I just received a new Vaio laptop as a gift..Rumi predicted it 800 years ago..

 

There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,
if you want to be held.

Sit down in the circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd’s love filling you…

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

I watched the moon last night and it was so beautiful I had to stop..

From the movie, “Grand Canyon,” this tiny snatch of dialog:

Dee: “Jane, do you ever feel like you are just this far from being completely hysterical twenty four hours a day?”

Jane: “Half the people I know feel that way. The lucky ones feel that way. The rest of the people ARE hysterical twenty four hours a day.”

~~

There is this place, by Jacksboro Lake on a southwest bluff, where I have spent days (weeks?) over the past four years, losing myself and then having to go find myself again.

Last night, just after dark, I took my dogs there so that they would anchor me to reality in the way I knew I needed to be anchored. The moon was full; “full” as in “ready to give birth.” Maybe, I thought, to me. (Again)

I sat on the end of the most ergonomically awful concrete picnic table ever designed. I can’t sit still anyway, even in the most comfortable of places, but that place at the table was the perfect view of the moon itself and the slowly pulsing green-then-white guidelight of a nearby airport’s single runway. So I sat, and stared. At the moon, and into a mirror.

I am at a time of year, professionally, when a series of planning, administrative, and evaluation meetings are looming. I have said “yes” to a few too many other responsibilities in the community as well, and they feel oppressing- despite their value and necessity. On top of that, always on top of that- through all that, under and around all that- my Mom is dying slowly of Alzheimer’s, and the last few days have brought bad news and more bad news about her slow descent into a brain functionless body.

And my laptop is not working, so I am trapped inside walls, beneath a ceiling, and when I look up from this keyboard I see wires in the wall and not the sky or the neighbor’s soaring pine trees. And I need that sky, and those trees, as frequent reminders that I am not what I am feeling: a mere set of wires myself, in the wall of others.

We all have a God-enabled, generations-old template of Beauty in our souls. We recognize Beauty from a distance and are drawn to it. The particulars of that Beauty for each of us differs; there are those parts of it we all share, and there are those parts of Beauty which have been particularly with each of us, I think, from our conception.

We can stand in a crowd and collectively be in awe of a particular sunsrise or moonscape. Some will weep, others will try, try, try, to share with others how that Beauty within has been touched. Some will even leave litter or denigrating comments behind them after such an experience, but it is only because they are afraid of how they have been touched by the Beauty they try to culturally suppress. Even in their brash and ugly actions, they are confirming Beauty’s affectiveness.

Or, by ourselves, or with a small (always small) group of others, we might discover Beauty that is so particular, so meaningful only to us, that we will wonder why others are walking away in seeming boredom, possible confusion, or what we might mistakenly call their blindness. van Gogh saw such Beauty in the potato-eater’s rough lodgings. Picasso saw it the screaming of a dying horse. O’Keefe saw it deep within the folds- there!- of desert flowers.

I see such particular Beauty- a field of wildflowers, for instance- that I cannot help but wade into, touch as many colors as I can, watch insects symbiotically propogating, write snatches of poetry about in my mind, thank God for, get lost in to the point where my name and whatever else I hang onto that I ‘think’ is important become meaningless, and wonder why others won’t or can’t follow, or why others must talk about football scores or fashion, or.. why something must be wrong with me to react so crazily, so often, to these kinds of visions.

And then, I react in a truly crazy, not mistakenly crazy way: I want that field of wildflowers. I want to build a wall around it or put up No Trespassing signs. If others can’t/won’t appreciate it, then I’ll just go there by myself. Those kinds of ridiculous thoughts, I know, do not not come from the God-Image in me or anything else that is real, but from the culture in which I have also been immersed since conception. I want what I cannot have, allow myself to get frustrated because it is not mine, and then remember- back in the day- how I could pour brown liquids on the whole damn egoistic-societal-cultural mess in my mind and make it go away. For awhile. For a very short while.

No, I am not even close to going down that wet dead-end path again. But I have been warring with myself about where, why, and who I am, and I am trying to find a way to surrender. I am in a profession, and have made numerous other bad and good lifestyle decisions, that have caused me not to have deep roots in this place I live, or anywhere else. I will never have the experiences of rootedness that others around me have, and I would like to. I am subject to being told to move elsewhere in my job as well. I don’t think I can do that again. I need more permanence, more anchors; I don’t want to float away, from myself or anyone else.

And I don’t want to be watching my Mom die, day by day, while always hoping that tomorrow will be The Day.

I want to flee to the wildflower field. I want to be drunk on the colors there, and write about them on my laptop there, and turn to others and say “Look!” and know they will be excited as I am to be there, too.

I want I want I want what I cannot have in the way I want it, when I want it, and how I want it. I am a pistol-whipped, selfish Westerner and salt is being rubbed into my wounds by Beauty. But, oddly enough, I would have it no other way. And that is the realization I have come to and that is the understanding which keeps me sane, functioning and getting better.

My wants are unrealistic, artificially-inspired to some extent by my status as an American consumer, and even fanciful. Beauty is real. But Beauty is only to be perceived- owned!- on its own terms. Beauty is, has been, and will always be. I am the impermanent one in this relationship. How silly it is of me to try to squash it to the point where I can have it my pocket, or exclude others from sharing it. So I am embracing and holding onto that part of the wildflower field, or the moon, or my dog’s exuberance, which is mine to hold onto, and letting the rest thrive- for others to react to as they will, and not as I think they should.

I am, like Jane (far above), always becoming more and more comfortable in feeling hysterical. You’d think I’d have gotten used to the particular music to which my mind and spirit dance by now, but sometimes the beat is just too fast for me to keep up. Make of it what you will, but that’s where I’ve been, and I’m feeling pretty darn good, most of the time, for having been there. And for being here. Now.

~~

 

Also from “The Grand Canyon”:
Mack: Of course, it would also be nice not to feel bad most of the time.

Dee: Yeah, but that’s how you get yourself in trouble. By thinking how nice it’d be to be happy more.

 

AWOL and FUBAR (not really, but kind of..)

 

How kind of a number of you to note my absence here of late! Give me another day or two and I’ll be back at the keyboard with more regularity.

Sometimes I get into modes where I’m better at bitching than proclaiming, more able to gripe than glorify- anyone or any thing. And while life is always a combination of good/bad, light/dark, up/down..I don’t need to be reinforcing or influencing anyone else’s bad-dark-down times, day after day. So I’ve sat back a little, saved my optimism for sermons, and read and thought a lot.

This is not the depression which sometimes, but with less and less frequency, descends. It is more like yet another birth (of understanding and knowledge). And no one expects a baby to be cuddly when he/she is halfway between the bliss of the womb and the harsh light and lung-wrenching air of the world where life will be lived. In a tiny metaphorical way, that’s where I’m at.

I’ll be born again, all the way, for awhile, in a day or two. The light and the air are already feeling better to me. In the meantime, click on any one of my recommends in the blog roll to the right. They all help me, more than they know, to be Not FUBAR.

September 11

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A Prayer

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,                                                                                   let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore, Photo by James Nachtway, September 11, 2001

(This entire entry lifted, in gratitude, from this always elegant blog)

Televangelist Juanita Bynum prepares to mine the Church’s pockets some more..my take on 2002’s "Cute Christian Couple" of the Year..

Two weeks after her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks, wrestled her to the ground in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel, beat her, and then was pulled off of her by a hotel bellhop, Televangelist Juanita Bynum has filed for divorce. (Read about it here)

This chapter in the marriage of Christian Nobility comes just five years after the million dollar televised extravaganza of the couple’s wedding ceremony, which featured a wedding party of 80, 1,000 guests, a 12- piece orchestra, and a 7.76-carat diamond ring. The black-tie wedding featured flowers flown in from around the world. “My dress,” Bynum said, “took nine months to make. All of the crystals (Swarovski) on the gown were hand-sewn. The headpiece was sterling silver, hand-designed. (Source)

They are the personification of Bling Bling Christianity and Self-serving Sham Spirituality. The glitz of the world is just stuff to be accumulated by them, shown off by them, flaunted and fought over by them, at the expense of thousands of slavish admirers who they have cowed into believing that the Jesus they preach is the Jesus who wants nothing more than to line YOUR pockets with the kind of cash that Thomas and Juanita have in their pockets (and designer purses).

They are darlings of the Fraternity of Christian Television Truth-benders who have molded the message of Jesus into a message of Prosperity (for themselves), who have turned The Way of Jesus into a driveway filled with Mercedes, leading to the front doors of their palatial estate homes, and who justify themselves by bestowing titles (Prophetess, Bishop, Annointed) on each other.

Now, since her beating, Bynum has said her ministry will focus on Domestic Violence. Well, good, that is always a timely topic. But I suspect these prophetic pimps (and pimpettes); I suspect Bynum of capitalizing (with cash and credit cards) on her recent problems. Yesterday, she appeared in the backseat of the Pimpmobile- Trinity Broadcasting Network– to proclaim her ‘forgiveness’ of her husband and to announce her new ministry to women victims of DV everywhere.

How about some time off from the cash flow machine, Ms. Bynum? How about telling women to do what they need to do to get their abusive spouses behind bars, and THEN cry their crocodile tears of forgiveness? How about showing your sincerity by liquidating some of your massive assets (does anyone really need TWO homes?) and seeding some women’s shelters for women and children who, unlike you, have NO financial or human resources to fall into the arms of? Or maybe take that 7.6 carat wedding band off and sell it to another Pimping Pastor, while you give the blood money assets to the Africans who mined those stones for virtual slave wages?

“Follow me,” Jesus invited the Sons of Thunder, and you, and me. Not to a choice of manors in the country, not to a million dollar orgy of self-appreciation, not to yet another New Pitch for funds, and certainly not for the seeking of ego-swelling sympathy and misdirected compassion. He invited us to sacrifice, and to a cross. For the sake of others, not ourselves.

Can I get a witness???

Can I?