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Happy Father’s Day

Late posting today.  I spent the weekend with my Son, my Daughter-in-Law and my two grandchildren.  Just a wonderful weekend in every way!  Hope your weekend was as nice.

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The heart of a father is a masterpiece of nature.

Antoine Francois Prevost

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Father’s Days are complicated experiences for me.  I so loved being my Son’s Dad when he was boy.  Best job I ever had.

While still a Dad and now a Grandpa, I recall growing up without a father.  Thank God, I had a wonderful mother who helped her Mom raise her four younger brothers.  She knew how to accompany me to manhood and did a really remarkable job selflessly getting me “on my way.”

Perhaps you can sense the mixed feelings I have in this regard.  So miss my having a small boy to shepherd along.  So grateful for my grandson and my granddaughter and for the privilege of having an adult son who is thoughtful and loyal, an accomplished young man and good Dad himself – and so enjoy our honest and interesting conversations where we exchange ideas and observations freely.  Yes, I miss my mother, now years dead, and carry such a grateful heart for her many sacrifices for me.

I suppose what I am saying is this: I remember the hardship on my mother and me as a child.  I know what an extraordinary woman she was and how she helped me become a man.  Likewise, I know what a joy I had as the father of my young son.

Yes, I am thankful – but, yes, these things pass in time and become the bitter-sweet memories of deeds done and days passed.

You see our greatest deeds of love become memories and dictate times past and joys slipping out of reach and out of touch.

Father’s Day has its complexities for me.  The twilight comes and the light fades – as it must.  Never easy to lose the radiance of a thing so bright, and warm, and nourishing.

God bless you all.



I looked for you in everyone and they called me on that too

I lived alone but I was only coming back to you …

and springtime starts but then it stops in the name of something new

and all my senses rise against this coming back to you …

Leonard Cohen, in Coming Back to You

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Each of us has someone – and probably more than one someone – that we have lost to mortal time.  For many, the years of loss have piled up while the memories persist and set in us deeper roots.

It need not be springtime to feel those losses – but in springtime when all is new and delicate and beautiful, those losses seem to move about like the warming breezes – turning our attention to the touches we knew, the embraces we shared, the laughter we had and all those days together.

Spring is “the coming back” time.  I give you this –

So take your walk, and sit a bit when the breezes beckon you

 for in the Spring when warm sets in, I’m coming back to you.



A Quiet, Peaceful Sunday

… of the things in life … which is the thing you believe to be most valuable?  (Emphasis added.)

William B. Irvine, in A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

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We seldom stop to think about who we are and what would most satisfy us in this life.  Most people just respond to the noise and impulses of the culture.  Hard to imagine a contented life might result from that default setting.

No wonder there are so many discontented people, so many who submit willy-nilly to the noise, fashion, ideology, stimulus, fear or fancy of the day.  Yes, we play the lead role in our own confusion and discontent.  Few live a considered existence.

Given the opportunity to live a contented life of inner satisfaction and peace – many live in perpetual distraction, anxiety, turmoil and unhappiness.  Seems like such a waste.

In the manner we think about the world and ignore our humble place within it, the more chaotic our life is likely to be.

Author William Irvine reminds us that the Stoic philosophers sought to live a life without negative emotions, a life of tranquility – one absent fear, grief, envy and anxiety.

In pursuit of tranquility, the Stoics saw the mortal world as transitory.  They sought to minimize desires.  In contrast they sought to live courageously, in a temperate manner, with self-discipline and virtue, with joy.  In this they foretold of Christ.

They examined their life, sought to control their attitude and expectations – but nothing beyond their reach.  They did only what they could.

This: a descent prescription for today.  Yes, separation from the chaos and decay requires knowing what it is you intend with this sacred existence you have been granted.

Use the gift of life wisely.  Listen discretely and avoid crowds of the confused and contentious.  Yours is a sacred calling.

You’ll remember me when the West wind moves among the fields of barley …

Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley.  See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold.

Fields of Gold




The eye of the nihilist is unfaithful to his memories: it allows them to drop or to lose their leaves … And what he does not do for himself, he does not do for the whole past of mankind.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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The last several days I have been off my stride in posting a daily blog.  How can this be?

I was visiting Notre Dame – a place of faith where friends meet and memories are preserved; and in the preservation, the person and the past are, like Christ, alive and eternal.

This trip held time for friends and conversations of substance – human contact, embrace, careful listening, honest discourse, laughter, fellowship, remembrance and renewal.

Notre Dame is a place where daily life and faith meet – and faith absorbs its visitors.

There strangers greet each other as familiar neighbors – smiles and warm exchanges are the coin of the realm.

Standing in the very back of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus for the last Mass on Sunday past, I looked out on a church with every seat taken and many happily standing for worship – made all the more absorbed in faith by the beauty of the majestic structure, the stained glass made by French Nuns a century ago, the choir voices, the exquisite ritual of the ageless Mass – the privilege of Communion.  Many as One.

Standing there – seeing so many people focused on the reality of their faith – on Christ their Redeemer, Mary their Mother, God their Father, I was deeply moved by the truth and beauty, and hope and certainty that my eyes took in.

In faith there are no nihilists and memories are never forgotten nor misplaced.

It is faith alone that keeps us One.

This, Dear Friends, is for you.  Take heed, lost no more.  Live in faith – certainty and contentment follow – no storm or doubt may claim us then.



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

Sam Shepard

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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.


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

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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

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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 …


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

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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.


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

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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.


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

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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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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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.



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