Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Military Burial Sites

‘She gives me religion.’

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Maybe there always had been something going on here, it just took so many years to recognize the holiness.

‘She gives me religion.’

To life. The things felt deep within. To extend the arc of your fertility, with the same degree of freedom and belief in freedom. When hyprocrisy is the chaarge leveled when leaders cannot live up to the espoused standards of true freedom as well as the wants and needs of freedom. Supplemented by thing like love, in the intermingling of your DNA with themes about pursuit and power.

When a man abandons his past, isn’t that the story of Jacob? When Andy came into the classroom and spoke of how he slept around. Perhaps like so many in this society. And when his schooling was over? What did he do to his brothers? When it took forty years to answer the question: “What the hell kind of friend was he?”

When Jacob had never really yet considered the birthright – what it might be. The missing recognition which he might have inherited from his father. Isn’t that always the story of Jacob? Or the story of fertility? Long before Jacob, Abraham. When your spouse recognizes it, years later.

How had Abraham changed in the story? As the outside world meets the inside world. What had Sarah provided? On issues of accommodation? Why did Abraham change, only at the end of the story of his life? Was it due to the need for a stable relationship in his life? Sinful people who thought God should just accept selfishness? That you should bring your sinfulness into temple/church. People, unwilling to change, willing to have sex where the outside world meets the inside world, in sacred places.

Public places. Private places. Military cemeteries. To see the precision, when you spent year after year surrounded by death, of the burial grounds. Old soldiers never die. So what had you left behind?

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Of your fertility. In the way of inheritance, what had you left your family? And what had you left the world, in the way of life? How had it come to all of this, over and over? Judy Herman’s Trauma and Recovery. About battle fatigue. The unworthiness of power. The volleys that wake the dead. If these dead could ever sleep. The outrage at the system that empowered men. The training of generals and high priests. The anger over time when no one was left to defend you.

Burial grounds. People who thought God should just accept sinfulness. That you should bring it into temple/church. Burial grounds, of the old ways. At what age was a parent supposed to just accept the lifestyle decision of a child? When it was okay for a 25-year to have sex with a girlfriend but it was not to an 18-year old? When a grandparent was supposed to be concerned about what his grandkids believed. People, unwilling to change, willing to have sex without bonds, in sacred places? Unbonded people willing to murder their neighbor.

Selfishness. The change in perspctive, beyond myself. As the outside world meets the inside world. And so the November elections, about control. Controlling the levels of comfort. Creating an environment. In a world with air conditioning to adjust the levels of comfort, controlling the environment or just the money supply. Like someone had control. Of money supply, of interest rates. Of happiness. Or of pain. On issues of life and death, or just of birth. When weak leaders tried expanding the laws which had always sufficed. The greater the upheaval, the more force is needed to restore order, to arrive at a new legitimacy. Of the old ways. Like in the cities hosting political conventions. When you now had to give up some basic freedoms, to be the host.

In a democracy when the majority ruled, in elections and in Supreme Court decisions, the control and manipulation issue. A culture if not a pluralistic NATION deciding how close to God, to a religion, it wanted to get.

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Trust. Faith. Power. The things that humble us, which cause fear, and are associated with the Lord – like drought, or famine. Or the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Or just the occupied cities which host the political convention every four years.

Seeing what military power is when turned on the natives. Yes, more and more the difficulty of power-sharing. Which the news media never really reports.

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When a nation abandons its past. Living in a voluntary totalitarian society, with cell phones and computers. If you did not want to look like some kind of buffoon. But you carried a concern about valuations for the generations which followed you. When they built something on the foundation laid by me. But the core values were loosened, on matters of the deepest things about you.

Finding the power to love, with the difficulty of power-sharing in a relationship. In a promise land.

Book Clubs

Book clubs were about point of view. The purpose of reading was about change. And points of view were about the perspective of others. Beyond myself.

Point of view. Even in the garden, the solemnity of time. In a story that was so much alive, the story about the future – about time. An awareness of the solemnity, in the beginning. In a relationship, in the search for the divine.

Book clubs. The proliferation of book clubs. Poets and writers with movement/soreness/strength of purposes, or something way beyond myself. Telling stories, over and over. Using words about how we think who we are? The humbleness of words – or hieroglyphics. Learning word order to tell the same story about the need to grow and change. About identity.

Who could see the unraveling, as it happened? To my world. Or even in the garden. In the story about the future, the story about time and the solemnity of time. In the world wanting a piece of me. She wanted a piece of me and I wanted a stake of her. Despite the doubts about what seemed most true, just one bite. Of the apple. Where was my attention? Where was her attention? What was the ambition of a woman? In such a perfect world.

The system. With just the one apple. In the story about the future – about time – this was not a story when someone challenges authority… but when a woman challenges God over the power structure. Because in a perfect world, who really needed either marriage or a spouse? In such a world, who even needed God and what seemed to be an inane rule?

All those questions, no real answers, in the beginning. As longings collide with the anger over powerlessness. Over both the past as well as the future. In these reality stories about fertility. And news systems of power.

Book clubs were about point of view. The purpose of reading was about change – recognizing a need to grow and change. We endow our lives with stories, in the words of David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. “Mostly they are the same lives, the same stories, over and over.” Stories about how we have come to know God. The same game over and over, with newer players. Players who wore the same uniforms, but something about the players had changed? Something about the young was changed? Had it been from too many commercials? Or the politics of too many commercials? About too many no-names whose names we were all supposed to remember in an election year?

Book clubs. Fertility stories. When someone breaks your heart. Like Cain later would. In another fertility story of the displacement of consciousness, about moral authority. With the development of point of view to discover God’s Will – or something way beyond myself. Like a woman’s will, like Eve. With a new desire for guaranteed safety. For fertility. For children. By reading and discovering something in the way of direction of God’s Will.

In the Torah, the point of view as…
Then the Lord called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”

The winds of change. How fast things happen. After just one bite of the apple. When it was not enough to encourage, to applaud. When there was the need to act. On love. The growing awareness of the solemnity. In the beginning, with the ambition in the story, of the characters. The ambition of a man, the ambition of a woman in the world. Even soon outside the garden.

The point of time. In these stories. Where were you in these stories? Readers, like writers, with movement/soreness/strength of purposes, or something way beyond myself. Just as in the genesis of all fertility stories. Which started with just one bite? Before the reconciliation. When God more or less instructed Eve and Adam to stay together, in the end.

“I want to reach the deepest part of your inner being.” If there was one. With a developed consciousness of others. And the vows. Concerning the danger of living life outside of paradise, with the vows. To always be there. Whatever the news. No matter how little or how much affluence, which would pay for the commercials, affecting attention spans.

When someone breaks your heart. On issues of fertility or infertility. Or when a loved one dies. When losing the young. Or losing your youth? The seeds that spill over. In post war, with a displacement caused by the loss of consciousness about God, about moral authority, if not yet about family, banishing people with a love for the land, all over again, from the gardens? In a world with so many Ponzi schemes in urban areas, God having to star all over again in His relationships. In a world that needed sugar added to everything. On commercial television.

Book clubs. The purpose of reading beyond myself was about a changing perspective of others. And over time this led to deepening relationships between people.

The ambition of a woman, of a man. In the world. The new system of power which comes in a relationship. Who could see the unraveling, as it happened? To the systems of the world, with just one bite, maybe not unlike living in the European Union and seeing the currency unravel. When at the end of this story the man and the woman stay together.

Union. The tone. The chant. Michael Blumenthal wrote in his own autobiography that German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had a point “when he said that the first half of life gives us text, and what follows supplies the commentary on it.”

In North America, the fad of book club among women starts another season in September. In another season as the modern woman challenges the power structure. With the Kindles. Because sugar and spice and everything nice just never really worked to change perspectives in urban areas with so much displacement, about deepening relationships about the future – about fertility.

For the instant gratification generation, with all of the hand-held devices, how do they deal with the waiting in the story? When the nomads were never very good at waiting. On issues like fertility. With the long growing seasons. And the gestation periods which ended in so much pain — especially in the long period of time before anesthesia. The waiting, after all the radical change in the beginning. All the questions, and no real answers. The discovery of the gestation period, for Eve. Outside the garden where for Eve, and even for Adam, creation had been so painful.

When the stories with great pain in a culture were the ones most remembered. And the ones about fertility read and re-read.

Riders On the Storm

The finality when you quit moving. The anger and the deep feelings over a missing movement. Sister Joan Chittister. The deep feeling, at the end. The sorrow before the joy. For the nuns. The missing understanding. In the Insurrection. Had it all been a waste? When you tried to lead and no one was following. LINK

Extinguishing the charism. Dealing with loss. Dealing with hope at the end of the story. In stories of power.

For Truth, for future generation, for the power to freely worship, in liberation movements. As nuns lose the security of Church, replaced by the same Passover theme, and the power of prayer. In the story of a nun’s own fertility — given freely to God — today’s focus was in the absolute power in God’s own fertility. Truth is not a property of thought that guarantees validity to thinking, in either politics or religion.

The National Catholic Reporter this week quotes Sister Joan Chittister’s reflection written following a 1980 retreat after she had already served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The conflict: The tension between a concern of “unity in the church” and the awakening of female “consciousness”: So, where should we go? It was the same issues that Muslim women felt in the modern age.

If the LCWR ( Leadership Conference for Women Religious) itself was permitted to speak or to raise any questions which … ’had already been decided.’ Sister Joan Chittister, specifically citing the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, wrote: “They told us that though we might question certain things ourselves, we could never say them in public.“ As LCWR members found themselves in a “faith and loyalty trap.” Feeling oppressed. In a quest, if not for some power, for more leverage.

Dealing with the pain that comes from found but lost personhood. “Once you have a consciousness of new order of creaturehood … continually suppressing that for the sake of institutional or organization fragility… is extremely oppressive.”

Not being able to participate in much except administrative dissent. Did this sound like the story of The Passion to anyone else? Passionate women, tired of being in the minority opinion. Was there immense disappointment over the so many missing young followers? Thirty year later, after the liberation movement, so tired and aged like the majority of sisters, with so few women following behind in the same witness in the power of God. It was as if the struggle should one day end.

In this innate sense of wanting to be moved. When Truth was somehow tied to your own fertility. If you used your own fertility –the reduplication of truth within yourself – for a greater purpose, like for the future. In the ideology of capital punishment, to somehow try to take away the future — to take away a life. Was there an irony to follow the conflicting dogma in extinguishing the charism? The Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was in effect attempting to implement a form of euthanasia to suppress what is mostly aged women who constitute the populations left in the convents of the United States. After all the sermons about Roe V. Wade about the sanctity of person – a word whose origin meant “to speak through” someone.

How did this all look to the outsider? Or even to the young Catholic who never attended church? When you always had wanted to grow your own, how had the sexual abuse crisis looked to the young? Who wanted to be part of these goings-on? Did it seem too much like an uncomfortable assembly of family at Christmas? Adults, mindful of happy times in a past that the young had a hard time mimicking? When things of the past are doubted, based upon the present. Among those under the age of 30, people declaring “no religion” in affiliation had grown to close to 30 percent, in the US population. So, in the fighting for power bases, how much of this drop-off was due to just bad leadership, with a new worldview since Sept. 11 that all religions, not merely Islam, were narrow and fundamentalist. And with all of these impositions, God did not seem very alive.

The finality when you quit moving. A symphony now has climaxed in all of this fertility, but there is unfinished business in things inadvertently lost. In stories concerning the power of God in His fertility, in life and in death, the power of God remains.

The seen and the unseen. When you were born into something. When so often the power of God remains to be seen.

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