Furious Words

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Words, words,

analysis, paralysis,

and the real needs of many

are displaced and replaced with swirling,

ever changing,

news coverage.

Money spent,

reputations rent,

as all of these Solomon moments,

as all of these vacuous comments

suck oxygen,

abandon needy.

Words, words,

agendas, careers,

all being built and / or destroyed

while bridges crumble and enemies rail–

imbecility, futility,

furious words.

 

Oh, wait . . .

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I love to listen to those who agree with me;

I hate those who are oppositional. Oh, wait . . .

I need to listen to those who are oppositional so I can hone my arguments—

enough to win the debate. Oh, wait . . .

Winning is not all I am called to as a believer

so

how do I hold to a position and defend a position without being arrogant,

without appearing holier than thou,

with being open to learning a new point of view?

I love to be right.

I hate to be wrong.

But

how will I ever grow and know unless I listen.

Oh, wait . . .

 

Daily Prompt: Overwhelmed

O kay, I can’t live like this–all this tweeting, and FBing, and

V blogging, as if I need to know

E very single inconsequential thing about your daily

R ituals, what you’re selling, what you’re pushing.

W hat I need is quiet–physical and mental–a

H iatus from personal and political rants and

E nd-of-the-world diatribes. If the world is

L ost, then let me at the very least live

M y last brief moments

E njoying the illusion that people really

D o love and respect each other–at least now and then.

Dead Trees, Thorns, Elections, and Me

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There is an abbey up in the hills where I like to go to think, to photograph, and to seek moments of peace. A few weeks ago, I happened to go on a Sunday morning, and since there were masses scheduled, parking was limited; and I had to park quite a distance away from the reflecting pond. I did notice, however, as I was leaving there was an old, funky, dead tree across the field near where I had parked the car, and I determined the next time I came I would get closer and photograph it.

That next time was this week. After communing with the ducks and turtles and photographing the fall leaves and reflections in the water, I drove down to the edge of the field, grabbed my camera and headed across. The field was mostly sandy with tufts of weeds, but what kept me wary were the many holes I saw. I assumed they were gopher holes, but one can never tell. Up in the hills, we have Mojave green rattlesnakes, so I scanned the ground carefully as I walked so as not to be surprised by a very deadly snake.

I was barefoot in my Crocs, which was probably not the best choice for protective footwear, but I live in them because it is the next best thing to going totally barefoot! I started feeling little pinches and assumed some stickers were coming in through the holes as I walked, though I really didn’t see any thistles or thorns on the ground. I stopped by a small, flat rock and took one foot out and set it down there to rid my Croc of whatever had invaded. When I lifted my shoe up, I was horrified to see the whole bottom surface carpeted in goathead thorns. These are nasty, piercing, painful things! At my age, balance is not as sure a thing as when I was young; and realizing that I could not risk stepping down on the ground barefoot, I carefully emptied the shoe of the 2 bits of thorn and cautiously put my foot back inside.

My dilemma then was not whether or not to keep going, but whether to forget the picture and head back to the car. Of course, I took the picture. I would have liked to go closer and get shots from different angles, but I am not entirely crazy!

As I turned to make the careful trek back, I was aware—painfully aware—that the hundred or so steps back were to be done with utmost care. Part of me wanted to panic and run, but the sensible part gingerly took one step at a time. I pressed my feet hard against the plastic, scrunching my toes tight together, trying to ignore the bits of thorns that progressively invaded as I tried not to scuff.

When I finally made it to the car, I sat in the driver’s seat with my feet out and removed the shoes. Both soles were completely covered with thorns. There was no way I was going to be able to dislodge them, so I carefully put my Crocs on the floor mat of the passenger side and drove home barefoot.

My husband tried to clean them up for me, but very quickly came to the realization that he was not going to be able to get every part of the thorns out; so, they are destined for the trash bin!

I kept thinking that there had to be some kind of allegory or moral in all of this. So here it is.

Even though we head toward what we think is a worthy goal, and even though we think we know what dangers exist and are on the lookout, there are myriad little things we don’t see that become just as great a threat to our health and safety. In this election cycle, people have had different goals, different candidates, different passions and causes, different behaviors or evidence they were willing to overlook for a greater cause, and they have pushed full steam ahead in their desired directions. I had hoped that once the election was settled and a winner declared, tempers would cool and folks would go back to their respective corners to continue on with a semblance of orderly life. However, the thorns that were picked up on the way were not the big and obvious obstacles that all factions were maneuvering through. What has attached itself to our underbellies are all the cruel words, the bitternesess, the ideological divides that make it impossible to agree to disagree.

What has attached itself to our souls is the tension of otherness—an otherness that is supported by the studies and anecdotes and inflammatory rhetoric that each group trusts. People are virtuous in their own narratives, supported by their selective documentation and cited diatribes. Folks are indeed going to their respective corners, but not to cool off and gain perspective of the greater goals—the greater good. Folks are in their corners throwing rocks and gearing up for full scale attack.

People have stopped listening to each other.

People have stopped caring about what is best for their neighbor, more intent on winning a political and/or an ideological battle. If it means undermining the Constitution or throwing communities into disarray or pitting person against person, it becomes more about winning than about what is good for the country. These are the nasty, piercing, painful things, and I wonder if the nation will survive them.

As for me, I am not a citizen and cannot vote; but character counts for me, so I would not have voted for either candidate. My ultimate kingdom is a spiritual one, so whether America goes Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian in the long run does not matter to me. Well, maybe a little.

And yet, I live here, and the stress and at times near panic has been unsettling.

But the thorns in my life that keep my eyes off forever things,

the thorns in my life that pinch and keep me from loving as Christ loves,

are the ones that can do damage to my soul, and those I am endeavoring to throw in the trash.

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Social Issue–Shrimp and Slavery

Before indulging in your next shrimp-fest, you might want to give a listen and find out who is providing that fare to your table or local restaurant.

Besides the health risks of eating a creature whose function is to clean the crud out of water, and besides any problem folks might have with eating creatures period, there is the slave labor issue.

We must not let our appetites be satisfied with any product that is produced at the expense of a child’s and/or adult’s enslavement.

http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/good-food/seafood-booze-and-bbq

A Preface to My Profound Political Speech (Keeping It Real!)

First, thank you to all my fans and the planted vocal support placed throughout the crowd to give the illusion that I have more going for me than I do.

I would like to thank my speech writers for the rousing, articulate diatribe I am about to recite. As politicians from the last century and this can testify, without you, the world would know that my handlers think I am incapable of presenting cogent arguments on this stage, let alone present truths that are worthy of electing me to the power and position I so earnestly crave. Of course, if they plagiarize the content, I have plausible deniability since I only saw the speech last night, and my views are so fluid they assume I will need to include material that has already had a favorable hearing.

Thank you also to my handlers who coached me as to when I should raise my voice, sweep my hand, and shed a tear. The subtle pinch I give myself at various points is a very effective way to generate a tear without feeling that much emotion. (Pulling out nose hairs works, as well, but is harder to do in public.)The tight knot in the tie at my throat enables me to get very red-faced and sweaty at moments of righteous indignation.  The “pause for effect or laughter” notes on the teleprompter are also a great help in reminding me to give space for my “plants” to insert the proper response, and by imitation and inspiration, influence the innocents around them into brainlessly jumping on this popular bandwagon.

Please know that if I had to write my own material, I would not have become this successful, so join me in giving credit where credit is due–as long as they do not get my substantial paycheck and as long as they also take all the blame for any errors in construction and content. And now to begin . . .

******************

It is with great humility and transparency that I accept your rallying support, adulation, and finances on this historic day! . . .

 

 

A Bit of This About That

A Facebook friend posted an article link in which the writer very methodically went down a list of why people post certain things on FB (and by extension, I would assume, any social media) and what was wrong with all of that. It got me thinking.

There was much in it I could agree with–kind of, sort of. Some folks need approval and only post to get it. (Don’t forget the LIKE button down below.)

Others have no community–read that, no life–and so have high hopes that with a lot of FB or blog friends they will somehow find that sense of belonging they crave. This author would have you abandon that “shallow” quest in order to search out real flesh and blood friends and family (or stay home and sulk if you don’t happen to have any close by). I have, I must admit almost unfriended my faraway siblings for not LIKING my FB life, but blood is thicker than ambivalence–I think. That’s a real sulk.

It is true, as the author rightly points out, that folks often share too much personal information and / or pictures of mangled pets or stitches on a bloody incision. I will be very happy not to see one more healing wound or bug bite or even a bloody slab of prime rib with baked potato! Vegan moment! The meat, not the potato (but perhaps guilty by association since it had sour cream on top).

But what was ironic is that the commentary is a blog posted on the Web and linked to others on other social media sites. Maybe not hypocrisy, but certainly a disconnect there.

I think Web life might be the world we live in now.

Is conversation over coffee in an intimate coffee shop that plays old black and white movies in the corner with soft jazz piped through the system a better environment for fostering relationship? Probably. But can’t we have a both / and without being accused of sacrificing the sacred cow of what is supposedly real.

For some, the Internet offers a broader horizon to find folks of common (or uncommon) mind here, there, and across the world. For others, it might make far flung loved ones seem not too far flung as we share pictures and jokes and health tips.

And there might be that voyeurism thing.

Does social media have its problems. Sure. But most of that has to do with you driving into my lane on the freeway as you update your status.

Unless the apocalypse comes sooner than later, social web connections are here to stay. There is value in all of it as long as we find a balance with what is real and accessible and what is just safe fun–and as long as we don’t post any more extracted teeth.

(Don’t forget the LIKE button. I like to have an audience because I am needy. Or not.)