Thursday, September 30, 2010

Your Soul’s Theme Song

How long has it been since your soul was so full and overflowing that you simply had to sing? Yesterday? This morning? Last year? Never!? Well, for me, it happens only rarely. And what stirs and awakens this response in me? Why, that could just as easily be a circumstance, perhaps a season, a recollection, something read or experienced, or, of course, the touch of Another. But when it is a moment of celebrating the living of all that is ... right then ... I have one song that expresses my Heart's happiness with the joys of that instant.

And this is how it has been for me for as long as I can remember. When I am stirred, I sing. I recall my daughter declaring “You are depressed! Whenever you are depressed, you sing.” on some no-longer-recalled occasion. And I remember thinking, at the time … and again, now … how very sad that she has only made note of my "singing inclination" and observed my singing in settings that she interpreted as depressed or melancholy. How unfortunate that she was not with me in the isolated moments when I was given cause to sing for joy. If only she could know the exuberance of my song when I was first presented with what has become my Soul’s "Love Celebration" theme song. I recall, quite vividly, opening that envelope and finding within, the three-by-five index cards with the lyrics typed as an expression of the feelings of their Presenter. How I did sing that song … over and over … that day, and for many days (and years) to follow!

I recall that morning, as I went about my work, and found myself singing that very song. Freely and with complete abandon, I styled, modified, varied, and adjusted the tempo, key, even some lyrics, to my immediate taste. And, with unabashed gusto, I sang out my challenge to the early-morning chorus of birds. “Stand aside boys … you have competition this morning!" And I sang.

So, the question arises … What is, or would be (if you were so inclined) your Soul’s theme song? What melody would carry your spirit in a comfortable representation of your Spirit’s fondest emotion? What lyrics would translate the message of the desires of your heart into the atmosphere? And when will you be singing it next? And what are you doing … right now… to bring that to pass?

All worthy considerations as you and I share in that song given to me on that lovely day, by that lovely and loving Gift from Life. It was made famous by the New Christy Minstrels in 1964, and was given to me, on that little index card (back in 1973) that, over the course of many years, became worn to the point of disintegration. Here (as you listen to
The New Christy Minstrels sing) are the words toToday… as I bid you the very best of your Today. (Go ahead ... sing along ... I am.) [smile]

Words & Music by Randy Sparks
Recorded by New Christy Minstrels, 1964

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine today.

I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover,

You'll know who I am by the song that I sing.

I'll feast at your table, I'll sleep in your clover,

Who cares what tomorrow may bring.

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine today.

I can't be contented with yesterday's glories,

I can't live on promises winter to spring.

Today is my moment and now is my story --

I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing.

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine Today.

IMAGES: (Rose Vine) Univ. of Chicago; (Strawberries) Christine's Pies; (Wine) Earth's Best E Books; (Feast) National Maritime Museum; (Clover) Roundrock Journal

Monday, September 27, 2010

By Whatever Name ... In Every Way

The heart of a Father soars
at the first unintelligible sounds of loving recognition
from his infant child.

He requires no lofty phrases of oratory …
no declaration of profound allegiance
or obedient devotion.

His joyful acceptance
of this simplest, unadorned, adoration and trust
is without reservation or qualification.

This is true in the lands and regions
of all of humankind.

Language, custom, tradition, and setting
have no dilutive effect
on this timeless dynamic.

So it was with those first recognitions
of an awesome Power …
some inexplicable Source …
by earliest Man.

He expressed his sense of wonder and awe
in scratchings on wood, stone, or earth.

He gave vent to his need for expression
through ritual and ceremony …
with dance, song, and works of artful display.

The Father of all that is
cannot have been any less affected
by these efforts to speak,
than any father regarding his child.

A touch; a look; a sound from an adoring child
is always appropriate and correct
in the heart of its father.

I am certain that the “I Am” hears
the absolute, unadulterated message, from the Worshiper,
when addressed as Allah, God, Yahweh, Vishnu,
or through the rhythms from a ceremonial log.

This surely has been … and, forever will be, so.

27 September 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Greater Love Hath No Man ..."

Meet The Man Who Sneaked Into Auschwitz
by NPR Staff

September 18, 2010

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of a World War II milestone few people have heard before. It's the story of a Polish army captain named Witold Pilecki.

In September 1940, Pilecki didn't know exactly what was going on in Auschwitz, but he knew someone had to find out. He would spend two and a half years in the prison camp, smuggling out word of the methods of execution and interrogation. He would eventually escape and author the first intelligence report on the camp.

The Mystery Of Auschwitz

In the early years of the war, little was known about the area near the town Germans called Auschwitz.

Poland was in a state of chaos. It was divided in half — Nazi Germany claiming one side, Soviet Russia on the other. The Polish resistance had gone underground.

Pilecki wanted to infiltrate the Auschwitz camp, but he had difficulty getting commanders to sign off on the mission. At the time, it was thought of as POW camp.

"They didn't realize the information from inside the camp was that vital," says Ryszard Bugajski, a Polish filmmaker who directed the 2006 film The Death of Captain Pilecki.

Pilecki was eventually cleared to insert himself into a street round-up of Poles in Warsaw on Sept. 19, 1940. Upon arrival, he learned Auschwitz was far from anything the Resistance had imagined.

Life As A Number

"Together with a hundred other people, I at least reached the bathroom," Pilecki's Auschwitz report reads. "Here we gave everything away into bags, to which respective numbers were tied. Here our hair of head and body were cut off, and we were slightly sprinkled by cold water. I got a blow in my jaw with a heavy rod. I spat out my two teeth. Bleeding began. From that moment we became mere numbers — I wore the number 4859."

That was a small and early number for a camp that would — one year later — see numbers in the 15,000s.

Alex Storozynski, president and executive director of the Kosciuszko Foundation, tells NPR's Mike Pesca that one of the early signs of Auschwitz's true purpose to Pilecki was the prisoners' diet. "The food rations were calculated in such a way that people would live for six weeks," Storozynski says.

Here's Pilecki's description of what a German officer told him: " 'Whoever will live longer — it means he steals. You will be placed in a special commando, where you will live short.' This was aimed to cause as quick a mental breakdown as possible."

Smuggling Out Word Of The Horrors Within

Pilecki was assigned to backbreaking work — carrying rocks in a wheelbarrow. But he also managed to gather intelligence on the camp and smuggle messages out with prisoners who escaped. SS soldiers assigned Poles to take their laundry into town, and sometimes messages could be smuggled along with the dirty clothes to be passed to the underground Polish army.

"The underground army was completely in disbelief about the horrors," Storozynski explains. "About ovens, about gas chambers, about injections to murder people — people didn't believe him. They thought he was exaggerating."

Pilecki also hoped to organize an attack and mass escape from the camp. But no order could be procured for such a plan from Polish high command.
"We were waiting for an order, as we understood that without such one — although it would be a beautiful firework and unexpected for the world and for Poland — we could not agree to do that," Pilecki wrote.

For the next two and a half years, Pilecki slowly worked to feed his reports up the Polish chain of command to London.

"And in London," Storozynski says, "the Polish government in exile told the British and the Americans, 'You need to do something. You need to bomb the train tracks going to these camps. Or we have all these Polish paratroopers — drop them inside the camp. Let them help these people break out.' But the British and the Americans just wouldn't do anything."

Pilecki's Escape

Eventually, after nearly three years, Pilecki reported, "further stay here might be too dangerous and difficult for me."

He planned an escape through a poorly secured back door in a bakery, where he'd managed to get a job. With a few other inmates, he ran into the night.
"Shots were fired behind us," he wrote. "How fast we were running, it is hard to describe. We were tearing the air into rags by quick movements of our hands."

After his escape, Pilecki continued to fight in the underground. But after the war, the Germans were replaced by a new occupying regime — the Soviets. Pilecki was again asked to gather intelligence, this time on the ways in which the communists were establishing themselves in Poland.

Filmmaker Bugajski explains, "He was actually captured by the communists, he was accused of espionage, and he was shot."

A Story Revealed — At Last

There's a reason many Americans have never heard the story of Witold Pilecki's infiltration of Auschwitz. The communist regime in Poland censored any mention of his name in the public record — a ban that remained in place until the fall of the Berlin wall.

Only since then have documents emerged that reveal his story — and that allowed Bugajski to accurately portray it in his film.

That film ends with an epilogue, as the actor who plays Pilecki, Marek Probosz, walks outside the same prison where Pilecki was executed.

"To our surprise, we see that this is free Poland," Probosz explains. "That you can talk about Pilecki, and no one is going to spit in your face or stab you with a knife."

Today there is a street in Warsaw named after Pilecki. A square might be named after him, too.

"Having a beautiful wife and two kids he loved dearly, he decided to leave them behind and go to Auschwitz." Probosz says. "Human beings were the most precious thing for Pilecki, and especially those who were oppressed. He would do anything to liberate them, to help them."

This article is from NPR and can be seen (or LISTENed to)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Bid You "Good Morning"

As I allow this Image to speak to me, I am immersed in Yo Yo Ma's interpretation of "The Main Theme from Once Upon A Time In The West." I happily share this experience with You, my Darling Reader ... and bid You a "Good Morning!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010


As I consider this image, I hear the Master of life speaking to Nature, and instructing Her to "Hush ... still all of the noises ...but do it gently, and with soft loveliness."

Which, then, reminded me of a piece that I wrote a couple of years ago

Hush Me

I am speaking too much.
My enthusiasm is intrusive.
This Energy I radiate, I know, is tiring.
So, please, just ‘hush me.’

Only one finger, across my lips,
Or to the end of my chin,
Will draw my attention to your eyes.
And they will just ‘hush me.’

When I ask too much.
Delve too deeply.
Suggest too frequently.
I beg you … just ‘hush me.’

Draw my arm close to your side.
Place your head against my shoulder.
Take my hand in the tenderness of yours.
My heart will draw to you, and just ‘hush me.’

I can sing ... I can dance;
Devise all sort of elaborate plans;
Make noble statements ... proclaiming my Love.
All goes still and silent … when you just ‘hush me.’

23 March 2008

IMAGE through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seeing the Blossoms Amongst the Thorns

My thoughts, in March of 07 (when I first posted this bit) were on the confluence of four separate streams of truth, contributed by sources, both of today and many yesterdays. Here is what I said then (illustrated with images of a terribly inhospitable-looking plant which offers (if One notices) heavenly blossoms in the midst of its life-protecting thorns)...

My thoughts today are the confluence of four separate streams of truth contributed by sources both of today and many yesterdays. I am grateful to Life for my conversation with SA wherein I offered something akin to “All you need do is ... BE available ... to the new and desired circumstances that Life will bring to your awareness.” Her response was “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable. Right?” And she was, of course, quite right.

Then I was given the gift (recently) of a vehicle-to-vehicle visit (him, on his way to work … me, finishing my newspaper deliveries) with BLY and his offering of “It’s all good … all you have to do is find it.” He then smiled a knowing smile and added “There! That will give you something to ponder.” And I admitted, to him, that I would, indeed, ponder that thought (or, as he added further “That will be a new cud for you to chew.” as he smiled again and drove away toward his work place, and I continued on my newspaper delivery route.) Life was, once again, speaking through the insights and in the inspired voices of special Lives in my world.

By the time that I had finished my delivery duties, I was certain of what I am obliged to offer to you, My Dear Reader, today. Four elements from four sources (two of whom I have already revealed.) The other two are the biblical psalmist, and Dr. Alfred Adler (both of whom I have quoted in previous messages to you.)

Beginning with SA’s “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.” I reflect on those imperatives that demand the attention of our minds, and insist on the focus of our activities, in our daily walk. These imperatives are (for the most part) forces that we are not even conscious of.

They are instilled in, and reinforced in, us by voices (often well-intentioned and genuinely caring) demanding our attention. From our earliest moments of life we have concerned individuals warning us against (what could be) threats to our 'success' in life. Voices of family, peers, significant others of all sorts and description. All insisting that we conform, adhere, and mold ourselves to their perspectives on every element of our lives. For they have the "experience" and know what is "Best" for us. I liken them to the thorns of life. Those aspects, of our daily existence, that warn us of life’s threats and survival demands … but have, as well, their own potential for inflicting emotional, physical, material (and even psychological) harm if not balanced with what BLY referred to as the “all good.” Those traits, idiosyncratic gifts and unique talents that are Life's Gift to our individuality. (And, please note, I do not discount the element of necessity to hearing and respecting these voices … to ignore the “thorns” of life [those potential 'pit-falls' of bad habits and practices] and would be nothing short of foolhardy. Thorns are, by their very nature and design, early warning systems and defense mechanisms necessary to survival. But they are NOT the Mission of the Plant.)

For, My Darling Reader, to internalize the thorns to the exclusion of Blossoms … the “all good” of life … is to create an inner Monster that will cripple and slowly devour us. I cannot count the number of individuals, who I have had opportunity to share life's walk with, who have had themselves damaged, stunted, lamed, and/or (at the very least) hindered by the words and actions of significant others in their lives. Thus triggering their survival responses of focusing solely on the threat of supposed thorns of inadequacy, self-worthlessness, incompetence or other limiting mind-traps. This produces a constant fear of, and attention to avoidance of, these sets of perceived flaws. Thus making their lives a miserable succession of unhappy attempts to overcome self-imposed shackles of Self denial and devaluation. And they, in that state, are not “available” to the beauty and joy of the other presence in their lives. The Presence that has shared their living moments ... unseen and even unsuspected. The Blossoms that are their unrealized Glory. And The Blossom is the purpose of that 'Plant' in Life's 'garden,' that is ... us!

Those blossoms of talents, gifts, abilities, and personality traits that are right there all the while … but have not entered into what Dr. Adler called “our realm of phenomenological awareness.” That is to say … those phenomena that are the always-present “good” do not even exist to our awareness when our focus is locked on the “thorn” which becomes the entirety of our existence. Great is my joy when I can reveal a glimpse of their Bloom to someone who has been languishing without a prior awareness of its presence. When I can awaken and expand the view of One whose vision has been blinded by the thorn-meisters in their life.

So, I must slightly amend BLY’s thought to read, instead, “It’s all good… all you have to do is be available to it.” And … yes, the thorns … the details … the demands … the necessities of life are also good and proper in life’s balance. And therein lies the key … BALANCE. All that we know (and all that we have yet to discover) is created in a wonderful balance and with a glorious purpose. This I am absolutely certain of, Dear Friend.

Thus, I can, once again, present the imperative of the Psalmist; “Be still… and know.” Please stop the repetition of behaviors that leave no opportunity for awareness of the new. Please permit yourself the refreshment of discovery of the “all good” that has always been present … waiting for your acknowledgment and celebration. Those undiscovered or unrealized talents ... your own abilities to 'see' life differently ... and communicate that fresh perspective to your personal world ... those who are hungry for what you ... and only you have to offer. Still yourself … step off of the treadmill of habit, custom, and familiarity … and breathe in a fresh breath of the “all goodness” awaiting your appreciation and embracing. Give your Self the gift of the complete You. BLY is quite right … “It is all good.” SA is quite right … “I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.” May YOU be available to that better Self ... just waiting within your Person ... for recognition.


IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Jon Sullivan,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Childishly Silly

I am, daily, deleting all of the several newspapers, from around the world, that I currently subscribe to. I simply can not bear any more heart rending input. My emotions are frazzled and worn to depletion.

But I do check in on the "pictures" section of the BBC News site. For I often find images that inspire and/or lighten my spirit. Here is one, from the Associated Press, that triggered a childishly silly caption in my mind ... I do enjoy Childishly Silly!

"Crow, Crow, Crow Your Boat ... "

I know ... it's REALLY BAD! ... (but it DID make you smile)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have found myself discussing relationships lately. Several friends have raised issues, questions, uncertainties, and dilemmas stemming from what they struggle with in their efforts to define, sustain, and develop what they consider to be their “relationships.” In the vortex of all that society, family, friends, religion, and community offer as definitions and opinions… I tend to want to simplify. And, for me, the most simple place to start defining and understanding something is in the name given it. So I refer to “relationship”... that defining word applied to that thing that we so desperately want to get right.

Re-la-tion-ship/ noun:
1.The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other.

Did you notice the repeated use of one word in each of these definitions? There is the presence of a “connection” in all three aspects of relationship mentioned. Telling us that a connection (a “being joined, fastened, or united together”) is integral to the existence of a relationship. Hence, I frequently terminate discussions about supposed relationships by pointing out the often obvious fact that there is no relationship to discuss; inasmuch as there is no "unity, fastening, or state of being joined" existing between the parties in question. “Cold!” you say... I say realistic. Call it what it is… or in those instances… is not. Why beat yourself up with the imposition of a set of expectations and requirements applied to a situation labeled “a relationship” when a simple and honest look at the facts evident would demonstrate the reality that the supposed relationship simply does not exist? The parties do not “relate” (“establish or demonstrate a connection between”) with each other.

Does “going out with”, or being “engaged to be married (betrothed)”, or even being “legally married” establish a relationship? (I can hear the “delete” buttons clicking already) I say "no!" Why do I say "no"? Because I pay attention. I see. I hear. I take note of the countless afore-labeled situations that demonstrate the glaring absence of any connectedness. “Two people walking alone… together” is the quote that applies to far too many who are going about (please pay attention here) DO-ing the stuff, the activities, the scripted performances expected of those in “relationships“… all the while, never BE-ing connected in a dynamic of relating to one another.

So, My Dear Reader, I humbly ask that you… today… in this moment that is ours… you reading what I am writing… stop worrying about how you can “work on your relationship.” Please, I beg of you, look first to the question of your having a relationship within which to “work.” Stop searching for what you can DO to improve something that must BEgin with BEing related… that is being connected (joined, fastened, united.) For, as those of you who are familiar with that old drum upon which I so often beat the cadence of my soul’s message know… this thing, known to us as life, is more about what we BE and far less about what we DO. Remember… we are human BEings not human DOings. So, let us first consider being related; being joined in purposeful and accommodatingly respectful union; being fastened together in an agreed upon oneness of purpose… and then, as life serves up its inevitable assortment of opportunities, we can do those things that are made easier… even pleasurable… in a healthy and joyful relationship.

And a note to those of us (myself certainly included) who catch ourselves all too often envying those about us who are in a relationship. Look again… more closely… and listen to a voice with the scar tissue of experience on its soul… when I ask you “Are they really joined together in a relationship with its fundamentally required unity, or are they "two people walking alone together?” And is anything more painful than being that kind of alone?

It all begins with BEing that particularly wonderful individual that you were specifically created to BE. BEgin there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not 'AnyOne' ... 'SomeOne'

“So, why do you want to be alone? Do you not wish to be with anyone?” I was asked. “Oh no! Please understand. It is not my wish, to be alone.

I want very much to be with 'SomeOne'. But if I was with 'AnyOne,' it would only be an uncomfortable reminder, that I am not with that 'SomeOne'.” I answered.

Now, as I reflect on that brief exchange, I consider that You too (as You read these few, simple words) may want to be with your 'SomeOne' at this moment. But circumstance (or perhaps the fruits of previous life choices) have conspired to leave you alone ... with a discriminating disinclination to be with 'AnyOne'.

So, I write, that You may know ...
You are not alone in your Moment.

IMAGES: "Alone" Maxine Kahn, BBC; "SomeOne" Darkroom 11

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Must Sing

I must sing.
Sometime in Solo … a cappella …
In Chamber of silent solitude.
No bell, chime, or chord to establish a tone.
Neither harmonies of support nor Unison Partner.
But singly … solely responding to my Soul’s demand.

I must sing.
And fly on wings, of celebratory currents.
Rejoicing in Choir, and sustained by Orchestral might …
A chorus of like-spirited Souls …
And Orchestra of harmonious circumstance.
Glorious, yet so rare, these moments of oneness with others.

I must sing.
For silence is no option.
I will not be stilled, by absence of support …
Nor will I allow the pressings of life, to silence me.
My world cries for an elevating theme …
And each life encountered, longs for a song.

22 October 2008

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Generosity of Spirit

"It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others." ALFRED ADLER

Many years ago, I found myself kneeling at the finish line, on a track with six lanes of “runners” coming toward me … my camera at the ready … cheering the Runner progressing toward me in the lane that I occupied … and feeling the tug at my heart-strings as I saw him falling further and further behind the competitors in the five other lanes. The runner was my son. The event was one of several that he was competing in as part of the annual Special Olympics (a version of athletic competition tailored to the special limitations [all mentally impaired to differing degrees … some physically impaired] of its participants.) My son has cerebral palsy and the portions of his brain effected result in a moderate impairment of his intellectual functions as well as a minimal impairment of his hips, and legs. He was, on that day, the only participant in that race who relied in the services of crutches. And it was due to this limitation that he was losing ground to the other competitors.
My role, in all of this, was to subtly assist him in maintaining a focus on his own lane so that he would not drift off into the adjoining lanes. (That challenge of "focus" being one of the aspects of his impairment.) I accomplished this (without causing him the embarrassment that would accompany an obvious display of my intentions) by appearing to be intent on photographing him as he raced. I could see the growing dismay in his eyes as he recognized the inevitability of crossing the finish line well after all of the others had.

Then a wonderful thing, that (even at this moment, all of these years later) still has my eyes brimming with tears, at the recollection. The runner in the lane to my son’s right looked over his shoulder … saw the sadness and frustration on my son’s face … and stopped … and waited … and ushered my son … ahead of him … across the finish line. And then applauded my son (while also cheering him.)

Need I say anything more? Is there anything that my words could add to the eloquence of that young man’s sermon in demonstrated compassion and self-sacrifice? Can the poetry of one person’s obvious generosity of spirit be enhanced by anyone else’s commentary? I think not! So rather than speak to that young gentleman’s nobility, I will speak to us … You and Me.
Would it take so much for us to step aside and allow the one struggling along-side us to move ahead? Will our position in our own life-race be jeopardized by a spirit of generosity and sacrifice? Is that “finish line” of immediate gratification worth the loss of the higher goal of betterment of our shared environment? Will we be any “better off” as a people if we insist on focusing on our own agendas to the exclusion of a sensitivity to the plight of our neighbors? Did that young man not demonstrate, to all of us, the noble value of assuming responsibility for and taking action to benefit those who (while doing all that they are capable of doing) are falling behind?
No, My Dear Reader, I can not add to, nor do I wish to detract from the beauty of the message delivered by that wonderful Human Being’s behavior. So, in this thought on reaching out and touching others, I will dry my tears of recollection … and send these considerations to your safe-keeping.

IMAGE: Matthew Michael Brown (My Son)

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Two-Year-Old's Morning

To satisfy my current appetite for simplicity and openness ... what could be better than a look at life through the eyes of a sweet, and completely receptive, child? So, I revisit a Bit posted in February of last year ...

A Two-Year-Old's Morning

Through the prism of one tiny Dew Drop,

She discovers the spectrum of a new day’s Sun.
Her perspective … the same height as the Plant’s,
She is perfectly focused on Wonders unseen to me.

Introduced, by my Dad, to the ‘Night crawler’ Worm,
She boldly takes its wriggling, squirming Form in fingertip hold.
Then, to the shock and disgust of all of the ‘Grown-ups,’
She examines it further … with a bite.

Made aware of the individual character of Leaves,
She touches each, in turn … Plant by Plant.
Noting; some jagged, some smooth … rigid, soft.
And the Nursery becomes a Place of diverse wonder.

Such is a day’s exploration of Life and her World.
Such is the opening of awareness and consciousness.
In the eyes and sensitivities of this delicate Beauty …
As this two-year-old embraces Living ... and Life.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Gainseville Goon

I shudder with the chill of deeply instilled and reinforced embarrassment and shame at the behavior of this mental pygmy who parades his stupidity, and self-aggrandizing ignorance, before the entire world in today’s press.

My very personal response is born of many decades of living under the misguided tutelage of ill-educated, intellectually immature, and sectarian-biased men who exercised power and influence over the minds and lives of thousands of willing followers. Simply summarized … I lived in the hermetically-sealed sphere of a Southern Baptist. I am, as I write this, an ordained Southern Baptist Deacon. Yet … I smile!

My history is one of listening to the dire warnings (issued from the pulpit … with carefully selected biblical reference supports) that God would destroy the world if we trespassed into His domain with a space program … a visit from my pastor’s wife (to my place of employment) warning me of the dangers of dating a girl outside of our faith (she, obviously, was unaware of the extraordinary body that the girl in question was gifted with!) [silly grin] Even worse, the girl was reputed to be (brace yourself) a CATHOLIC! Oh my!! … extended meetings of the Congregation laboring over the fear-laced question of admitting Negros (they were neither ‘Blacks’ nor ‘African Americans’ at the time. Only “those Men who want to date your sister.” … and then, the Ultimate “straw that broke the proverbial back of the proverbial camel” … the declaration (made in an open address by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention) that “God does not hear the prayers of the Jews.” And here, for all of my lifetime, we had been taught that the Jews are “God’s chosen People.” Go figure!

Well, my Dear Friends, that ripped it for me. I just couldn’t imagine worshiping a deity that is hearing-impaired. So I have absented myself from religious services with those who continue in such pursuits, lest my presence cause dissension and/or conflict. (As you may well suspect … silent acquiescence is not my style.) [smile]

So, you can begin to imagine my gut-response to that tiny (as measured on my personal scale of significance) man’s rantings about his determination to have a “Qur’an burning” this week. Oh yes! My Spirit is well-conditioned to readiness for just such insanities. But … what to do to allay my disgust and revulsion?

It seems to me that the only rational and healthy response to ignorance and prejudice is education and an embracing of the Subject at hand. Towit: I went online and ordered (from …

"The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics Hardcovers)"
Muhammad A. S. Abdel Haleem

Let’s just see for ourselves what all of this fuss is all about.

The antics of the Idiot in Gainesville, Florida ... I leave to the influences and powers of Time and Eternity.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Life’s Swaddling Care

If she were to enfold me in her tender embrace,
surely ‘twould be with the delicate softness
of a Bluebell Wood.

I could blissfully entertain the prospect of an eternal respite
cradled in the welcoming undulations of her bosom.

My senses are put at ease as I turn loose
all of yesterday’s vexations.

And happily allow Life to nurture me
in her swaddling care.

IMAGE courtesy of BBC News

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Where Whispers Forever Dwell

Off to that Place where whispers forever dwell,

Drift the mists of all that I feel and desire …

Part, now, of the forces of Foreverness.

Only to be mingled with all that has been sensed before,

And swept back, once more, through me.

To be reknown … and relived.


05 August 2010

IMAGE through the generous courtesy of Ian Britton,

Common Gifts

Allowing a few silent moments, with this image,
made me feel good.

Peace and stillness are present here.

One, delicate and easily called “fine” …
the other, sturdy, charmingly "homey,"
and purposefully useful …

They find kinship and harmony
in their unassuming absence of pretense.

Each welcomes me in its own, individual, way.

And I am comfortable with whiling away
unmeasured time with them.

How I do adore such simple,
yet elegant, 'Friends'!

IMAGE through the generous courtesy of Ian Britton,

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