Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas these days is kind of like going on a vacation to a sunny beach if you’re originally from the north. You see all these pictures and videos of people having fun and only have a week and you have to rush from “fun to fun.” After all you paid your money damn it and everybody says it’s a blast so ya gotta go. Every day and every minute.  But, the truth is somehow it’s just not quite matching up to the reality of it.

 It’s not that the beach isn’t pretty and the ocean isn’t awesome. It’s just that I don’t have time to “look and ponder it.” I gotta rush and have fun don’tcha know?  Christmas is kind of like that. I see it on t.v. The gorgeous white bread or Cosby families with happy smiles and toys piled high and driving  the brand new vehicle to grandma’s house over the snow.

Now, I’m southern so driving over the snow hasn’t been much of an issue in my life during Christmas. But, the snow on T.V. is never slick. Nobody runs off the road and nobody worries if they can afford the heat or groceries next week. Now, I’m not saying I want to see a commercial about poverty. I’m like everybody else. Maybe if I don’t look at it it’ll go away. But, still. If you’ve lost someone and if maybe Aunt Alice is really not jolly this year and forgot to watch for that patch of ice and broke her hip…well that’s not the American dream either. 

Hey, remember that time the Brady Bunch had a death in the family and Carol had a spot on her breast and they didn’t have medical insurance? Oh, me neither.  But, remember that time the Cosby kids were having to duck behind the couch right in the middle of the Christmas meal because the gang bangers were shooting up into the sky because it was cooler than fireworks and Rudi got wounded?

Oh yeah, right. Me neither.

So, all I’m saying is it’s great to post how happy you are on facebook. Although, I really don’t care if you had taco’s before bed last night. Someone, somewhere might. It’s not hurting anyone that’s for sure.

But, if like me this season brings some bittersweet memory and you at times just wish it would be over. If you wonder why all your friends on facebook have the biggest, bestest, greatest families and relationships  ever. If you wonder when that old friend from school that wasn’t born rich or snotty became such a comfortable religious cold hearted conservative or the formerly conservative type who loved Jesus became a know it all liberal pompous ass. Well, I wonder myself. 

So, from my scroogy little heart I say Bah Humbug. But, from my inner soul I say Thank God for another year. Another day. Another chance to get it right or at least better. So, celebrate family and loved ones and friends. Even celebrate what you had for dinner last night and I’ll be glad to look at the screen shot of your coffee shop Pumpkin Spice Caramel Swirl Latte. J

But, my heart goes out to those who are lost (not in a religious sense) this year and this season. Those who don’t have cousins by the dozens and Christmas hams. Those who miss a touch or smile and long  to just “go back” for a minute.

God Bless you. God bless us everyone.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What comes before.

 Some songs stay with me through this life. 

Gladys Knight and The Pips “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The first note Gladys hits and I’m on that train. The lyrics of Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I could Cry” I can hear the birds and the insects on a summer’s night in the south. The sky turning purple and the stars coming out. A train off in the distance and wondering where is it going. Long lost loves and youth.

Songs take me back to certain periods of my youth…Warm smell of Callitas “Hotel Califorinia” certainly brings the smell of a certain plant to mind on a crazy night or several from my misspent youth.

The Wild and Rainy Night from “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles brings back a certain memory to me.

So even though I’m not one of those people who constantly listen to music. I am one of those people who are part of the pop music rock and roll generation. Many of my memories are tied to music and certain lyrics can bring back my 16th or 18th, 19th or other early years.

I was thinking of a song that isn’t a widely known song and it was one I discovered somewhere right before I turned 25 years old. Actually, it was right about the time my spiritual journey was considering different options and truths from my previous strict Christian upbringing in the (cue deep narrator voice here) The Deep South. I don’t know why but some national broadcasters who have probably never been south of Nashville love to say it that way. The Deep South! Do ya hear it? Oh well, I digress.

Anyway, Stevie Nicks from a solo album released around 1981 called Bella Donna recorded a very nice acoustic laden song called “The Highway man.” It wasn’t a top ten or chart soaring song. I never hear it mentioned in the same breath as her old Fleetwood Mac work or her later duets with male singers including Don Henley. But, I think it’s one of the best she’s ever done.  Now, I don’t pretend that I know what Stevie Nicks was thinking when she wrote the lyrics. I googled it and it does appear that she wrote the lyrics herself. So, I’ll put my own slant or the meaning I’ve most often put on the lyrics myself. Just for fun and also just as my own thought experiment. This is the best I can remember from all those years ago as far as the way I was thinking and why the song stayed with me.




Alas he was the highwayman
The one who comes and goes
And only the highway-woman
keeps up with the likes of those
And she in all her magic
With hands as quick as light
Took him to be a challange
And went into the night


Stevie as some people around my age might remember was rumored (falsely as far as I’ve been able to find out) to be a “White Witch.” So magic and having magic in her hands and person fit my image of her and of the feminine back then. The highwayman was the eternal male searching and maybe not always finding his soul mate.

And he in all his glory
Was far ahead of her
But she was never sorry
For wishes that would burn
Enter compitition
She chases beneath the moon
Her horse is like a dragonfly
She is just a fool


But, the female is wiser and more compassionate. More in control of her emotions. She knows it’s an eternal dance and not going to be solved in one lifetime. But, still she keeps on.  I could see the full moon and the eternal dance as youth and desire collided with realism and physical limitations.

And she wonders is this real
Or does she just want to be queen
And he fights the way he feels
Is this the end of a dream


I’ve often thought of Christ in the garden. Not the Sunday school version. But, the human version. Is this real? Am I just fooling myself? What is life and what if anything really comes after? The human condition. We know we are meant for eternity. But, we just can’t quite really believe it.

And then he sees her coming
Heartbeats on the wind
Considers slowing down
But then he could never win
And she out in the distance
Sees him against the sky
A pale and violent rider
A dream begun in wine


So there  they are. Two people, two souls running through another part of the eternal journey.  It’s always night time in my visions of this song. Always a full moon and a sky full of stars. Warm wind blowing and white horses running.

And she wonders is this real
Or does she just want to be queen
And he fights the way he feels
Is this the end of a dream


She’s full of magic. But, like all sane beings she’s also full of doubt. He’s unsure of what this is. Maybe, it’s all just for fun or maybe it’s all terrible.

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

That sense that this is an eternal dance. The wheel turns and the sense of having been somewhere before. Having already won or lost before.

Today and still today they ride
Will they ever win
He the glory...
She the love...
And still they try again
He the glory...
She the love...
And still they try again
He the glory...
She the love...
And still they... try... again...

Again, and again and again. Sometimes finding the thread but often times not. New wine into old wine skins and life goes on.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coffee, Jesus and Me.

I have always had this inner dialog going. Ever since my childhood. Prayer came naturally to me. But, so did just talking to myself. I try not to slip or do it out loud. I still remember a teacher telling me with some alarm that my six year old was "talking to himself." Gasp. I told her that was a sing of intelligence. :-) Oh well, some people have no imagination.

What follows is not  the same as my prayer life or meditation. But, sometimes I wonder what would it be like to pour myself a cup of coffee and just open up to the universe? To God? Now, I'm a liberal Christian to say the least these days. But, my background and my  touchstones are still very much in the Christian tradition even if I'm a little left of center and a little heretical these days. So, the following is my dialog or my coffee with Jesus.

It got a little intense at times and I had to kind of back away from some stuff. But, would anybody really expect anything less? I mean how much concentration on universal issues can a person stand at one time? Me? I think I'll relax and think about classic rock albums next time. :-)

Me: It’s been a little while since we talked much. I do a lot of meditation these days and try to find my center or being.  I don’t worry about one size fits all religion much. But, every once…

 Jesus: “I know, every once in a while you need to feel the humanity of the divine more than you need the eastern concept of void or nothingness.”

Me: Something like that. I was sipping coffee the other day and thought of a web cartoon called Coffee with Jesus. I thought well that might be a good thing to schedule.

Jesus:“Might be. But, as you know I don’t always schedule these things in “Oith time.”  J

Me.: I love it when you do my favorite Bugs Bunny with the lines with  the correct accent from my childhood Saturday morning cartoons.

Jesus: “ I know.” "I love to see you laugh.

Me: Oh God, I love it.

Jesus: "Hmmm.”

Me: Sorry, I meant Oh Gosh. J

Jesus"OF course you did.”

Me: So, I was thinking about life the other day. I have my own opinions ya know. Well, I do. But, anyway I always see people saying they believe in God but once someone dies? Even if they were 95 and had dementia the first thing people say is: So Sad. But, if we really think we are continuous beings then is it really sad?

Jesus"The universe is kind.” “Love never fails.” Need anymore slogans to get you through the night?

Me: So, I gotta wait and see? Well, the way I suspect the universe is, I have to wait and see again?

Jesus: “Here’s the thing. Remember the way the Sunday School folks tell the “Temptation thing? I mean in that one this dude ( we call Satan) comes up and I have a Superman “S” on under my cloak. So, I immediately know who he is and I have all this information. So, I say (Cue Charleston Heston voice) “Get Thee Behind Me Satan.” Then her runs off and the angels come down on their snowy wings and I’m good.

Me:  Not that simple huh?

Jesus: "Is life ever that simple?”

Jesus: “think of it this way.” You’re hungry and cold and maybe the money is getting low. Maybe, you didn’t get the girl or the boy depending on who you are. You’ve lost family and friends and you are doubting the very existence of a creator or reason for the universe.  Then you start to “think” Now maybe these are your own thoughts or maybe they come from somewhere else. Doesn’t matter. It’s going on in your head and you have to deal with it.

Me: You mean you don’t get to see the guy in the red suit and the pitch fork? You have to battle your own inner demons? Your own thoughts and fears of oblivion and just being here one minute and gone the next?  Was it  worth it? Was it long enough? Did I get my share of money, sex, love, health? What happened to the golden years?

Jesus: “That and more.”  Thoughts like am I crazy? Did I really think I saw a vision of Moses? Did I really think I was somehow close to God and able to move mountains with the faith of a mustard seed? Is this all there is? What did I miss? What did I lose? Why not just say #$%^ it and be done with it?

Me: Yeah, something like that. Did you just cuss?

Jesus: “That was more you than me but, you get my point.”

Me: So the Sunday school version is a little simplistic huh?

Jesus: "Do you want to really know the cost of life on this planet? How it really works? Do you really want to know about crosses and wars and hate?”

Me: Ya know, I think I’d rather just sing “Jesus loves the little children” and be done with it.

Jesus: “Yeah, most people would.”

Me: “Well, how about that Crimson Tide?”

Jesus: “Think about what you just said?”

Me: Ooops. Sorry.  :-o

Jesus: “It’s okay. I know you’re from Bama.” J

Me:  I had a dream once. You remember? I was standing on the shore of a really freezing river. There you were with me. At least it seemed to be you. But, there you were on the other side. You know how dreams are. So, I had the thought “Jump in.” But, I said: If I jump in I’ll freeze to death. I’ll die. Then I had the thought: Go on. Jump in. I did.

Jesus:“I do remember.” Your body was dying wasn’t it?

Me: It was freezing to death. It was dying.

Jesus: “But, what about you?

Me: My spirit was soaring. It was awesome. I was so elated and words are hard to come by to describe it. My spirit was or “I” was alive. Home.

Jesus: “Many times it works like that.” The body is dying but you will come to a place where you are soaring. 

Me: I look forward to it and dread it at the same time. After all. Those thoughts which may be mine or may be from somewhere else. It doesn’t matter. It’s going on in my mind. Doubt and fear and old prejudice and weakness and worry.  When does it stop?

Jesus: "Well,  there’s  this river. But, I have to warn you. It’s mighty cold.

Me: One more sip of coffee and I think I’ll be ready for the day. Can we do this again?

Jesus: "Anytime.”  You want to talk about football next time?

Me: I guess not.  But,  it would be easier.”

Me: Say, I don’t have to go searching for my cross do I? Still time right?

Jesus: "Well, no you don’t have to search for your own cross.” Time? Well, time is relative.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Scary Stories and Fun times.

{This is the evening news, let's go now to our field reporter
Renaldo Riviera, this is Renaldo Riviera on the banks
Of the stinky muddy river with Mr. R.V. Frisbee
Who claims to have witnessed something truly fantastic
Mr. Frisbee could you tell us what you saw}….”I saw Elvis in a U.F.O….Ray Stevens


I have fun with pop culture. UFO’s and the X-Files and Stephen King novels and Ancient Aliens and the Annunaki.  It’s kind of funny because some of my love for horror and the off beat comes from my country music loving Bible belt mother. I remember as a kid watching those old b-movie’s on Dialing for Dollars such as “The Colossal Man” and other sci fi  movies. When Christiopher Lee or Vincent Price horror movies were on at the drive in we were there. Dark Shadows? I rushed home to see the latest adventures of Barnabas and the Collins Family.


{Yeah, I's just hunkered down over there puttin' a stink wad
On my trot line and the short hairs just stood straight out
On the back of my neck and I turned around
And there's this big orange thing with them purple lights on it
Come swoopin' over them pine trees
And just hovered over the Winnebago there}


Old horror comics along with my super hero and Archie comics as a kid kept me entertained. I remember watching “The Haunting” in the original black and white as a kid. Scared the yell outta me. But, I loved it. I swear those statues in the garden moved.


{Inez run out, throwed a skillet at it and then she scissored
And run back in up on the hide-a-bed
'Bout that time a little trap door opened up
Little stair steps come down
And this little pink bald headed guy stuck his head out}


Yep, fun and getting scared combined. I needed a night light. But, at the same time I couldn’t wait for my next “scary fix.”


{Now I'd seen that movie 'Clost Encounters'
I just walked on over there big as Ike and looked up in there
And there he was, there who was?}

I saw Elvis in a U.F.O., sittin' there with Howard Hughes
I saw Elvis in a U.F.O., Jimmy Hoffa was in there too
I saw Elvis in a U.F.O., singin' them rhythm an' blues
An' Liberace was there an' he had on a pair of Imelda Marcos shoes


My family was also full of stories. Two that I remember well. One from my mother’s mother who was blued eyed and of Irish descent. One that reminded me of my Granddaddy who was Dutch-Cherokee decent.  My Grandmother told the story of an aunt who didn’t like her when she  was a little girl. So, as the story goes way back in the early part of the last century. The aunt died. My grandmother is playing in the big old house. She hears something on the stairs and looks up. There’s her aunt. The aunt says “Mozelle (which was my grandmothers name) I’ve been waiting a long time for this.” I was so young I don’t remember  the rest of the story. But, it was chillingly good. I was really scared and really anxious to hear it again.

Then the other story concerns the town of my birth. Gadsden, Alabama has a natural waterfall. It’s called Noccalula Falls. This is the way the adults in my family tell it:

A long time ago there were two tribes living in the area. One was a noble Cherokee tribe and the other was a more war like tribe. The Cherokee Chief had a beautiful daughter named Noccalula. She fell in love with a handsome brave of her own tribe. However, her father promised her to the son of the chief of the war like tribe to ensure peace for his tribe. Noccalula being in love was distraught. So, rather than marry a man she didn’t love. She cast herself off the rocks of the falls. But, late at night. When  the moon is shining and the night is still. You can hear her crying and if you look close you can see her sitting on a rock combing her long black hair as she weeps for her lost love.

See? Wonderful stories and a little bit of terror thrown in.


 “There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”
Rod Serling


I saw my own ufo not so very many years ago. I’m in my backyard in Northport, Alabama. I see a craft going slowly across the sky. It’s a clear warm southern night and I look for the red lights of a plane and listen for the engine. I don’t see any red lights or hear anything at all. But, it just stops. Dead still. I think well an ordinary plane doesn’t just stop. So, it must be a helicopter. Except it isn’t making a sound and there are no landing lights. No, chop, chop, chop sound of propellers and it’s dark and most copters aren’t flying around the outskirts of Tuscaloosa/Northport at this time of night. I yell for Cindy but she’s in  the middle of a t.v. show and says “If they land or abduct you let me know.” Sheesh, everyone’s a skeptic. Anyway, all of a sudden it makes a zig zag pattern in the sky and moves off. What was it? Aliens? I’m skeptical. But, I keep looking in case it/they come back.


Nothing was a-gonna drive me away
When I seen something that give me the creeps
Had one big eye and two big feet
I stood right there and I did the freeze
It did the stroll right up to me
Made a noise with its feet that sounded like a drum
Said "You gonna be here when the morning comes?"
"Say yes, I'll be here when the morning comes
I'll be right here, I ain't gonna run
I bought this house, now I am boss
Ain't no haint's gonna run me off….Haunted House..Roger Miller? Not sure of the original writer or performer but I remember the song.


Haint is my grandparents North Alabama Appalachian word for ghost.  It’s what my grandmother said when she saw the ghost or “haint” of her aunt.

Anyway, I love it all. From the old giant ants and spiders of 50’s sci fi to the vampires and werewolfs of old Universal and Hammer Films. Nothing like a good scare. Nothing like a good story. Especially if the grownups swear it’s true. All true. The 10 year old in me loves it. As Uncle Stevie (my favorite author) says:

There’s something I want to show you, something I want you to touch. It’s in a room not far from here….Night Shift.

Not long until Halloween. I  can’t wait.  Did I ever tell you about the time I watched “The Haunting” adapted from the book by Shirley Jackson?



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Books and transitions.

I’ve heard so much political rhetoric lately. People calling each other horrible names and cursing each other out. People who have much more in common with each other than they ever will either political party or candidate. I have my opinion and I don’t mind stating it. But, I also am just tired of the back and forth. So, I thought I’d get away from that and do a blog on something that has entertained or enlightened or both  during my journey. I first started this blog as a way to express some of my feelings about life and spirituality. But, I also envisioned this cool blog where I would ramble about cool stuff like u.f.o.’s and movies and popular culture. But, that’s harder than I thought it would be and besides, I started blogging about things that were important in a more serious way with me. Things like faith and politics and ultimate reality.  That’s fine and I have enjoyed having a place to vent and I am honored that anybody, anywhere would do me the honor of reading my ramblings. But, today I was thinking about how little I read these days. 

 I grew up with books. I haunted the Gadsden Public Library and I even ordered books by mail. I had recurring dreams where I was about to read a giant library. Books were knowledge and fun and I had a life long love affair with books. But, somewhere in  my busy adulthood I lost the thread.  I read internet bytes and pull up my phone and read some articles.  I understand newspapers (which I devoured especially, the sports section) are pretty much dead as a real means of information. Except of course for online. But, I find myself reading on my Kindle Fire and that’s fine. I can just pull up a book and adjust the font and turn off or down the lights. Wonderful. Except, I rarely finish a book these days. I download them. I just don’t finish them. Especially fiction.  
But, I wanted to list some of the books that have entertained and changed my life. Seems like a positive thing to do. I have often said that I don’t see how you form a world view if you never have or never do read.  Thank God I read in my youth. One of the few things I did better as a young person than I do now.
Quick nod to some things that are not going to be listed below. Comic books:  I loved comic books. From Archie to Batman to Little Lulu to Superman.  Cowboy comics, horror comics, Mad Magazine, Creepy Magazine, Vampirilla Magazine.  Fun stuff. But, here are just a few books that I remember as having an effect on the way I see the world.

Salem’s Lot:  One of the earliest Stephen King novels and I think the first one that I read way back in the day.  First published in 1975 I came across this one at the mall bookstore in Gadsden, Alabama.  I loved horror novels, stories and movies.  I asked the clerk if there was a good horror novel to choose from. He said “Well, lot’s of people are beginning to read this Stephen King guy.”  The rest as they say is history. I’ve read Salem’s Lot around three times over the years. I’ve read the Dark Tower series two times and the final three books books in the series twice. The Stand twice, Dead Zone..twice.  I would come to read everything Stephen King wrote. I remember feeling guilty once because I was trying to “live right” which is southern for Christian fundi and Stephen King used an awful lot of “cuss words.”  Still, off and on I never could give him up.  I’m too old to be a fanboy these days. I would love to shake his hand and thank him for all the entertainment over the years. But, I have no desire to stand in line at a book signing for hours or to spend a small fortune on a special edition signed and numbered for future sell on ebay.
Salem’s Lot:  This novel is dated these days. The plot has boy meets girl, boy gets attacked by jealous boyfriend and in the end wins girl…temporarily at least. Those pesky walking dead folks make it hard to “keep” anything in this novel. I was living in Altoona, Alabama with my grandparents when this book came out.  Altoona is a little coal mining town and once the boom ended in the early part of the 20th century it still kept going somehow. Anyway, the depictions of the meanness and the sweetness of a small New England town reminded me of small southern towns.  One of the scariest and most heart breaking scenes I’ve read was at the grave of a young boy who was killed (although the townspeople didn’t know it quite yet) by the vampires. His daddy falls across the grave sobbing and it was  and still is one of the most effective scenes in a book. Thankfully, the whole book wasn’t that intense. There’s a town dump “manager” who lives at the dump and shoots rats for fun. A city worker with a good heart and a wonderful local teacher.  Great characters and a fun but somewhat gory story. These vampires don’t sparkle.  Honorable mention has to go to Ann Rice and Interview With the Vampire. That one also stayed with me as a young person. Especially the young girl who was turned into a vampire at around 13 years old. Eternally young but old and wise in mind. Not a main character but that’s what a good story does. It takes you in and makes you think about characters as people and not just the “main” hero of the book.
Semi Tough 1972…Dan Jenkins:  I read this some years after it first came out. Now you may have seen the mediocre movie they made of this one. Another one where the book far exceeds the movie. The movie tries to be cute and a little naughty. The book is politically incorrect and sexy, horny and vulgar. The main female in the movie is a cute actress named Jill Clayburgh. No offense and she is and was cute in her day. The main female in the book is out of this world incredible sexy, vulgar, beautiful, did I say incredible? The main male lead in the movie (correct me if I’m wrong since it’s an old movie now.) was Burt Reynolds. Handsome and glib and I understand he had his day. But, the guy in the book was horny and vulgar and over the top and hilarious and very, very politically and sexually and humorously incorrect.  I have recently found this  ebook on Amazon.  I hope todays guardians of political correctness haven’t gotten ahold of it. I intend to download it again and see how it holds up. Why is it in my top two? It’s not. I’ve liked some books better. But, this one stayed with me. This one made me laugh out loud and offended my Christian sensibilities.  But, it was funny and I was young and tended to follow my literature with a beer or several back then. So, now when I get back to it as a sober 59 year old adult will I still find it funny? I’ll let ya know.

Non Fiction:
People of the Lie 1983… M. Scott Peck
I came to this book at a time in my life when I was having young adult Dark Night of the Soul experiences when it came to religion. I was questioning if anybody with intelligence could believe in anything spiritual. I placed a lot of stock (always have if I’m honest about it) in education and letters after a persons name. So, here came a psychologist that actually took the concept of a spiritual reality seriously. Someone who wasn’t a preacher or a church goer who had to say and believe certain things. I had come to a place where I thought  most intelligent people were atheist or agnostic and I was neither and I was troubled.  People of the Lie tells of the authors experience with spiritual realty and evil as well as psychological illness. Truly a landmark book. I can’t remember a lot about it but I can remember it corrected my path a little. People could be intelligent and still have a spiritual belief. I didn’t have to give up.  I don’t know if it still holds up. It’s one of those books that was there when I most needed it and maybe it’s like a childhood toy. Cherished and remembered but not to be gone back to. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll run across it again and find out.

Out on a Limb 1983...Shirley Maclaine
Now I know. Shirley has become a punch line in wacky town jokes to some. Break out the tin foil hats here she comes again. Queen of the Nile and consort of Pharaohs. Everybody knows that everyone who believes in reincarnation thinks they were Napoleon or Cleopatra. Except they don't. Read Professor Ian Stevenson 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. Jim B. Tucker University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies. But, back in the day when I was searching and for personal reasons that I want go into right now considering reincarnation. Here came Shirley. An actress and before the age of blogs and internet and 24-7 news was still new and ESPN was still in it's infancy. this person had dated stars and hung out with royalty. This was an actress who was well thought of. No matter what you might think of her now. Check out a movie called "John Gofarb Please Come Home." 1965. Nothing to do with spirituality but Shirley is really pretty and young and at the top of her game.
 The Great Divorce 1945...C.S. Lewis
Imagine being in a dreary place and being so self righteous that you tell yourself your in heaven. In this story the narrator tells of a vacation from hell. The characters are taking a bus ride to the outskirts of a city. The city is actually heaven and the citizens of the city are trying to reach the people on the bus to tell them that if they can accept it. Grace is still available to them. Even in hell if they would just look up. But, of course they don't believe that. They don't even believe their in hell so why would they seek help? There are the self righteous preacher who says he knew all along that his harsh version of Christianity was the right one. So, he's certainly in heaven and sooner or later he will be elevated to the position his righteous life lived called for. It's an interesting book and it had an effect. I'm reading it slowly now on my Kindle having found it again in ebook format. This was a theme I had thought of as a young and even an older Christian. I just couldn't see God as ever failing. That's why the concept of fire and brimstone (apart from not sounding much like the Holy Spirit I pray too) ever really bothered me. Oblivion? Now, that's scary as hell. Pardon the pun. But, as long as I have "Me." then I have hope in spirit. Anyway, whatever your theological or spiritual thought. I recommend the concept of this one. It's thought provoking. I'm not trying to start an argument on theology. Whew, that sounds to much like trying to change peoples political opinion. Trust me. This is just my way of sharing some of the influences and books along my journey. I don't think one size fits all. 
"I keep my visions to myself." ...Stevie Nicks.
Good advice. So, do I Stevie. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jesus, Social Work and Me.

Sometimes I wish I had a job where it didn't matter what the $/& I said or did. I don't like being responsible for or in a position of responsibility for what and when other people eat. I don't want to decide when an old person should be in a nursing home. I don't want to know about the hungry kids or the abused woman or the stinking poverty that people live in. I don't want to know that a child is living in a house literally surrounded by shit because the @#$%#$ sewer overflowed and the landlord don't care and the minimum wage job the dad works can't feed a family of four. There they are Church. THEY HAD THE Babies. THEY DIDN'T ABORT THEM. PRAISE JESUS. What? you don't want to expand Medicaid because it's a hippy liberal handout? You think they should get off their lazy asses and get off the food stamps. Raising  the minimum wage will make it worse? REALLY! I've never said this because I do have conservative friends that I truly love. I've never said this because Jesus said Love is patient. Love is Kind. Love never fails. But, you know what I want to say to you right now? From this little 5"4 Hippy liberal social worker? FUCK YOU! Now go back to the smug little Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson wet dream of heaven. But, I needed to rant today. I hope I don't lose friends over this. But, on the other hand. I've seen babies living in shit. I've seen daddies who can't pay the rent. I've seen momma's who can't buy their child a birthday present. I'm Tired. So Tired.
I just want to drive a $#&@# crane or put round pegs in round holes and go home every night and curse out the ump or referees on my widescreen t.v.
Jesus Wept!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jesus, Hillary and Donald

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."...Jesus

Losers....Donald Trump

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."...Jesus

See? I was proven right by this killing...Donald Trump

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." Jesus

What difference does it make?....Hillary Clinton

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied."..Jesus

Franklin Graham pulled in salary of: $622,000 Samaritan's Purse and $258,000 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."  Jesus

Women who have abortions should be punished...Donald Trump
The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights...Hillary Clinton.

"Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God."..Jesus

Honesty is for Chumps...Donald Trump

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."...Jesus

I'm really good at war...Donald Trump

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kindom of Heaven.Jesus

It's a vast right wing conspiracy...Hillary Clinton
U.S. district judge is Mexican and a hater...Donald Trump

I'll say this. Of all the presidential nominees we've ever had. These are two of em.

 I personally will vote for Hillary. Not because I think she's a good person. But, because I think she will be better suited to run the nation. That's a personal opinion and you don't have to agree for me to respect you. But, if you're voting for Trump because some numb nut evangelist tells you that he's with the party of god "GOP" then yeah, I think that's pretty stupid. I hate it when conservatives or liberals claim Jesus as their defense. If you really  followed Jesus. If I really followed Jesus then we would give half of what we make to the poor and give California back to Mexico. Do I think we should? Hell No! But, then again I don't think Jesus wrote the constitution and I don't vote based on a desire for a Theocracy. Will America survive or not?  Yes!
I do think the coming generations will be different. More diverse, less religious and I hope they find their spiritual guidance somehow. Other than that? Buckle up.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

One of these Nights

One of These Nights  (1975)


I thought I’d take a step back from the political back and forth. The anger of politics, religion and even from gray hair and creeky joints. J Who knew there would come a day when playing a guitar would be painful. (No, I’m not talking about those that have to hear me) J I mean my joints and hands not being comfortable and having to stop in the middle of a song to get feeling back in my hand. So, this is a little memory lane trip. Back when I had long hair and no belly and though old age was something that only happened to old people. J


  This is the turning point of the Eagles. The old band was here. Henley, Frey, Leadon, Messiner along with Felder. This was the last of the classic Eagles and the preview of the band to come after when Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Scmidt replaced Leadon and Meissner.  I’ve often said the Eagles wrote the soundtrack of my youth.  I remember this one between my junior and senior years of high school.  I’m thinking about looking back at old albums and things from back in the day. I’m a natural introvert and sometimes as a social worker I have to step back from all the noise and drama. Not making light of other’s journey and experiences but sometimes the social worker needs a social worker. A counselor. I find mine in meditation, prayer and sometimes by gazing into my own belly button.  J So, here’s my thoughts and memories from a time in my misspent youth.


I spent most of my money and time on Wine, women and song. The rest I wasted…J .Paraphrase of an old quote.


1.    One of These Nights: Now, I can’t tell you what the boys in the band were thinking as they cranked out this throwback to Witchy Woman sounding song. I can tell you what I remember of my own thoughts about it. I was young and full of teenage angst. I was still pretty sure that “one of these nights” the girl I wanted would magically be mine. I was still torn between the romantic notion of “trew luv” and the lust of my youth. J

2.    Too Many Hands: A little faster and a little more convoluted. I could read into whatever I needed to read at the time from this one.

3.    Hollywood Watlz: I really like this  one. Easy to play on an acoustic guitar. Also, the theme of love once given never, being taken back.

4.    Journey of the Sorcerer: Really good instrumental. Starts off slow and then speeds up to a cool finish.

5.    Lyin’ Eyes: Classic Country Crossover: Faded love and memories of the one that got away. You can almost see the girl as she regrets some of the decisions made and longed for better times.

6.    Take It To The Limit: Beer soaked nights and sobering up to the neon sign of the next bar. Wondering if “She” might of loved me if things were a little different.

7.    Visions: Fast paced and of course it’s kind of introverted in it’s own way. After all visions are always personal.

8.    After the Thrill is gone: See Lyin’ Eyes and faded love.

9.    I wish You Peace: Soft little collaboration between Bernie Leadon and Patti Davis his then girlfriend and daughter of a future president of the United States. Nice thoughts and I remember listening to the warm lyrics on a cold winters night.


So there’s my review of one of the albums of my youth. It’s not the best album of all time. Not the absolute favorite of mine. But, it is one of my favorites if just because it’s an Eagles album and the particular time in my life I came to it.


I wish you Peace. J

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Happy Place

My Happy Place:

Dear God,

I’ve seen so much anger lately. People saying their your children (and I’m not saying their not.) wanting to deport little brown kids and their parents for having the audacity to try to get to a better place than the one their from. People using intimidation and cursing on one hand and then listing “Come worship with us on the other.” People yelling at each other over the best narccisst to elect and how everybody else is killing the country.  People hating a president and belittling but yet giving a free pass to the one’s who took us into war and the edge of depression. People telling me although they don’t know my life that I have had “privilege” just for the color of my skin. Yet, my journey isn’t one that many of them would have chosen or even made  it through.  People tailgating on the road because they are in such a hurry. People proclaiming you as an old angry man with a stick up his butt and then wondering why some us don’t have any desire to come to church to worship such a being. People claiming that all we are is a brain fart and then trying to find comfort in nothingness. You can put lipstick on a corpse but it’s still a corpse. I want off.


Just for a little while. I want to see and talk and breathe with Jesus. NO, not that one. Not the blue eyed all American Franklin Graham U.S. Constitution flag waving fraud. Not that one. See the other one? Over there? Palestinian?  Jew? Human? Yeah that one.

The one who weeps with the hurting and rejoices with the joyful. Yeah, that one. The one with the growth of beard and the dark weathered skin and the world weary eyes  that still sparkle somehow. The one with the rough hands that are so gentle when I take them. Yeah, that one. The one going into the cancer ward and weeping and wiping away tears. You know the one. The one who takes me through the times when I just feel like giving up. The one that doesn’t care if I yell @#$#$%#&!  The one who is sitting beside that dirty homeless man over there that I don’t even want to look at in case something jumps off him onto me. Yeah, that Jesus. Just for a minute.

See? Here’s a nice spot. Let’s sit here a little while. Want some more tea? It’s a hot one. I miss so much these days. Sometimes, I  think I need to go back to about 1975. I feel like I left something on one of those hot Alabama black top roads. I can’t really recognize the old guy in the mirror these days. But, every once in a while I see a certain glint of the eye.

Let’s stay just a little longer. Ya know? I don’t much care for religion these days. I don’t much care  for dogma and people yelling at each other when they don’t and can’t understand what it’s like to be the other person. But, I’ve missed you. I really have. Just a little longer.  That shade feels good. I think I’ll be okay but when I get to the place where I cross the river. Don’t forget me. In my own way I’ve never forgotten you.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thoughts and Rants.

What you have done to the least of these. You have done to me…..Jesus

So now our choices are down to a cruel idiotic bully and a narcissist jerk that got a young girls rapist off by taking the girl down. Now, one was recent and one was long ago. But, both speak so much to the character and quality of these two “candidates.”  Trump is too chicken s..t to admit he made fun of a disabled reporter. Although, the “video” is there. At least be a man you piece of ….Oh well, I digress

Hillary says she had “No choice” and tried to get out of it way back in 1975. Still she chuckled about it as recently as a few months ago and her defenders saying it was taken out of context? Oh good gravy.


There’s no way now for you to get the Democratic or Republican nomination without being able to raise two or three hundred million dollars, or more, and I would not be inclined to do that. And I would not be capable of doing it.

“We’ve become now an oligarchy instead of a democracy. And I think that’s been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards of the American political system that I’ve ever seen in my life.”


So, what’s the point in voting? Honestly? I’m not sure. But realistically? Given that we have to choose one. I’ll have to vote for the narcissistic  heir to the throne with apologies to King George. Because if you have lived and watched names such as Kennedy, Bush, Romney, Clinton and countless politicians on the local, state and federal level going into the “family business.” Then you have to know that we do indeed have political Royalty in this nation.

But, if I’m in an airplane and I have to choose between bad people then I have to at least choose the one with the pilot’s license. That would be Hillary. It’s a shame that she will now be thought of as the pioneer who broke through the glass ceiling for women. Because, honestly there are many, many better women than her.


COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this—to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I've read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media, coming f—

COURIC: But like which ones specifically? I'm curious that you—

PALIN: Um, all of 'em, any of 'em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years. Um, I have a va—

COURIC: Can you name a few?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where, it's kind of suggested and it seems like, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.[10]


So, no not her. Not Sarah “Oh, I read em all.” Palin. I still haven’t forgiven John MCcain for foisting that intellectual moron on the nation. Has it been hard for me to take the G.O.P. and MCain in particular serious since then as far as national elections? You Betcha.


I remember when I worked for Etowah County in Gadsden, Alabama. A county Commissioner ran on being “pro life.” Really:? A COUNTY COMMISSIONER. I don’t think fixing potholes will have a real impact on the right to life debate. That’s how much respect these folks have for the voters. It’s as if a governor ran a campaign and had no clue as to how he or she was going to lead. But, just kept saying “I’m against Obama.” I mean how smart would you be to elect an imbecile like….Oh, Never Mind. Roll Tide and War Eagle y’all.


I really think we need term limits. But, on the other hand maybe this is what the majority really want for themselves. I have watched my home state gut education and social services. Hospitals facing possible closure. Industry going across state lines. But, ya know what? At least “we” showed Obama. Sheesh!


I could go on and on and offer quick fixes. But,  I really don’t have any. The only thing I can say is we need to hold all politicians accountable and stop being manipulated like football or basketball fans for a sports team. Stop thinking that these people are “godly” or have integrity or honesty. These are bought and paid for political whores and we need to stop the worship of them. Make them work for the money. Ya know what? A soldier “serves.” A firefighter “serves.” A police officer or a nurse or even a …Blushing here, social worker can serve. But, the next time I hear a rich @#$%$ politician named Bush, or Clinton or any other elected official say they serve? Well, lets just say I’ll try not to throw up in my own mouth. Sheesh!

So, yeah I’ll vote for Hillary. But, not because I think she’s a hero or has a servants heart. But, because I think the G.O.P. has lost its collective mind and at least the democrats will listen. But, that’s my opinion. Everybody has to follow their own heart. But, I’ll have to vote for my wallet and since I’m not independently wealthy I can’t vote G.O.P. Well that and the fact that Donald Trump is about as much a conservative republican as Mickey Mouse is. 

Anyway, that’s my rant. As always. I could be wrong.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Comfortably Numb

 I realized that I just didn't have the energy for another sound bite post on facebook. I  don't have the energy for another "just so" story from the right or the left. For the record I believe that we need to calm down and talk with each other instead of at each other. I do lean left. I do take the words of Jesus seriously when he says "whatever we do to the least of these." But, I also know that everybody has a life experience and an opinion. I've seen only a couple of truly evil people in my 59 years on this planet. Most people are conflicted. Most people are decent at their core but they are also afraid of people who are different. Anyway, right now as far as politics and religion and hate and violence. I'm just tired. Trying to get to the end of this part of my eternal journey without doing too much more damage to my own soul and none to anybody else's.

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

Another shooting. Another reason to hate Obama, Hillary, The N.R.A. White men, Muslims, Christians. Just depends on which channel you happen to be tuning in at the moment.


Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.


Well, I can vent it all on facebook. Listen, I know the truth. Listen this is what we should do. Get rid of all the guns. That will shore up the human heart quite nicely. If you don’t agree we can send you to a sensitivity class.  This is what we need to do. Take all the people that don’t look “American” and put them in camps and take the heads of families and ship them to a top secret “facility somewhere.” Wait a minute! Lets get religious fanatics out of the public eye. Wait a minute. Lets get the bible back in schools. Why, we used to know how to ….Wait a minute. Listen up. $#%#@


I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?


Ya know if they would just pull their damn pants up and ….Wait a minute if the old white men would just shut up and admit they are the reason for all the racism and hate in the world. Why you…@#$%$


There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.


It’s judgement is what it is. Why, I remember when I was a child….Wait a minute. You can’t tell me anything. I just read a study the other day that shows that people “like you” are closed minded. So, I  don’t need to hear anything you have to say. What? I’ll tell you what you …@#$%$#


When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.


I’m going to binge watch that series again today. It speaks to me…It explains all the evils of the system man. You gotta see it…..I’m telling you that he was a great evangelist son and if you will stand with him then all of “those” people will be destroyed in god’s wrath. I know because I sent in a $300 love donation and I have the pendant to prove it…..What? well  on public radio the other day I heard from a very well respected scientist that the only reason you think you have a feeling is because a certain section of your brain is being sent a signal. What? On whose authority? Why you #$%$# On God’s authority. What? You can’t question me on that. I told you it’s Science!


Just a little pinprick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?


Well, yeah we might have stolen it from the heathens but ya know god was on our side. Besides what were they doing with it? It was just growing up and trees were taking over….Well, I don’t need to respect anything you have because ya know that California and Texas belonged to “my people” first…Well if they had of been obeying nature. All’s I’m saying is it’s a plot to take away our guns man…


I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go.


Well, what I’m saying is if we could seal up our borders….Well wait a minute are you going to shoot people for trying to better their life? That’s a little girl over there. You think you could shoot her for coming across the border?  Why you…..@#$%$#&. I’m voting for him because he is going to make them build that wall and pay for it. ….What? F.B.I.? She’s not worried about the F.B.I. Are you some kind of racist? Why would you ask that? Why you…#$%@&


There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.


I know people died and people are hurting. But, the message is important. We can agree on that can’t we? Hush here they come. I gotta get this point across. It’s important! What? I can’t hear you. But, I did hear my political party leader say…


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



Hey look at this. See this proves that it’s “them” that are causing all the problems.  I was just on my “group’s” facebook page and some idiot came in to troll. Man we let him have it. We all agreed that he/she is an idiot. By the way let me show you this post on youtube. I just found it.

I have become comfortably numb….Pink Floyd




I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’