Category Archives: Get on your feet

The wrong place at the wrong time? Don’t go there.

My bud showed up at the mission with two black eyes and a broken leg.

Said he’d been at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I said, “Dude, you went there.”
Continue reading The wrong place at the wrong time? Don’t go there.

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Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos

(Originally published 06/05/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 06/04/14.)

Short life of Carter Scott marred by accusations of family violence

It’s difficult to start this post, as the story’s prone to leave one speechless.

What sort of karma would impel a child to be born into that context?

At the shelter, we’re compelled to attend chapel every night. A different preacher comes each night, in a monthly rotation. These generally disappoint me in their utter failure to speak to the sort of situation in question here. About 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with what will become of your soul when you die; whether you’ll go to heaven or hell; and your need to “believe in Jesus” as the key to salvation. It’s all about a cognitive assent, saying “yes” to a certain set of ideas. There is no presentation of Christianity as a lifestyle, nor any discussion of the role of discipline in following Jesus.

Another 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with obtaining “blessings,” principally by the means of praise: “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” A “blessing” here is always a material, for example monetary, advantage that one has done nothing to earn. It is as if God were some cosmic King Lear jealous for flattery.

Neither group mentions the call to repent, in terms of any need to change one’s ways.

The only hell that concerns me is the living hell that folk create in this life, here and now, for themselves and their community.
Continue reading Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos

The Gestapo librarian

(Originally posted 08/04/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 05/28/14.)

Officer Nasty works security at the library. He doesn’t wait for trouble to happen or for someone to ask him for help. Instead, he constantly patrols the whole place looking for people who may be breaking the rules, so he can put them out. He walks up and down the narrow aisles of the computer center to see what you have on your screen. He comes into the men’s room hoping to catch someone in the act — act of what, I can’t imagine. You get the picture.

Continue reading The Gestapo librarian

Ask Amy: Inflating the drama won’t help fiance deal with mother

Ask Amy: Inflating the drama won’t help fiance deal with mother

With Amy Dickinson’s permission, I am copying here below the whole of her column for today.  All three letters touch dramatically on principles I associate with presence, including “Keep the focus on you,” “Mind your own business,” and “Don’t come uninvited.”


DEAR AMY: My fiance’s mother is a monster. He gets upset any time they speak. The latest incident was because he had not been in touch with her since Christmas.
Continue reading Ask Amy: Inflating the drama won’t help fiance deal with mother

The power of presence

(Originally posted 08/15/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 05/21/14.)

[Note, 08/15/13: Releasing this now as I will have another post on similar topics in the very near future.]

Wednesday afternoon 07/03/13 I stepped into the shower and said, “OK, what will I think about?” The answer came, “Think about nothing. Give yourself completely to this activity, this experience.”

And at once, for the first time in weeks, I felt the boost that comes from conserving one’s energies, when they are no longer being drained by attention to things distant from here and now and what I myself can do.

This is the power of presence.

[Notes to follow up on in the future:
– Scott Morrison
– Brother Lawrence: silence; feelings
– Forgive us our trespasses
– Take no thought
– The needle’s eye
– Just for today
– Serenity prayer
———
– Be here now
– Wherever you go, there you are
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A first look at meditation

Although I constantly refer to “silence” and “presence,” I have put off posting any how-to here about meditation, since there are innumerable resources out there and I don’t want to re-invent the wheel.   I may eventually post a how-to here.

In the meantime, Brian Williard sent me the below link that I can’t ignore.

I’d urge anyone who’s interested in meditation, or in learning how to meditate, to read it.  Actually, I’d encourage anyone who’s not engaged in meditation now, to read it.

Son Meditation in the Midst of Turmoil

Continue reading A first look at meditation

The path of presence

Thursday, May 1, 2014.  For several days, I’ve sought a sign as to whether presence is, indeed, the way to go.  No answer could be clearer than my experience this afternoon.  I’ve gone through exactly the transition described in “Chaos overwhelms the poor.”  I have power and competence to deal with my current circumstances, with the resources at hand.  I perceive the universe as a well-ordered place.  This cosmic harmony provides the foundation for hope.  I may soon be able to face with confidence the unknown, uncertain future.

That I did all this on my own raises the question of whether there exists, in the end, the unseen world.  I have that answer already; I’ve been in this place before.

———— ♦ ————

From “Chaos overwhelms the poor:”

Jesus and others have taught an approach to life that enables one to learn to care for oneself and begin to establish harmony in one’s immediate situation.
Continue reading The path of presence

The wandering will

Cartesian space
A vector in a three-dimensional space.

I envision the emotional or spiritual world as a ten-dimensional space, in which a vector (arrow) beginning at the origin (the center of the space) depicts a person’s emotional state at any point in time.  The vector’s length indicates the intensity of one’s emotions at a given moment, while its direction indicates what kinds of feelings those are — equal parts joy and sadness, for example, or some anger and much love.

These are the energies one is emanating at that moment, the kinds of light or darkness one creates.
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Writing and discipline

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I don’t write easy things.

Sometimes I can’t tell the story but from a state of emotional upset, and I may balk at allowing myself to get into that state.  Other times, I may balk at other things.  I have gotten next to nowhere with the piece I’ve been working on now for two weeks, and I finally know why.

The problem is, I’m indecisive.  The solution is to resurrect the approach that allowed me to succeed in college (BA, 1977), and become a disciplined writer.
Continue reading Writing and discipline