Friday, March 1, 2013
The period was so ripe with future and hope and the huge question mark of the unknown life ahead. It is striking to be 42 years old, and have those 23 year old memories seem so relevant, so present, but to know they have remained locked away for two decades. I was afraid of who I was then... and now I am confident that I am fine and ironically also aware that there is no "me". "I am" is just an illusion that thinks it ages, eats, diets, screws, learns, loves, decomposes and will wake periodically... confused again at a convincing age in a convincing life... unless I explore the truth of dharma to its core. This which calls myself "I" could never stay 23 in a gym in Atlanta, and yet always will be in love with that idea of permanence.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Stir in a belief system. We all have one. We just may not agree among ourselves as to what the laws of nature will produce when we arrive at that death door. But belief structures will not alter that reality. They will simply be in alignment... or not... with actuality. And the thing that happens will happen, regardless of your beliefs. Not because of them. Not in spite of them.
Much ado about nothing right?
Well sort of. Think, if you will, of somebody who holds a very strong belief... maybe it is 1742 and they are convinced that the world is flat. Their argument is that if you simply LOOK at the horizon you can tell. It is an edge that you will fall off if you sail to it. They KNOW it, they can point to it and your eyes can see the truth. And yet every time somebody who does not agree with that person sails out they do not fall over that edge. The multitudes of people live on the land and they spend their life standing on land screaming their head off about it. Or not caring one way or the other. Or wondering if there is another way to think. But the majority is CONVINCED that their irrefutable evidence (pointing to the horizon that is visible to anybody willing to look at it) makes them justified in their opinion and observation. And yet they are wrong. But they are SURE they are right. But they are not right. Ever. Period.
This seems a simple point to belabor. Unfortunately I don't really think we realize the significance of belief versus reality. And it is not about being RIGHT or WRONG. Not in the sense of gloating. It is more to the point that only somebody who boards a ship, sails to that horizon to find it an endless sphere of round planetary global truth, and then returns to the shore... only those sailors can say "I know you SEE a flat horizon, and that it LOOKS real... but you must trust that your sight is limited... and my recent experience of sailing is in alignment with reality. And if you would like to momentarily suspend your belief, or even if you want to bring your belief with you, rather than stand here on the shore arguing about that flat horizon... sail with me to experience for yourself the blissful dismantling of your false world view and embrace the wonder that the expanded experience of truth would provide you."
Not everyone is guaranteed success by setting sail, there are dangers to sea travel (or air travel to add a modern twist) but in general it is still one of two options. Stand on the shore and have a belief (correct or incorrect, it can only be a belief while you remain on the land) OR set sail and know the truth by experiencing the truth.
I don't know how else to express what is in my heart today. Watching fruitless political bickering, watching a planet in total distress produce phenomena that are growing in intensity... watching illness and nature stay miles ahead of medicine, adaptability and medicine. Watching myself and everyone I know wake up every day aiming for that allusive happiness that always seems just beyond our fingertips. I cannot stay here and shout among the din of commotion my belief about the horizon anymore. So 15 years ago I chose to climb on the ship of discovery and push off the banks of security so that I could speak honestly from true experience... that is the way forward.
I am still out to sea, but I am sailing, finding that each oar stroke, each nautical mile that you try to reach and touch that EDGE you were so sure of, you find that you remain an equal distance from it no matter how fast you walk, sail or fly. It is disorienting at first, that you are moving toward something that never comes closer. You don't understand it at first. You cannot instantly move from that world view to understanding that what you reside on is a spherical round reality known as planet. Maybe someone can show you a picture of the globe and explain it to you... but now, unless you go into outer space, you cannot see the sphere you live on.
And when we who have finally sailed are fortunate enough to return, from distant seas or outer space. We hope to fill our ships with doubters and take them across the abyss... to simply allow them to experience the truth for themselves. But sometimes the ship sits in the harbor for a lifetime awaiting for only one passenger, one brave soul to climb aboard and face the journey of truth. And loud or quietly asking them does not matter. Forcing them or having them volunteer or even stumble upon the boat by chance... however they arrive is not important in the end. Ultimately they must step aboard, meet the crew, sail on... and follow the compass to the horizon, and never ending sphere of truth, with no edge to fall off, ever, no matter what you once thought!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Of course the whole nation is abuzz with post-inaugural commentary. People are either insatiable, over it, or somewhere in between! And my favorite iconic moment might just be President Clinton photo bombing the original American Idol Kelly Clarkson. But all things considered I am proudest of my President who really went to bat for me as a gay American citizen yesterday. Thank you Barak Obama for sharing the victory of your presidency with those of us still grappling with the stability of very basic equality issues.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Yes I helped elect a president who better represents my preferences for our country and individual liberties than the person who was on the opposing ticket. However, now that the election occurred (with a lot of vitriol being provided from both sides) I am just as tired of seeing gloating pro-Obama posts as I was of pre-election Romney crap.
Forget our affiliation... now we are all Americans, family, friends. I like the idea of working now before the next battle escalates to find COMMON ground and knowing we all have to bend some to prevent the whole society from breaking... can we engage in that discussion? One of the joys of being simple minded is that I can propose my Forest Gump-ish philosophy which is childish enough to believe in change and still apply my adult mind enough to bring about the causes and conditions of change. What can we do TODAY? Write a government official, engage in a grass roots movement. I am seriosly curious what I could do today to help make a better tomorrow for us ALL.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I watched again Friday (again in the sense of Aurora and Virginia Tech... all three events which happened while I was in proximity to live coverage)...witnessing the chaos, the attempt to report and to explain what happened before anyone else... the need to "scoop" the story even as law enforcement and parents engaged in their most dreaded roles as human beings... to comprehend WHAT happened even as journalists start pondering WHY, WHO, HOW MANY??? And we agitate and provoke and stir...
At some point I turned the channels away from coverage on Friday. Not because my heart is hard or my empathy broken. But because this NEED to understand will never be met. We will NEVER understand that moment that a person does what we consider UN_DO_ABLE. And we turn to many resources to sift through the rubble in the wake of tragedy, disaster, anger, loss... utter devastation. But the hardest answer... the truest answer has already been given. Because they can, because they choose to... they will continue to put us all in jeopardy.
We hear how innocent and unprepared the victims were, we hear how prepared and ruthless the perpetrator was... we learn of other carnage and we start asking neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers... WHO could have predicted, WHO could have prevented... HOW can we make this right???? And we seek to "make it right" through politics, or legal processes or psychology or... SoMeThiNg...AnYtHinG... to make the pain and confusion... LESS.
We take to the blogosphere and social networks and argue for more guns or less guns. More mental health service or less tolerance for the disturbed. We call each other liberals or conservatives... bleeding hearts or gun freaks. We shout... we argue... then we forget about it... and it happens again.
My heart/mind are terribly agitated today. And I know I am not alone. There is much intelligent and reasonable discourse that needs to happen in our culture. We cannot spend any more time yelling across an abyss at people with different opinions. We have to speak kindly, listen earnestly... both sides willing to compromise. We have a fiscal disaster to tackle, we have a public massacre pattern that is on the rise. In other countries we call them terrorists... on our soil we call them "misunderstood" gunmen. We have bigotry and hatred and blame and we are going nowhere as a culture until we can address opposing opinions with respect and compromise.
We must appeal to our best and most common bonds with one another and be considerate, rational and reason these issues out. Please!? Can we explore with some compassion and respect how to engage in an intelligent course of action. We are fortunate to be able to have different opinions but we also have to figure out what we need to do as citizens, as neighbors, as strangers sharing community resources like educational facilities and medical facilities and as flawed people in an imperfect world.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
People lose their mind at the thought of a chicken franchise dropping in profits because of controversy that the owner himself chose to create by making unnecessary public statements... but to hell with bigotry and a starving planet.
So let me exercise my free speech as well: Perhaps such "Christian Values" people should stay home and revisit Matthew 25:31-46 and then put their waffle fry money somewhere that proves they have a clue WWJD. World doesn't need more hypocrites- it needs more heros.
Been with my partner 15 years and I love a good pickle covered fried filet of fat like the next person - but you started this Dan Cathy. Rather than protest my lifestyle for what rights you don't want me able to have... just shut up, fry your poultry and keep your beliefs quiet if you want my money at your establishment. But don't balk when you call me a faggot under your breath and then wonder why me and the people I love suddenly won't drive thru and hand you our hard earned cash anymore.
Could we all agree to spend our time contributing to positive change in the world for EVERYONE on the planet? Pretty much that is what I think "Love thy enemy" may have meant. I am sure family values will hold up just fine in the long run if we teach all forms of love are superior to any form of hate.... I would be more worried about the danger and health impact of fast food than the harm of letting homos get hitched.
Here is a thought... let's all give three meals worth of money to this organization instead:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Matthew 6:1-34 (English Standard Version)
Giving to the Needy
The Lord's Prayer5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
Fasting16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.[f]
Do Not Be Anxious25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
- Matthew 6:9 Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
- Matthew 6:10 Or Let your kingdom come, let your will be done
- Matthew 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
- Matthew 6:13 Or the evil one; some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
- Matthew 6:19 Or worm; also verse 20
- Matthew 6:24 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions
- Matthew 6:27 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeter
- See the original source of this reference at this link: BibleGateway.com
Friday, May 25, 2012
Nothing seems as cruel
As unclaimed potential
Certain unspoken ends
Unstarted efforts under scrutiny
Eyes staring unwillingly at an
Under a waste can
Fidgeting to bring
Painful oxygenated blood
Into uncirculating numbness
Uncertain of the duration
Uncrossed legs can endure
Unrelenting in my mouth
About unobtained growth
With underpaid therapist
Arising in uncertain order
Unsure of their purpose
In an unstoppable current
Under utilized brilliance
Sunday, February 5, 2012
to be alone in prayer
I bring a book of memories
bindings burst and worn
from countless readings
Your chapters remain
an epic and untold anecdote
lacking significant dialogue
tastes not torn from croissants
in cafes of uninspired cliches
Mornings with stimulants
galvanize a disorganized mind
billowing and gossamer whispers
refrain the echo of regret...
distances untraveled during formative times
Glancing south and east
scanning horizons for
for an invitation less requisite
than curious to acknowledge
omniscience is your birthright
guarded beneath such gauche trinkets
as would provoke curiosity
so I remain. Quietly.
Poised for disappointment
Counseling that beloved stumbler
into an estranged uncle's offering
which could surpass all ambition
but only when and only if
you should remember to ask