Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.
— Andre Gide, author, Nobel laureate (1869-1951)
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
— Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Went to hear Miss Brown To You perform at Wings of Desire a combo salon, art gallery, and vintage furniture shop on Hudson, just south of NW 23rd. It's run by Patricia Lee Russell. Mireille Damicone, one of the artists was also there. Mireille creates large floral canvases, jewelry, and icons.
So, Patti and I were sitting in two salon chairs by the sink, and Mireille was sitting on a bench across from us. Patti asked Mireille, "Have you prayed today?" "Everyday."
"Would you pray for me?" Mireille nodded yes.
Patti joined Mireille on the bench and they clasped hands as they faced each other. I didn't know what to do. It felt like an intimate and private moment. The Spirit lead me to close my eyes and join my heart with their prayer. Mireille's words were soft, indistinct.
My heart burned as if on the road to Damascus. I felt blessed.
This was during the performance, so none of the patrons were aware of this private moment. No particular creed or belief system was imposed on anyone. Just a private moment of prayer, where two or three were gathered.
I was reminded of a similar incident years ago, when I lived in Norman. Tony's Top Drawer, a vintage & used clothing shop, was in downtown Norman. It was the best source of quality inexpensive duds. It was a frequent destination on Saturdays after payday, when I needed to supplement my wardrobe.
I was shopping there one Saturday when a group of people came in. The owners of the shop gathered around this group and prayed over them. Business stopped for this moment of prayer. Turned out, this group of people was going on a mission trip, and were friends of the owners.
As I paid for my selections, I let the owners know how much I admired them for that moment of prayer.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Monday, September 05, 2011
I am from red dirt & hard clay
I come from his whiskey breath
& her menthol teat
I am from Nat King Cole
& Johnny Mathis
I come from fire
Her backdraft roar
his dry ice burn
I am from the belt &
I am the twisted lip,
twisted at birth
I come from playground taunts
I was formed by the pack's wisdom
I come from Dickens & Holden Caufield
from Miller & Kerouac
I am from suburban dreams & nightmares
I am from mowed grass & yellowed lawns
I am from this city, this county, this state
It's where I'm coming from
Inspired by this
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
It seems to me that most of the folk I used to follow via their blogs have now migrated to Facebook. In fact, my own posting has dropped off dramatically, partially due to my energies being focused on Twitter and Facebook.
I'll add more sites to the list as I rediscover them.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
One of my electives in high school was Drama. I had taken Speech in junior high, and we staged a few dramas, which was my favorite part of the class.
Most people called our drama teacher Mrs. Lady. As I recall, she had earned that nickname when she had taught in a predomninantly African-American school in Arkansas. Padre told me that “Lady” was a title of respect - as in “Lady Day” (Billy Holiday).
One of Mrs. Lady's first assignments for us was to keep a journal. I used that journal to write poetry. I may have copied a few poems I'd already written just to fill out the journal.
I'd recently started writing poetry prior to enrolling in high school. You see, someone close to me attempted suicide the summer between junior and senior high. She slit her wrists — with the grain, so to speak — and I was the first to find her.
I dealt with this trauma in two ways — one healthy & acceptable, the other not so much. The healthy coping skill was writing poetry — fairly typical mediocre high school poetry, with the distiction of having blood-soaked imagery. The other was imitative in nature.
I was not sent to the guidance counselor. I was not sent to a therapist. I was going to school with my arms wrapped in blood-stained tissue, but only my fellow students asked what was going on. I lied, of course.
That journal for Mrs. Lady was my therapy.
I still remember the first time Mrs. Lady returned my journal. I had signed my poem "jac". She wrote “Are you ‘Jac’? This is very good!” I felt like I'd received a dozen gold stars.
Mrs. Lady was extremely supportive of my poetry. She sent me to a regional contest to read my own poetry (under the nom de plume Jacques Bijou). I did not place, but I treasured the fact that she believed that strongly in my writing.
Drama was in the early afternoon. Sometimes, if Mrs. Lady was having a bad day, a girl would say something like “I think Lady would really appreciate a poem written by you today.” I would dash something off, and get it delivered to her somehow.
I don't know if those poems made any difference to her. But thinking they did helped me feel pretty special.
It may seem overly dramatic to say Mrs. Lady saved my life. But I'm still here, almost 30 years later.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This quote was commended to me by Brother Dave.
The quote begs the question of what we mean by "morality". I suppose "morality" to be a set of commonly accepts principles a society agrees to live by. The best known is the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Or to freely translate Hippocrates: “First do harm.”
And though we naturally mistrust "situational ethics", we have come to accept "situational morality". For example, it's immoral for an individual to lie or misrepresent his/her qualifications. It's not only moral for a corporation to lie, it's expected. It's expected business practice. It's also expected that politicians and their supporters exaggerate and lie. If a mailer goes out with the wrong date for an election, it's not immoral. It's not even gross incompetence. It's a typo.
Sir Arthur's quote also begs the question of what we mean by "religion". I suppose it to mean a set of codes, liturgies, rites, and rules intended to aid our relationship with the divine. Buddhism does not necessarily include divinity, but it is still a religion, with its very own variant on the Golden Rule. If we accept my definition of religion, it would of necessity include teachings about morality. I believe "religion" in this sense precedes humanist or existentialist morality.
What I suppose Sir Arthur meant is that religion has never fully lived up to the moral codes it promotes. An obvious example is the pederasty scandals in the RC church. The extreme wealth of most main-stream churches has been a scandal since at least the time of St. Francis. All I can say, is human organizations have human failings, often enlarged by the size of the organization. This is no excuse.
We all must have code we can live by, as Graham Nash said. If we're radically truthful with ourselves we know we will often fail to fulfill the highest aspirations of that code. Yet, we keep trying. With luck, we improve.
A basic application of the Golden Rule is that we forgive the failings of others as we would like to be forgiven.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Norway's prime minister [Stoltenberg] struck a defiant tone Wednesday, saying the response to twin attacks that have rocked his country will be "more democracy."...Or, to quote the Sage of Baltimore (H.L. Mencken): "The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy."
Stoltenberg said that extremist views are legitimate in a democracy but implementing them violently is not.
HT Brother Dave
By the way, it's terrorism regardless of who commits the act. Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist, as was the white nutjob who flew a plane into a Federal Center in Texas sometime last year.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
- E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)
This would apply today to the label "liberal". When, exactly, did "liberal" become the new "Communist"?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Simple, isn’t it?
— Brian Haycock, Dharma Road: A Short Cab Ride to Self Discovery
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I hear there's hard times coming. There's a bad moon on the rise. It's a hard rain that's going to fall. And it all boils down to weird scenes inside the gold mind.
Voici les temps des Assasins
With those words, the aspect of the complex is entirely altered. The walls have changed colors. The guard dogs in the pillars have been calmed. The eerie voices which once permeated our consciousness are no more. Yet the Black Empire persists. The Muzac Life never ended. In fact, we might say that it has just begun.
Already, the hints of the days to come are everywhere. The books are feverish. The windows wake up each morning with a soft moist film. It's not dew — it's morning halitosis. And thus we see the rumors of a meaningful universe persist.
But all this is beside the point. No matter where you look, everything is changing...
An handful are seeking the Ultimate, but fewer are studying the process. The pilgrim so rarely realizes that the study of the process can help him/her avoid past errors. So many pilgrims already know what they're looking for: it's that signpost labeled the "The Ultimate" or "Enlightenment" just over the horizon; but they don't know how to find it. A list of potential errors may be found in Everyman, Pilgrim's Progress, or the life of Timothy Leary....
I have been studying mysticism, the Gnostic Gospels, and the life of Wm Blake to discern the errors I must avoid, as well to seek which path might be applicable to my life. Once we uncover the proper path, we may break out of the Muzac Life and find Life Everlasting here in this Vale of Tears.
And so on.
It has been written: "Blessed is the man who has suffered & found life." (Gospel of Thomas, 43, VII-XI). It is such as these who have discovered the Holy Ghost within themselves & have found paradise on Earth... That's the story of the Muzac Life — how we can go beyond our sufferings.
Must be the sad love songs on the radio that make me ramble on so....
Because we're looking in the face of the mystery of a cold weather front.
Because Flood Street is one long detour from Main to Robinson.
Because every other day has been Indian Summer.
Because the grass has mono.
Maybe you're wondering where all this came from. This has been written under the influence of a low-grade fever while sitting in the complex's warehouse. This letter acknowledges the possibility of clear day warnings....
'Til then, have good times & beware lizards bearing gifts.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Well, Dharma is true, but he's in disguise.
Dharma wears a jester disguise.
Dharma is your kid brother
who wants to move into your spare room
just until he gets back on his feet.
Some of Dharma is faithful.
Well, Dharma is faithful, but she's flirtatious.
Dharma is your ex-wife
who you never did understand.
She's more than fresh coffee and rumbled sheets.
Her hands define wheat waves on the dance floor.
Some of Dharma is real;
the rest is fiction.
Dharma is a city with Kerouac dreams
and Cassady days.
Dharma is your new lover.
Dharma is a steward flying over the Pacific.
Dharma is ready to pounce.
Some of Dharma is true, but it's disguised.
Dharma likes to play the jester.