You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Memory’ category.

I hate endings … The most authentic endings are ones which are already revolving towards another beginning.

Sam Shepard

+ + +

I never lingered at endings and never carried them forward.  There is a mastery in this. Yes, sure some endings hurt.  The betrayals are hurtful and deaths can be too.  But with each I have turned to the next thing, the next event, the new day and the altered status, the sprouting sprig of opportunity – the new growth – so green, so tender, so full of promise.

Truth is this led to a most interesting life – a life of wider range, more experience and with more experience greater comfort with the whole challenge of living fully, living through the storms.

I never let betrayal “freeze me in place.”  But something delicious came by moving instantly toward “another beginning.”  That delicious thing: I had absolutely no feeling for those who betrayed me, they meant absolutely nothing to me – they were dead to me, their failures clear and their poverty revealed.

Think about it – in “another beginning” those who offend become for you nothing … they secure for themselves less value than that of a footstool or dust.  They are a catapult to something new, to tomorrow and all the unknown wrinkles and surprises that come with “another beginning.”

Always wonder how it is that people get stuck in yesterday’s endings, how they drag that weight forward day after day.  Seemed to me that doing so was a self-inflicted injury made heavier over time.

Let’s face it some people matter and many more do not.  Those that matter are a joy to remember all your life.  Those that do not are better left without a thought.

Shalom.

If you like this entry and the postscript, share it with others.

# # #

Leaks.  I find it absolutely mind-boggling that those who talk about leaks cannot figure out who is leaking security information and tidbits intended to destroy Donald Trump and the presidency.  The question is asked often with real wonder: Who can be doing this?  Such a question does not link the leaking with past and present evidence.

What do I mean?  Those who leak are sure that they “know better,” “are special.”  They are the same people who as university students learned that they can close down a college, hold their breath until they get their way, “change” anything they do not like, have it all their way.  They are the modern liberal, the “progressive,” the American Left, the Democrats and the wealthy patrician Republicans who fancy the pinnacle not the base.

Yes, they are the privileged class – the spoiled brats now in place in the government bureaucracy.

Look at it this way: the leakers in all respects operate precisely as the student Left.  Don’t agreed with a speaker?  Fine, shout him or her down?  Want to advance your distorted and childish view of the world, of politics – have a herd of characters like you storm the campus, riot, break things, demand that “adults” submit to your tantrums and your ways.

Who’s leaking?  The answer is rather simple.  The spoiled children of the Left who now (only because the pampered, ruling class allows this – indeed, raises their children in this manner) occupy positions of public authority – they are the leakers.

 

Technical knowledge is not enough.  One must transform techniques so that the art becomes artless art, growing out of the unconscious.

D. T. Suzuki, in Zen and Japanese Culture

+ + +

How do you fully live?  Yes, how do you access and activate the unconscious – awaken the essence of the human legacy?  Same question really.

He met the conformity of culture as structured by man but never conceded its control over his breathing, his heartbeat, his life here – as it preceded him and stretched into eternity.

He always had one foot outside the box.  His wry comments and independent judgment kept him free and gave him a sharper vision than most.  He saw behind the silk scene – people, after all, were not clever in concealing their shallow and predictable motives.

He was not often fooled.

Having access to the unconscious, getting to know it in detail made his life art – artless art, a movie from birth to mortal death … and then the everlasting sequel, a seat above in the presence of a warm May sun.

He was never much for formulas.  A blank canvas was more his comfort. Something to write on, to scribble freehand what came to heart, mind, wrist and hand.  Free flowing.

Operating on the margin of the box – turning the rules into sources of amusement and dismemberment so to say: “You do not have me yet.”  Life in the present structures as a game of escape and evasion, lest he suffocate, dry up and become weak and brittle.

Victory.  Life as artless art in all its ease, in each breath, in listening, hearing and seeing.

The experience of experience in its full range – from joy to sorrow and back again, never a dark day in triumph over the warmth of the sun reflected in the others, the friends, the children, love, laughter, kindness, the beauty, the quiet, the memories, the experience in yesterday and today.

… artless art …

Shalom.

The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terrors and deluding images up into the mind – whether in dreams, broad daylight, or insanity; for the human kingdom, beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves.  There not only jewels but also dangerous jinn abide; the inconvenient or resisted psychological powers that we have not thought or dared to integrate into our lives. (Emphasis added.)

Joseph Campbell, in The Hero with a Thousand Faces

+ + +

We live in a culture that does little or nothing to further a person’s full growth and wisdom and we are virtually ignorant of the human process that Campbell accurately describes.

We are, quite frankly, undeveloped and far more sick than well.  Stated another way: Who among the public figures that you see strikes you as one who has examined fully his or her life and come, as is our task, to honestly know their true self.  The absence of fully-developed public figures gives us a proper barometric reading of the state of our culture.

Who in the news media, politics, entertainment, among the clergy, within public policy venues or in universities strikes you as a fully integrated human being – someone who possesses humility, insight, vision, wisdom, a sense of humor, courage and speaks with clarity that offers you lessons worth learning?

Does the politician whose life is lie after lie, deception after deception, failure after failure demonstrate anything but their sickness?  Does the “egg head,” know-it-all professor who speaks arrogantly impress you?  Does the photogenic talking T.V. head suggest any depth of understanding of the humankind, a sense of history, or even recognition of what happened yesterday or last week?  Does the robed jurist full of bias and error convey any worth to you?

Great literature, religious narrative, mythology all introduce us to humankind and our true self.  But in exclusionary secular culture these are either shunned or ignored and evidence of their fruits do not exist in politics or the public square. We are sadly “led” by the ignorant not the able.

When we discard the things that give us access to our true self we grow blind, deft, superficial, insensitive, emotionally brittle and socially inept.  In this state we lie to self and one another, evil flourishes, corruption becomes common place.

Wellness and wisdom await, but not when religion is exiled and its narrative neglected.

Shalom.

Observation – Pundits think that the participants in a “presidential debate” have to be “smart,” demonstrate that they “know stuff.”  Wrong.  They have to be real, accessible, human, comfortable, at ease.  They have to connect with the audience.

Content without humanity is a put-off and the interior flags go up among those in the audience – those who attend, witness or listen to the participants.

Knowing the cost of everything but the worth of nothing is useless except that it tells a competent human in the audience – this person is not fit to lead.  Be smart, people.

Memorial Day, 2016

Don’t just do something, sit there.

Thich Nhat Hanh, in How to Sit

+ + +

Memories are possible when we are not preoccupied.  Today is a day for remembering.  Give yourself the quiet in which to remember.

In sitting quietly, you can recall far better, and things about yesterdays – the people in them, you, what was said, what was felt.

In sitting quietly you can possess again fateful moments.

It is in these moments that insights and wisdom gather.  In these moments, if we receive openly, we can see what might bother us, what we fear, where we need to grow.

So many people live in a defensive mode – behind barriers made of fear.  Sitting quietly can reveal these barriers and the common defenses that make us hard to reach – even for ourselves.

In such quiet, fear can be seen and perhaps dissolved, likewise anxiety, anger, disappointment, hurt.

In quiet, if we are open, we can off-load all that troubles us, keeps us from ease and from joy.

Today is a day for remembering.  Sit quietly and remember.  Meet yourself as you are in that quiet.  Grow.

Shalom.

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; Ae farewell, and then forever!

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him?  While the star of hope she leaves him?

Fare thee well, thou first and fairest!  Fare thee well, thou best and dearest.

Robert Burns, Ae Fond Kiss

+ + +

I.

If you have not heard this lovely poem put to voice and music, do so.  Burns, a Scot, is well put to song in the sweet Celtic voice of fair skin ladies.

Listening to it moved me to memory, made long ago yesterdays today – brought yore to fore.

A heart still young.  Love neither departs, nor dies.  In love there is no farewell, nor final exit. In love, time does not steal, nor does touch cease.

But do we live as if we know this?  Can we see what Burns doth show us?  Fear I do that this is lost. A tariff lesser than its cost.

II.

Yesterday, they recovered the body of a pretty young woman among the rocks in the quiet of the mountain wilderness.  She had been missing for several days. She had a handsome husband and a job serving and saving others.  She was an athlete, fit and healthy – a life yet to live.  A suicide note remained.

III.

Sadness consumes our culture.  I am loath to find any public person who speaks to us of life and its worth, of grace in living, of joy and love.

Where are the optimists?  Where are the guides?  Those who reassure?  Inspire? Speak with confidence?  Conviction?  Insight?  Wisdom?

IV.

Our words each day are full of the demands of the oddest variety.  We seem unable to speak of things that matter.  Transgender toilet privileges.  Please!

Adult children waste our time with legal claims of toilet fetishes.

V.

Those who claim to lead.  Tasteless.  Foolish.  In need of maturity – but more so of faith. Witless dolts.  Their words worthy of neglect, nothing more.

The blind cannot lead the blind. Nor the foolish fools.

They said, “Come let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name …” (Emphasis added.)

Gen 11:4

I favor Burns over Babel.  How about you?

Shalom.

Prayer Request – Please take a moment to pray for the repose of the soul of Nicole Mittendorff, and for the comfort of her husband, family and friends who grieve her loss.

Take note: there are more suicides than homicides in the United States each year.  Yes, politicians make hay over gun control and say nothing of the cost of godless secularism and its articulated ideologies and misshapen focus.  I can only imagine God weeps for us.

Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.

Anon.

+ + +

Aye, these words – perfect to summon thoughts on this brilliantly sunny, cold morn in early April as I look across the emerald-green pastures and listen as Deanta plays reels soaked in the sweeping wind of the Holy Old Sod.

We learned yesterday that the U.S. Navy intercepted a flagless vessel bound for Yeman and the Iran-backed Shia rebels whose goal is to overthrow the U.N. supported Yemeni government.  This – the third such incident in the last few weeks.

The hidden cargo?  1500 AK 47’s, 200 RPG launchers, 21 50 caliber machine guns.

Brings to mind Beruit, Lebanon, on Sunday, October 23, 1983, at 6:22 a.m., when Irani native Ismail Ascari drove a truck with the equivalent of 21,000 tons of TNT into a four-story cement building housing the U.S. Marines and detonated his vehicle killing 241 Americans and himself.

“Islamic Jihad” claimed credit for this attack.

Yes, we have a history with Iran.  It is not one of trust.  It is one of hostility.

While there is complexity to this history, as there is in just about anything in the Middle East, any idiot should be able to remember history and see that one vital proposition: Iran sees us as their enemy.

Is this too much to ask of presidents, talking heads, and newsy boys and girls?

Lest one forget the Beruit Bombing, the Iranian Intelligence Service was found to have delivered instruction to its Ambassador in Lebanon to contact a wing of the terrorist group Hezbollah to initiate the attack.

While Iran denies any responsibility, in 2004 they erected a monument in Tehran to commemorate this terrorist bombing and the memory of its “martyrs.”

Recall as well that a civil suit filed against Iran in U.S. Federal Court resulted in a 2007 $ 2.65 billion judgment for those maimed and for the families of those killed.

How, I wonder, can we enter a nuclear arms agreement with a nation intent on, and actively engaged in, killing us and expanding its empire at the expense of those they hate?

This makes one ask of the President, Secretary Kerry, candidate Clinton and others: malice or stupidity?

This mess puts us to that question.  Think about it.

Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

1 Cor 4:2

Well, that’s probably the key to the question.  Where there is no faith, there are no stewards.

Shalom.

Human law … is derived from eternal law … lacking its true nature it is rather a kind of violence.

St. Thomas Aquinas, in Summa Theologiae

+ + +

We are not a particularly wise nation.  We do little good now as stewards of our past, guardians of the fundamental truths that are the foundation of Western Civilization.  Yes, we are lousy students. We have learned little; those who “lead” often blunder and undue.

Case in point, in the 6th century B.C., Solon the Athenian noted that law made thing smooth, that it held in check inordinate desires and diminished wanton pride, and curtailed nascent wild delusions, that it made crooked judgments straight and softened arrogant behavior.  He knew that law was intended to promote wisdom and sanity.

We, on the contrary, do not understand that if law can make conduct illegitimate, it can also make some errant conduct legitimate.  Consider the easing of the divorce laws to a “no fault” posture. Betray your spouse – no problem, we simply divide the property in half.  Don’t bother with contraception, no problem we’ll help you kill the child.

Truth is we demonstrate that bad laws and injudicious government de-legitimize society, undue a people and a nation.  Such is our squandering of our heritage. We now live in a time in which we are dismantling the West and making our much weaker enemies strong and emboldened.

Yes, misuse law and a nation dies.

The law ignored promotes lawlessness.  On the federal level we elect to honor some laws and not others which do not meet our political whim or ideological fancy.  In contrast, constitutionally protected interests like free speech, religious freedom and the right of citizens to bear arms are constantly assaulted and trimmed when possible.

Law can either reaffirm and validate or undue.  It can either solidify a people and their required shared conduct and history or it can promote anarchy and division.

Law that is not connected to human flourishing destroys, it does violence to human beings.

We would be wise to recall the words of the 5th century Stoic philosopher Heraclitus:

All human laws are fed by one Divine law; it prevails as far as it listeth, and suffices for all, and survives all.

We act to establish convincingly that we are poor stewards of our heritage and are as apt in law to bring violence than wisdom and guidance.

Shalom.

I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own and not mine own.

William Shakespeare

Dedicated to Sam Doran and his family as they bury Sam’s father today.

+ + +

Wisdom is all around us – given to us in words and song, in nature, in art and architecture, in religious narratives, ancient stories in all cultures, in careful view of deeds and misdeeds, in scenes and experiences large and small.  Yet, we miss it or, worse yet, out of ignorance and sickness may destroy it.

Above are the words of Helena in Shakespeare’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream. Words of wisdom about love.

Love – “mine own and not mine own.”  A most peculiar and magical possession, held against time.  What?  Held against time.

Love exists as possessed and not possessed.  Does one not love he or she who has died?  Is that not a love still possessed.  Do you not encourage your beloved children to go forth and find their way and do so as a generous act of love when we might otherwise wish them near?  Is this not love possessed and possessed again when not possessed?

Love that is “mine own and not mine own” is love eternal, an introduction to the mystery we live in life, and to God, to the journey to God – a God who is Love.

Love that is “mine own and not mine own” liberates me and those we love – frees them and us to live fully in the Mystery, without fear and full of sweet memories and the certainty of what is eternal and far beyond the cage of mortality with all its grasping, fear, anxiety and dread of loss.

Think of love.  Explore it.  Grow in it.  Meet what is often missed.

Shalom.

As long as you have an experience, you have a subject (to be painted) …

Sargy Mann, Painter

+ + +

I.

To Sargy Mann a “memory of colors” is a talisman.  In the process of going blind all was a blur for him.  But is that not what appearance is?  A blur.  An approximation – far removed from the true colors of the wild, windswept interior – raw, open, beautiful like the west coast of Ireland and land at the ocean’s edge on the Scottish Isles.

Sargy had to learn anew many times to see the world as his sight disappeared step by inevitable step and the brain adjusted to ambient light as if to lead the heart to sight for the eye.  Can we claim anything like that life in our own?

Then, darkness – painting by precept, and geometry, and chances-taken – the brain/the Spirit moving hand from palette to canvas with unexpected genius and success.

Can we live as God paints?

II.

In a dream last night old friends and new from my childhood home came to me to thank me for what I had done for them.  It was all a surprise.

Had I dared to live as God painted?

 III.

When we dream we dream in color.  Do we live thus?

Living requires a different kind of seeing.  Sight without eyes.

… we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Cor 5: 7

Shalom.

Share the reality of God with others.  You’ll help save a life when you do.

Memorial Day, May 25, 2015

There is no Christian truth so clearly revealed as this, that the spirit of every Christian must be a spirit of sacrifice. (Emphasis added.)

P. A. Sheehan

This blog is dedicated to Pat Tillman and others who left the land and life of plenty to help those who faced tyranny and oppression.

+ + +

Today is the day in America when we remember all those who have fallen in battle to protect and preserve this country, its people and its ways.

It is fitting today to ponder Sheehan’s words.  ” … the spirit of every Christian must be a spirit of sacrifice.”

This a Christian truth revealed like no other.  Yes, Christians sacrifice.  It is Christ’s way.  Mary’s way.  The way of the Apostles, and so many martyrs and so many lay Christians – Catholics and Protestants.

But I wonder, as I live out the closing time of my life, if we are able to offer the sacrifice of those who have come before us, whose sacrifice got us to this point.

I see Christian genocide in the world and I hear only silence here.  Silence from our elected leaders, from our universities, the elites in private life, from celebrities, from many of our public intellectuals, from the mass of our population – even from our Church leaders.

Christians being killed because of their faith, driven from their homes and possessions, their land and livelihood – and silence offers not the voice of sacrifice but space for evil to grow.

Yes, we cannot even name the evil-doer.

We are a long way from sacrifice, and not even close to self-defense.

Many wonder what has become of us?  This silence is spell-binding?  Silence is not us.

How does one explain this?  It is simple really: we are not Christian as we once were.  And the same can be said of our brothers and sisters in Europe.

Think about it: the history of the West is the history of Christian sacrifice.  But has this now changed?

Success breeds contempt.  Yes, it really does – having been extraordinary successful we have come to have contempt for this land, the West, our values, what we have achieved, for success itself, for sacrifice, for valor, for bravery, for Christ and Christianity, for God and others.  In this, each remains too often the sole concern to be counted and worshiped.  This is not Christ, not Christian.

Take a hard look at yourself this day.  Are you living the Christian truth: that we lay down our lives for another – those we do not know by name, those not yet born – just as Christ so selflessly did?  Others have done so for you.

The sickness of selfishness is the first thing we must all face today for us to become what we have been.

May all those who died for us rest with God and in our hearts.  And may our faith be restored and acted upon.

Shalom.

There is nothing so more needed in the West than for Christians to be Christians once again.  Please share these words with others.

Welcome Message

Categories

Log In

%d bloggers like this: