma and trying to be good enough. It wasn't honest and I wasn't fooling myself or my source.

So, that's what I've learned. To be honest with myself and therefore with God about my life and feelings and battles. Not to sugarcoat it. Not to claim "The bible says it and I believe it." Now, some do and that's fine. But, that never worked for me.

Thomas is my hero. Not Peter and his guilty "Oh crap I screwed up." But, Thomas and his "Ya know, I would love to just take this on faith. But, I need a little experience. A little gritty real life example." I'm fighting here ya know. I'm clinging to my self respect and self identity and I need a little more than somebody simply spouting their credentials at me.

"She was bred in Old Kentucky...but she's just a crumb up here." ....Curly Howard.

I just threw that last Three Stooges quote in there for fun. :-)

True Story:

American South (Bama) 12 or 13 year old kid in the early seventies. Raised in the "Bible Belt" and really pretty sure I was going to go to hell. I mean, I felt funny in my body when I saw Raquel Welch in that movie. That has to be a sin because the preacher said I shouldn't have thoughts about the opposite sex. I also had fought with my sister and stole some quarters out of my mothers purse to go to the store. But, mainly I had a few cuss words in my head and if Jesus knew everything I was in trouble.

I learned one cuss word in the first grade that would be a little more prevalent in the years to come. My friend at Walnut Park Elementary in Gadsden, Alabama runs up to me and whispers "My momma and daddy got mad at me last night." Really? I said. Why? "Well, I said something I had heard my older brother say." He then leans in and whispers the "F" word in my ear. We laugh and then I say "What does it mean?" Remember first grade in the sixties wasn't like any grade you can think of in the new millennium. :-) He said "I don't know, but they sure got mad." :-)

So, I was pretty sure at the old age of 12 or 13 years old that I was in trouble. I was in church at Cherry Street Baptist in Attalla, Alabama. The preacher was saying that "all sin will be forgiven." Whew, I might get out of that Raquel Welch thing after all. :-) Except  the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.!

Now, that got me worried. I didn't know what the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost was but I was pretty sure I might do it. Not on purpose! Lord No! :-0  But, what if I had some kind of horrible thought that I couldn't control? What if a cuss word came into my brain right now? OH, yeah. It's the "Don't think of a Pink Elephant syndrome. What did you just think of? ;-)

The story gets a little darker and then a lot lighter as time goes on.

So, I'm out in my backyard and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be burning in flames for eternity or at the least cut off in my youth from the angry god of the religious. He has an awful temper ya know. I mean some poor smuck just touched the Ark and was torched on the spot. What chance did I have?

But, I did one thing that I still do. With all the stories of abuse of religion that you hear these days I came away with a precious gift from my religion. "I Prayed." Yep, I just talked right to the source. I admitted my thoughts since after all "God could read minds." Right? Well, this (and remember this memory is now at least 43 or 44 years old. ) So, I'm not trying to be precise. But, this is what I heard and have heard go through my mind.


I'm not a mind reader. Not a physic. I don't see you from the outside in. I don't guess at who and what you are. I know you. I know you from the inside out. You belong to me.

Now, this was not an audible voice so I'm not claiming a Moses on the mount moment here. ;-) This went through my head. My mind.

Then I saw a room in my minds eye. I was on a couch and I saw a door. I then had this thought. "The next time they come" (These were the thoughts that were troubling me.) Just relax. They are talking about me and I will answer the door. I did and he did and I have been sane (relatively speaking) :-) all of these years.

So, trust and honesty are the things that get me through. That's what I've learned. I have lost most of the dogma of my religion through the years. I have some thoughts and opinions that some would call heretical and others would call fairy tails. (but remember he's pretty good with my thoughts.) :-)

So, even though I'm not completely sure of every step and I fight my anxious mind and have to often will myself not to worry. I do have honesty with the source of my being. I trust that this is a (to quote a wise woman I once knew) Journey Securely Bound.

Peace!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

God, me and a new years chat.

 They took the whole Cherokee Nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life...John Loudermilk (Paul Revere and the Raiders)


 I have always talked with you or at least since my late teens and young adulthood on New Years Eve. I think I started in my early twenties going out and just walking with you. It's been hard in recent times to make the annual excursion into the woods. I still remember going to Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama (city of my birth) and walking around Black Creek and praying and meditating. I had felt like as a young teenager that I was "displaced by divorce" and Noccalula Falls was my way of going back home and reconnecting.

 I have even been able to bring in the New Year in Hawaii on the North Shore so it's always been a special time for me to think about life and try to get perspective. Some years are easier than others to get in the mood and to take stock of life. 

This New Years eve I haven't been able to really gather and make that one big "just me and God hangin out" thing happen. I got up early and went to my favorite coffee shop. I had coffee, breakfast and then was pulling into a local park to walk along the hiking trail and had to hit my brakes. The park was closed and the entrance blocked by a metal gate. Oh well, no problem I would just meditate in my own back yard. My wife went to the store and my son was safely in front of a video game so out back I went.

Just couldn't get into it. It was cold and wet and I just couldn't seem to concentrate. So, I decided to wait and put in my ear buds and do a quiet meditation tonight. So, I quietly go into the bedroom and pull up a little meditation program on youtube ( Ain't technology grand?) My plan was to relax my mind and then to be able to talk to God in the quiet and maybe work on the grand scheme of life. I got to the part where the narrator said "Close your eyes."

I woke up after an hour or so and put on my glasses and announced to Cindy that I had fallen asleep. To which she seemed not surprised at all. :-0

I'm not much on religion these days. You outgrew the box I had comfortably placed you in a long time ago.

 Hello,
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?....Pink Floyd

But, you just didn't seem to be ready to perform on cue. I looked to authority, the people who could tell me what I needed to know to get you back in the box. After all, I needed you to make sure I had all the stuff I needed.


When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb......Pink Floyd

Except now I'm older and I don't think the dream is gone. I think I need to wake up from the dream.


A dream as the thunder wakes her
And her highwayman disappears
On a life already lived before
In eyes welled with tears...Stevie Nicks

So now what do I do and how do I get you to send me a sign that my new year will bring me all the stuff I need. Favor with my employer and money for my bills and toys to distract me when I notice the lines on my face in the mirror?

 There were lines on the mirror, lines on her face
She pretended not to notice, she was caught up
in the race.....Eagles "Life in the Fast Lane"

Now those kind of lines (except for the ones on my face) are not my problem as I get older. I don't drink except for the occasional toast of wine on special occasions or a beer (Irish Guiness for my little Celtic soul on my birthday) and Columbian means good coffee to me these days.But, I still have my "distractions" to get me whistling past the grave yard.

I can peruse the internet and I admit that I do find the whole "flow of information" thing to be addicting. I constantly check my phone and I love having news and sports scores and stories at my fingertips. But, I don't know if I haven't lost some listening skills and the ability to think a little deeper about things.

 We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how...Same Old Lang Syne...Dan Fogleberg

So, I try to listen and I even find myself "liking" inspirational post on facebook. Trying to assure myself that I haven't completely lost the thread of my youthful religion and faith.  That I can make it all OK if I can just get the attention of God.


Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?....American Pie (Don Mclean)


So, here I am again. A little more life worn and a little less sure of a one size fits all or theory of everything. But, still here and still honestly sure that I'm talking to you and not simply talking to myself. I no longer expect burning bushes or to get knocked off my donkey and told the secrets of life. But, I do remember one time when I actually did "know" I was under the protection of an Angel. But, that's one of those things that are between me and you and I go back to it from time to time when I'm feeling especially disconnected.


Hello, it's me
I've thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something's wrong
There's something here that doesn't last too long
Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine...Todd Rundgren


Yep, it's me again and you just don't seem to fit in my little box anymore. I don't think I can define you anymore. But, on the other hand letting go and just "being her now" Yeah I know sounds a little new agey  ;-) But just being (to me) seems better than an absolute claim of knowing these days.

I remember being in General Forrest Junior High (yeah, we called it junior high in those days) in the gym. I saw a childhood friend from the old elementary school across the way. She was always one of those people that I would see from time to time in my life and even the passage of years didn't seem to make us strangers. Not lovers and not in a relationship. Just souls that seemed to recognize each other whenever we met. Since it's New Years I am remembering things tonight. I remember the song that was playing and the lyrics that day in the gym

Looking out from my lonely room, day after day
Bring it home, baby, make it soon
I give my love to you.....BadFinger

Funny how songs seem to define times in our lives. I play the guitar and I love music but I'm not one of those people that like to have music on all the time. But, when I do hear or play certain songs the times and places rush back to me.


Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away...Dobie Gray

So, this hasn't been the new year prayer that I wanted. But, it's been the one you have given me and shared with me so I'm good. ;-)

I hope to be able to "hear" you this year a little clearer. I hope to enjoy health and to be able to enjoy life and family and put work and even memory in the right order and place. I pray for the ability to see and experience every day as it's own special "Now." I pray not to wait for tomorrow to live. Thank you for this moment. Thank you for life.

I dreamed of a river once. Been a long time now but I still remember the dream. I was standing there and I heard "You have to go in." I didn't want to go in. I knew if I went in that I would die. At least I was afraid that I would. But, it seemed to be something I really had to do. So, I finally plunged in. It was so cold. But, I felt so incredible. My spirit seemed to soar even as my body was freezing and maybe even dying.

On Jordan's Stormy Banks I stand, and cast a wishful eye....Samuel Stennett

So, I will continue this journey with you until I reach that river. Not that I am trying to reach it this year. ;-) But, I think it will be like the dream. I'll be upon it and it will be time and it will be OK. But, for now I want to be in the moment and enjoy the journey.

Now, that I sneaked a hymn into my Rock and Roll I thought I'd end with a toast:

To my grandparents who raised me and have made it to the other side. To my aunt and uncle and cousins and brother in law. To a classmate from long ago in Alabama City. She had on a Mickey Mouse watch one day and I heard years later that she had passed. I will have to tell her that I thought she was really cute but I was a little too shy back in the day. To my friend who went way to soon that painted murals a long time ago in Altoona. To my classmates from West End who I remember as "good people." To a special friend "My girl" No, not my girlfriend and not my lover either. But, we will raise a toast to kindness yet. To that great cloud of witnesses.

Also, to those who are still my companions on my journey. Cindy who puts up with me and I guess as old married people we put up with each other. To my son Fox who is so much smarter than I ever was. I hope he finds the thread of his journey and his way of talking to you and listening. To my mother who had me when she was young and even though we have had some storms (still do at times.) ;-) she has been a inspiration in a hard headed get up and move on  way for me. To friends from my youth that I still journey with and to friends that are newer but are like "old souls" when we meet. To R.J. who is a brother and no longer able (in this world) to have talks and tell jokes. I miss you jerk and I will be able to tell you that one day.

To my sister Tammy: I'm so sorry and I know he was everything to you. He just went across the river a little early. No words will take away the sting. Take your time because we all have a day to experience and you have grandchildren to love and fuss with for a little longer. ;-)

OK, I think that's my new years "walk" this time. I started in 2014 and it's already over an hour into 2015. I can't put you back in that box. So, I'll just hold on to your hand and presence and continue this walk into a New Year.

Joel 2:25: I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.

I believe that. Just across the river.

Peace!

 



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jesus, Stephen King and Don Henely

  I just started a new novel by Stephen King called Revival. Now, I don't read as much fiction as I used to and I'm more into non fiction and enjoy period true crime stories. Not the gory slash and bash kind. More of the Hollywood or 1930's mob kind. Throw in some classic rock biographies and that's pretty much my reading list these days with a little ufo/alien abduction stuff for fun. But, I do read my favorite author when he puts out a new one. Often, people look for guru's or try to find some "one size fits all wisdom" in the things they enjoy. I'm to old for guru's and to experienced in life to think "one size fits all" be it religion, politics or how to win a million dollars through positive thinking. :-) Still, a new book by "Uncle Stevie" gets me thinking of my life and where I've been. Kind of like a certain song or a certain memory of being baptized when I was young. Well, there ya have it. I told you I was thinking of Jesus, Stephen King and Don Henley. But, I get ahead of myself.

I am a Christian by the family and culture that I was born into. I often say that my "Christianity" is like my southerness. I could hardly be anything else. I was taught to say Roll Tide and my prayers at about the same age. OK, prayer came first but not much more intensely. :-) I am not much of a right wing evangelical type these days. My dogma was ran over some years ago. But, I have the t-shirt and still love the folks who disagree with my political and spiritual "evolution." I tried to fit in most of my life and only in my late forties and into my fifties did I develop enough personal honesty to state even to myself what I really think and believe about life. I'm still careful because as a wise woman once told me "Steve, there are some things you don't tell anybody but God." Works for me. ;-)

Anyway, I have looked forward and been a little anxious about the new Stephen King novel. I knew from the title and the blurbs that it touches on religion and I am always conflicted about that. It's kind of a thing these days for people who are mad at religion to create and destroy straw men. I have seen the abuses of religion and the terror of telling children they are going to hell if they don't believe right.

However, I have also watched young mothers find strength to deal with the loss of a child or an adult deal with loss of a parent or loved one by holding on and looking forward to their faith. I know it's easy to say "where was god when something bad happens." But, on the flip side saying "we are all just brain farts and your loved one was nothing but a chemical reaction that is now extinct" just doesn't work well for me as a trade off.

So far (I've only completed a few chapters)the book hasn't slipped into a faith bashing frenzy and you also need to distinguish between a work of fiction and entertainment and getting uptight about world views. But, I have been thinking a lot lately about my world view. I no longer see "God" as an old man in the sky waiting to get me for my many transgressions. I tend to think that once you accept a view that we are more than the sum of our parts but that shit still happens. Well, you have to come to some kind of personal understanding of what reality is. I have a real problem with thinking that an eternal soul just pops into being by the seed and the egg. On the other hand I have a real problem believing that everything that I am simply pops into being by a chemical reaction inside an organ in my head. ;-) Both, seem a little off to me.

I tend to think that maybe, just maybe matter springs from consciousness and not the other way around. The eternal observer of which I'm part of makes sense to me. I don't always know how to fit my faith and my actions into the correct box. The one thing that I do believe in is treating everyone the way you would like to be treated. Stop thinking that life is your own personal movie and that other people are just bit players.

You know how in the movies a whole town or region is destroyed by the monster,bad guys, bombs or other mayhem. The posse is shot to hell but in the final scene the only thing that really matters? It's the hero kissing his true love and both riding off or driving off or flying off into the sunset. The fact that the sidekick or the other good guys were just gunned down and the heroic couple stepped over them on the way out of the last scene seems like a good payoff to us movie goers. That's fine for hollywood and I love to see Clint Eastwood gunning down the bad guys.

But, as you go into a week of family, work, friends and foes try to remember. Everybody counts and everybody has their own part in their own movie and walking over them as if they aren't important should not be an option.

Peace.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's me again God.

Hi God! Yeah, it's me again. Ya know that little secret stuff I fret over so much? Yeah, I know you are never surprised with me. Still, I was  raised "in the church" as we say in the south. So, I carry around a lot of guilt whenever I check in with you. Liberal Christian? Well, yeah I do say that and I mean it. But, when I approach you I still kind of get the big daddy in the sky who judges me feeling. Just can't quite let that go even if I don't really believe all the dogma of my raising. Weird huh? No? Well I'm glad you understand because I don't. Oh yeah, the reason I'm here today? That would be you right? ;-) Well you did give me this sense of humor ya know. Theology? No, not today. I'm not real sure I'm up to it right now. I don't know the ultimate purpose of the universe. I think right now I'll just be.
You know this body has some tingles and pains and limitations I didn't even know about back in the day. Well, I sure couldn't do some of  the party stuff I did then. I do thank you that I didn't do any long term damage. I sure could have. Anyway, now where was I? Oh yeah, now I remember.
I do understand that people are afraid. I know that scared people can be heartless and even cruel. I understand that it doesn't always come from their "best selves." But, I am so frustrated at how good decent people speak so easily of turning children away or shooting people.
Yeah, I actually have heard the "put up a fence and shoot em as they cross over line." WWJD? Never that? Well, you don't have to tell me.

The Middle East thing? Yeah, they all are of the same part of the planet. Yeah, I know it sickens you when they act like it's a sporting event instead of a real world life and death struggle with real flesh and blood and real limbs being blown apart. Anyway, what about here?
Well, you remember Reagan? Oh, yeah I bet he and JFK are having a grand ole debate over who's the better Irishman. Ya know my family name has a bit of the old country in it's heritage. Point? Oh yeah, the point.
Well, ya see back in the Reagan years the U.S. did some stuff that Uncle Ronnie thought was OK at the time. Now, we are getting some refugees and the people who loved Uncle Ronnie don't love the refugees. Children? Millstones and better not to have been born than to harm one of these? I don't think that's for this situation. How do I know? Well, that's what the GOP "God's own party" What? Oh, I'm sorry. No, I will never say something that stupid again.
Well, anyway I did feel like I needed to check in. Sometime, I just need to rest. Sometime I just need to look the devil in the eye and not be afraid. So, I see heartless and ignorant statements in your name. I see death and misery and hunger and abuse. Why doesn't it make me turn away from you?
Because I also see you in every grain of sand and every drop; of spilled blood. I see you in the waiting rooms and the death and hunger in this world. I see you in my own doubts and I know that you are the place and being of my rest.
I don't know what else I would like to say right now. I just thought I'd talk a little and hang out with you for a minute. I'm looking at the road I've traveled. It's shorter in front than it was when I was younger. No? That hill up there, isn't that the home stretch beyond it? Trust? I have thought that. Maybe we are on an eternal journey and that hill will reveal the road isn't about to end after all.
Remember back in Walnut Park when I was a kid? Yeah, my ole banana seat bike. Man, I wish I could see it again. :-) I would "pull" the hill on Stonewall Avenue heading up to Chester Street. I would fly back down Stonewall later that day. Anyway, I'm pulling this hill and I wanted to make sure I still have you in case I need a push.
Always? Thank you. Do you mind if I kind of walk a little closer for a minute. Just until I'm ready to get back on my bike and pull this hill. Yeah, it feels good. You too? Wow!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Day in the Life!

 "Hallelujah" By Leonard Cohen:
 I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
A Day in the Life:
 
Beginning: Ground of all Being. Giver of breath, maker of suns, Watcher of Worlds. Coming forth a creature. A Being of pure light and consciousness. No being, Just Being. Look, intend, watch. A world out of countless possibilities forms out of pure energy. Another place to learn and grow and live and die. Why? Just to be. See the form that will “become” When does spirit meet matter? When does it start? It doesn’t start and it doesn’t stop. It’s all part of the same thing. The same ground of being. Worlds form and worlds die but the stuff of being continues but doesn’t start or stop. Look, incarnation in all it’s forms. Matter and creatures and all evolves and changes. Why is love? Why is life? Why, why why?. Being! 
 
 
 
Verse 11: Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
 
 
Then: Start the day: Love, not mercy or sin or salvation. Just love. He just knows that he has always felt it. It pulses through his veins. It calls from the sea and sun and mountains and the moon. It’s in Mary’s eyes even though she isn’t “one of them.” It’s in the samartian he met that day. The leper he touched. Even in the poor horrible tormented ones that he had to cast out and in the pitiful creatures they drowned. Still, love and passion for the journey of those whose form he sees when he looks at a unclean one or a infidel or those thrown out of the temple as being unworthy. 
 
 
Chorus: 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
 
Now:
 
Start the day: Brother Tim is up.  Man, is he pumped. Going to the rally to try and save the lost. The gays have an agenda and he’s going to make sure they hear of the “love” of Christ before they burn in hell. Also, she will be there and that’s always a bonus. He has “normal” drives you know. But, he doesn't go too far, not yet. He’s godly you know. Besides she’s he preachers daughter and he wants to make sure Brother Bob knows how “pure” he is when he takes her out.
 
Sally: Finally people understand her. She has felt what she feels her whole life. Would God really make her this way to punish her? She went to Brother Bob. He was her pastor and friend her whole life. He prayed with her when her mother died. He held her hand when she had to have surgery due to a polyp. He said God delivered her when it came back clean. So, she was confident when she approached him. She poured out her heart to him. “This is who I am.” Doesn’t God still love me? Oh God, what is the pastor saying? I’m going to hell because of a feeling? Christ loves me but he’s very disappointed in me? Cast it out? Maybe there’s no god then because I tried so hard to not be this way..I prayed and I fasted and I read all the books. 
 
 
 
Song "Hallelujah" .... Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
 
 
 
Congressman Sims: Hot Damn the president is in trouble now. We can paint his butt as a anti war sissy now. I didn’t go to Vietnam but hey I had reasons. I did go through the ROTC Program in college. It was a legitimate deferment. Sure the president served. But, according to a person from that unit the president never “liked or agreed with the war.” How unpatriotic. Oh, yeah and the illegals. Also, the nimby panty waist trying to give amnesty to illegals. Why, they would give the land back to the Indians if they could. Savages and not Christian so they were driven out.
 
 
 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
 
Then: A garden. I do this because I love life, because it is important. But, it isn’t an end unto itself. I come, I come from the eternal. I have to lay this down to show how important it is to live this life but not to hold on to power. Not to hold on to status. You can’t lose what was never yours in the first place. This is the gift. To die and yet to understand that even death is a door and not an end. I loved her. I loved him. They nourished me and gave me life. It will hurt her. That is the main regret. Every man dies but a mother shouldn’t have to watch her son. Oh, God let her see it with the eyes you give her. With the eyes you give me…
 
 
 There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
 
 
 
Now: Sally: I can’t believe anymore. I can’t play anymore. I have nowhere to go. I have this incredible feeling that I matter. That the world matters. But, according to my pastor I’m just dirt in god’s eyes. I can’t go on like this. But, I’m not brave enough to end it so I’ll just live until I die. That will be that. I’m not even going to try anymore. People are just biological meat sacks and that is that. This is the world that I will inherit. Christ? Buddha? God? Fairy tales. They have to be because I can’t bear the thought of trying to please an old prude in the sky with no real knowledge of what I have to go through.
 
 
 
Brother Tim: Man, we showed them today. We raised 10K for Congressman Sims. We also went out to witness but most of them were just drunks and prostitutes. God wouldn’t think twice about them unless they repent. It was a close one though. A young Christian (immature in the faith) was trying to give an old nasty bum directions to the church. But, Brother Bob reminded him that we donate to the Salvation Army every quarter and the poor people have church service there. 
 
 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
 
Then: I hope they understand why I’m doing this. It’s for the love of being. The love that I hope they will extend to all those outside the temple. The Samaritan and the gentile. The leper and the blind and the oppressed. The outcast and the wanderer with no home and no family. The temple can be the family. This dance of spirit and matter. They are just dust in some ways but divine in the eternal sight of the one with who we all have to do. Why are they laughing at me? Spitting? Surely, they will understand someday and just learn to embrace and unite. They are all made of the same stuff. Part of the same “Beingness.” At least when they think of me, they will understand that a cross is part of living this life. I feel it now…The pulse of fear and anger as they watch me….
 
 
 Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
 
 
Now: Brother Bob: So sad. I watched Sally as she marched with “those people” that God despises. She doesn't know God. How dare she even say his name. They that reject Christ. Oh well, it’s her decision. I’ve got to get to the board meeting. I think I’m getting a raise and it’s just in time for our trip to “the holy land” this year. Man, will that be fun. I made a lot of great connections last time I went.
 
 
 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
 You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 

 
 
 
Then: Father forgive them…They know not what they do.
 
 
 
 
 I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah